The Model 4


1888 to 1902

The Model 4 was Seth Thomas's only known key-wind model, and it's very surprising that a key-wind watch would follow the stem-wound Model 1, but it was one of the four new models designed under Charles Higginbotham's tenure at the company. Only a few thousand were made and could be used in either open-face or hunting configuration, depending on the style of case.

Jewel Count and Grade

The Serial Number Blocks

13,000 Total

The total production of the Model 4 was a little over 13,000 pieces in 23 separate runs, starting at SN 35,001 and ending at 718,200,  giving it the widest range of the lower five models. The Model 4 was designated as Grade 11, and all were gilt with 7 jewels. The only known option was a key guard, which appeared around the third SN block.  

The Production Dates

1888 to 1902

The earliest known publication for the Model 4 is 1888, which also follows the departure of the Model 1. There are adverts for it as late as 1896, but production of the Model 4 apparently continued throughout the Old Eagle Series span and into the serial number range of the New Eagle line, which began at SN 700,000. 

The Model 4 Chart

The watches logged in the M4 chart are all reported examples or verified from photos. 

If your watch isn't on this SN chart please send us a picture.

Seth Thomas M4 Database (pdf)


The 1888 Trade Price Listing


The Model 4 Parts List

Small quantities of Models 2, 3, and 6 have been reported with keyed arbors, and it's not known if those are transitional pieces that can still be stem-wound or if they are key-wind only.

If they are stem-wound they would contain the standard winding parts like the arbor, yoke, crown wheel and idlers, but although technically able to be wound with a key, any of these oddball examples would still be classed by model according to their serial numbers and found on the SN charts on those particular pages .