The company's historic 19th-century manufacturing facilities in Waltham, Massachusetts have been preserved as the American Waltham Watch Company Historic District.
In 1850, at Roxbury, Massachusetts, David Davis, Edward Howard, and Aaron Lufkin Dennison formed the company that would later become the Waltham Watch Company.
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These are generally the easiest as for many makes, such as Waltham and Hamilton, production records are still extant and enthusiasts in the US have put a huge amount of effort into putting them into online databases so by taking the serial number of the movement (not the case number!
) and entering it you can get the production date usually to within a year or possibly two but sometimes to within a month.
Additionally, Waltham identified each pocket watch’s model name on the movement.
For most of the other makes the data is not generally available or, as is the case with Revue Thomman, the movements do not carry a meaningful serial number, just a 2 or 3 digit number to identify watches within a batch of production.
Details of the type of watch may also be provided although there are some errors largely due to mixed production runs (e.g.
lever and pendant set, etc..) and the occasional transcription error.
However, in 1886, Dennison stated that the first company name was the Warren Manufacturing Company, named for General Warren of Roxbury, a famous soldier of the War of Independence.
The word "watch" was specifically omitted to retain secrecy of the novel operation.