Waterbury Clock Information

Company Name: 

Waterbury Clock

Company Summary

Waterbury Clock Company.

The Benedict & Burnham Manufacturing Company of Waterbury, CT was formed in January 1843 to manufacture brass sheeting, brass products and gilt buttons. By the summer of 1855 they had plans to start their own clockmaking operation, and employed Noble Jerome (designer of the 30 hour brass weight “OG” movement) to set up a movement shop for them. After Chauncey Jerome’s bankruptcy in 1856, Chauncey himself went to work at Waterbury for about six or eight months to set up a case making shop. The Waterbury Clock Company was incorporated on March 5, 1857. One of the first clocks they marketed was a weight driven clock in a rosewood case designed and patented by Chauncey Jerome. An 1873 price list shows the following clocks being produced: lever movement gallery clocks, a drop octagon, a wall regulator, cottage and gothic timepieces, OG, OOG and Column weight driven clocks, and spring driven clocks in cottage, sharp gothic, round gothic, OOG and column styles. Their 1881 catalog shows 94 models of their own manufacture and 15 models of Ithaca calendar clocks. In 1891 they introduced their own line of perpetual calendar clocks.

In 1877 D. A. A. Buck designed an inexpensive watch (the famous Waterbury long-wind) for the Benedict & Burnham Mfg. Co. The watch was put on the market in 1878 and in 1880 the Waterbury Watch Co. was formed and a new factory built.

By 1889 an even cheaper watch design was undertaken by Archibald Bannatyne for the Waterbury Clock Co. This watch, the “Jumbo”, was introduced in 1891, and used a back–wind, back–set clock movement small enough to be placed in a watch case one inch thick and about two inches wide. In 1892 the Ingersoll Brothers became interested in the Jumbo and soon were marketing huge quantities of them with their name on them. “The Watch That Made The Dollar Famous” had been born. In 1900 the watch was updated to be stem–wind and stem–set. In 1922 Ingersoll went bankrupt and was purchased by Waterbury Clock Co.

Waterbury continued to produce clocks and later added a line of hall clocks, some Willard style banjo clocks (the best proportioned ones ever offered by a CT firm) and a number of crystal regulators. By 1932 they were in bad financial condition and were reorganized as Ingersoll–Waterbury. In 1942 the business was taken over by Norwegian investors and in 1944 was renamed United States Time Corp. The Timex watch was introduced shortly thereafter, and in 1969 they were renamed Timex Corporation.

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