Navajo Watch Cuff Switcheroo

I recently purchased a NOS (New Old Stock) watch cuff that had never had a timepiece in it.


My heavy vintage New Old Stock watch cuff……..looking for a timepiece

I wanted a good timepiece for it, one that would put up with my rugged lifestyle and look good with my fall and winter flannel shirt ensembles….but without breaking the bank. I had researched the Citizen Eco-Drive stainless steel watches and some self winders but all I saw were out of my price range. I looked at manual wind up watches and purchased a Timex that was advertised as having a stainless steel bezel only to find on arrival that it was brass with chrome plating !! So I returned it and put the poor empty cuff on my desk and looked at it for days, weeks……….months……….and then something appeared…………..

Vintage watch cuff with Wenger Stainless Steel Timepiece

Vintage watch cuff with Wenger Stainless Steel Timepiece

An estate lot came in with a number of men’s watches in it. One of the vintage cuffs had a stainless steel Wenger in it and while it looked super cool on that cuff, it was really not functional because you could not grab onto the stem which was flush with the edge of the cuff. The timepiece was really too narrow for that vintage cuff with straight sides. So with the store’s blessings, I pulled a switcheroo.


From the left, my NOS watch cuff, the vintage cuff with the Wenger watch, a black quartz watch.

The Wenger went into my cuff and because the cuff was sculpted inward on each side specifically to allow access to the watch stem, it was a perfect marriage.

My NOS cuff with Wenger timepiece

My NOS cuff with Wenger timepiece

Fits like a glove and easy to read.

Fits like a glove and easy to read.

A black blanket-pattern quartz watch, that was wide enough so that the stem extended over the straight edge of the vintage watch cuff,  was installed and now that cuff has a functional watch.

Vintage Cuff with black faced quartz watch - stem is now functional

Vintage Cuff with black faced quartz watch – stem is now functional

Happy ending all around.

Thank you to Henry and Diane for their excellent help with custom repairs and modifications.


Diane Radeke
P. O. Box 55935
Phoenix, AZ  85078


How do I change the battery in my Native American watch cuff?

Hi Paula,

Some time ago my husband purchased a beautiful Tommy Moore silver cuff watch from you.  Now the battery needs replacing and we are wondering how this is done as the watch is enclosed in silver “fingers” (for lack of the proper term!). 

The jeweler says the silver “fingers” will have to be straightened or bent upward so the watch can be removed and it’s possible these will break thereby ruining the whole cuff.  The spring bars are located in blind holes and are not detectable from the outside case.  Is there a better way?  Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,



Navajo Cuff Watch Showing Exterior Wings

Hi Wanda,

That is the way Navajo cuff watches are designed.

Yes, that is the way it is done.

The exterior (decorative) wings (see photo above) are opened up.

The watch face is held in place by a set of interior anchor tabs (see photo below).

The watch is slipped off the tabs, the battery replaced, the watch face returned to its spot. Tabs folded down, exterior wings folded down and and locked securely into place. 

Vintage Watch Cuff with Exterior Wings and Interior Tabs Opened

Most jewelers that have done it once or twice know how to do it.


Do you know what kind of turquoise is on my Carlos White Eagle Watch Cuff?

Hi Paula!

I have a Watch Cuff made by Carlos White Eagle and I would like to know if you could identify the type of turquoise stones that are on it. When I purchased the cuff the top feather that holds the watch in was broken. I was able to find Carlos and have him fix it for me. He remembered the piece from the late 60’s and that he had custom made it for a doctor. The inscription reads “For Dr. H.M. Wilke”. The thing is all the time I spent with him, I forgot to ask him where the stones came from. It has a bear tooth and a claw and he verified that.
Thanks for your help!!

Jess !

What a treasure. I’d be interested to hear the story of how you got the watch, how you were able to hook up with Apache artist Carlos White Eagle, and all that good stuff !!

I also like your man-at-work photo with purchase order and keyboard back ground – do you wear this watch to work ??!!

What a fabulous watch !

What mine could these turquoise stones have come from? Well, as you know, computer monitor settings vary and what might look bright blue here might look deep bluish-green there. Dark brown matrix can look black from one screen to another.

But knowing the type of stones that have appeared in Carlos White Eagle’s pieces from that era and taking an educated guess, I am thinking it could be one of the mines below. I’m going to paste some photos of items we have or have had in our store with the names of the mines the turquoise came from below each photo. Why don’t you tell me which picture looks the most like your stones and then I’ll give you my best guess. Feel free to post your reply right here as a reply to this blog and once you and I both dive in, we can see what others might think.

It is easier in person. Photos are difficult. And stones from one portion of a mine can look quite different from another section, but anyway…….here we go.


Blue Diamond

Blue Gem


Number 8 or # 8

Turquoise Mountain

Mystery Mine - You fill in the blank _____________


Native American Jewelry – Watch Styles

Hi! I just found your website. I saw a turquoise cuff watch that i loved… but it was sold already. Is there any way you can email me when you get something like that in. I am very interested in cuff watches. The one I loved was #w203… anything similar would be great. Let me know what you think. Thanks, chrissy

Hi Chrissy,
The watch you are referring to that was sold was indeed unique because of the fact the watch face was mounted on the end of the cuff rather than in the middle. It was the first and only watch like that we have ever had in our pawn shop.
Native American watches are usually made in three styles:
Expansion band watches where the watch tips are the only Native American made portion. (Watch tips is the term given to the two decorative panels that connect the watch face to the expansion band.)
Link watches where all but the watch face is Native American made.
Cuff watches where all but the watch face is Native American made.
Here is an example of each.
Native American Expansion Band Style Watch
Native American Expansion Band Style Watch
Native American Link Watch
Native American Link Watch
Native American Cuff  Watch

Native American Cuff Watch

Since the above cuff watch is a very large men’s watch, here is another example of a more typical ladies cuff watch from the front and the back so you can see how it is very much like a cuff bracelet.
Native American Ladies Cuff Watch - Front View
Native American Ladies Cuff Watch – Front View
Native American Ladies Cuff Watch - Rear View
Native American Ladies Cuff Watch – Rear View
As far as emailing you when we get more cuff watches in, I’ve tucked your email into my WANTED folder and will do my very best to alert you……..BUT really the best way to see our new items is to watch our NEW ITEMS page.  Every day we list a number of new items and they show up there first.
Have fun browsing and let me know if I can answer any other questions.