Masonic Watches : Vintage Brotherhood Timepieces

You don't need to be a Freemason to get the Brotherhood's watch - but US Presidents and many others who are do

For freemasons time never moves on. It was dipped in aspic and preserved in ornamental bibs, white-gloved secret handshakes with one trouser leg rolled up high, an oddity, which given the freemasons dedication to precision gaged by the square and compasses, presents the impression of men unable to dress themselves after a vigorous break on a provincial lay-by.



Tempor Watch Co., Schwab-Loeillet, Swiss. Made circa 1930. Fine and rare, triangular, keyless, eight-day going, folding Masonic desk clock.


Before Wattsapp groups, secret policeman’s balls and golf clubs, there were meetings between freemasons at coffee houses and then lodges, where moral philosophy, the right to rule (Kings Edward VII, Edward VIII and George VI were all Freemasons) and business merged to, as George Washington had it in a letter to the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts of January 1793, “enlarge the sphere of social happiness.” Noble aims, for sure. But Leo Tolstoy, one critic of many, was a tad more circumspect about The Brotherhood, offering this appraisal his masterpiece War and Peace:

“When he had joined the Freemasons he had experienced the feeling of one who confidently steps onto the smooth surface of a bog. When he put his foot down it sank in. To make quite sure of the firmness of the ground, he put his other foot down and sank deeper still, became stuck in it, and involuntarily waded knee-deep in the bog.”

That’s freemasonry for you: its sticks you with what you know, offering the inability to move back, forwards, left or right. Time stands still. And you can check on how time passes for the rest of society on your Masonic watch.



Masons watch

1950s masonic dial watch designed by Girard-Perregaux (via)

Edw. Darwin - Masonic pocket watch, pair-cased with Masonic emblems; gilded brass

Edw. Darwin – Masonic pocket watch, pair-cased with Masonic emblems; gilded brass, London, c. 1790. Gilded brass, pair-cased, key-winding, round-shaped, pocket watch; white enamel dial. Pair cased with Masonic emblems (working tools of the various degrees of Freemasonry), clockwise: Eye of Providence, Stars, Hive, Square and Compass, the Mosaic Pavement, Level and Rule Level, Noah’s Ark surmounted by a Dove (representing the Holy Spirit), and, in the centre, the Temple of Solomon and the Sun. Via


masonic watch

Waltham, 1930s – Mechanical movement, 17 jewels, silver opaline dial. Masonic ritual signs as hour markers – the regenerating Rising Phoenix in the centre and the all-seeing Eye of Providence at 12 o’ clock. The motto ‘Love Your Fellow Man Lend Him A Helping Hand’



The Tennessee State Museum owns a gold pocket watch that was reportedly owned by US President Andrew Johnson. The museum estimates it is from circa 1855 to 1875. The engraved image  represents the Third Degree in Freemasonry – a weeping virgin, holding in one hand a sprig of acacia and in the other an urn; before her is a broken column, on which rests a copy of the Book of Constitutions, while Father Time behind her is attempting to disentangle the ringlets of her hair. Via

President Warren G. Harding’s gold masonic pocket watch by Hiram  – via Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, Ohio

harding president mason watch

President Harding’s watch

masons watches

‘This is a Verge Fusee from the late 18th to early 19th Century. It may have been the watch to inspire William Wallace Dudley to create his famous “Dudley Masonic Watch.” – DC Grand Lodge


masonic watches

Pocket watch made by Elgin Watch Co. Illinois circa 1921. Via

masons watch

15 Jewel Elgin Pocket Watch – Dudley Type 1 masonic pocket watch – 14 size, 19 jewel, 14kt. solid gold, circa 1920 by William Wallace Dudley.

Arbaco. A Fine Gold Filled Triangular-Shaped Keyless Lever Masonic Pocket Watch with Presentation Box

Arbaco – A Fine Gold Filled Triangular-Shaped Keyless Lever Masonic Pocket Watch with Presentation Box, c.1935

freemasons watches

American Waltham Watch. A Fine And Rare 14 Gold Hunter Case Keyless Lever Masonic Pocket Watch With Enamel Odd Fellows Dial – c. 1892


mason watches

President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Patek Philippe with motto: ‘Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You’

President Lyndon Baines Johnson’ masonic watch. LBJ was initiated as a Mason in 1937. As Eric Wind writes: ‘Some people and auction houses have called watches with these dials “Masonic” Pateks.’


Jacob Golley masonic watch

Jacob Golley masonic Watch – Circa 1827



Masonic Tavannes Silver Repousse Pocket Watch Symbols on Dial Running 1900 – Via

Would you like to support Flashbak?

Please consider making a donation to our site. We don't want to rely on ads to bring you the best of visual culture. You can also support us by signing up to our Mailing List. And you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For great art and culture delivered to your door, visit our shop.