• The Bulletins and Marts are again available online. The network connectivity problem has been fixed. Thank you all very much for your patience.

American Elgin 16s convertible question

meatlips01

NAWCC Member
Mar 17, 2021
17
10
3
47
Country
After completing a previous Elgin Veritas restoration, I've decided to move ahead with some of my other projects. Particularly this old girl:

20211013_140700.jpg
I actually had one of these sitting in a can for who knows how many years. It was missing that spring fork, so I bought this movement and another 7j version. My old movement actually also needs a mainspring, so I put it aside for now and decided to focus on this one since it's intact. BTW. its an Elgin 16s convertible with 2860270 as the serial. She's only a 15j, but I think she's crazy pretty and really old. Circa 1888 in fact.

20211013_140734.jpg
Seen here with the parts movement I also bought

If you don't know what a convertible movement of this style is, essentially I can move that stem to the three o'clock position by simply moving around some winding gears under the plate. So it's convertible from a pendant style to hunter style. It's pretty ingenious and I'm digging it a lot.

Anyway, I'm looking at the Elgin experts on this forum to see if you can answer this question: If you notice this movement has a male stem that sticks out. All of the pocket watch cases I have do not have a female input in them to accept this for a crown. Basically, I'm wondering what sort of case or case tube/crown I need for this movement so I can actually case it up when I've completed overhauling it.

Does anyone happen to know what it needs? Pictures would be extremely helpful too...
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
8,362
4,840
113
New York State
Country
If you notice this movement has a male stem that sticks out. All of the pocket watch cases I have do not have a female input in them to accept this for a crown.
Yes they need a special case(that already has a female stem) or one where a
female stem can be added(some have a little screw in the case and the stems can
removed and switched to the right one)..

The grade 3 and grade 4 plus a few others have the same female stem
and should fit.


Rob
 
Last edited:

meatlips01

NAWCC Member
Mar 17, 2021
17
10
3
47
Country
I actually just posted a question about this movement. I have a Grade 50 model 1 (2860270) that I'm trying to figure out what kind of case it requires. Seeing how it has a male stem, what does the crown assembly on a case even look like?

20211013_140700.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Rick Hufnagel

Just Rick!
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Oct 25, 2018
2,720
4,129
113
37
Pittsburgh pa
Country
Region
You need an old model Elgin case with a female stem. So do many other people... And they are not easy to find... especially nice ones.

The Elgin 16s model 1-5, Hampden 16s model 1-3 and Illinois 16s model 1-3 all take the same size case and it's a touch larger than the standard, common ones seen from around the turn of the century onward. Some of them have male or female stems, some like the convertibles will have different lever slots... Any really nice cases are usually purchased at a premium to case up one of the high grade convertibles.

The lever slot on these cases is at a slightly different location than the standard sized. So look for the lever slot, a female stem and the old style large pendant.
2f2a2efea179177d967971f136a4289c.jpg

I know it's tempting to rip apart a watch for the case... But it's seriously difficult to locate an original model 3 Elgin. There are loose cases out there.
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
8,362
4,840
113
New York State
Country
Here is a female stem I just grabbed from my parts box to show you.

IMG_7280.jpg IMG_7281.jpg



Rob
 
Last edited:

luvsthetick

Registered User
Mar 31, 2010
933
1,286
93
Georgia
Country
Region
Just a little addition info.

As stated, cases for an Elgin convertible are hard to find.

Don't limit your search to just hunter cases. I find open face cases easier to spot if you can see the body under the bezel. Cases these movements fit in often have two factory lever slots. The movement can either be mounted as an open face watch or a sidewinder. Almost all of these cases will have a fixed stem (stem held in place by a screw). Many of these cases already have the female stem required for the convertible movement.

In my opinion they are great for these Elgin movements. Here is one of mine.

Good luck with your case hunt.

DSC_0004.JPG

DSC_0005.JPG

DSC_0010.JPG
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
8,362
4,840
113
New York State
Country
I removed the photo because we do not allow posting
other peoples copyright photos on the forum, but you can post
a link to the part. Thanks for understanding.


Thanks
Rob
 
Last edited:

meatlips01

NAWCC Member
Mar 17, 2021
17
10
3
47
Country
Man, it's really hard finding a good case for this. Even on the eBays. Most of the cases that do turn up are hunter style which is fine. So far the best case I tried to get went for $85. I missed out on the final bid since I was driving when the auction ended.

I did wind up with a coin silver hunter for way too much money that looks pretty beat up. It polishes nice, but it's a bit dented up and I'm not enthused with how loose the cover is at the hinge. The movement in it is a bit beat up, so I'd swap it out and put it away for parts. I'm going to clean this guy up and see what I can do about the dents, but the case overall seems ok. I am still holding out hope I can pick up an nice gold-filled case for a good price.

20211104_111248.jpg 20211104_111209.jpg 20211104_111156.jpg 20211104_111149.jpg

This was tarnished to heck, but I just gave it some wubbies with a paper towel and some toothpaste. Always a fantastic high grit polishing compound. When I take this apart I'm going to give it a real good polishing with a dremel tool and some legit buffing compound. It is a shame though, it has some really interesting engine turning on it that has been worn off over the years. This case would have been gorgeous when it was new.

I'm still going to keep my eye out for a nice gold filled case, but as I mentioned before, the open faces convertible cases have been almost non-existent on the eBays.

On a different note, it is tempting to just remove the sleeve out of an existing case, drill the hole for the screw and then thread it. I got those female stems now, so I imagine it could be done. But then it wouldn't be original and it would be bootleg. Also I'm not sure it could be done since these female stems seem to be a bit wider.
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
8,362
4,840
113
New York State
Country
Nice that you found one so quickly even if it's not in as good a shape
as you might have wanted. Cases can easily (and cost effectively) be repaired.
Older used cases have a lot of character and I mean that in a positive way.


I got very lucky with finding this open face convertible/interchangeable case.

grade 86 4.jpg


Rob
 

Forum statistics

Threads
169,740
Messages
1,481,525
Members
49,138
Latest member
BigDon
Encyclopedia Pages
1,060
Total wiki contributions
2,965
Last update
-