Most of the information in the case chronology came from issues of The Trader and Canadian Jeweler so the limited availability of issues causes gaps in the information but I think overall it is fairly accurate for something that happened so long ago. See “Sources” bottom of P.3
THE SHORT VERSION – WITH EARLIEST KNOWN MARKINGS
14K & 18K – SOLID GOLD – FIRST CASES MADE – 1885
LION – SOLID GOLD – 10K BACKS, OTHER PARTS 8K – AT LEAST 1890
A.W.C.CO. – COIN SILVER – KW bears PAT. JAN. 31. 1885 on cuvette
A.W.C.CO. – STERLING SILVER- No certain introduction date- Some bear PATD 1888
PERFECTION – COIN SILVER – PATENTED & INTRODUCED 1886
EXCELSIOR – COIN SILVER – PATENTED 1888
SILVEROID – PATENTED & INTRODUCED 1888
NP – COIN SILVER – SOME with ALBATA CAP – INTRODUCED 1890
NEVADA – COIN SILVER – INTRODUCED 1890
PREMIER – 14K GF – 21Yr. – Later 25Yr. – INTRODUCED 1890
CASHIER – 14K GF – 21Yr. – Later 25Yr. – INTRODUCED 1890
CRUSADER – 14K GF – 21Yr. – INTRODUCED 1890
FORTUNE – 10K GF – 15Yr. – Later 20Yr. – INTRODUCED 1890
EMPRESS – GF – 10YR. – NO CERTAIN INTRODUCTION DATE
PEERLESS – GF – NO CERTAIN INTRODUCTION DATE
SOLID GOLD & SILVER CASES
Initially the AWCCO. made only gold and silver cases using the Maltese Cross as a trade mark. (Trader July 1885)
A.W.C.CO. COIN – 2 patents marks 1885 and 1888
Some keyword cases bear PAT, JAN. 31. 1885 on the cuvette while some screw cover cases bear PATD 1888. The trademark itself was shown in Trader, July 1885.
I have seen no reference to STERLING cases in any of the available material.
PERFECTION – Patented and placed upon the market 1886
The Perfection case, only available in silver was patented Jan 15th 1886 and a Trader Feb. 1886 ad cut states it “has just been placed upon the market”.
The words “This Case, an exact representation of which is shown above” and “Every ‘Perfection’ Case we manufacture bears our stamp and registered Trade Mark as above” have me a bit confused as the only 4 cases I have seen marked PERFECTION COIN are not an exact representation and don’t bear there Maltese Cross yet the cartouche says, to me, A.W.C.Co. One holds a Pequegnat Bros. (Canadian) marked movement and 2 have 24 hr. Canadian dials.
EXCELSIOR – Patented 1888
In the Jan 1883 and Feb. 1883 issue of the Trader is an ad cut for the Excelsior case with no attribution as to the manufacturer. Available in gold or coin silver. This is 2 years prior to the existence of the A.W.C.Co.
In the Jan 1890 issue is another ad cut of an Excelsior case in coin silver only, with the same logo but guaranteed by the sole manufacturers, A.W.C.Co.
It has a different closure than the 1883 case and carries a patent date of 1888 so perhaps a re-use of a Quigley trademark from the original company
I have seen only 1 case marked Excelsior.
LION – At Least 1890 Perhaps Earlier
I have scoured every available issue of the TRADER and 1890 is the earliest reference I have found for this case.
Only 3 examples have been seen but the case was still available in 1900 as seen in the Goldsmiths’ Stock Catalogue cut below.
A Trader Jan 1890 P.32 ad cut (below) states
“The Patent Screw Dust-Proof Case Manufactured by the American Watch Case Company of Toronto, has been upon the Canadian Market for nearly two years”.
“Hitherto their Screw Dust Proof Case has been made only in Gold, Silver and Silveroid”.
This would put the introduction of the A.W.C.Co. SILVEROID case in 1888.
Silveroid being advertised as a “new metal” by the Keystone Watch Case Co.in the Dec. 1886 issue. (Trader Dec. 1886) (Perhaps new for watch cases, it was used for flatware in 1878).
