South Bend 16S 21J adj. 8p Studebaker pocket watch #1212374, handsome nickel 3-finger bridge movement with screw-down raised jewel settings, bold red ruby jewels and a bar-style damascene pattern, 2-tone metal double sunk (DS) dial with a silver toned inner section engraved with a radiating fish scale design, off-white outer ring has a matte finish under the fancy black Arabic-style numbers and black minute markers, black marked off-white subsidiary seconds register, dial has some light patina, spots of discoloration and a few short scratches, mostly around the edge of the dial, blue steel spade & whip style hands.
Impressive green gold filled (GGF) fully engraved screw back & bezel (SB&B) case with an elaborate art-deco motif of ribbons and floral patterns engraved about the tight engine turning and surrounding a fancy blank oval monogram shield, deeply engraved geometric and floral designs on the bezels and frame, short heavy pendant and fancy bow are also engraved with matching floral designs, case is showing normal even wear overall however there are small spots of brass starting to show on the bezel engravings, back cover and bow, along with having a replacement yellow gold filled (YGF) crown which is in excellent condition but is a notably yellow tone to the green tone of the case, measures approx. 49mm in diameter x 63mm in length x 12mm thick (crystal included). An attractive, high grade vintage South Bend in a case with a very distinctive engraving design from the 1920s in excellent overall condition!
- Year Made: 1928-1929
- Jewels: 21J
- Setting/Movement Type:
- Adjustments: 8 positions
- Model/Grade: Studebaker
- Serial #: 1212374
- Movement Finish: nickel
- Movement Details: 3-finger bridge layout, screw-down jewel settings
- Dial Material: metal
- Dial Color: ivory/off-white
- Dial Details: double sunk (DS)
- Hand Style:
- Case Style:
Gold Filled - Green
Case Length, bow included:
- Crystal Material: plastic
The South Bend Watch Company was in business from 1902 until 1929. Originally the Studebaker
family in 1902 and was moved to South Bend, Indiana. The watches produced under the South Bend name started their serial numbers after the end of the Columbus numbers, 380,500, and the company produced approximately 900,000 watches before it succumbed to the downturn of the Depression and closed in 1929.
As an additional resource, we've posted a Serial Number Production List
which includes information for South Bend serial numbers and dates of manufacture.
The NAWCC also has a comprehensive article
about the company; additional information may also be found on Wikipedia
out of Columbus, Ohio, the company was purchased by members of the
This watch is in good running condition, unless otherwise noted in the description. This means that on receipt, pending any item-specific running conditions noted in the description, you can expect the watch to be winding and setting properly and to run smoothly while keeping reasonable time. We consider "reasonable time" to meet these basic guidelines:
- Railroad Grade Watches will be keeping +/- 5 minutes per day
- Pocket and Wrist Watches with 15 or more jewels will be keeping +/- 10 minutes per day
- All key wind watches and watches with 14 or fewer jewels will be keeping +/- 15 minutes per day
The above guideline is the lowest standard in which we would ship out a watch, however in most cases, you will see much better timekeeping. Most of our watches have been in storage for many years, so if you plan on carrying/wearing them everyday, you should consider having them cleaned and oiled soon, and then once a year thereafter to keep them in top running condition. If the watches will be for occasional use or display, they should be cleaned and serviced every 3 to 5 years depending on use.
As of November 29th, 2023, we are not offering a cleaning and service option through PM Time Service. While we do hope to offer this again in the future, we are unfortunately unable to meet customer requests for watch servicing at this time. Please note that, unless otherwise mentioned within the "Full Description" tab, this watch is being sold in good running condition and is ready to wear or carry on arrival.
This is considered a "railroad-grade" pocket watch. To be a railroad-grade watch, the following criteria must be met:
- be 16S or 18S
- have 17 or more jewels
- be lever set
- be in an open face case
- be adjusted to 5 or more positions.
- have easily-legible Arabic dial numerals
In order to ensure the accuracy of pocket watches used by railroad employees, with the ultimate goal of preventing train accidents, the General Railroad Timepiece Standards Commission published a set of guidelines for railroad companies and watch manufacturers in 1893. These guidelines, which specified the criteria for a railroad-grade watch, were prepared by Webb C. Ball, the general time inspector of North American railroads and founder of the Ball Watch Company.
For more information, visit this Wikipedia article
on railroad chronometers or this Smithsonian National Postal Museum article
on the influential train wreck tragedy that resulted in the establishment of railroad watch standards.
Our entire collection of such timepieces may also be viewed at our Railroad Grade Watches
Unlike modern quartz watches, most vintage watches need daily winding in order to keep the watch functioning for timekeeping. Additionally, there are a number of different ways to set the time other than simply pulling the crown away from the watch body. We are happy to provide an overview of each of the different setting types on our "How To Use" page
, where we also provide information on proper winding techniques for each style and some suggestions for the proper long term care and storage of your watch.
For your gift giving convenience, please find a consolidated overview of the information on this item, with no reference to the price, on this printer-optimized page