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Time Capsule
 Vintage Personalized Wristwatches & the Stories They Tell

"You never actually own a watch...You merely look after it for the next generation" **

**  Thank you, Patek Philippe

New!    WW2 B-24 Navigator John Manecke's Movado Returned to his Son...

Lt. John Irwin Manecke (1924-2015) was a WW2 B-24 Navigator with the 449th Bombardment Group -- “The Flying Horsemen”. Based at Grottaglie Airfield in southern Italy, Manecke’s first 1944 mission was almost a disaster. John's B-24 was penetrated by .50 caliber Nazi bullets -- just missing him. His plane made it back to Grottaglie on 3 engines, a windmilling prop on the 4th one, and drained of its hydraulic fluid.

John’s gold Movado – engraved “John I. Manecke ~ 3-4-43” - was returned to his son Neal in February 2024.

Click below to read his story:

manecke - ww2 menu.jpg

What are Time Capsule Watches?

They are vintage personalized timepieces engraved with the original owner’s name & other information enabling me to uniquely identify, research, and (hopefully) return them to the owner’s family.

Most belonged to servicemen (WW1 / WW2) or athletes, but there are also watches owned by an Alaska Gold Rush pioneer; an aviatrix friend of Amelia Earhart; and a notorious 1930’s St. Paul gangster.

Click thru Menus above. Enjoy the stories -- and watches -- of these remarkable people!

Article Heading 4 plus Cinfici photo.jpg

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WW1 Military Watches

hatch - ww1 menu 2.jpg
buehler - ww1 menu.jpg
bump - ww2 menu 2.jpg
keller - ww1 menu.jpg

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WW2/Cold War Military Watches

manecke - ww2 menu.jpg
breese - ww2 menu 2.jpg
thomer - ww2 menu 2.jpg
holux - WW2 menu 3.jpg
cinfici - ww2 menu 2.jpg
whitehead - ww2 menu.jpg
masuda - ww2 menu.jpg
case - ww2 menu 3.jpg
salvoni - ww2 menu 2.jpg
scott - ww2 menu.jpg
sigman - ww2 menu 2.jpg
murphy - ww2 menu.jpg

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Athletes Watches

burge - athletes menu.jpg
millington -athletes menu.jpg
robinson - athletes menu.jpg
schmitt - athletes menu.jpg
regnier - athletes menu.jpg
gentry - athletes menu.jpg
young - athletes menu 2.jpg

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Presentation/Personal Watches

lutro - presentation menu.jpg
lackner - presentation menu.jpg
sizer - presentation menu.jpg
Mckenzie - Presentation menu 3.jpg
roisner - prsentation menu.jpg
pacini - presentation menu 2.jpg
foster - presentation menu.jpg
allen - presentation menu.jpg
riley - presentation menu.jpg

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The Time Capsule Collection of Vintage Watches
Bob Stokes 

about me - collectibles 2.jpg

"You never actually own a merely look after it for the next generation"

I have spent my entire life collecting something. 1950s baseball cards (yup, I had all the Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays cards...) -- and of course my Mom threw them all out when I went to college.  Over the next fifty years, that morphed into Victorian Furniture, Victor Talking Machines / Nipper collectibles, 19th Century Advertising; Opera memorabilia – and finally, vintage personalized wristwatches. 

Why? First, through the miracle of the Internet, the lives of the original owners have have been documented and preserved -- military heroes; athletes; community leaders. Second, each watch is unique -- it is the only one in the world. If you don't buy it, no amount of money can get it for you. And third, when I research the owner's family, I can return it to them for posterity. 

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I'm still building my Time Capsule website -- I have over 60 watches to document. Please let me know what you think about this initial group of vintage personal watches -- particularly if you have more information about any of them....

Thanks!  Bob 

Thanks for submitting!

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Story List

TimeCapsule Index



Owner (Click)

WW2 / Cold War


WW2 / Cold War


WW2 / Cold War


Presentation / Personal


Presentation / Personal


Presentation / Personal


Presentation / Personal


Presentation / Personal


Presentation / Personal


Presentation / Personal


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