Ingersoll Watch Review: What Happened to the USA’s Number 1 Brand?

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If I ask you to name a few US-born watch companies, you’d probably start off with Weiss, Invicta, Timex, or maybe Bulova. Today, I’d like to talk about a lesser known, though long-standing, American watch brand that has been on the market since 1892!

I’m talking about Ingersoll.

Yes, Ingersoll is a watch company with a legacy of more than 130 years, one of the U.S.A.’s oldest watch brands – and yet, very few people know their name.

So, why don’t we hear the name Ingersoll more often?

Well, after reading today’s detailed brand review on Ingersoll watches you’ll understand why, don’t worry!

Let’s start first with a history lesson, filling you in on Ingersoll’s journey from 1892 to 2020.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS  rating price
overall bestSekonda Men's Watch 1224 Ingersoll Men’s Hatton Automatic Watch I01502
  • Water Resistance: 10 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 44mm
10
runner upSekonda Men's Watch 1224 Ingersoll The Jazz Men’s Automatic Watch I07701
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 42mm
10
Sekonda Men's Watch 1224 Ingersoll 1892 The Columbus I04203
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 42mm
10
Sekonda Men's Watch 1224 Ingersoll Men’s Trenton Quartz Watch I03201
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 44mm
9.5
Sekonda Men's Watch 1224 Ingersoll Men’s Grafton Quartz Watch I00602
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 42mm
9.5
Sekonda Men's Watch 1224 Ingersoll Men’s Michigan Quartz Casual Watch I01201
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 44mm
9.5
Sekonda Men's Watch 1224 Ingersoll Men’s New Haven Automatic Watch I00504
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 40mm
9.5
Sekonda Men's Watch 1224 Ingersoll Men’s IN1210BBK Yuca Automatic Watch
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 47mm
9
Sekonda Men's Watch 1224 Ingersoll Men’s IN1409BK Automatic Watch
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 46mm
9

The History of Ingersoll Watches

The Glorious Early Days

Glorious Early Days of Ingersoll Watches

Our story actually begins in 1882, 10 years before the start of the watch company.

Ingersoll initially started as a small-time supplier in the mail-order business. They mainly supplied rubber stamps and similarly cheap items to the postal department.

The founding members, brothers Robert Hawley and Charles Henry Ingersoll, saw potential in the inexpensive watch market. They dreamed of revolutionizing the watch industry.

In 1892, the brothers ordered 10,000 watches from Waterbury Clock Company (which is now Timex!) at the price of $0.85. Under the new name “Universal” they sold the watches, priced at $1 each. The company describes this sale as the beginning of their journey.

Soon, these watches became popular among the masses as a “dollar watch.” The watches’ massive success at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 brought both fame and money to the company, now established as Ingersoll.

The Ingersoll company saw rapid growth in the following years. By 1901, it was supplying watches to over 10,000 dealers in the USA and Canada.

After such glorifying success in the states, Ingersoll decided to expand in the European market. The company launched its famous Crown Pocket Watches, and at the same time, purchased a watch factory in London too.

By 1917, Ingersoll had 10 different models and all of their watches were selling like hotcakes – particularly among the middle class.

But here comes our plot twist. All too soon, things went south!

The Fall from the Top

Ingersoll brand

World War One took everything from Ingersoll!

After the war, even one-dollar watches became a luxury for the average person.

Finally, on a sad day in 1921, Ingersoll went bankrupt.

The same Waterbury Clock Company, from whom Ingersoll bought the first supply, acquired Ingersoll for $1.5 million. Waterbury also bought the London factory in 1930.

However, Waterbury didn’t miss the chance to use the Ingersoll brand name, as people loved the Ingersoll “dollar watches.” Under the Ingersoll-Waterbury brand name, the company launched a new line of watches.

The newly launched Mickey Mouse watches became an instant hit for Ingersoll-Waterbury. By 1957, more than 25 million copies of Mickey Mouse watches had been sold all over the world, and over the years Ingersoll returned to its fan-favorite fame.

However, things changed again in 1944: Waterbury Clock Company saw a complete overhaul in the upper management. The company changed its name to United States Time Corporation, which meant that despite the popularity of their watch line, the name Ingersoll came to be lost again.

