Hampden Dueber 16s 17j Model 4 Pocket Watch

Hampden Grade “Dueber Watch Co”

Hampden Dueber 16s 17j Model 4 Pocket Watch

Manufacturer Hampden
Caliber Number The Dueber Watch Co.
Movement Type Hunter style (crown at 3:00)
Model 4
Size
16S
Jewel Count
17J
Beat Rate
18,000 bph
Winding Type
Crown and stem
Setting Type
Lever set
Adjusted?
Yes
Functions Central hours; central minutes; small seconds at 6:00
Other Features
Safety pinion
Finishing
Nickel
Country of Manufacture USA (Canton, OH)
Known Models
(Add your watch to the comments below…)

The Hampden grade “The Dueber Watch Co.” is a railroad grade pocket watch movement from early 1900s. Keep in mind that railroad grade does not necessarily mean it was railroad approved.

This can be a confusing model because the dial of the watch will say Hampden Watch Co., but the movement is engraved with “The Dueber Watch Co.” (which is also the grade). You may see watches like this listed as Hampden-Dueber or Dueber Hampden, but old advertisements officially refer to the company as Dueber-Hampden.

The grade name comes from John C. Dueber, founder of the Dueber Watch Case Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dueber made cases for Hampden watches (based in Springfield, MA at the time) and eventually bought the company and moved everything to Canton, Ohio.

More Dueber-Hampden history from Wikipedia:

“By 1890, the company was producing quality watches, and introduced the first size 16, 23 jewel movement made in America. In 1923, the two businesses merged to become the Dueber-Hampden Watch Company. In 1925, John Dueber sold the company to Walter Vrettman. In 1927, falling sales led to the company going into receivership. In 1930, Amtorg Trading Corporation purchased the Dueber-Hampden Watch Company together with all of the manufacturing equipment, parts on hand, and work in progress, in order to build a factory in Russia. 28 boxcars of machinery left Canton, together with 21 Dueber Hampden employees to teach the Russians the craft of watchmaking.” –Source

To clarify the excerpt above: Dueber-Hampden is credited as producing the first 16 size pocket watch in USA around 1890 – making this grade/model interesting to own because it is a 16s. The 23 jewel movement the excerpt refers to is a separate achievement: the first 23J pocket watch movement made in America.

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