E. Howard & Co. Watch Grades and Rayed Movements

The below original research on E. Howard & Co. watch grades and Rayed keywind movement production was first presented at the 2002 NAWCC seminar in Boxborough MA. It is excerpted from Clint Geller's artilce entitled: "The Development of the E. Howard & Company Three-Quarter Plate Watch Movement: 1862-1875," to appear next year as part of an NAWCC special publication.

Table 13.a Model 1862 (Series III) Movement Grades Identified in the Factory Records

Grade Code*  Verbatim Description                              First S# Price ($)**

0-0-1        Steel Balance (not described in factory records)  4,393

1-0-1        Gold Bal. Movt.                                   3,566

1-1-1        Gold Bal. Movt. Pat. Reg.b                        3,511

1-2-1        Gold Bal. Movt. Sa                                3,401

1-3-1        Gold Bal. Movt. Set & P.R.                        3,601

2-0-1        Chro. Bal. Movt.                                  3,371   58.00

2-0-2        Chro. Bal. Movt. Adj. To H&Cc                     3,393   70.00

2-0-3        Chro. Bal. Movt. Adj. To H, C & P                 3,301   95.00

2-1-1        Chro. Bal. Movt. Pat.Reg.b                        3,331   64.00

2-1R-1       N Reed's P.R.                                    24,351   64.00

2-1-2        Chro. Bal. Movt. P.R. Adj. To H&Cc                3,716   76.00

2-1R-2       Reed's P.R. Adj. To H&Cc                          23,991   76.00

2-1-3        Chro. Bal. Movt. P.R. Adj To H, C & P              3,383  101.00

2-1R-3       Reed's P.R. Adjusted                              23,951  101.00

2-2-1        Chro. Bal. Movt. Sa                                3,441

2-2-2        Chro. Bal. Movt. Set Adj. To H&Cc                  3,671

2-2-3        Chro. Bal. Movt. Set Adj. To H, C & P              3,361  100.00

2-3-1        Chro. Bal. Movt. Set & P.R.                        3,652   69.00

2-3-2        Chro. Bal. Movt. Set & P.R. Adj. To H&Cc           3,658   81.00

2-3-3        Chro. Bal. Movt. Set & P.R. Adj. To H, C & P       3,321  106.00

2-3R-3       Reed's P.R. Set Jewels Adjusted                   23,301  106.00

3-0-3        Chro. Bal. Movt. Adj. To H, C & P Rayed            4,135d

3-1-3        Chro. Bal. Movt. Pat.Reg. Adj. To H, C & P Rayed   4,507d

3-2-3        Chro. Bal. Movt. Set Adj. To H, C & P Rayed        3,362   73.00g

3-3-3        Chro. Bal. Movt. Set & P.R. Adj. To H, C & P Rayed 4,199  116.00

4-3-3        Pat. Reg. Set Jewels Rayed Nickel Adjustede        21,561  125.00

4-3R-3       Reed's P. R. Set Jewels Rayed Nickel Adjusted     23,461  125.00

?            Others in 10-lot are 4-3R-HCP                     24,337   88.00

?            Appears in 10-lot of 2-3R-HCPs                    23,458  128.00

4-3R-3       Reed's P. R. Set Jewels Rayed Nickel Adjusted + ? 24,332  135.00

L-4-3R-3(?)  L. Reed's P.R. Set Jewels                         24,301  125.00f

L-3-3R-3(?)  L. Reed's P.R. Set Jewels Adjusted                24,321 116.00f

L-2-3R-3(?)  L. Reed's P.R. Set Jewels Adjusted                24,311 106.00f

Table 13.a Legend:

Universal Howard Grade Code: N1-N2-N3

N1 = 0: Solid Steel Balance, Keywind, Gilded Finish (may not have been made in Model 1862)
= 1: Solid Gold Balance, Keywind, Gilded Finish
= 2: Chronometer Balance, Keywind, Gilded Finish
= 3: Chronometer Balance, Keywind, Rayed Gilded Finish
= 4: Chronometer Balance, Keywind, Rayed Nickel-Plated Brass Finish
= 5: Chronometer Balance, Keywind, Rayed Solid Nickel Finish
= 6: Chronometer Balance, Stemwind, Gilded Finish
= 7: Chronometer Balance, Stemwind, Nickel-Plated Brass Finish
= 8: Chronometer Balance, Stemwind, Solid Nickel Finish
= 9: "Ball" Model watches, with 17 jewels, Breguet hairsprings, and ¾ plates.
=10: split plates, 17 jewels, and Breguet hairsprings.

N2 = 0: No Jewel Settings, Simple Regulator
= 1: No Jewel Settings, Patent Regulator
= 2: Jewel Settings, Simple Regulator
= 3: Jewel Settings, Patent Regulator
= 1R: No Jewel Settings, Reed's Patent Regulator
= 3R: Jewel Settings, Reed's Patent Regulator

N3 = 1: Adjusted to Isochronism only
= 2: Adjusted to Isochronism and Temperature (i.e., heat and cold)
= 3: Adjusted to Isochronism, Temperature, & Six Positions

(?): No L Size movements have been found in this S# range

Notes:

* The system of grade codes here employed is the author's invention. The factory record books employed no numerical grading system in this period.