Present Day

Present Day of Ingersoll Watches

After WWII, Ingersoll watches became a completely British-owned brand. Later the company merged with two other companies and continued production under Anglo-Celtic Company Ltd.

Unfortunately, however, Ingersoll didn’t experience any major success ever again.

Now, only a handful of people even recognize the brand as the watch manufacturer who made the classic “Disney Watches.”

Ingersoll is still marketing and supplying watches in more than 50 countries. The ownership of the brand is now under Zeon Watches. Although Zeon Watches is a British company, it’s actually a part of the Chinese conglomerate Herald Group.

So, as you can see, Ingersoll has a very colorful and interesting history!

The Top 9 Ingersoll Watches: A Review

Ingersoll Men’s Hatton Automatic Watch I01502

Ingersoll Men's Hatton Automatic Watch I01502

People tend to automatically think of Ingersoll watches as the “Disney Watch” or “Dollar Watch.” But all those are in the past. Among the current models, the Ingersoll Men’s Hatton Automatic Watch I01502 is the most popular option.

This watch offers two superb characteristics – automatic movement and a chronograph. Such a powerful combination is quite hard to find in this low-price range. With this watch, you also get a 316L SS case and a leather strap.

The list of specifications make it seem like a steal!

While this watch boasts amazing specifications, it also comes in a sleek style, matching elegantly with your formal wear. I’d call it a perfect combo. Only handful of watches in the market can complete with this watch head-to-head.

It’s true, the Chinese tag on the movement might raise some eyebrows. Personally, however, I wouldn’t mind as they source the movement from Tianjin Seagull – the most reputable movement maker from China.  

Product Specifications – Ingersoll Men’s Hatton Automatic Watch I01502

  • Movement: Automatic (Chinese)
  • Case Diameter: 44mm
  • Case Thickness: 16mm
  • Band Width: 23mm
  • Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Leather
  • Weight: 92 grams
  • Water-Resistance: 10 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Tang Buckle
  • Crystal: Mineral

Pros

  • Automatic movement with three chronograph subdials
  • Calendar feature with date display
  • High-quality material and decent build quality
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Great value for the price

Cons

  • Chinese movement might be a big ‘no’ for many people

Ingersoll The Jazz Men’s Automatic Watch I07701

Ingersoll The Jazz Men’s Automatic Watch I07701

The Jazz Collection from Ingersoll comes with two interesting features – a sun-moon subdial and a skeleton dial. These two features are considered a luxury in any watch and seeing them together – in a mid-ranged watch, no less – seems quite surprising.

Among the four models in the Jazz Collection, Ingersoll The Jazz Men’s Automatic Watch I07701 is the most popular one among buyers.

It has a black inner bezel combined with a black leather strap. The leather strap is plush and soft and hugs your wrists comfortably. Also, the durability of the 316L SS case gives you a sense of long-lasting strength.

Yes, the price might raise some concerns. After all, you’re settling for a Chinese automatic movement.

However, the “Lifetime Guarantee” should offer you some relief for the higher original cost.

Product Specifications – Ingersoll The Jazz Men’s Automatic Watch I07701

  • Movement: Automatic (Chinese)
  • Case Diameter: 42mm
  • Case Thickness: 15.5mm
  • Band Width: 20mm
  • Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Leather
  • Weight: 92.5 grams
  • Water-Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Tang Buckle
  • Crystal: Mineral

Pros

  • Skeleton display with automatic movement
  • Dual time sun-moon subdial
  • Calendar feature with date display
  • High-quality material and decent build quality
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Slightly expensive for the brand value

Ingersoll 1892 The Columbus I04203

Ingersoll 1892 The Columbus I04203

Ingersoll first gained widespread success at the Columbus Fair. Even their Columbus pocket watches were insanely popular back in the early days.

Ingersoll celebrates that success with this newly released model – Ingersoll 1892 The Columbus I04203. The watch tries to explore a vintage look with the addition of certain premium features.

For example, you’re getting a rose gold-plated, pillow-shaped case and deployant buckle instead of the typical tang and buckle.

The day display at the 12 o’clock has a unique look as well.

