Pocket Watches as Memory Makers

When my dad passed away, he left behind several pocket watches that he or my mom had bought over the years.  I asked my mother if she wanted me to try to sell them.  She wanted instead to give each of her children the choice of a watch as a remembrance of dad at our Christmas gathering.  So I took the watches home to clean them up, wind them, and see which ones still worked.  Since I had them I decided to do a little research on the watches so I could provide my brothers with some background.

One of Dad's Pocket Watches
Most of the watches came from Colibri, a company that featured men’s accessory in its history but no longer makes watches.  I’m assuming the reason my dad went with that brand most is because it was the brand on his own dad’s watch, which was part of the collection.  My youngest brother took grandpa’s Colibri watch to someday pass to his son even though it seemed to no longer work.  Of course my dad often would take the watches to a jeweler who would clean them and then they would start working for a little while again.  The watches could get pretty dirty in the pocket of a man who was an all-in-one welder/carpenter/farmer really fast.

Dad did not have many fancy watches since function was more important than looks.  I remember that one year my mother bought him a collector’s pocket watch from a full page magazine ad.  It was his Christmas present from us kids that year.  In his collection were only 2 watches that would be considered collectables if they were working and still in their original packaging – Flying Tigers and Kennedy Half Dollar (no manufacturer listed on outside).  They had little monetary worth but each had a chain so different brothers took them to use as a display in their home.

My dad also had a wrist watch after he decided it was more acceptable for men to wear jewelry during the age of “Flower Power.”  He said it was dangerous for a man who did his kind of work to wear anything on his hands or wrist.  So the wrist watch was only worn to Church on Sunday.   His wedding ring was sometimes worn on his hand that day too.  Otherwise his simple wedding band hung on a chain around his neck that was tucked into his shirt.

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