Time Capsule Collection - 4

Returning Watches to Original owner or their Families

“You never actually own a watch – you merely look after it for the next generation”

Returning a old watch the owner or his family is more difficult than it might appear! If the owner is still alive (which is not very often….), I search Ancestry.com or the Internet until I can find current contact information, and then write a letter (or directly call them) – and see if I can interest them. The only watch I returned to the original owner was 91 year old Navy veteran Louis Cinfici’s 1946 Benrus.

To find the owner’s descendants, I search for their Ancestry.com genealogy (“Family History”), and send a message to the person who created it.  I also look for the owner’s obituary or other information that mentions descendants – children, grandchildren, et al.  When I find a current email or address, and send a detailed letter indicating that “I am a vintage watch collector, and I recently purchased a watch on eBay that may have belonged to your (father / grandfather…..). Please see photos below.  I would like to return this watch to the family (at no charge…), if you are interested, call or email me at …………”  

about me - louis cinfici.jpg

My first repatriation was the 1944 Holux WW2 pilots watch. As fully documented under the WW2 menu, it took four years (2015 – 2019) to complete my research. In 2016, I returned the watch to the great-nephew of pilot Benjamin Brew (who was killed in 1944 flying his P-47 Thunderbolt).

I have also returned watches to Louis Cinfici, to Chikara Masuda's daughter, and to Henry Salvoni's daughter.

I look forward to returning more watches in the near future.  I'm merely looking after them for the next generation...

Returning Watches to Original owner or their Families

“You never actually own a watch – you merely look after it for the next generation”

Returning a old watch the owner or his family is more difficult than it might appear! If the owner is still alive (which is not very often….), I search Ancestry.com or the Internet until I can find current contact information, and then write a letter (or directly call them) – and see if I can interest them. The only watch I returned to the owner was Navy veteran Louis Cinfici’s 1946 Benrus.

To find the owner’s descendants, I search for their Ancestry.com genealogy (“Family History”), and send a message to the person who created it.  I also look for the owner’s obituary or other information that mentions descendants – children, grandchildren, et al.  When I find a current email or address, and send a detailed message indicating that “I am a vintage watch collector, and I recently purchased a watch on eBay that may have belonged to your (father / grandfather…..). Please see photos below.  I would like to return this watch to the family (at no charge…), if you are interested, call or email me at …………”  

My first repatriation was the 1944 Holux WW2 pilots watch. As fully documented under the WW2 menu, this watch had the name of six Air Force pilots who were part of the “Class of 44-A” beginning at Santa Ana Air Force Base (SAAAB) California. It took four years (2015 – 2019) to complete my research; it wasn’t until the Fall of 2019 that I was able to contact Major Donald Kitzman – the only WW2 survivor. In 2016, I returned the watch to the great-nephew of pilot Benjamin Brew (who was killed in 1944 flying his P-47 Thunderbolt).

I have also returned watches to Louis Cinfici and the family of Chikara Masuda.

I look forward to returning more watches in the near future....I'm merely looking after them for the next generation...