Product Specifications – Ingersoll 1892 The Columbus I04203

  • Movement: Automatic (Chinese)
  • Case Diameter: 42mm
  • Case Thickness: 15mm
  • Band Width: 22mm
  • Case Material: Gold-Plated Base Metal
  • Band Material: Leather
  • Weight: 92.13 grams
  • Water-Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Deployant
  • Crystal: Mineral

Pros

  • The vintage style design philosophy
  • Automatic movement
  • Day-date display
  • Rose gold finish on the case
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Uses base metal instead of stainless steel
  • Build quality is not up to the mark

Ingersoll Men’s Trenton Quartz Watch I03201

Ingersoll Men's Trenton Quartz Watch I03201

Okay, enough automatic watches! Let’s talk about a quartz movement now. As you’ve seen, Ingersoll watches don’t come with a single high-priority feature but rather boast multiple.

Ingersoll Men’s Trenton Quartz Watch I03201 comes with a separate second hand in a subdial with Radiolite lume on the hands and markers.

Now, let me tell you something – the Radiolite lume was first used in the original glow in the dark watch. And, Ingersoll is the brand that used radioluminescence in a pocket watch for the first time in history!

You’re getting all of that expertise and more in this Ingersoll Trenton Quartz Watch.

Product Specifications – Ingersoll Men’s Trenton Quartz Watch I03201

  • Movement: Quartz
  • Case Diameter: 44mm
  • Case Thickness: 14mm
  • Band Width: 22mm
  • Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Horween Leather
  • Water-Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Tang Buckle
  • Crystal: Mineral

Pros

  • Separate second hand in a subdial
  • Radiolite lume on the hands and markers
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Movement quality is poor
  • Build quality is not top-notch, compared to other watches from Ingersoll

Ingersoll Men’s Grafton Quartz Watch I00602

Ingersoll Men's Grafton Quartz Watch I00602

If you’re looking for a stylish watch on the budget, the Ingersoll Men’s Grafton Quartz Watch I00602 might just offer you the best value! This quartz watch from Ingersoll comes with a chronograph and an impressive, decorative white dial plate.

Compared to the Triton quartz watches, the Grafton series offers far superior build quality. The watch feels solid to the touch and will not be damaged easily. The polished golden case and brushed stainless steel finish on the back completes this watch’s impressive look.

Overall, this is a high-quality quartz watch that demands your attention!

Product Specifications – Ingersoll Men’s Grafton Quartz Watch I00602

  • Movement: Quartz
  • Case Diameter: 42mm
  • Case Thickness: 15mm
  • Band Width: 19mm
  • Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel (Gold-Plated)
  • Band Material: Leather
  • Water-Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Deployant
  • Crystal: Mineral

Pros

  • Quartz movement with two chronograph subdials
  • Date display
  • High-quality material and decent build quality
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Decorated dial plate

Cons

  • The quartz movement has some accuracy issues

Ingersoll Men’s Michigan Quartz Casual Watch I01201

Ingersoll Men's Michigan Quartz Casual Watch I01201

The Ingersoll Men’s Michigan Quartz Casual Watch I01201 is Ingersoll’s pride and glory. You can find both a quartz and an automatic variant of the watch.

To me, the quartz variant offers more bang for your buck!

Technically, the Michigan I01201 is very similar to the Grafton series that I mentioned above. However, this watch comes with three chronograph subdials. Plus, the build quality is far superior in this watch – one of the strongest from Ingersoll.

More: Swiss Precimax Reviews: Is It Worth the Price?

Product Specifications – Ingersoll Men’s Michigan Quartz Casual Watch I01201

  • Movement: Quartz
  • Case Diameter: 44mm
  • Case Thickness: 15mm
  • Band Width: 24mm
  • Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Leather
  • Water-Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Deployant
  • Crystal: Mineral

Pros

  • Quartz movement with three chronograph subdials
  • Elegant look and design
  • Date display
  • High-quality material and impressive build quality
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Deployant clasp

Cons

  • Off the market, very hard to find

Ingersoll Men’s New Haven Automatic Watch I00504

Ingersoll Men's New Haven Automatic Watch I00504

If you fancy having a minimalistic watch with excellent accuracy and style, I’d suggest you take a look at the Ingersoll Men’s New Haven Automatic Watch I00504.

This watch is the epitome of sleek simplicity from Ingersoll. It comes with an automatic movement and a sunray midnight blue dial.

More: Citizen Blue Angel Review: The Best-in-Class Quartz Watch?

