Kevin Lowey | Watches | My Collection | Arcola SN-109649

As Time Goes By



Arcola SN 109649

Kevin's Notes

Now this is what watch collecting is all about. What caught my attention was the local connection. The watch dial and movement both say "F.D. Culp - Arcola, Sask.". I'm from Saskatchewan so this piqued my curiosity.

For some people, watch collecting is about buying and selling to make a profit. For me, watch collecting is about history. This watch had a lot of interesting questions that just begged to be answered. Who was F.D. Culp? What was his Arcola connection? What company manufactured the watch? To me, the watch was an enigma and answering these questions would be fun.

I also bought the watch for other reasons. First, there's the Arcola and Saskatchewan connection. Next was the Canadian connection (the watch case is marked "Made in Canada", seeing that is refreshing in a market flooded by American-made watches). The watch dial, case, and movement are in great shape (except for a missing screw on the movement). The watch was a size 14, which I didn't have, a 17 jewel, which I didn't have, etc. Plus the price was reasonable (about the same I paid for my Elgin I always wear). So even though the watch isn't really worth that much, I still find it interesting.

Now some notes on my investigation of the watch:

  • According to the phone book, nobody named "Culp" lives in Arcola today.
  • According to the Town of Arcola web site, Arcola was incorporated as a village in April 11, 1901, so the watch must be newer than that.
  • The webmaster of the Town of Arcola site kindly put me in touch with Adrian Paton, the town historian. He looked up some information, and found that F.D. Culp ran a watchmaking and jewelry shop in Arcola in 1915 called "Culp's Jewelry Store". The picture below comes from a postcard showing the store. Shortly after 1915 the shop was sold to someone named "Francis" who was also a watch maker. He couldn't tell me when the shop opened or closed however. F.D. Culp Jewelry Store Picture
  • I went through my American watch books, and couldn't find a match on the movement. Someone from the "alt.horology" newsgroup told me that many Western Canada jewelers of the time used Omega watches, so I'm investigating that lead. He also has a watchmaker friend that tried looking up the movement in some of his books for me. He says it's definitely swiss, but couldn't tell me for sure which make or model.
  • Another person told me that this is probably an Omega watch, but made by the "Regina Watch Company". This was a Canadian company which imported Omega movements and then built the watches here in Canada, often with custom markings for jewellry stores.

Watch Identification

Manufacturer: Possibly Omega (Regina Watch Company). Dial and movement say "F. D. Culp Arcola, Sask.
Movement Serial Number:109649
Case Number:
A.W.C.Co. - Case made in Canada - 3330545. Trade mark is a crown with "Empress" across the top.
"Empress" indicates a gold filled case with 10 year warranty.

Other Marks:

  • "F.D. Culp - Arcola, Sask." stamped on dial.
  • "F.D. Culp - Arcola, Sask." stamped on movement.
  • "ADUSTED" marked on balance cock.
  • "17 Jewels"
  • "Safety Pinion"

Dial Information

Dial Type: double sunk
Number style: Roman
Hand Style: Blue Spade
Other Notes:
  • Second hand at 6:00.

Case Information

Case Type: Open face, screw off bezel, and back.
Case Material: 10 year gold-filled
Case Decorations: Back engraved with flowers

Movement Information

Watch Size: 14
Model Number: Unknown
Number of Jewels 17
Set Type: Crown Set (pull crown out to set time)
Regulator Type: Ball
Movement Age: Unknown

Watch Condition

Movement and Case Condition: Excellent
Dial Condition: Very Fine, some edge flaking not noticable with the bezel on. Crystal is perfect.

The watch runs fine

Known Watch History

Between 1901 and 1920
The watch was made in what I assume was a custom run for F. D. Culp of "Culp Jewelry Store" of Arcola Saskatchewan. The jewelry store is known to have existed in 1915, but the exact dates the store opened and closed are unknown. The town of Arcola was incorporated 11 April 1901, so the watch must be newer than that.

Feb. 6, 2000
I purchased the watch from "Saskatoon's Emporium" on 20th Street in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Copyright 1998-2001 Kevin Lowey
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