Pocket Watch Database

Location: Fredonia, New York

Years of Operation: 1884-1885

Predecessor: Independent Watch Co.

Successor: Peoria Watch Co.

Finished and sold movements acquired from the Independent Watch Co. and purchased by Peroria Watch Co. in 1885

Production Jewels: 7-15 Jewels

Production Sizes: 18s

Total Production: ~20,000

Serial Number Lookup

Company Timeline

March 1879

The Howard Brothers begin advertising watches in newspapers across the nation under the name "Independent Watch Co.," promising an 11-Jewel adjusted watch in a coin silver case for $16.

April 1880

The Inpedendent Watch Co. is organized in Fredonia, New York by E.D. and C.M. Howard with a capital of $150,000. A building that is owned by the Howard Bros. is remodeled to serve as the manufacturing factory. Machinery is purchased from the Cornell Watch Co. and the United States Watch Co. in Marion, New Jersey.

The Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, Indiana
Saturday, May 7, 1881

April 1881

The Independent Watch Co. purchases equipment and hires workers from Switzerland in order to start manufacturing watch movements.


After unsuccessfully marketing remaining movements from the defunct United States Watch Co., The Independent Watch Co., designs a new 18s movement.

February 1882

The "Mark Twain" watch is offered by the Independent (Fredonia) Watch Co. with the following announcement: "Born at 2 o'clock p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1, the "Mark Twain" gilt key winding movement. The child is vigorous and healthy, and there seems to be a large and increasing number of him. His parents are proud of him, and he already promises to become as universal a favorite as his illustious namesake."

September 1883

J.C. Adams evaluates the machinery and material at the Independent Watch Co. and finds several faults that result in poor quality in the watches manufactured. He advises the Howard Bros. to cease operations while the factory is overhauled with new machinery to improve quailty. The Howard Bros. are also urged to reorganize the company under an differnt name.

The Indiana Herald ,Huntington, Indiana
Wednesday, May 27, 1885

July 1884

The Independent Watch Co. is reorganized as Fredonia Watch Co. with a capital of $150,000. New machinery is purchased to replace the previous equipment. All remaining movements bearing the Independent Watch Co. name were sold at an average of $6 each in order to unload the inventory.

Freeport Journal-Standard, Freeport, Illinois
Friday, September 18, 1885

December 19, 1885

After unsatisfactory sales, the Fredonia Watch Co. is purchased by the Peoria Watch Co. The previous Fredonia movements are refinished and sold as Peoria watches.