Posted 3 years ago
Here are several examples of watch papers from the mid 1700's to the early 1800's that came with some of my English fusee pocket watches.
What are watch papers?
Watch papers are small printed round paper inserts that were placed in pocket watches to protect their inner workings from dust. They were printed on one side with the names and addresses of the watchmaker or fixer, and a manufacturing or repair date was often handwritten on the paper. Some bore intricate illustrations, often showing allegorical figures and even timepieces. Despite their importance as a practical complement to watches and examples of printing art, a modern Webster's dictionary slights them, proclaiming that a watch paper is "an old-fashioned ornament for the inside of a watch-case made of paper fancifully cut or printed." (Source: Richard McKinstry-The Ephemera Society of America)
The watch papers vary in size from 1 1/2 inches to 2 1/2 inches in diameter, but the common size seems to be about 2 inches in diameter. Though watch papers also varied in thickness, the earliest ones are on thicker and higher-grade paper.
Thanks for looking!