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  1. #1

    Default Elgin 1903 Father Time pocket watch ??

    My grandmother just gave me an antique pocket watch that belonged to my great-great-grandfather. She said it was a railroad watch. I have looked up the serial number (10813089) and have found out it's a 1903 Elgin Father Time 18s, 21j grade 252 pocket watch. I would like to have more information about the watch. How do you know if it's a railroad watch? I have looked on E-bay and can't find a match. I would love to see a picture. Also, the chain is interesting. Were the watches sold with the chains? How do I find out more about the watch and chain? I know this is a lot of questions, but it's exciting to have a watch that is over 100 years old.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Elgin 1903 Father Time pocket watch ?? (RE: kghuff)

    Railroad standards changed though the years getting more stringent as the years passed. The Father Time model was one that Elgin focused for RR use and there were about 19000 of the grade 252 FT watches made so by Elgin standards it is a lower production grade. Your watch was easily RR approved for nearly all if not all RR companies, lever set, 21 jewels, adjusted, it should have a white double sunk dial with arabic numbers and spade hands. Normally the watch was sold as a movement and the buyer would pick out the case and also a chain to go with the watch. Later on watches were sold as a unit, case and movement and the chain was optional. You should post pictures when you can and this grade does show up on ebay from time to time, nice watch and a great heirloom.

  3. #3

    Smile Re: Elgin 1903 Father Time pocket watch ?? (RE: 49stude63)

    Hi kghuff:

    Welcome to the NAWCC American Pocket Watch Message Board!

    As 49stude63 pointed out, the Elgin Watch Co. Father Time was widely accepted for use in railroad time service. You can see a picture of the movement and description of the grade No. 252 on page 73 of the 1903 Oy Company Catalog. If you can posts pictures of your watch, we'd like to see it.

    Also, as 49stude63 posted, the watch case and watch chain were sold separately. If youu can post a picture of the marks stamped inside the back of the case (or describe them), we may be able to tell you more about it.

    Please let us know if you have further questions.
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  4. #4

    Default Re: Elgin 1903 Father Time pocket watch ?? (RE: Kent)

    Here's a picture of the pocket watch. I hope you can see it clearly. Also, the information on the inside of the case is: Keystone Watch Case - 6640680. Over to the edge is c-3-6. There is something engraved under Keystone Watch Company. It's so small it hard to make out. It may be 180 or J80. Any additional information will be greatly appreciated. We are giving the watch to our and I really want to fill in all the pieces of the legacy of this watch. Thanks for all the help thus far and thanks in advance for further information.

    kghuff
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 074.jpg  
    Last edited by kghuff; 08-01-2009 at 09:40 AM.

  5. #5

    Question Re: Elgin 1903 Father Time pocket watch ?? (RE: kghuff)

    Are there any trade marks? The Keystone Watch Case Co. made a variety of grades. Those other alphanumeric codes are Watch Repairers' Marks.
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  6. #6

    Default Re: Elgin 1903 Father Time pocket watch ?? (RE: Kent)

    This is what is on the inside of the case.

    Keystone in an arch
    Watchcase in a rectangle with points on each end
    A symbol that looks like a C in a fancy square
    A crown
    Scales
    A football shape with J. Bos inside (I think - hard to read)
    6640680
    C-3-6

    Thanks again for all your help.

    kghuff

  7. #7

    Smile Re: Elgin 1903 Father Time pocket watch ?? (RE: kghuff)

    The "symbol that looks like a C in a fancy square" is really an 'o' inside of a larger 'C' both within a Keystone. Thus "Keystone Co.'"

    As noted in the Wiki article on the Keystone Watch Case Co., the balance (scale) & crown trade mark are used to denote a J. Boss 25-year gold-filled case.

    Please let us know if you have further questions.
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Elgin 1903 Father Time pocket watch ?? (RE: Kent)

    In it's day your watch was one of the best made, nice full plate adjusted movements. As the standards toughened up the pendent set, hunter case and 18 size watches were eliminated from use. Kent is more and expert in this area but some RR companies would "grandfather" some of these watch types in to the rules and allow them to continue to be used as long as they met required specifications for time keeping. Toward the end of the pocket watch production and use in RR service only the 16 size adjusted to 5 positions(min), lever set with 19-23 jewels was accepted.

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