South Bend 16S 21J lever set (LS) adj 5p grade 227 pocket watch #1132870, beautiful nickel 3-finger bridge movement with screw down jewel settings and a fancy segmented-bar style damascene pattern, porcelain enamel dial with fancy Arabic-style numbers, red 5 minute markers and a subsidiary seconds register has some faint hairlines, blue steel spade style hands, re-cased into a smooth polish yellow gold filled (YGF) Fahy's RR model screw back & bezel (SB&B) case with geometric engravings on the bezels, engraved heavy shoulders and a fancy bow with laurel engravings, case is showing normal even wear overall but has a small bit of brass on the frame near the crown and on the back bezel, measures approx. 50mm in diameter x 60mm long x 15mm thick (crystal included). An attractive, high quality railroad grade South Bend in excellent condition!
- Year Made: 1925-1926
- Company: South Bend
- Jewels: 21J
- Setting/Movement Type:
- Adjustments: 5 positions
- Model/Grade: 227
- Serial #: 1132870
- Movement Finish: nickel
- Movement Details: 3-finger bridge
- Dial Material: porcelain enamel
- Case Style:
Gold Filled - Yellow
50mm (1.97 inches)
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 about the company.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.