The affordable classic Ingersoll 1892

best affordable watches for men

Which watch brand should you buy if you want to invest in a classic watch brand without having to spend a normal monthly salary? An affordable option that is often referred to as a classic is the Ingersoll 1892, whose early models are coveted by collectors.

There are some brands in the lower price ranges that are often overlooked when talking in terms of classic brands in the watch world. Often one limits oneself to watch brands from the Swiss watchmakers. Ingersoll is an American watch brand with a rich history and is therefore interesting to take a closer look at.

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The History of Ingersoll 1892

Robert Hawley Ingersoll and an image from his 1921 passport application.

The fact that Ingersoll is not better known than it is among the general public is partly due to the sparse marketing since the 1970s. It was then that fierce competition forced the company to cut back on spending.

The founding father of the business was a Michigan farmer’s son, Robert Hawley Ingersoll, who began in 1880 when the then 21-year-old Robert moved to New York with his younger brother. They started an import business, selling most of their goods for a dollar. In 1892, they ventured to launch a pocket watch, which then cost a dollar and a half. That was the equivalent of a day’s wages in those days.

The pocket watch, called the Universal, consisted of a small movement in a case with the winding mechanism on the back. Ingersoll himself had designed the watch and the whole thing was a gamble that paid off thanks to a lot of advertising.

Advertisement featuring Ingersoll’s so-called “Dollar Watch”, the Yankee model from the early 1900s.

Three years later came the Yankee watch, which cost a dollar. Robert Ingersoll had long dreamed of creating a watch for just one dollar. This was possible thanks to Henry Ford’s invention of the assembly line. “The Dollar Watch was a success and over 1 million copies were produced.

On the back of each watch was a one-year guarantee. This was a contributing factor to Ingersoll watches becoming synonymous with reliability and quality.

With the recession after World War I, Ingersoll went bankrupt and was bought by the Waterbury Clock Company in 1922. Officially, the company went by the name Ingersoll-Waterbury and soon a partnership with Disney would also begin.

Various models of pocket watch from Ingersoll in the early 1920s.

A collaboration that continues to this day. In the 1930s, production of Mickey Mouse clocks began. Over 5 million of these were sold over a period of 15 years.

Nowadays, the Ingersoll brand is owned by the British Zeon Watches, a subsidiary of the Chinese company Herald Group.

With the Radiolite model, Ingersoll launched his first wristwatch in 1920. Already a few years earlier, the process of painting radium on the markers had begun, which made it possible to see the time in the dark. With the launch of the Radiolite, the company began to focus more and more on outdoor activities such as scouting. Radium would come to be used by other watch manufacturers at the time, but was later banned due to its health hazards.

Stylish Ingersoll watch models today

Today, Ingersoll is a popular brand in its home country, the United States, among others. In recent years, many stylish models have been launched, obviously inspired by several of the most popular luxury watches on the market.

Although many of the models now being launched have automatic movements, the price tag is well below 10,000 SEK. A great alternative to the more expensive Swiss brand watches on the market!

Here are some great looking models of watches from Ingersoll.

The Catalina

The Catalina automatic movement has some similarities to one of the most sought-after luxury watches on the market today, Patek Philippe’s Nautilus. This one comes in a brushed/polished rose gold toned steel and has a price tag of around $500.

The Motion

The Motion is one of the crown jewels of the selection, featuring a stylish skeleton design with luminescent index markers and hands and automatic movement. This watch has a price tag of around 7500 crowns.

The Herald

Ingersoll The Herald is a classic and stylish suit watch, which also features a skeleton sector with luminescent index markers and hands.


In 2007 Ingersoll came out with the sportier model Ingersoll Bison. Since then the collection has been expanded with a wide range of models.

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