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San Jose, CA, 95112
USA

Iterum takes watch movements from the 1940's-1960's and give them new lives in a modern stainless steel case and a dial reflecting the classic style of military watches. New watches salvaged from vintage movements.

About

Iterum builds new watches from vintage mechanical watch movements.

Vintage Hamilton advertisement. Watches were vital in WWII.

Vintage Hamilton advertisement. Watches were vital in WWII.

Before the quartz movement became commonplace in the 1970's, everyone wore a mechanical watch. Before computers and smart TV's and mobile phones and tablets, if you wanted to know the time you found a clock on a wall or you looked at your wrist. Now the current time is all around us and always accurate. When the phone in your pocket is guaranteed to always have the accurate time of day it is not necessary to wear a watch, yet some people do still wear a time piece on the wrist. Watches may be worn for fashion statements, out of habit, or a way to view the time without looking at the ever-present phone. I wear a watch for those reasons as well, but most of all I wear a watch because I appreciate and marvel at the tiny machine capable of keeping track of time that has remained virtually unchanged for over a century. A tiny machine, that if cared for, will operate at 5 beats per second all day, every day for years and years. And it was designed and built in an age before computers. 

An Elgin case that is beyond repair. The movement inside might still work.

An Elgin case that is beyond repair. The movement inside might still work.

A very small number of vintage watches are in good enough shape for collectors to pursue. The majority of mechanical watches sit in drawers or end up in garage sales or simply thrown away for several reasons, but two are most common. The first is that a watch which remains unused for decades requires servicing by a professional and that normally costs more than $100. Unless the watch has sentimental value, the cost of the service is many times what the watch is worth. The second reason many vintage watches are discarded are because styles have changed and men's watches are considerably larger today then they were 60 years ago.

Although the case is no longer useful, the movement may still work after getting a bit of attention.

Although the case is no longer useful, the movement may still work after getting a bit of attention.

As I shared my hobby with others I realized that many people had never seen a watch movement and were amazed that so many small parts worked together unseen. I wanted to share the appreciation I had for vintage watch movements with others and started investigating how I might put older movements into new cases. Normally a watch movement is designed first and then the case is designed to fit the movement. For Iterum, the movements were designed decades ago so I am constantly hunting to find movements that can fit into the cases I source. It is important to me that the movements are not altered so that any professional watchmaker is able to service the watch and keep it running for another few decades.

The watches I produce incorporate vintage movements with a dial that I designed and a modern case. The movements I use come from an era when watches were a necessity in a man's life. The 1940's through the 1960's saw manufacturers produce affordable, quality watch movements allowing every man the luxury of knowing the current time no matter his location.

Most of the movements I use are 17 jewel manual wind movements although I will offer automatic movements as often as I can. When you buy a watch from me I will provide you with all of the information I've been able to gather on it including the producer, approximate year of production, technical details, and photos of assembled and disassembled movement. Each watch movement is a beautiful piece of engineering that should be seen which is why all of my cases have see-through backs and why I provide several high resolution images to the buyer of the watch. Click here to see example photos similar to what you will receive with a purchase.

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