Caleb Wheaton was born in Providence in 1755 and may have apprenticed for his father, Comfort Wheaton. His working dates were 1781 to 1827. Wheaton advertised in the Providence Gazette in 1781 as a clock and watchmaker (Voss). He is known to have asked a fellow Quaker in 1783 for an introduction to a London watchmaker who would supply any article in the watch business and in turn advertises a number of years later that he can supply almost any item in clock and watchmaking to the trade (Cooper and Gleason). In 1807 he is in partnership with his son George. 

There are only a few surviving Caleb Wheaton signed watches and two of them are pictured below. Both have calendars, a relatively rare and expensive feature at the time that indicates the wealth of his patrons. Other Wheaton examples are known without calendars. What is also remarkable about these two watches is that their serial numbers are only 12 digits apart and the movements match, indicating that they came from the same (unidentified) English supplier in the same batch that had at least 13 “Caleb Wheaton” watches. The extent of work Wheaton performed upon receiving this batch, other than adjusting and rating, is unknown but likely minimal. However, he conducted the trade under his name and reputation (just like a London watchmaker would have done at the time) and likely offered his line of watches with longer guarantees or lower prices than other watches that he retailed.

I published an article in 2011 in Clocks Magazine about the early American watch trade with England that featured these two watches (see references below). 
 
Caleb Wheaton Watch
 
Caleb Wheaton Watch

Maker:
Number:
City:
Date:
Caleb Wheaton
1505
Providence
1796
Description: Nicely finished fusee movement with a verge escapement and rare calendar feature with Arabic two-color dial.

Caleb Wheaton Pair Case

Both examples have matching silver pair cases with London assay date marks for 1796, maker’s marks “NTW” for Nicholas Thomas Wood of London, and duty mark of King George III (used from 1786 to 1798).
 
Caleb Wheaton Watch
 
Caleb Wheaton Watch

Maker:
Number:
City:
Date:
Caleb Wheaton
1517
Providence
1796
Description: Same movement as #1505 except that this example has a black Roman dial instead of Arabic two-color dial.


References and recommended reading:
  • Wendy A. Cooper and Tara L. Gleason, A Different Rhode Island Block-and-Shell Story: Providence Provenances and Pitch-Pediments, www.chipstone.org, 1999
  • Richard Newman, The Anglo-American Watch Trade, CLOCKS Magazine, February 2011, Edinburgh, UK
  • William Erik Voss (see references on Home page)