Reconstructing the Seth Thomas Serial Number Database

The already well-established Seth Thomas Clock Company manufactured pocket watches from 1884 to 1915. The movements varied in quality, from low-end 7-Jewel watches to the prestigious 25-Jewel Maiden Lane.

Existing Seth Thomas factory records from this era of pocket watch manufacturing are sparse. Fortunately, a few catalogs and advertisements have survived, providing a path to begin reconstructing a lookup database.

We focused our primary efforts on serial numbers up to 1,000,000 (around 1900). Shortly following that period, the company stopped stamping serial numbers in many batches of movements. This practice, paired with lack of records, makes reconstruction of serial numbers 1,000,000-3,600,000 much more difficult, if not impossible for some ranges.

The majority of the collectable Seth Thomas pocket watches lie within the range that we studied, including the desirable Model 5 movements, spanning the serial block 200,000-400,000.

Using existing serial range records, and compiling over 1,000 observations from various locations, we were able to reconstruct a database that will provide a foundation for ongoing research.

Currently, our evaluation algorithm indicates the following coverage in the reconstructed database up to serial number 1,000,000:

Model: 99.13%
Size: 99.18%
Configuration: 89.83%
Grade: 30.77%
Jewel Count: 43.37%

Acknowledging that some of the reconstructed data may be inaccurate, the information and coverage will continue to improve over time.

If you have additional information that would assist in the efforts to improve the Seth Thomas database, please let us know.

 

7 thoughts on “Reconstructing the Seth Thomas Serial Number Database

  1. I have a private label: Morris Feinberg – Ironwood Michigan on the dial. The movement is marked The Cosmopolitan Watch Co. The Accurate Timer. It is a 2 tone, 17 Jewels, open face. Serial 225491–It is really a Seth Thomas Model 5 series. (Morris Feinberg was my great great uncle). Morris didn’t come to the US until 1893. I have seen other Cosmopolitan Watch-Accurate Timer but they were private label Illinois Watch Co. I have pictures if you wish.

    • Steve – Thanks for the comment about your Morris Feinberg Seth Thomas watch. I would love to see photos, so I will follow up with you via email.

  2. I have a Seth Thomas mantel clock, serial number 54772. I haven’t been able to find any information about this clock, either online, or from local auction houses. Does anyone out there know of a resource for Seth Thomas clock serial numbers? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  3. I have a pocket watch that’s been in the family for at least a century ,however I can’t find any history of it.
    It has the name De Witt Clinton on the face and scribed on the movement with serial # 24498 , can you help with any history?

    • Erik, feel free to upload a clear photo of the movement to your Pocket Watch Database collection account. I would be happy to take a look.

  4. I have uploaded photos of my Seth Thomas to my collection as shieldmaker. Serial no is 20001 full hunter, rolled gold pendent wind, lever set @ 12:00 I believe it is 1886. That is what I was told when I bought it a few years ago. Hope this is of help with your data base. Cheers, Randy

    • Thanks, Randy. With the screw-set jewels and the micrometric regulator, it looks like your watch would be classified as a Grade 70.

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