Elgin grade 345 vs grade 349, which to choose?

Meyers

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Hi All,
Been lurking around ever for sometime, trying to learn as much about pocket watches as I could.
Lately I came across 2 Elgins on Ebay that I was interested in.
One is grade 349 in a rather bland silver case, the other was a grade 345 in a slightly decorated gold filled case. Initially i wanted the 345 in gold, but as time went by the railroad appeal of the 349 won me over, I'm really inclined to get that one, but it is a bit more expensive.
I'd like to ask some advice, assuming both watches are in good condition, which should I get? In terms of easy maintenance, reliability, accuracy...
I'm so excited but scared at the same time for finally getting my first pocket watch!
 
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musicguy

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Welcome to the NAWCC Forum. Currently we do not discuss
current auctions that are active,
but we can comment in general
about the watches you are looking at. I always recommend for people
to get the watch they like the best in the best condition they can
afford.


Rob
 
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grtnev

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I’ve always considered my grade 349 to be one of my favorite Elgins.

Having said that - full disclosure - I collect mostly RR grade watches from ca: 1890-1915; based solely on the movement - never the case.

For me it’s all about what a mechanical marvel these high quality watches are. Add to that aesthetically pleasing damaskeening during that time period and you have truly a beautiful timepiece.

If the movement happens to be in a high quality case, then that is just a plus - but not a part of my personal collecting criteria.

Richard
 

Kent

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Hi Meyers:

Please add my welcome to Rob's.

You can see a catalog description of the Nos. 345 & 349 grades, along with where they fit in Elgin's lines of 12 & 18-size movements, in pages E-6 & E-2 of the Oskamp-Nolting Co. Great American Jewelry Catalog 1917 (below).

Unless you know that a watch has been properly cleaned and oiled within the last few years, you should have the watch serviced before running it very much. It may be helpful for you to read the Encyclopedia article on Watch Service and its related links, especially the one to the message board thread on the subject. The Encyclopedia article on Choosing a Pocket Watch Repair Person may be useful as well.

In choosing a watch, you may find the following Encyclopedia articles useful:

Beginning Watch Collecting
What to Look For in Choosing a Single Pocket Watch

Also, since one of the watches is a grade No. 349, you may also find the following Encyclopedia articles useful:

Railroad Watch
Railroad Time Service
Railroad Time Service Watch Rules

Unfortunately, many of the links in our Encyclopedia articles were disrupted when we changed to the current version of our Message Board and its been a long process getting them all reinstated. So, if you come across a broken link and want to see what it led to, just let us know and we'll try and post it.

Please feel free to ask about anything that isn't clear to you.

Good luck,

pg_E6_Elgin_12S.jpg pg_E2_Elgin_18S_RR.jpg
 

Meyers

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Hi Meyers:

Please add my welcome to Rob's.

You can see a catalog description of the Nos. 345 & 349 grades, along with where they fit in Elgin's lines of 12 & 18-size movements, in pages E-6 & E-2 of the Oskamp-Nolting Co. Great American Jewelry Catalog 1917 (below).
Thank you for your warm welcome.
The prices on that catalog....My dear how inflation has grown over the years.
In the end I chose the 349, hope it arrives safely. Will share pics once I get hold of it.
Thank you all for the info.
 

topspin

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I hope you went for whichever one has already been recently serviced by someone who knows what he's doing. This will be by far the superior watch.

We look forward to seeing it.

If you want something to tell you the exact correct time every day with minimum fuss - that's what battery-powered wristwatches are for. Antique pocket watches are (mostly) for pleasure.
 

musicguy

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Initially i wanted the 345 in gold, but as time went by the railroad appeal of the 349 won me over
Both are fine watches to carry. Here is a photo of one of my 345's

and pocket watch collecting can be addictive.

IMG_8939.jpg 1.1 1915 $$ (serviced April  2017) Elgin Pocket Watch Open Face 12s PS PW 17j.jpg


Rob
 

musicguy

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In terms of easy maintenance, reliability, accuracy...
After a service (clean and oil) and maybe a new main spring if needed,
a vintage watch can run very accurately.






Rob
 

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