PREMIER – 1890
In Jan 1890 was introduced the first gold filled screw case named PREMIER and stamped with the winged wheel, the case had a solid gold bow, extra thickness of 14K gold and was guaranteed 21 years. (Trader Jan. 1890 P.32)
By 1900 the PREMIER 14K case was guaranteed for 25 years (Goldsmiths Catalogue 1900/Library & Archives Canada, See below)
Winged Wheel as a Trademark
A bit of a controversy arose in June 1890 when another jewelry publication “The Guide”, in which Charles Stark, who manufactured watch cases under the name of The Toronto Watch Case Co. and was a frequent advertiser, accused the Trader of being an organ and property of the AWCCo.
The accusation was based on the fact that the winged wheel was used on the frontspiece of The Trader and also as a logo for the new Premier gold filled watch case.
Mr. McNaught’s response in Sept. of 1890 gives an insight into the origin of the winged wheel as used by the AWCCo.
His response: The original, the present frontispiece of the Trader, (winged wheel and all) was designed by an artist in Germany about 1883 or at least 3 years before the AWCCo. came into existence. After laying on the desk for years it was slightly modified, adopted for the new heading and sent to a Toronto engraver for execution in Aug. 1888 or nearly a year before the A.W.C.Co. adopted it as one of their trademarks. Trader Sept. 1890 P. 45
Nearly a year would put the Winged Wheel being adopted as a an A.W.C.Co. case trademark about mid-year of 1889 which is borne out by its appearance on gold filled cases introduced in 1890.
“Just Placed Upon the Market”
The *NP* Case – 1890
NP refers to National Policy, an economic and political strategy which levied high tariffs on foreign imported goods to shield Canadian manufacturers from American manufacturers.
NEVADA – 1890
March 1890 shows the coin silver case NEVADA which has the Maltese Cross trademark.
FORTUNE – 1890
Also shown for the first time is the FORTUNE, a 10K gold filled case with a solid gold bow and will wear for 15 years, later to become 20 years it was still a 15 year case in 1886.
CRUSADER – 1890
Then came the CRUSADER, 14K gold filled to wear for 21 years. I have not seen one of these cases as of this writing. (Trader Mar. 1890 P.42)
CASHIER – 1890
April of 1890 shows the first I have seen of the CASHIER, 14K gold filled made to wear for 21 years, later to become 25 years. (Still 21 years in 1896 – Trader Dec. 1896)
Case Guarantees Lengthened
About 1899/1900 “WARRANTED” stamps began to appear on A.W.C.Co cases, no doubt prompted by the decision referenced below. Prior to this the guarantees were only stated in ad cuts or on watch case papers.
FORTUNE, once 15 Year cases, bore a 20 Year guarantee while CASHIER and PREMIER, once 21 Year cases bore 25 year stamps.
The EMPRESS was a gold filled case guaranteed for 10 years.
Although I have seen many examples there is no mention of the EMPRESS cases in any of the available literature.
In the 1920 issues of the Trader there is little new save for an ad cut for an A.W.C.Co. PEERLESS gold filled case. 12 and 16 size cases have been noted.
Pg. 1 – HISTORY
Pg. 2 – CASE CHRONOLOGY
Pg. 3 – CASE GUARANTEES BECOME ILLEGAL IN CANADA – 1908
Pg. 4 – The 07/08 QUESTION – CASE & MOVEMENT SERIAL NUMBERS WTH PHOTOS
Pg. 5 – FORTUNE 18s CASE AND MOVEMENT SERIAL NUMBERS WITH PHOTOS
Pg. 6 – CASHIER 18s CASE AND MOVEMENT SERIAL NUMBERS WITH PHOTOS
Pg. 7 – PREMIER 18s CASE AND MOVEMENT SERIAL NUMBERS WITH PHOTOS
Pg. 8 – EMPRESS 18s CASE AND MOVEMENT SERIAL NUMBERS WITH PHOTOS
Pg. 9 – SILVEROID/NICKEL SILVER 16s & 18s Case & Mvt. SN’s WITH PHOTOS
Pg. 10 – A.W.C.CO. COIN 16s & 18s PLUS EXCELSIOR – PERFECTION – N P – NEVADA SN’s & PHOTOS