The Rockford Watch Co started producing pocket watches in 1873, so this is a rare very early example, low serial number 17271 (See company details below). Works and ticks strongly then stops after a while, the movement is fully wound though and there is also a problem adjusting / setting the time, lever pulls out ok but the winder won’t adjust the time. It will need a service or repair to sort these issues out and is sold as is. The superb gold plated case is 53.8mm in diameter. 1876 Rockford, Model 1, 9J, 18S, lever set, key wind with date serial number 17271. Dial has a tiny crack and a small loss to edge at 5
The Rockford Watch Company, located 93 miles from Chicago on the Rock River, began operation in 1873 using equipment purchased from the Cornell Watch Company. Two of Cornell's former employees, P. H. Wheeler (Wheeler's Patent, etc) and C. W. Parker became key employees of Rockford. Their factory building was built in 1875-76, and was located on the 300 block of South Madison in Rockford (parts of the original factory building were later used by Rockford High School).
Their first watch, a key-wind, 18-size, full plate with expansion balance was placed on the market on May 1, 1876. By 1877, the company was producing its own 3/4 plate nickel movements that fit standard size cases. The highest grades of early Rockford watches were signed "Ruby" or "Ruby Jewels" which later became a stylized letter "R" engraved next to the jewel-count. Rockford watches were quite popular with railroad men, as 3 railroads went through Rockford, and the company advertised heavily to them. Many of the later Rockford watches are signed "RG" for "Railroad Grade" The company had financial difficulties in 1896, and after reorganization the name was changed to Rockford Watch Co. Ltd. They finally closed their doors in 1915.
Rockford is one of the companies that produced a relatively small number of good-quality watches, and as such they are quite collectible.