Time Capsule
 Vintage Personalized Wristwatches & the Stories They Tell

"You never actually own a watch...You merely look after it for the next generation" 
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Click any Photo above to read their Time Capsule stories....

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New Stories –- June 2022

Time Capsule: 1930s Prohibition Gangster Morris Roisner & His Elgin Money clip

Morris Roisner was a notorious St. Paul Prohibition-Era bootlegger, kidnapper, & gangster. He served 3 years at Leavenworth Prison for income tax evasion.

St. Paul in the late 1920s and early 1930s was known as a “crooks’ haven”  — a place for gangsters, bank robbers, and bootleggers from all over the Midwest to run their operations or to hide from the FBI – including John Dillinger, Ma Barker, & Baby Face Nelson.

Morris Roisner and his business partner Louis Gleckman ran (in cooperation with the St. Paul police) a huge bootlegging, slot machine & kidnapping operation, with yearly profits of over $1 million. 

After his release from Leavenworth, Roisner joined a company that sold & serviced Wurlitzer juke boxes (and never reported the income...). In 1941, Wurlitzer presented Roisner with a custom 10k gold-filled Elgin money clip, embossed with the Wurlitzer logo; Morris Roisner’s was beautifully engraved for his own personal use


​(You can also find his story on the <Presentation / Personal>  menu above…)

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WW1 Trench Watches

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WW2/Cold War Military Watches

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Athletes Watches

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Presentation/Personal Watches

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The Time Capsule Collection of Vintage Watches

Bob Stokes 

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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. 

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

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A small Marine Corps Eagle, Globe, & Anchor insignia was a welded to his band


I'm still building my Time Capsule website -- I have over 50 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!


TimeCapsule Index



Owner (Click)

WW2 / Cold War


WW2 / Cold War