** The first prices appear after the beginning of the fourth record book, at S# 19,431 dated January 2, 1869. Movements of the same grade appearing substantially before this date may not have had the same price. The absence of an entry in this column of the table indicates that the grade in question had been discontinued prior to S# 19,431.

a: "Set Jewels" sometimes was abbreviated as "S."

b: "Pat. Reg." often was abbreviated as "P.R." Prior to S# 23,301, this referred to Mershon's patent regulator. After S# 23,301 it referred to Reed's patent regulator.

c: "Heat & Cold" usually but not always, was abbreviated as "H & C"

d: This grade is rare. Only one movement seen.

e: Only the first 10-lot of nickel Model 1862 movements at S# 21,561 are listed explicitly as being "Nickel" (actually, nickel-plated) in the factory record book. This ten-lot is dated July 23, 1869. In subsequent 10-lots, nickel movements are identified by price ($125.00), as confirmed by cross-reference with the ETDB.

f: Most ten-lot descriptions in the second and fourth record books (corresponding to the I Size and the N Size Model 1862 serial number runs) include the movement size. These references have been omitted in the table for the sake of brevity. But 20 movements from S# 24,301 up to 24,320 are listed as "L" Size. The prices listed for these movements, from which tentative grade codes were decided, are inconsistent with the written descriptions. The ETDB lists one of these movements, S# 24,309, as an N Size, gilt movement, with expansion balance and Cole's escapement, and marked "Adjusted," contradicting the already somewhat self-contradictory record book.

g: This price is considered especially uncertain

Table 13.b Correspondences between 1884 and Universal Howard Grade Codes

Universal Code Designation  1884 Code Designation

     2-2-1               1
     6-3R-1              2
     6-3R-2              3
     8-3R-1              4
     8-3R-2              5
     6-3R-1              6
     8-3R-3              7
       ?                 8*
     9-3R-3              9
     10-3R-3            10

* The factory records indicate that a small, but not insignificant number of the earliest N Size split plate movements were "Grade 8" rather than "Grade 10." A surviving Howard advertisement called the author's attention by Mr. Harold Visser indicates that Grade 8 was the same as Grade 10, with 17 jewels in divided plates and Breguet hairspring, except it was adjusted only to isochronism and temperature, but not to positions.

Table 14. Serial Numbers of Ray-Damascened Model 1862 Movements

Grade Code   From S#      To S#              Total in Lot  Record Bk #   # In ETDB

 3-1-3    3,362   3,370    7f         2        1
 3-1-3    3,621   3,623    3        2        1
 3-?-3    4,094   -        1        None     1e
 3-0-3    4,135   -        1        2        0
 3-1-3    4,171   4,172    2        2        0
 3-1-3    4,189   -        1        2        0
 3-3-3    4,199   -        1        2        0
 3-1-3    4,222   -        1        2        0
 3-1-3    4,230   -        1        2        0
 3-2-3    4,507   -        1        2        0
 3-3-3    5,758   -        1        2        0
 3-1-3    5,837   -        1        2        0
 3-1-3    6,103   6,104    2        2        0
 3-3-3    6,200   -        1        2        0
 3-3-3    6,633   -        1        2        0
 3-?-3    7,649   -        1        None     1
 3-3-3   15,703   -        1        None     1e
 3-?-3   16,040   -        1        None     1
 3-3-3   17,111  17,620    10       4        0
 3-3-3   17,611  17,630    20       4        0
 3-3-3   17,641  17,650    10       4        1
 3-3-3   18,901  18,910    10       4        1
 3-3-3   18,921  19,000    80       4        5
 3-3-3h   20,701  20,710    10       4        0
 3-3-3i   20,706  20,710    see above4        1
 3-3-3   20,712  20,730    18       4        1
 3-3-3   21,071  21,080    2        4        1
 3-3-3   21,502  21,510    8        4        0
 3-3-3   21,521  21,550    30       4        0
 3-3-3   21,552  21,560    7        4        0
 3-3-3   21,591  21,595    5        4        0
 3-3-3   21,671  21,680    4        4        0
 3-3-3h   22,451  22,460    10       4        0
 3-?-3   23,962   -        1        None     1
 3-?-3   23,971   -        1        None     1
 4-3-3a   21,561  21,580    19g       4        4
 Note b  23,458   -        1        4        0
 4-3R-3c  23,461  23,480    20       4        3
 4-3R-3  23,921  23,930    10       4        1
 4-3R-3  24,301  24,310    10       4        1
 4-3R-3d  24,331  24,340    9        4        0
 4-3R-3  24,512  24,520    18       4        0
 4-3R-3  24,531  24,540    10       4        0
 4-3R-3  24,911  24,920    10       4        0
 4-3R-3  24,921  24,940    20       4        1
 4-3R-3  24,949   -        1        4        0
 4-3R-3  24,951  24,960    10       4        0
 4-3R-3  24,981  24,990    10       4        0
 4-?-3   25,921   -        1        None     1
 4-?-3   25,948   -        1        None     1

Notes to Table 14:

a: Only nickel finish lot with Mershon's regulator
b: Price listed for movement # 23,458 is $128.00
c: First Reed's patent regulator lot with nickel finish; three Cole's escapements found in this lot: S#'s 23,469, 23, 471 and 23,476
d: # 24,331 is $135.00 ; #24,337 is $88.00
e: confirmed by visual inspection of actual watch, or a visual image thereof
f: S# 3,367 is not rayed, and S# 3,369 is not listed as being rayed
g: S# 21,563 is listed in the ETDB as being gilt
h: grade determined based on price, rather than written description
i: S# 20,706 has a 16th jewel on the top plate, under the Mershon's regulator.