A fakery or a upjewel? 84 doctor’s elgin

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by ArcticCollector, Jul 3, 2018.

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  1. ArcticCollector

    ArcticCollector Registered User
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    Found an interesting grade 84 Elgin that I ended up purchasing.

    It’s engraved with a 17 jewels mark on the main bridge plate. Trouble is, I’ve never seen one like this and they are a 15 jewel watch.

    My conclusions so far as a new collector:

    1. It’s a unscrupulous carving to try and get someone to buy the watch.
    2. It’s been modified at some point to support 17 jewels, either at the factory or by a custom jeweler.

    Opinions ladies and gentlemen?

    723BFFB1-A3DD-400B-A0B2-7BCEE9CB3F98.png
     
  2. Kevin Neathery

    Kevin Neathery Registered User
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    Saw that one last night. Good catch!

    Being jeweled at the center pivot leads me to believe that it is 17 jewels. Only way to be sure is to count when it is apart for a service or pull the hands and dial. I would say a possible factory upjewel to move stock.

    [ELGIN] Online Elgin Database
     
  3. ArcticCollector

    ArcticCollector Registered User
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    It definitely threw me off, had to phone a friend on that one.

    One way or the other, my little collection is growing.
     
  4. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    Can we see the dial, just curious about the sweep hand.
     
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  5. ArcticCollector

    ArcticCollector Registered User
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    Yeah, here ya go!

    E8FF1769-A79F-4019-B2BD-AA9B5081E5DD.png
     
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  6. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Super Moderator
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    I have one that's about 100 numbers later than yours (1079379). No upjewel marking. I have not taken one of these apart so I don't know if the center on the pillar plate side is jeweled to give 17. My guess is that it is not and it is just the extra seconds pivot bridge that is jeweled, so probably a 16 jewel watch.

    Elgin1079379Dial.jpg Elgin1079379Mvmt.jpg
     
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  7. Kevin Neathery

    Kevin Neathery Registered User
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    As a new collector I suggest you take it to a watchmaker and have them confirm. As to it being 16 or 17 is speculation without visual confirmation. It could be 16 with a false 17 marking or it could be a 17 with a correct 17 marking. Please update us on what you find out once in hand and inspected.
     
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  8. ArcticCollector

    ArcticCollector Registered User
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    That's the plan, my watch maker is pretty excited to get his hands on it, he was saying he's seen stranger things and it might be legit. I'll let you guys know what he finds.
     
  9. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    I'd say that someone (not the factory) engraved that one with 17 Jewels.
    I've seen many elgin watches that have been marked that way. The font
    does not match the serial number or other styles on the movement.



    Rob
     
  10. ArcticCollector

    ArcticCollector Registered User
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    Yeah - that's a possibility. It was close to the "patent pinion" but the "w" in jewel had me going back and forward on it.
     
  11. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    If you do a google image search for the Elgin grade 84 none of them
    have this 17 jewel marking, and they all seem to be
    jeweled in a similar way to this one.

    Rob
     
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  12. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Super Moderator
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    While I agree with Rob (I have several watches in my collection that have been similarly marked), I look forward to hearing just how many jewels are in this watch.
     
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  13. ArcticCollector

    ArcticCollector Registered User
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    Either way, it has a fine dial, good hands, clean case, and if someone carved on it for illegitimate reasons, well it would still be a pretty good example of a doctor’s watch.

    Just with the caveat that there’s a bit of forgery.
     
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  14. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    Well, its not about this grade but I guess I ought to post this tidbit.

    1897_May-26_Elgin_Watches_Fraudulently_Altered.jpg
     
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  15. Bryan Eyring

    Bryan Eyring Registered User
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    Not a factory mark
     
  16. ArcticCollector

    ArcticCollector Registered User
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    Quick update: the watch was indeed a 15j watch.

    Just an old forgery! Still I got it for an excellent price and I’ll be holding onto it as an example of a very otherwise clean Elgin doctor watch.
     
  17. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    It is a very nice watch with the sweep hand.
    And, it does have a very nice looking movement.


    Rob
     
  18. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Super Moderator
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    That surprises me. I don't see how you get just 15 given the jewel in the extra sweep arbor bridge. Unless one of the usual jewels is missing somewhere else. Guess I'm just gonna have to dig into mine. (Unless someone enlightens me first.)
     
  19. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    The center isn't jeweled.
    It looks like a grade 4 with a sweep second added but no extra jewels added.


