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Thread: Lord Elgin Help

  1. #1
    Pacer 849
    Guest

    Default Lord Elgin Help

    I was given a Lord Elgin Aquamaster automatic around 1971 or '72 by my father. I read on a very good Elgin website that this may be classified as a "newer" Elgin. The dial reads "-RA- Swiss Made -RA-. I understand it's possible it was cased in Elgin's S. Carolina plant. The serial # is HK 2472. Would anyone have any information about who manufactured the 17 jewel movement? The watch has some problems, but looks beautiful inside and I was wondering if it would be worth restoring. Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    Pacer 849
    Guest

    Default Lord Elgin Help (RE: Pacer 849)

    I was given a Lord Elgin Aquamaster automatic around 1971 or '72 by my father. I read on a very good Elgin website that this may be classified as a "newer" Elgin. The dial reads "-RA- Swiss Made -RA-. I understand it's possible it was cased in Elgin's S. Carolina plant. The serial # is HK 2472. Would anyone have any information about who manufactured the 17 jewel movement? The watch has some problems, but looks beautiful inside and I was wondering if it would be worth restoring. Thanks for any help!

  3. #3

    Default Lord Elgin Help (RE: Pacer 849)

    I don't think Elgin was using serial numbers on Swiss watches when they were in South Carolina .The number 2742 could be an ETA caliber.Most of the Elgin autos had a three digit model number.Look under the balance wheel for a number.
    J Smith

  4. #4
    Pacer 849
    Guest

    Default Lord Elgin Help (RE: Pacer 849)

    Thanks for your reply. The 2742 was a number I got from under the balance wheel. Part of the number may have been obstructed by the wheel and an adjustment lever of some kind (I am a very new watch enthusiast). The HK portion of the number was on the far left, then the lever and outside of the balance wheel and then the 2742. There is also some sort of a marking which I can't make out, but it looks sort of like the @ symbol. I don't believe there is anything under the wheel, but it is possible. There is a 3 digit number on the outside of the case between the lugs. That number is 490 AC. Inside the case back is a 4 digit number (2359) preceded by Elgin Stainless Steel SWISS. The entire movement is highly polished and its hard to read some of the numbers. There is an engraving of YXY or YX7 or YXT on a raised portion of the movement next to the balance wheel area. Thanks again for your help!

  5. #5
    Steve Maddox
    Guest

    Default Lord Elgin Help (RE: Pacer 849)

    The "Ra" mark beside the word "Swiss" on the dial means that the luminous material on the dial (and probably hands) is Radium.

    Radium is highly radioactive, and it was used for many decades in the production of luminous dials and hands for watches and clocks. This topic has been discussed here in the past, and it might be worth looking up some of the old threads for additional info.

    In any event, early radium dials are not marked with their radioactive element, but government restrictions required that all later ones were. The "Ra" mark was only used for a few years between the time such markings became mandatory, and the time the use of radium was prohibited entirely, in favor of the much less radioactive element "tritium." Dials with tritium luminous material are marked "T - Swiss - T."

    Perhaps someone can date the "Ra" marked dials more definitively, but I think they were made sometime between about 1955 and 1965, for a period of only a couple of years.

    ------------------
    Steve Maddox
    President, NAWCC Chapter #62
    North Little Rock, Arkansas

  6. #6
    Pacer 849
    Guest

    Default Lord Elgin Help (RE: Pacer 849)

    Thank you for the dial information. That's very interesting about the Radium. This watch is becoming more of a mystery. I saw an aquamaster (somewhat similar to mine) advertised in an auction as a '50s watch. My case back looked identical with the sextant design, wording and font style. That watch was the only other Aquamaster I've ever heard of. I'm pretty sure My dad bought the watch new from a department store in '72. A watchmaker told me because my watch says "waterproof" it had to have been manufactured in 1964 or earlier. I saw another Lord Elgin advertised as '70's that had the same baton hands as mine. I guess if nothing else I can use the hands and dial to power my home for awhile!

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