Pocket Watch Database
Dueber Watch Case Mfg. Co.
Image Provided by Jones & Horan
Note: Case manufacturers modified markings over time. As a result, the image above is simply a representation of one particular marking used by the company. Your case marking may differ based on the production era and other parameters.
There was some confusion in terminology when Dueber first introduced their "rolled gold plate" case in 1883. This appears to be an intended differentiation between their new case and similar gold-filled cases on the market at the time. The company believed their new case was of better quality due to the solid gold case center.
In the September 1883 issue of the Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review, news of the new gold-filled case was reported with an important note about the "plated" term:
"The Dueber Watch Case Company has at last brought out, what they have long contemplated doing, a new style of case which they denominate a "plated" case, in contradistinction to the term "filled" case, as applied to cases nearly similar in construction. The Dueber Company announces that their new case is "plated," but guarantee that the center, pendants, bow and crown are solid gold, and that they contain more gold than is to be found in cases of the same grade of other manufacture. These goods are highly commended by dealers who have handled them, and, as they are sold at a reduced price, there is likely to be a demand for them."
(At the time, Dueber was having difficulty rolling gold plates without marring the surface and was especially troubled by his failed attempts to manufacture the case center using this process).
Confusion in the trade over the terminology ensued, exhibited by several Dueber advertisements publishing customer testimonials that used the terms "rolled gold plate" and "gold filled" synonymously.
Based on the terminology submitted in relevant patent documentation, the company used the term "rolled gold plate" when referring to "sheet-brass, gold-plated on one side."
The next year, in March 1884, the company reintroduced this case using the "gold-filled" classification after perfecting and patenting the process to create the case center out of the same composition material (and following some corporate espionage at Hagstoz & Thorpe). At that point, the bow joints, joint plugs, and thumb pieces were still advertised as solid gold.
So, the early cases (Late 1883-early 1884) marked with this particular anchor mark were considered "rolled gold plate" and would have featured a solid gold case center. After March 1884, these became closer to the standard "gold-filled" cases.
The 1884 L.S. Stowe & Co. price list offered this original "rolled plate" case with the solid gold center using the title, "Dueber's Rolled Pate Watch Cases." The case is further described as featuring: solid gold centre, solid gold pendant bow, solid gold joints, solid gold pendant, solid gold thumb catches, and solid gold joint flags. No year gurantee was given in the price list.