    Rob
     
  20. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Super Moderator
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    But that extra bridge in the center DOES have a jewel in it. So...

    Balance jewels - 4
    Pallet jewels - 2
    Roller jewel - 1
    Pallet arbor - 2
    Escape wheel - 2
    4th wheel - 2
    3rd wheel - 2
    Extra bridge - 1

    My guess is the dial side of the 4th is not jeweled.
     
  21. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Then it should be at least 16 jewels(maybe 17).
    Dave let us know;) tear yours apart.

    Rob
     
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  22. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Super Moderator
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    Looks like we have 16 jewels, positioned as I detailed above...

    ElginDoctorsJeweling2.jpg ElginDoctorsJeweling1.jpg
     
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  23. ArcticCollector

    ArcticCollector Registered User
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    This is what I got from my watchmaker... he’s really busy right now and I confess I don’t totally understand these at this point in my education.

    93F33FDB-A73C-4DCD-B121-3388D008E8D4.jpeg 2485D83B-38AD-42D7-9F9C-9FB921FC74DD.jpeg
     
  24. ArcticCollector

    ArcticCollector Registered User
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    I really think I count 16 if you include the bridge wheel.

    All jewels appear present to me on a 15j setup.
     
  25. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Super Moderator
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    It is interesting that every "authority" that I can find lists these as 15J, including the Price Guide, elginwatches.org, etc.

    Now the question is, what about the 13J model. Anybody got one and how many jewels does it really have?
     
  26. ben_hutcherson

    ben_hutcherson Registered User
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    I count 16 on your example-jeweled to the 2nd wheel for 15 total and then the 16th jewel on the sweep wheel pivot.
     
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  27. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    I really like some of these center sweep second(Doctor) watches. I've
    bid on a few but didn't win. I do have a 1942 BWR center sweep second (with jewel on the sweep wheel pivot)
    but it's 59 years newer.


    Rob
     
  28. TimeAntiquarian

    TimeAntiquarian Registered User
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    Let's evaluate the original source materials instead of erroneous secondary sources.

    The 1904 and 1915 Material Catalog Grade Lists indicate Grade 83 and 84 as featuring 15 jewels and Grade 89 as featuring 13. This is likely the source of the erroneous information.

    However, the 1927 material catalog, in which parts are listed individually for each grade, correctly identifies the jewel counts:

    83: 16 Jewels (X447 x2, 2192, 1350, 1368, X486, 1390, X510, 1414, 2426, 1425, X538, X559, X546-G x2, X545 as "Sweep Second Arbor")
    84: 16 Jewels (X447 x2, 2192, 1350, 1368, X486, 1390, X510, 1414, 2426, 1425, X538, X559, X546-G x2, X545 as "Sweep Second Arbor")
    89: 14 Jewels (X447 x2, 2192, 1350, 1368, X486, 1390, X510, 1414, 2426, X559, X546-G x2, X545 as "Sweep Second Arbor")
     
  29. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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  30. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
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    I've seen very little period info on the grades 83, 84 and 89, but what I have at hand indicates that they were marketed as 15j, 15j, and 13j, respectively (e. g. 1883 Bowman trade price list). Also, the so-called Elgin Master grade books note them as 15j, 15j and 13j, along with a notation that the lower end of the center staff is brass bushed to serve as a bearing for the sweep second arbor pivot.

    With this is mind, my guess is that the grades started out with a brass bushing and that this was later replaced by a jeweled bearing. It would be interesting to compare very low serial numbered examples and later ones.
     
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  31. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
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    Data on grade 84 from so-called Elgin master grade book:

    img241.jpg img242.jpg
     
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  32. ArcticCollector

    ArcticCollector Registered User
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    Thank you sir! That’s interesting information.

    How do we read these master grade books? Is there something I can study to figure them out?
     
  33. proconsul

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    I have an old Illinois 16s that is marked as 15 jewel however someone along the line had added two jewels to the center wheel .I'm at a loss as to what to call it ,the jewels do not appear to be factory but they work
     
  34. ArcticCollector

    ArcticCollector Registered User
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    Well, it's an upjewelled 15j to 17j, the question is, was it upjewelled before it was sold, during the life of the watch or by some tinkerer in 2008 who wanted to move a watch for more money?

    That's where you get the rub I suppose and we're not supposed to talk about value here.
     

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