1882 – 1903
What initially started under the firm name Gruen and Savage by D. Gruen and W.J. Savage in 1876, became the Columbus Watch Manufacturing Company. Savage was the oldest son of one of Columbus’ most successful businessmen.
This Columbus, Ohio company purchased the beginnings of their movements from Switzerland, most of which were made by Leo Asbey, and would finish them and sell them as their own. However, these procedures changed in November 1882 when the company caught the attention of new investors and obtained a new factory in the “German Village” part of the Columbus area. At this point, the company name changed over to the Columbus Watch Company. In August the following year, the company released its first line of pocket watches.
These watches were vastly different than what was found in older pocket watches developed by other companies thus far. One of the main distinguishing factors in these watches was the placement of the balance and balance bridge. The placement difference was an important marker in the history of the pocket watches because it allowed for the barrel to be removed from the watch without removing the balance. This was not yet possible in the earlier pocket watch models.
The company imported many components of their product such as the mainspring, jewels, dials and hairsprings. After almost 20 years of operation, the company was sold in 1903 to the South Bend Watch Company who moved it to South Bend, Illinois. Most of the 100+ employees followed the company to Indiana and helped start up the new business.
Images provided by: oldwatch.com