View Full Version : private label watches

Barry J. Fish
11-16-2005, 01:28 PM
Hello again,

What effect has the parting out and switching factors had on the private label collector?

Are Illinois, followed by Hamilton the most popular private label watches?

What do Illinois and Hamilton collectors think about switching these watches' dials and movement?

Do these companies usually have both movement and dial signed for true private labels? What about half and half, dial or movement only?


11-16-2005, 07:20 PM
Just over the last three months, with all the switching going on, I am thinking security may lie with a signed PL dial and movement.

Also, it must have been a real pain for the engraver to set up his machine to cut 10 PL plates.
And the poor dial folks, I bet they trashed a few dials before they got the PL dial looking decent.

And every different PL jobber meant a different machine setup and a few more trashed dials.

Fred Hansen
11-17-2005, 10:09 AM
I think the PL dial makes dial switching more complicated and these watches might be more often spared.

The sad thing though is I am seeing occasions on eBay of private-label watches being sold with a correct PL dial with matched movement markings, but if the dial is chipped or has a number of hairlines it will be stripped off and the watch sold either without a dial or with a typical factory marked dial. Of course no disclosure of this is ever made, and as some PL watches are I believe correct only single-signed this makes the detection of the correct from the incorrect more difficult.

Sad to say but just another game some of the "dealers" like to play to squeeze a little extra $ out of their creations ...


Barry J. Fish
11-17-2005, 01:22 PM
True, Fred, but what about the perfect private label dials that get switched to incorrect movements! IMO this is widespread.


Fred Hansen
11-17-2005, 06:08 PM
True ... but I think a lot depends on the exact private-label and if single or double marked.

For those looking to make a switch with matched movement/dial markings the more common private-labels are easier, but some of the production on the jeweler contracts is apparently very small and makes finding a "minty" dial with the correct jeweler marking matched to the movement much more difficult. An 18 size llinois "Washington Watch Co." dial makes an easy find and an easy switch to a higher grade movement, but for an 83 model Waltham marked to "H.F. Wichman, Honolulu" this is a much more difficult dial to find to make a switch. I don't think the dealers that play these games are looking for this type of challenge ... I think their goal is quick and easy.

But I would agree the creation of "minty" dial-only private labels is definitely easy for these type dealers and a big problem for collectors.