Columbus 16S 16J LS adj. pocket watch #168968, YBM engraved HC with an elaborate art-nouveau design

Columbus 16S 16J LS adj. pocket watch #168968, YBM engraved HC with an elaborate art-nouveau design

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  • Description
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  • Full Description
  • Item Specifics
  • Company Info
  • Running Condition
  • Crystal Options
  • How To Wear & Use
  • Gift Info
Columbus 16S 16J lever set (LS) adj. pocket watch #168968, distinctive nickel 2-tone split plate movement with screw-down raised gold jewel settings (GJS), a fancy plate layout, elaborately engraved balance & pallet fork bridges, a fancy disc damascene pattern and a faded ring of gold flashing to create the 2-tone pattern, while the gold details on the barrel plate & balance bridge are slightly faded, the gold on the remainder of the movement is significantly worn, possibly from being left in a cleaning solution too long, this does not affect the running condition but is a cosmetic flaw, double sunk (DS) porcelain enamel dial with the Columbus "men of the woods" style Roman numerals, which resemble felled logs, some of which still have small branches & leaves, red Arabic 5 minute markers and a black-marked subsidiary seconds register, dial does have some faint hairlines, blue steel spade style hands.

Re-cased into a heavy yellow base metal (YBM) fully engraved hunting case (HC) with an elaborate art-nouveau design of elaborate swirls & floral designs filled with vermicelli engraving around fancy blank monogram shields on both sides, coin edge frame and a large heavy bow, case is showing only light wear with very little smoothing to the engraving but with some spots of discoloration on the bow, pendant & dust cover, additionally the crown does want to drift a bit, it is secure however you may need to press towards the watch occasionally in order to firmly seat it for winding or time setting, measures approx. 52mm in diameter x 76mm in length x 17mm thick. A very interesting vintage Columbus from the 1890s, running well and looking great with the modern case upgrade, in excellent overall condition!
  • Year Made: 1890-1891
  • Company: Columbus
  • Movement Size: 0516S
  • Jewels: 1216J
  • Setting/Movement Type: lever set
  • Adjustments: 1-3 positions
  • Serial #: 168968
  • Movement Finish: 2-tone
  • Movement Details: hunting case movement (HCM), fancy plate layout, gold jewel settings (GJS), screw-down jewel settings, raised jewel settings
  • Dial Material: porcelain enamel
  • Dial Details: double sunk (DS), men of the woods Roman numerals
  • Hand Style: spade
  • Case Style: HC
  • Case Material: Base Metal - Yellow
  • Case Details: re-cased
  • Case Width/Diameter: 52mm (2.05 inches)
  • Case Length, bow included:  76mm (2.99 inches)
  • Case Thickness:  17mm (0.67 inches)
  • Crystal Material: plastic
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Gender: Gentlemen's
The Columbus Watch Company, out of Columbus, Ohio, was in business from 1874 until 1902. Columbus produced a wide range of watch grades with a large number of high grade watches for railroad service. One of the original founders of the company, Dietrich Gruen, was a leading innovator during the early years of the company, patenting many new and updated modifications to the movements that eventually allowed for smaller, and thinner, watches across the industry.
The company manufactured almost 400,000 watches before it was sold and renamed the South Bend Watch Company. Additionally, in 1894, Gruen founded a new company, the Gruen Watch Company which went on to make some of the earliest "thin-model" pocket watches and helped to usher in the age of the wrist watch.

As an additional resource, we've posted a Serial Number Production List which includes information for Columbus serial numbers and dates of manufacture.
The NAWCC also has a comprehensive article about the company.
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 July 25th, 2024, 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 watch comes complete with an appropriate, intact plastic crystal; however, on request PM Time Service can replace the current crystal on this pocket watch for you. We offer a number of new and vintage crystal choices for pocket watches; you can select your desired choice from the dropdown menu below.
Please note that the average turnaround time for all pocket watch crystal replacements will be two days from the placement of the order.

Contact us with any further questions or for an estimate on any shipping delays.

Please note: if you add this watch with a crystal and/or band exchange option to your shopping cart but later change your mind on the crystal and/or band selection type, you'll need to remove the watch from the cart in order to make a new selection. Once that is done, you can return to this page and add that new crystal and/or band combination to the cart. We apologize for the limitations to our system that prevent you from making that change within the shopping cart.

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.

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  • Understanding Our Descriptions
  • Return Policy
  • Payment & Shipping
We process a very large number of watches and accessories each year for sale via our website, eBay and local avenues. We attempt to offer descriptions and photos that are as complete and clear as possible on each item, and we always encourage you to write us with questions if something is not addressed in the description!

In each description, we attempt to note the following things:
<maker><size><jewels><setting><adjustments><grade/model><serial number>, <movement information>, <dial information>, <hand information>, <case information>, <misc. information>, <overall condition and comments>

Taking an example of a watch already described, we've bracketed the different sections and ordered them as above:
<Ball-Hamilton> <16S> <21J> <LS> <adj.> <Official RR Standard> <#B651197>, <nickel movement with gold jewel settings and concentric circle damascene pattern, should be noted that the gears on the movement may not be all original however watch is running strong and not affecting running condition>, <porcelain Ball marked dial with Arabic numbers has very faint hairline (not distracting)>, <blue steel hands>, <beautiful YGF SB&B Ball marked case with engraved bezels and blank monogram shield showing normal even wear (no brass)>, <fancy bow>. <High grade Ball watch in very good condition, perfect to carry everyday!>

We also provide a List of Abbreviations that we use in our descriptions, as well as a Pocket Watch Sizing Chart that explains numerically and graphically the various sizes of pocket watches that we offer.
We offer a 30-day return period beginning the day you receive your items for all PM Time Service merchandise. To receive a full refund, the item must be return in "as shipped" condition, with no new personalized engravings or end-user adaptions. Items damaged in transit will be eligible for the full refund pending the application of the insurance claim on the damaged watch or item. Please see our Shipping & Return Policy page for full details.
Holiday & Vacation Dates - Unless otherwise noted on our holiday page, you can expect an order placed to be processed and shipped out within 2-3 business days, often much sooner. If you need an item quickly, please do double check our holiday page to make sure we will be in the office!

Please use the "Estimate Your Shipping" button on the Shopping Basket page to get a specific quote on your current shipping fees. The estimate will be available once you have added at least one (1) item to your shopping cart.

In order to provide a fair and secure shipping experience for our customers, and protect your valuable purchases, we include full insurance for the total value of your order with all items purchased. At this time, we do not allow for a customer to opt-out of insurance on their shipments. Details may be found at our Shipping, Insurance, & Return Policy page.

We are happy to accept credit cards and PayPal, as well as checks and money orders, for payment on all orders.

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We may also offer this product for purchase from our other PM Time Service online shops, should you prefer a different purchasing platform. If this item is already listed on these marketplaces, links to those listings are provided below; otherwise, a "contact us" link will appear allowing you to request a custom listing be created for you.

PM Time Service eBay Store:

  • Currently available only at; contact us to request this item be listed on eBay.

PM Time Service Etsy Shop:

  • Currently available only at; contact us to request this item be listed on Etsy.

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