Rockford 18S 11J key wind hunting case movement (HCM) #481 pocket watch, handsome gilt full plate movement with elaborately engraved balance bridge and brushed finish has a few small spots of discoloration but still clean and in good condition, porcelain enamel dial with roman numerals has some very small faint hairlines (not distracting), blue steel spade style hands, extra heavy 5 oz. coin silver hinge back & bezel (HB&B) case with spring lift on front bezel to reveal a hinged second bezel beneath, back cover has a magnificent engraved design of sunbursts radiating out from the blank monogram shield and ending in geometric and floral patterns deeply engraved around edge, stepped bezels, textured frame, offset gold hinges, thick glass crystal and oversized fancy bow, measures approx. 60mm in diameter x 21mm thick (crystal included).
Case could possibly have been a hunting case and had the front cover expertly modified to present as an open faced watch instead, overall case showing only normal even wear and most engraving is still very crisp. This watch winds and sets with a #4 size key. Excellent condition overall on this early Rockford from 1875, one of the earliest American watches we have seen, and a beauty for the collector in this impressive case that you need to see to appreciate!
- Year Made: 1875
- Company: Rockford
- Jewels: 11J
- Setting/Movement Type:
- Serial #: 481
- Movement Finish: gilt
- Movement Details: hunting case movement (HCM)
- Dial Material: porcelain enamel
- Case Style:
Silver - Coin
- Case Details: chain-guard bow
60mm (2.36 inches)
Case Length, bow included:
- Crystal Material: glass
The Rockford Watch Company, located in Rockford, Illinois, was in business from 1873 until 1915 and produced approximately one million watches. Rockford produced a wide range of watch grades, including some very desirable high- and/or railroad-grade watches including a number of 24J, 25J and 26J models. Rockford also set themselves apart from other watch companies with the numerous variations of detailed movement damascene finishing options they offered.
As an additional resource, we've posted a Serial Number Production List
which includes information for Rockford serial numbers and dates of manufacture.
The NAWCC also has a 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.
We do have a professional watchmaker that does all of our cleaning and repair work for us. To have your watch serviced before shipping, simply add this Cleaning/Service Agreement
to your shopping basket. The cleaning and timing service is $95, and depending on the time of the year, has a turnaround time of 1 to 3 weeks.
Please note that we provide this service in addition to the listed purchase price of our watches. If you do purchase this option and later decide to return the watch, this fee is non-refundable.
This watch comes complete with an appropriate, intact glass 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.
for any further questions or for an estimate on any shipping delays.
Please note: if you add this watch with a crystal exchange option to your shopping cart
but later change your mind on the crystal selection type, you'll need to remove the watch from the cart in order to make a new crystal selection. Once that is done, you can return to this page and add that new combination to the cart. We apologize for the limitations to our system that prevent you making that change from the shopping cart directly.
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.
Please note: an appropriate winding and setting key (or keys) is included in the listed price for this item. Unless otherwise noted in the Full Description, the key is not original to the watch.