Confirming pocket watch date & maker

i am wondering if anyone can help me with the marks on this pocket watch case. i see it is 19th C, but the lozenge shape is throwing me off (is it early or late 19th?) and i cannot ID the maker.

Complicate things further? The ball on the top of the watch (where the ring passes through) has what appears to be the maker mark AB in rectangular lozenge, but it is too small to photo.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


I don’t know who the maker of your watch case is but the date is 1883. AB could be Alfred Bedford whose initials were used by the Waltham Watch Co, a large American watch company who made and sold watches in England. Bedford was the company’s manager in England. This probably means that your watch was made up of separate components by the watch maker, although it may also show that it has been repaired with parts from a different watch.

the silver marks are Lion passant for brittish silver
The symbol is for Birmingham and the
i is 1908 if l it is 1910
AB is the Birmingham company that I dont know.

That every singel part has marks confirms the brittish origin.

However your photo is not good - I cannot see marks clearly so I had to make assumptions.

Thank-you very much Hose & silvermakermarks for your very prompt replies.

i am sorry if the photos are not the best. For some reason i was having difficulty and this was the best i could seem to get.

The letter definitely is a lower case “i” but is it scripted, if you will, and therefore i would have to agree that it is earlier than 1908/10. The two on-line date codes i have with this “i” show an oval lozenge (1883) and a shield (1806).

This watch case has more of a shield, but with rounded top corners. Hence my confusion.

The AB is too small to photograph, but the letters are block text with Sarif separated by a centered dot and set in a rectangular lozenge w/chamfered corners. i had considered Alfred Bedford and the timing would be right for 1883, but their are a number of Birmingham AB’s to be found, none with an exact match (e.g. differing text, no dot/chamfer, etc).

Again, i thank you for your assistance.

Yes, this is definitely an 1883 mark. For some reason Birmingham date letters on watch cases at this period had a different punch shape to the normal one which is illustrated in references - it may have been something to do with the fact that duty was not payable on watch cases so they don’t have the sovereign’s head duty mark, or it may have been for some other reason.

Waltham Watch Co is a very likely candidate for the maker of the other part of the case. Other ABs were not necessarily in the watch trade.