Product Specifications – Ingersoll Men’s New Haven Automatic Watch I00504

  • Movement: Automatic (Chinese)
  • Case Diameter: 40mm
  • Case Thickness: 14mm
  • Band Width: 21mm
  • Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Leather
  • Water-Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Deployant
  • Crystal: Mineral

Pros

  • 21 jewel automatic movement
  • Day-date display
  • Elegant looks
  • Premium finish
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Reliability and accuracy issues

Ingersoll Men’s IN1210BBK Yuca Automatic Watch

Ingersoll Men's IN1210BBK Yuca Automatic Watch

Ingersoll has made a fantastic watch for the sports lovers out there too. The Ingersoll Men’s IN1210BBK Yuca Automatic Watch is a highly accurate watch with impressive durability and ruggedness.

The watch follows a German design philosophy. You can check day, month, and 24-hour display in the three subdials. The date display at 12 o’clock imitates the style of A. Lange and Söhne Zeitwerk.

More: Best Chinese Watch Brands: Should You Buy One?

Product Specifications – Ingersoll Men’s IN1210BBK Yuca Automatic Watch

  • Movement: Automatic (Chinese)
  • Case Diameter: 47mm
  • Case Thickness: 10mm
  • Band Width 24mm
  • Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: PU (polyurethane)
  • Water-Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Tang Buckle
  • Crystal: Mineral

Pros

  • Automatic movement with three subdials
  • Calendar feature with date display (A. Lange and Söhne Zeitwerk style)
  • Superior durability
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Water-resistance is quite poor considering it is a sports watch

Ingersoll Men’s IN1409BK Automatic Watch

Ingersoll Men's IN1409BK Automatic Watch

The Ingersoll Men’s IN1409BK Automatic Watch is another German-inspired watch. It’s rare to find such durability in a watch with a formal style.

There are three subdials to show a complete calendar with 24-hour display.

More: Best German Watch Brands: The Epitome of Craftsmanship

Product Specifications – Ingersoll Men’s Hatton Automatic Watch I01502

  • Movement: Automatic (Chinese)
  • Case Diameter: 46mm
  • Case Thickness: 14mm
  • Band Width: 24mm
  • Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Leather
  • Water-Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Deployant
  • Crystal: Mineral

Pros

  • Automatic movement with three subdials
  • Calendar feature with date display
  • Superior durability
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Expensive when compared to other Ingersoll watches

So: Is Ingersoll a Good Watch Brand?

It’s debatable!

Ingersoll had a glorious past but now the company operates as a ghost of its former self.

First, it started as a true American brand that gained massive success.

Even under Timex, Ingersoll was quite popular. After all, the Ingersoll Mickey Mouse watch sold more than 25 million copies!

After the ‘50s, Ingersoll slowly became a brand of the past.

Now, people see Ingersoll as another Chinese brand and only a few people are aware of the story and presence behind this watch.

Overall, Ingersoll watches are high quality timepieces, but the name Ingersoll doesn’t have any brand value in the current market condition.

More: Tissot watch Review: The Best Swiss Watch Brand for a Commoner

What Do We Like About Ingersoll?

You just can’t ignore the build quality of this watch brand. Typically, we label Chinese watches as a poorly built watches that would break easily. But compared to that, Ingersoll watches are tanks!

Plus, all of the watches come with a lifetime warranty. Tell me, how many watch brands have the confidence to offer that?

More: Vincero Chrono S Review: Why Is This Watch So Hated?

What Don’t We Like About Ingersoll?

Well, having a Chinese movement has some downsides.

Despite having movements from the best Chinese brand, Tianjin Seagull, Ingersoll watch movements still can’t compete with the accuracy of a Swiss or Japanese movement.

This is our first issue.

Beyond that, the water resistance in the watches is quite poor.

Finally, I must add that Ingersoll watches aren’t cheap! You need to spend at least $150 to own an Ingersoll watch. Seiko and Citizen certainly has some competitive alternatives in this price point.

More: Relic Watch Review: Are Relic Watches Good?

Conclusion

You’ve made it to the final leg of my Ingersoll watch review. Before finishing, I need to talk about the winners today.

What is THE best Ingersoll watch?

That credit goes to the Ingersoll Men’s Hatton Automatic Watch I01502. Then, The Jazz Men’s Automatic Watch I07701 comes in at the second place.

Lastly, the Ingersoll 1892 The Columbus I04203 comes at the third place.

Let me know your thoughts below!

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