The Pocket Watch Database has compiled data covering the major American pocket watch manufacturers and created an easy way to find information using the serial number on the watch movement. Here are a few tips to find information about your pocket watch:
Rockford Serial Lists designate four distinct runs as Grade 70, built using the Hunting Model 8 design and featuring two-tone plates with 16 jewels in red gold settings. According to factory serial lists, 1,600 Grade 70 movements were produced in the late 1880s and sold into the 1890s. Standard movements are marked "R.W.Co. - Rockford Ill. - Adjusted" in a blackletter ("Old English") style. In the c.1891 M.C. Eppenstein & Co. catalog, the Grade 70 is the finest Rockford grade available, demanding a price of $40.00. The 1896 A.C. Becken catalog describes the Grade 70 as "finely adjusted" and featuring a "large ruby center jewel" and "red gold settings." By 1899, the grade no longer appeared in the A.C. Becken annual catalog, likely discontinued after the 17 Jewel movements became more favorable in the market. Various private labels have been found on Grade 70 movements, many retaining the "R.W.Co. - Rockford Ill." marking in addition to the private label name.
The c.1891 M.C. Eppenstein & Co. catalog describes the Grade 70 as "fully and finely adjusted," indicating the movements were adjusted to temperature, isochronism, and positions.
In the December 1890 issue of The Jewelers' Circular, the "16-Jewel Rockford movement" was reported to be "nearly read for the market" and "pronounced by judges to be very handsome."