Pitkin Pocket Watches

1838 -1852

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The Pitkin watch Company was the first to attempt to manufacture watches by machine in America. The watch was designed and manufactured by Henry and James Pitkin of Hartford, Connecticut. The brothers had a successful jewelry manufacturing business in Hartford until 1837 when a business down turn occurred, which caused the closing of their business. At this point Henry Pitkin, conceived the idea of manufacturing watches by machine. They designed and built their own equipment and the first watches were produced in the fall of 1838 The movements were 16-size and three quarter plate. The plates were punched out with stamping dies. The dials, hands, hair springs and the balance jewels were all imported. The first fifty movements were named Henry Pitkin, but afterwards H & J. F. Pitkin was used. They made their own cases, of gold and silver. 1841 Pitkin Watch Co. moved to New York. They had a tough time competeing with the cheaper imported watches. After they moved to 116 Fulton Street they concentrated on making cases until 1845, when Henry Pitkin committed and his brother James F. died a few years later. Mr. Amariah Hells, who had worked for the Pitkin brothers for a great number of years, continued the business until 1852, when he retired. Although the Pitkins failed to make a financial success of their business, they led the way in the making of watches by machine.


A closeup view of a W Pitkin Hartford Dial

A closeup view of a W Pitkin Hartford Lever fusee Pocket Watch Movement

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