Helbros watches are a fantastic American story. He Yankee Candle Company a naturalised US citizen inand embarked on a career as, at first, a diamond importer his father was a diamond merchant and later a watch assembler. Helbein and his family escaped tragedy by coming to the US. In the town in Russia from which they came, Jewish people were persecuted. In the US, Helbein used all the mediums available to him to sell watches.

He used print advertising, radio advertising and later TV advertising. He distributed watches through catalogues, shops, dealers, approval and any other way he and his company could find. Helbros made watches for any taste, and pretty much any pocket. At its height, Helbros was a major US watch company, and Helbein was Rainbow Bag Company important figure.

When he died at the age of 70 in his home in Park Lane, he left a successful company. Perhaps in recognition of the challenges of his Helbros Watch Company life, a memorial scholarship was established in his name at Brandeis University. The watch company seems to have flagged after his death, and was effectively closed by the early s. Woild it have survived the quartz revolution with Helbein at the helm?

To avoid disrupting the flow of the article, I have put the links to source material at the end of the article. If at all possible, please give me a link to something that supports the information so that I can verify it.

Please also let me know if I can name you when I update the page to thank you for providing the new information. Helbros watches was founded Origin Of Microsoft Company the Helbein brothers in The company registered a trademark registered in New York in and in Geneva in please see the Watch Markings and Trademarks section below. The Swiss registration probably explains why the company is sometimes said to have been founded in According to his obituary.

William was educated in Russia, the Netherlands and Belgium and his father was a diamond dealer. They sold watches at a range of price points.

A common feature of their approach was to make watches available as competition prizes. There are several examples on-line of Helbros watched branded with logos, for company promotions or other groups, such as Lodges. One was aimed at door to door canvassers, and long-term credit jewellers. It was, presumably, better quality. A second line was made and sold to discount stores and catalog houses, and was expected to be sold at a discount. This probably helps to explain the widespread belief among collectors that Helbros watches range from the good to the ordinary.

An emormous range of other watches were made, including pocket watches, fob watches for nurses, tie-in watches with cartoon characters, chronographs, a range of electric watches, and later LCD watches and quarts watches. None of the mechanisms seem to have been made in house, and were sourced from many maufacturers in several countries. Examples of movement manufacturers identified in Forum posts are given in the Watch Movements section below.

Later watches have appeared with the brand name, presumaably manufactured by Jurgensen. The trademark listings for Helbros on mikrolisk.

There is an interesting post by Ltri on watchuseek. InFisher Importing Co. Three years later, the Helbein-Stone Co. Inc registered Templar in New York. BrookBrooks and Croydon were registered in New York in Other dated registrations, that may be useful for putting an earliest possible date on a watch, case Helbros Watch Company advertsing material include:.

There are many movements within Helbros watches, and little can be told from the outside. This will reflect the different ranges sold, and the long time period during which watches were produced.

There are examples of pocket watches made by Helbros. Some interesting issues arise from particular watches. According to ranfft. Another forum post also mentions this import code on a Helbros watch. This is cleared up by the mikrolisk. Without knowing which way up they have been written, it Palmer Moving Company very difficult to distinguish them.

Movements in electric watches are German PUW movements. Various movements are used in Helbros chronographs including Landeron 48, Helbros Watch Company Cal. There is a forum posted photograph of a Hong Kong quartz mechanism in a later Helbros watch. There are also sales examples of LCD watches branded Helbros. The brand was established by the Helbein Brothers in according to later publicity.

The president of the company was William Helbein. The information in this section is taken from passport applications, US census records, an obituary, and other records. William Helbein was born Lockeford Sausage Company Berdichev inas Wladmir Helbein.

The location was described as Russia in subsequent documents, but it is now in the Ukraine. His father, Shaya Helbein, was a diamond merchant who later moved to Geneva, Switzerland. Jewish people were subject to persecution in Russia, and the city of Berdichev was later the subject of a pogrom, and then a Nazi massacre, so leaving the area was a wise move.

Mysteriously, Berdichev, if that is indeed what his passport application says, is nearly kmn way from Odessa, which his newspaper obituary gave as his birth place.

Perhaps it was simply seen as the nearest large city. According to his obituary, William was educated in Russia, the Netherlands and Belgium. Another Helbein from the same town and born in is listed in the same emigration list- Baruch Helbein.

I cannot trace Baruch Helbein, but a Borough Helbein arrived at Ellis Island on 3 Octage 19 years, which ties in with the birth date of for Baruch. In his naturalization papers, his name is given as William Wladmir. He was staying at the Hotel Grand at the time. This was the same year that the first Helbros trademark was registered, in Geneva.

He was single at the time, so must have married shortly afterwards. I have not been able to identify this code. I have been unable to trace the marriage with certainty, but a Lenora P Coleman married a William Helbein in Chicago in William held a US passport from onwards, and travelled extensively in the course of his work, later often with Pearl. He and Pearl appear on numerous ship passenger lists.

His occupation was given as importerand his residence as New York. The reason for his passport application was so that he could visit France, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Germany and the British Isles. There seems no realistic doubt that this is the relevant William Helbein and his household. They had one servant. He was later a director of the American Watch Association. Helbein Scholarship Fund for needy students was established through a bequest to the University from the late Mrs.

Pearl C. Helbein of New York. The scholarship is named also in memory of her late husband, William Helbein, one of the founders and later head of the Helbros Watch Company. Helbein were active in a number of philanthropic causes, including Montefiore Hospital. The company advertised war bonds in WW11 — there are several advertising examples on line.

The advertising angle on this is discussed further in the Print Advertisements section. Rabinovitch later told Canadian authorities that William Helbein believed that he was helping her to transfer money to a cousin.

The matter was mentioned in his obituary, so must have been reasonably well known. World War 11 also disrupted watch shipments from Switzerland. A fascinating trade case was brought against Helbros in by the Federal Trade Commission. The case centred on whether the prices placed on watches were fictitious, in the sense that they were never expected to be paid — surely still relevant to many watch brands today. These watches are pre-ticketed at to per cent of cost. Helbros sells an entirely different line, constituting the other 70 per cent of its business, to two different groups.

The balance Gadget Warehouse Company this line is sold to jobbers and ordinary retail jewelers. This second line Helbros Watch Company pre-ticketed for both groups at per cent of cost. The watches which are sold to the discount stores and catalog houses, however, constituting 40 per cent of total Helbros Watch Company, or There is some evidence that the jobbers and ordinary retail jewelers sell their watches at the pre-ticketed price.

A new trademark was registered by Jules Jurgensen inbut was abandoned. The list of assignments shows an interesting blip though. Numerous examples of their print advertising are available on line. English language advertisments are easiest to find, but there are examples Helbros Watch Company non-English language advertisements as well.

Not perhaps an advertising point these days!

Helbros Watches – forgotten watch brands

Jan 02, 2016 · Helbros Helbros watches are a fantastic American story. William Helbein, one of the founders and later long-time company president, arrived in the US in 1911, coming through Ellis Island. He became a naturalised US citizen in 1916, and embarked on a career as, at first, a diamond importer (his father was a diamond merchant) and……

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