Jaro Watch – By Precision Time Corporation of Strasburg, Pennsylvania

unnamed[2] (2)Here is a handsome Mid Century Modern men’s vintage watch, stainless steel, with a 17 jewel USA-made movement.  It has an unusual name: JARO.

Most experts in the vintage watch collecting field know little to nothing about JARO watches.  That is a pity, because they have one of the most fascinating back stories of any vintage watch.

Jaro Watches were made by Precision Time Corporation, Strasburg, Pennsylvania. The president and founder was Willy E. Giroud (1913-1998). Both Willy and his wife Germaine (nee Matthey) (1915-2000) were from Switzerland and had connections to famous watchmaking houses there: Tavannes Giroud-Olma, and Matthey-Tissot. Born in LeLocle, Switzerland, and trained there as a mechanical technician (equivalent to U.S engineer), Willy E. Giroud came to the USA in 1952, when he joined the Hamilton Watch Co. In 1959 he founded Precision Time Corp., and thereafter, in the 1970s-1980s was the vice president and director of the Swiss Watch Technical Center in Lititz, Pennsylvania, a service center owned by Ebauches S. A. for Swiss-made timepieces, particularly, Rolex.

Precision Time Corp., was a small but important producer of high grade jeweled movement watches that began in 1959 and discontinued operations in late 1963. The watch name “Jaro” was a spelling variation of the way the founder’s name “Giroud” was properly pronounced.

In an April 11, 1960 “Billboard” magazine advertisement, Jaro watches were described in this way: “American Watch Value – 17-Jewel Jaro. 10 Reasons Why Your New Jaro Watch Is So Spectacular. 1. 17 precision ground and polished jewels manage the wear and tear of moving parts. 2. Extra strong construction for rugged use. 3. Waterproof when crystal, crown and case are kept intact. 4. Shock protected by Jaro exclusive “V” jeweled bearing and cone pivots. 5. Electronically timed 8 adjustments for greater accuracy. 6. Sweep second hand. 7. Luminous dial markers and luminous hour and minute hands. 8. Unbreakable mainspring protected against atmospheric change 9. Antimagnetic feature of movement prevents loss of efficiency due to electromagnetic disturbances. 10. Ultra-sonic processing of the jeweled Jaro precision movement assures dust-free operation. Does not require periodic cleaning and oiling.”

According to the “US Tariff Commission report to The President” (TC Publication 102, July 1963), during its five years of operation (1959-1963), Precision Time Corp. was one of only four makers of quality jeweled watch movements in the entire United States. The other three were Elgin, Hamilton and Bulova. The watches made by Precision Time Corp. were outstanding. However, the company began and operated precisely when one extremely successful maker of inexpensive pin lever watches was taking over a huge portion of the USA watch market (U S Time aka Timex), and taking it away from those four makers of the better quality jeweled movement watches. This juggernaut of competition is the reason why Precision Watch Corp. did not last long.

Consequently for the vintage watch collector, this also means that the number of Jaro Watches that were made is infinitely small when compared with the other quality jeweled USA-made watches from Elgin, Hamilton, and Bulova; not to mention the larger numbers of the well-known Swiss made imported jeweled watches of that or any era.

To read more about the Jaro Watch please click: JARO

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