Organized in April 1864 during the Civil War, the Tremont Watch Company represents an early building block in what would become the massive watch industry in America. A.O. Bigelow and Aaron Dennison aimed to produce a hybrid watch, leveraging cheap skilled labor in Switzerland for the train and escapement parts while completing the remaining parts in America. Assembly and adjustment were handled in Boston, allowing the company to quickly introduce movements to the market much quicker and cheaper than any other company. This concept proved to be a brilliant move, and the company became successful for a short period of time until the decision was made to manufacture the entire watch in America.
This idea was not part of Dennison’s vision for the company. As a result, Dennison resigned, and the company introduced a new low-quality grade produced in America under the “Melrose Watch Co.” name.
These Tremont and Melrose watches are highly collectible as remnants of the early watch industry, and this is the first lookup database compiled for these companies using observations from surviving examples.