Pocket Watch Database

Rockford Watch Co.

Initial Marking: R.W.Co.

Location: Rockford, Illinois

Years of Operation: 1873-1915

Originated using quipment purchased from Cornell Watch Co.

Production Jewels: 7-24 Jewels

Production Sizes: 18s, 16s, 12s, 6s, 8s, 0s

Total Production: ~1,000,000

Factory Building Status: Still standing. Currently vacant.

Serial Number Lookup

Company Timeline

March 4, 1874

The Rockford Watch Co. is organized in Rockford, Illinois with capital of $150,000 by Hosmer P. Holland, Israel Sovereign, and George Troxell. The original equipment was purchased from the Cornell Watch Co. C.W. Parket and P.H. Wheeler, former employees at the Cornell Watch Co., were employed at the Rockford factory.


Construction of the Rockford Watch Co. factory is completed.

May 1876

The first Rockford Watch Co. movement was offered for sale - a 18s gilt fullplate keywind movement.

Fort Wayne Daily Gazette, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Tuesday, September 13, 1881

September 1881

The Rockford Watch Co. factory is producing 70 watches per day, well behind the market demand.

The Belvidere Standard, Belvidere, Illinois
Tuesday, February 10, 1885


The Rockford Watch Co. explores the possibility of relocating the operation to the west coast.


The Rockford Watch Co. is producing around 150 movements per day, and 350 people are employed.

Freeport Journal-Standard, Freeport, Illinois
Tuesday, July 31, 1888


Hosmer P. Holland resigns from the Rockford Watch Co.

January 25, 1890

The The Ottawa Free Trader newspaper reports that the Rockford Watch Co. will relocate to another area of town in order to build a larger factory and hotel.

The Inter Ocean, Chicago, Illinois
Sunday, May 17, 1896

May 15, 1896

Stockholders declare insolvency and assign all assets and debts of the Rockford Watch Company to Mr. Irwin French.

Belvidere Daily Republican, Belvidere, Illinois
Friday, May 17, 1901

May 1901

The company reorganizes as the Rockford Watch Co. Ltd. and becomes a subsidiary of the Illinois Watch Case Company, headed by Jacob Franks and Max C. Eppenstein.

Dixon Evening Telegraph, Dixon, Illinois
Wednesday, July 22, 1903

July 20, 1903

A fire occurs at the Rockford Watch Co. factory.

Dixon Evening Telegraph, Dixon, Illinois
Monday, September 28, 1903

September 26, 1903

The Rockford Watch Co. factory is struck by lightning.

Belvidere Daily Republican, Belvidere, Illinois
Saturday, March 5, 1904

March 1904

The Rockford Watch Co. lays off 75 factory workers due to slowing business.


After manufacturing nearly 1 million watches, the Rockford Watch Co. ceases operations and closes.