E. Howard Watch & Gold Quartz Chain

Value (2012) | $15,000 Insurance$20,000 Insurance

Well, my husband is the third-generation recipient of this watch. His great-grandfather was a miner that came over here from England. He settled in the Black Hills in the 1800s and was the supervisor of several gold mines. He was quite heroic in a lot of recoveries of miners. He was given this watch on a presentation basis.

This really is a watch that a gold miner would have had. It's a beautiful pocket watch. It's American. It was made by a company in Boston called E. Howard and Company, who was active in the late 19th century. They made this particular model of watch probably around 1890. But what makes it really interesting is the chain and the decoration on the case. The chain and the fob are made out of gold quartz. Watch chains like this are very desirable. They were very popular after the Gold Rush. You'd see them in areas like the Klondike, as well as near the Homestake Mine. You'd see them in California. Now, the watch is what we call a box-hinge hunting case watch. Typical American form with this extra metal at the top and the bottom to give it extra weight. And in the center of the watch, you'll see that there is multicolored gold decoration, plus a diamond. This was basically the highest grade case that you could buy, and as a presentation watch, which this was, whoever presented it to your ancestor was really very, very generous. Furthermore, it's a Howard watch. Now, Howard was one of the founders of the American watch industry, and they felt, and most collectors today feel, that they made the best American watches in the 19th century. Now, have you ever had this watch appraised or asked anybody about it?

We had it appraised a year ago, and they offered my husband $2,500 for it. And when we went in a few weeks later, they upped it to $5,000. But it is to stay in the family.

It's in absolutely pristine condition. It's had a history. We know who it was made for. It has a local history here in South Dakota. The Homestake Mine is well known around the world. And when you add all that together, this is probably something that you should insure for perhaps maybe $15,000 to $20,000.


Simply because it's one of the nicest gold quartz chains and multicolor box-hinge hunter case watches we've ever seen. It's a lovely watch.

Well, it's like Christmas in July with me.

Appraisal Details

Bonhams, NY
New York, NY
Appraised value (2012)
$15,000 Insurance$20,000 Insurance
Rapid City, SD (July 14, 2012)

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