Several American watch factories went to court with each other, fighting for the legal right to use the word "Railway" for a grade name, though there were probably more important things to argue about at the time. The Hampden Watch Co would eventually be awarded that right, resulting in the existence of this railroad-grade Railway Special survivor from the late 1890s.
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In 1891, John Dueber's Hampden Watch Co introduced the first 23-jewel watch in America, and the jewel race was on. Factories tried to one-up each other in what became known as the "jewel-packing" era, putting unnecessary jewels anywhere they could. This orphaned 21-jewel two-tone example in the Railway Special grade is in superb shape, with everything matching and correct, including under the dial. The plate gilding is unusually bright, and there's a full set of gilded hardware to match. The double-sunk Arabic dial is flawless behind blued spade hands, but the best part is that it's been fully restored for the next owner and is ready to carry. The case is made of anodized aluminum and 360 brass with relief cuts in the front bezel to make unscrewing it to set the time easier, and the convex glass crystals on both sides makes it easy to show off this exceptional survivor. All new cases come with a 12-inch Type I paracord lanyard and color-matched carabiner to prevent drops.
Manufacturer - Hampden
Serial Number - 1209593
Watch Size - 18
Watch Model - 3
Watch Grade - Special
Jewel Count - 21
Winding/Setting - Stem/Lever
Production Year - 1898
Safely store or display your favorite pieces in a custom wooden cabinet, designed and built to your specifications in your choice of domestic species, finishes, hardware and lighting packages.
Straps are an alternative to chains, which don't grind up the metal bows. Prevent drops with these supple straps, hand-braided from top-grain leather in your choice of colors.