The Howard Watch and Clock Company and the American Watch Company were the only two watch companies in existence when the U.S. Watch Company began in 1863. With the knowledge that the current companies were unable to fulfill the production demand for watches, a jewelry importing company that had been selling Swiss and English watches by the name of Giles, Wales and Company, established the U. S. Watch Company.
After finding a shop to rent in Newark, New Jersey in 1863, the company hired the head mechanist of the American Watch Company, James H. Gerry, to manufacture the machinery necessary for them to start producing watches. A year later, the company purchased 23 acres of land to build their factory on in Marion, New Jersey. James H. Gerry became superintendent of the factory and brought ten other American Watch Company Employees with him.
The first model watch for the company was and 18-size full plate that had a butterfly shaped cut out in the top plate and was created by Oliver J. Baldwin. This cut out allowed for the view of the action of the escapement within the pocket watch. The first completed movement, the Frederick Atherton, was completed in 1867.
The company later learned of the art of the Swiss trade secret of demaskeening and incorporated it into their later model watches. The company later made an arrangement with William Muirhead of Jersey City in 1872 due to financial troubles. Muirhead determined that Giles and Wright were to continue to run the factory, but the company name was changed to the Marion Watch Company.
Marion offered cheaper grade watches and lower prices on the older models, but the company was still unable to recover financially and went bankrupt in 1874. After the factory closed, the Fredonia Watch company, Auburndale Watch Company and Fitchburg Watch Company bought the remaining machinery and supplies.