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Elgin Doctors Watch Arrived - Experimental / Special Run Sweep Second hand

James J Nicholson

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Hello fellow collectors, as I anxiously await my newest purchase I am reaching out to the members if they can add some information to this mystery run of Elgins.
I picked up an Elgin Cronograph (Doctors Watch) S/N 375028. This is listed in the pocketwatch database as a model 23 10s key wind 15j gilt finish watch. Obviously being a cronograph pendant wind and 16s this info is incorrect, it is in reality a model 83.
My watch has no serial numbers on the other places that it should have them, only the number 8 stamped on the balance bridge, balance cock, ft plate, and sweep second cock.
My research revealed another example 357030 is listed as a cronograph also but no further info on any special numbering on the plate, ballance cock etc. I am reaching out to members who might have this watch so I can see if perhaps this was an experimental run of 10 watches or so since mine is marked number 8 on this unique serial number run. Thanks James
 

Rick Hufnagel

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The pocket watch database lists this run as experimental. There are a number of different movements found in this serial range.

In the serial lists derived from the material catalogs, the run is listed as Frances Rubie, however only a portion of this run is as such, and the rest are a Mish mosh of awesome things to see. Your sweep seconds movement is one of them!

Is your watch a chronograph, or is it a sweep seconds movement (16s model 4)? It wouldn't surprise me to see a chronograph in this run.

This link is one that is a chronograph, but not from the same run.

I'm curious about your model 83 designation. Not trying to be a jag, I've never heard that used before.

Congrats on your find, really neat to see movements from this run!!
 

musicguy

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RE: Rick said above, "I'm curious about your model 83 designation."
(EDIT: I have seen the watch)
84 is Nickel
83 is gilt
1606922892624.png
Plus the patent date is December 1879 for the dial so I would date this watch
circa 1880 1881
1606923024712.png 1606923328521.png
Rob
 

James J Nicholson

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Being new to all this, I am not sure if I understand the difference between cronograph and sweep second hand model. I thought that anything with a sweep seconds hand was a cronograph.
Would you be kind enough to enlighten me on this. Thanks James
 

musicguy

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A chronograph is a specific type of watch that is used as a stopwatch combined with a display watch.
The sweep hand on these can not be stopped. But they obviously have a very special
dial
1606924723034.png
Rob
 
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Rick Hufnagel

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Sorry James. Lots of confusing stuff with Elgin.

Take a look at that thread I linked above along with the patent posted at the end of that thread. The watch has a complication that starts, stops and resets the second hand for use as a stop watch.

The Elgin 16s model 4/doctors watch/sweep seconds has a center seconds hand that doesn't stop.
 
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James J Nicholson

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Wow, this is getting really interesting. I did some searching myself and found a member from the UK by the name of Steve Theraff who back in August of this year had posted on the forum his watch which is 375030. I sent him a message asking if his watch had matching numbers that were not the serial number on the ft plate balance cock and the other parts . Mine has the number 8 stamped on it. I wonder if Freds watch had numbers on it also.
 

gmorse

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Hi James,

A chronograph is a specific type of watch that is used as a stopwatch combined with a display watch.
To expand a little on this, the definition of a true chronograph is that the centre seconds hand can be started, stopped and reset to zero at will, leaving the rest of the train running normally without any interruption. The vital part is the resetting to zero, which some early watches described as 'chronographs' were unable to do. A centre seconds watch in which the whole movement can be started and stopped with a balance brake or some other mechanism isn't a chronograph.

There are sub-species of the chronograph which have two superimposed centre seconds hands which can run together or one can be stopped, started and returned to catch up with the other seconds hand independently, (these are the 'split seconds' types).

Regards,

Graham
 

James J Nicholson

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Update on doctors watch 375030. Steve Theraff from the UK replied to my email on the watch that is two numbers past mine This watch was brought to him recently for service and he was kind enough to share photos with me. This watch is also a grade 83 in gilt and also has mystery numbers on the balance cock ft plate etc. His had the number 7 stamped on it. I would have imagined that if the serial number was past mine, it would have had the mystery number above my number 8 since it was made later. I guess that would have been too logical.
And now for my next question. If my watch was an experimental model that was made in 1880-81 as Rob had pointed out by patent date. Is this watch one of the first sweep second doctors watches produced?and what year did they actually market them for sale officially. Thanks again for all your assistance. James
 

Fred Hansen

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Mine has the number 8 stamped on it. I wonder if Freds watch had numbers on it also.
Just to clarify, I posted the link to the sale of 375031 as it is a close serial number and I thought it of interest to this thread but this is not a watch I own or have owned.
 
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Fred Hansen

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I agree Fred, I have not seen a true Elgin Chrono before, I wonder if it was in house or an after market fitment in the day:)
I believe it was in-house.

Elgin was experimenting with chronograph designs in this time period and I've seen a small number of examples, and interestingly no two have been all that similar and some are quite different (including two I've encountered with split-seconds function).
 
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musicguy

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Here is the Elgin chronograph movement Fred was talking about(from an ended auction)
Untitledvv.png

Rob
 

Fred Hansen

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Thanks Rob and no worries.
 
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musicguy

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Fantastic James!!



Rob
 
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