Antique and vintage Ingersoll Watches



2015-06-26 11:14:48

Antique and vintage Ingersoll Watches are watches produced by the American Ingersoll Watch Company.


This is a large group of pocketwatches which have been produced by the Ingersoll Watch Company since 1892. The line features several character pocket watches of many different subjects. The company gained prominence by way of producing the first ever one-dollar pocket watches. The Yankee watches, as they were widely known, were mass produced from cheap stamped parts with no jewels.

The brand crossed the Atlantic and appeared in the UK as the Crown pocket watches. Among the various offerings which rolled out from the production line was Reliance. Radiolite, Betty Bout, Big Bad Wolf, Dizzy Dean, and Mickey Mouse. The Radiolite was also known as the night design courtesy of its luminous dial.


In 1892, the Ingersoll brothers supplied their first watches via the Waterbury Clock Company. Four years later, the Yankee watch was introduced and by 1899 a total of 8000 watches were being made everyday. The firm opened a store in London in 1904 which facilitated the continued swelling of sales. By 1910 three and a half million pieces had been sold.

Until the collapse of the American company in the late 1920s, watches bearing the Crown label were assembled, from imported parts, by a British subsidiary known as Ingersoll Ltd. In 1904 and later in 1914, Ingersoll made two acquisitions which helped expand its reach. The inclusion of Trenton Watch Company in 1908, and New England Watch Company in 1914, catapulted daily production capacity to 16,000 watches of 10 different models. Later in 1922, Waterbury took over Ingersoll but didn’t tamper with the naming of products. In a similar twist of fate, Waterbury was taken over by Time Corporation in 1944 but the Ingersoll brand name was retained.


A working Vintage c1909 Ingersoll Yankee Radiolite pocket watch costs $42. On eBay, over 200 antique watches from the Ingersoll line are available. Prices come in from as humble as £0.99 to as high as £305. A non-functional Ingersoll ladies wristwatch has a price tag that reads an amount slightly under a pound, while a black Men’s Ingersoll Automatic Bison No.7 sells at £305.55. A 1906 size16 Ingersoll Trenton Antique gold-filled pocket watch would cost a prospective buyer $425.

Notable Auction Sales

On 3rd of May 2007 three non-functional vintage Mickey Mouse Lorus Ingersoll watches were sold at an eBay auction for $ 23.99. At the same auction, a gold-plated Burgundy dial bracelet Ingersoll was sold for $125.

Popularity with Collectors

Former US President Theodore Roosevelt’s light-hearted remark that he’d been referred to as “the man from the country where Ingersoll was produced” has played a considerable role in enhancing the continued popularity of the Ingersoll brand. Aside from that, most collectors fall for the comic characters which had become a natural feature of a number of Ingersoll offerings.

The comic-character connection was made even more profound by the mention of a Mickey Mouse wrist watch in Dan Brown’s 2003 bestseller-The Da Vinci Code. Further, Tom Hanks has appeared on screen wearing a Bradley Mickey Mouse from the seventies. Additionally, the fact that the company made so many watches which are distributed in over 60 countries makes them easily available to collectors.

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