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South Bend Watches

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  • South Bend Watches

    Of all the things I've seen discussed on this forum, I can't recall any threads on South Bend Watches. My interest in these has peaked a bit, having recently inherited one from Tom Elliott's estate. I've been reading up on them over the last few days, bought literature, etc. I already have quite the appreciation for them. I've gotten the bug so bad that I'm even planning a visit to George Ritenour's home in the next couple of months. No better way to learn about them than from the expert. My love for Studebakers is pretty broad so I enjoy learning about all of the various aspects. I may end up having a collection of them; watches may not be much cheaper than the cars but at least they take up less space!

    So, anyone here on the forum have a South Bend watch or ten? The more photos and details, the better.

    Mine's currently in the mail to George R. to be serviced, and I need to go camera shopping.. When I get the watch back and a new camera, I'll post some better photos.

    Regardless, it's "The Studebaker". Serial number dates it to 1910.

    Last edited by mbstude; 05-21-2011, 02:51 PM.

  • #2
    Nice watch Matt !
    I have a few myself along with a big South Bend Watch sign that hung on old jewellery store . Its dated about 1910 . You now will have to get an old watch fob to go with that watch.....very nice.
    Here's the sign.........
    Last edited by 2R5; 05-21-2011, 03:17 PM.

    Home of the Fried Green Tomato


    1960 Champ , 1966 Daytona , 1965 Daytona Wagonaire


    • #3
      I, too have a South Bend from around that era. Mine needs a cracked jewel replaced.


      • #4
        The National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Bulletin has had a few articles on the South Bend Watch Co over the years. The December 1985 issue of the Bulletin has the article South Bend Watches by O. B. Frye, an article by Paul Berg in the August 1971 issue, and more info in the regular feature column The Railroaders Corner. For an education from a true South Bend Watch expert contact Fred W.H. Fox who advertises in Turning Wheels. He is the only watchmaker whom I trust working on my South Bends. Lyle Stratton of Longmont Colorado is also quite knowledgable regarding the SBWCo.
        My only purchases at the Zone Meet were two more South Bends for my collection.


        • #5
          I am the proud owner of two Studebaker watches. One of which I recently won at the South Bend meet a couple of weeks ago. As I stated in a previous post I don't usually win a thing at all but I won the watch. Both run great.
          55 President Deluxe
          64 Commander
          66 Cruiser

          37 Oldsmobile F37 4 Door


          • #6
            My son and I both have South Bend watches that we bought at a flea market/Antique store many years ago In Jacksonville Fla. Now I hear my grandson also has one. That makes him a 3rd generation watch owner. Mine is a large but plain one. James' is smaller but more intricately decorated. I just got mine back from George R. After a complete overhaul Since I'm not educated enough to take pictures, Matthew, you'll have to take them yourself. NT
            Neil Thornton


            • #7
              I am also the proud owner of two Studebakers.. one unfortunately had a slight misfortune in 1997 when my house burned down around it.. Someday I would like to see if it could be restored as of yet I have not seen another one like it.. it had/has a silver case with black roman numerals on a white background
              Attached Files
              Mark Chance

              1933 Model 56 5 window Coupe


              • #8
                I did have a nice collection of five Studebaker watches until I sold them recently to concentrate on other aspects of Studebaker memorabilia. Mine ranged from 1910 to 1925. I know Dick Quinn collects original catalogues of these watches. I still have a couple of pinbacks associated with the watches, the famous one of the watch in the block of ice plus the oval pinback showing the the Studebaker script over the " blue ribbon " background theme use by the South Bend Watch Co.

                \"QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER\"


                • #9
                  I have several also. I have one that took best of show in Springfield in 1991. It was the one and only time I entered it for judging. I do not have them here so I cannot take pictures. They are fun.

                  1947 Champion (owned since 1967)
                  1961 Hawk 4-speed
                  1967 Avanti
                  1961 Lark 2 door
                  1988 Avanti Convertible

                  Member of SDC since 1973


                  • #10
                    I have been in the garden all day. I finally got a much-needed shower and checked the forum. As I type this reply, there are two South Bend watches in a display case to my left. One, (a South Bend) is propping up the hood of a die-cast Golden Hawk. The other (a Studebaker) is posing as freight in the bed of a 1955 Studebaker Stake bed die-cast truck.The South Bend is a stem wind watch. The Studebaker is a lever set watch.

                    In addition to these two, I also have my father's gold lever set Waltham Vanguard railroaders' watch. It is mid 1800's and was given to him by my Grandfather who was a watch maker. I have some of my grandfather's tools.

                    When I was young, and attended my first Studebaker meets, I noticed some older men who seemed to have a problem keeping up with what time it was. Seems like they were always asking each other for the time. It took several meets for me to "catch on" to what that was all about. It was the old men showing off their Studebaker watches. I hate to admit it...but now I am one of those old men!
                    John Clary
                    Greer, SC

                    SDC member since 1975


                    • #11
                      Nice looking watch Matt. What grade number is it? I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the dial is not correct. South Bend watches never said "Studebaker" on the dial.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by R2Andy View Post
                        Nice looking watch Matt. What grade number is it? I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the dial is not correct. South Bend watches never said "Studebaker" on the dial.
                        It's a 229. The dial needs to be replaced anyways as there's a few imperfections I'm not happy with. Once George gets it in his hands I'll talk to him about making it right.

                        FWIW, Tom bought it from George in 2002. George bought it from the estate of none other than Carol Studebaker in the early 90's. Pretty nice lineage of owners.


                        • #13
                          Matt, Mine is a South Bend watch don't know much about it but won it at a zone meet auction many years ago in AZ. my camera is not a good as yours and note the time on mine and yours...Bob

                          Castro Valley,


                          • #14
                            I have promised myself that after parting with the '63 R2 Avanti, I will find a very nice Studebaker watch and buy it for myself as a consolation prize.
                            Often in error, never in doubt

                            ____1966 Avanti II RQA 0088_______________1963 Avanti R2 63R3152____________


                            • #15
                              I have a few as well. Several have come from George.

                              Denny L