'Sterling' watch by Ingersoll converted for use on the wrist

1912-1918 in England
Ingersoll Watch Company

A 'Sterling' model Ingersoll watch in a silver case by the Dennison Watch Case Co, hallmarked for 1915. Painted card dial, with subsidiary seconds and inscribed 'Ingersoll, Stirling, parts made in U.S.A. assembled in England.' The dial's original numerals have been overlaid with black cartouches, and numbers painted in a radium based luminous paint. Steel full-plate movement with lever escapement. Stamped on the movement with the makers name and New York Patent numbers for 1901, 1907, 1912 and 1914.

This watch started out life as a pocket watch, but had lugs attached to its case at 12 and 6, so that a strap could be attached to the back of it. During the first world war, soldiers started to wear their watch on the wrist, as opposed to in the pocket, in order to easily consult the time whilst keeping their hands free. It is possible that the luminescent numbers were also added during the war to aid viewing of the watch in the dark. Ingersoll's 'radiolite' luminous compound was used on its production watches from 1916 onwards. Clockmakers' Museum No. 1168


The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers
Object Number:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), steel (metal), cardboard and radium paint
Lent by the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers