This 134-Year-Old Pocket Watch Has Kept a Family Secret for 5 Generations
My great-grandfather's tarnished pocket watch meant nothing until it was painstakingly restored and beating again. Now it's priceless.
I never knew my great grandfather, Robert Henry Sturgess—or “Harry,” as he was called by family and friends. He died 20 years before I was born. But I inherited his 19th-century silver pocket watch, made not that long after the Civil War.
By the time it reached me five years ago, it had passed through four generations, stuck for a half-century in a 1950s Hamilton watch box—tarnished, scratched, with the movement long dormant. I saw a relic that had outlived its use, with little sentimental value—and lacking a name like Rolex or Patek Phillippe, I knew it wouldn’t be that million-dollar surprise on “Antiques Roadshow.” I put it back in my drawer.
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