Delkin Pocket Watch

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The first mechanized watch developed in the 17th century from earlier types of spring-powered clocks. Prior to the 1920s, pocket watches were not only a utilitarian accessory but they also conveyed an owner’s social status, wealth, and education.
Anton Louis Delkin, the jeweler who made this watch, was born in Atlanta in 1861 to a Dutch father and a German mother. By the time he was just seventeen years old, Delkin was the foreman of one of the largest watch factories in the southern United States. In 1900 he decided to try his luck, and hopefully find his fortune, as part of the Nome Gold Rush (around 1899—1909). Delkin accompanied his wife’s uncle, J. H. Ladd, from the Southeast to Alaska in search of gold.
Six years after arriving in Alaska, Delkin created this impressive man’s pocket watch out of eighteen-karat yellow and rose gold. Encrusted on the watch are gold nuggets. This rugged design recalls the finds that were made in Nome during this, Alaska’s largest Gold Rush period. This substantial timepiece was donated by members of Delkin’s family. It recounts the adventure and fortune sought by so many in Alaska at the turn of the 20th century.
date made
Delkin, Anton
watch works maker
Delkin, Anton
place made
United States: Alaska, Nome
used in
United States: Alaska
Physical Description
gold (overall material)
overall: 2 3/8 in; 6.0325 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Berthe Delkin
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Costume
Clothing & Accessories
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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