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Watson Hub Information

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE II: There’s a newer, updated Dualmatic hub post with comments about the Watson hub here

These hubs were created about the same time as the dual lever Dualmatic hubs. Moreover, we can state for sure now that there was a specific relationship between the Watson hub and the Dualmatic company.

How do we know this? Because both hubs share the same patent number 2854111:



You’ll note that the patent number 2854111 is the same in both the above items, with both connected to this single lever design:

UPDATE:  A 1967 Sears Jeep Parts Catalog had a set of hubs for sale that look suspiciously like the Watson hubs. One thing we’ve noticed is that some Watson hubs have “WATSON” imprinted on the hub, while other identical hubs don’t.

So, were these WATSON hubs that were private labeled, or had Dualmatic been making WATSON hubs all along, but now offered them for private labeling? It’s easy to think that Dualmatic might want to separate their Dualmatic branded hubs from private labeled ones. Changing the private-labeled version to this look would help that.



Original Post: October 30, 2017:

Alaska Paul discovered this Watson Hub article in the 1958 issue of Science and Mechanics magazine. This suggests that the Watson hub was developed in 1956 or 1957, making the company a very early hub manufacturer.

The mechanism looks similar to the early Dualmatic hubs. In fact, the first Dualmatic hub patent filing was in 1956, for a single lever model. Whether that inspired the dual lever model by the California-based H. S. Watson company remains unclear. I have no evidence to suggest Watson ever patented its hub nor how long they sold their hub.


2 Examples of Watson hubs:

watson-hubs-1 watson-hubs-2 watson-hubs-3

Another example from a truck listed for sale on Craigslist out of Redding, California:



7 Comments on “Watson Hub Information

  1. mike

    I had a pair of these on my 1967 Jeepster, those soft metal bars you pulled out to lock or un-lock the hubs would bend out of shape and break off. They were priced lower then the Warn hubs, but not worth it at any price, just a big pain in the you know what.

  2. Mike

    I had a set of these type hubs back in the 60’s on my Jeepster Commando. Those two thin soft metal bars used to lock or un-lock the hubs would bend and break off. Priced lower than Warn hubs, but not worth it at any price.

  3. David Eilers Post author

    S. Giraud: I don’t have any evidence that the Dualmatic appeared until 1958 (and that was the single lever), so the chances of it being a copy are slim until more info comes forward. Still, their similar design does suggest it is a possibility.

    Mike: poor quality could explain the hub’s early demise. Thanks for the info.

    Dan: I’ll check out those links. Thanks!

  4. Vernon Haggard

    I have some of these , I never used them , my 1967 cj-6 has a Kelly hardtop , so I have a set of chrome KELLY HUBS !!! ( cool on cool )

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