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(Elgin) Private Label Research

musicguy

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Elgin Duchess.

1608904429688.png



Rob
 

musicguy

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Regular Elgin dial

Maybe it was a grade name not a Private Label. One that didn't make it.
I would say it was a scarce variation if it were a grade.
I have only seen very
few of them. Found it in my movement pile.

Rob
 
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Rick Hufnagel

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Rick Hufnagel

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musicguy

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Ethan Lipsig

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I recently showed this watch in the "latest additions" thread, but I am showing it again because it is an unusual Elgin PL: an 18k open face Jeannot & Shiebler-cased Elgin Grade 72 21j "convertible" that is a triple-signed Bailey, Banks & Biddle PL. Only about 450 Grade 72 were made; very few of them were private labelled.

DSC07088 (928x1280).jpg DSC07093 (1006x1280).jpg DSC07095 (1280x1058).jpg

DSC07097 (1280x1154).jpg DSC07098 (1280x809).jpg DSC07099 (1280x1253).jpg

I think the movement will glisten once I get it cleaned.
 

Rick Hufnagel

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National watch Co, 10s, Lady Elgin model 3.
Movement and dial marked "California Lady"
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20210201_205052.jpg

Wonderful dial and hands. Movement is also in great condition. This is another set of labels that have been the focus of research for a while now. I don't believe they are private labels in the normal sense. Once a little more information is pulled together an article will be written up. I will say that there are 4 grades. Here are what they correspond to.
Pacific Watch is HH Taylor
California Watch is G.M. Wheeler
San Fransisco Watch is M.D. Ogden
California Lady is Lady Elgin

The California Lady is 10s so is only available in Key wind, but I've seen California and San Fransisco as key or stem. The Pacific I've seen as keywind, and think it was also available as stem wind but can not confirm.

Westward the star of empire!
 

Rick Hufnagel

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At least one ad should be shown I suppose. Another of my favorite slogans, A Western Watch For Western Men!

After the transcontinental railroad was completed, goods could be readily shipped to the coast for much cheaper than before, and many companies took advantage of the hoards of settlers and fortune seekers now identifying themselves as westerners. National watch Co was no different.

This is courtesy of the library of Congress. Gold Hill is a hop and a skip from Virginia City and the Comstock Lode. Marketing at its finest!

This advertisement is from 1875.
1875.png
 

Rick Hufnagel

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One more post for you tonight. A pair of grade 177 Elgin, 6s movements.

Atlas Watch Co # 7105695
20210206_121353.jpg 20210206_121237_HDR.jpg

Sun-Dial # 7582237
20210206_121338.jpg 20210206_121313.jpg

None of these are uncommon by any means, but in regards to themselves, the Arabic dials are harder to find than Roman. There are a wide range of variation to these. 18s model 4 and 5, 6s open-faced and hunter, and all can be Roman & Arabic. The most difficult to find from my observations are the 6 size open-faced which are the same movements as shown above with conversion dials less seconds bit. They are a fun bunch to keep an eye on. Couldn't pass up these two nice running movements for what I paid. Not sure if I'll clean, lube and case them.
 

Rick Hufnagel

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Here is a 16s model 6 for J.S. Barnard of London, Ontario.
20210412_205916.jpg
Grade 312, 15 jewels.
Nice signed dial
20210412_205946.jpg

I have a decent hunting case that needs a little work and a tenant. This was just about perfect for it.

Since he is from Canada, most of my usual resourses are not much help. Because of this it's hard to really sum up Mr. Barnard better than this article from the Archives at Whitby Public Library

The photo here is courtesy of the same web page, no copyright.
52964 (1).jpg

I'll be honest... I saw London and thought it was neat to find a later (1908) signed Elgin movement and dial from "across the pond". I quickly learned it was "across the lake" instead! A little under 6 hour drive from the burgh. Pretty neat.
 

musicguy

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I've always wanted one of those!

Nice!


Rob
 

Rick Hufnagel

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So.. I had dreams of bringing this back to its former glory... but unfortunately at this stage, its just a data point. A very interesting data point.

367022 12 Size, model 1, grade 24.
It is 7 jewels with a gold balance wheel.

The movement is private labeled for John Rossiter of Weston-Super-Mare

I cant give you a better history than their own website. The company is still going strong and despite my attempts there has been no reply. I guess if I had some goofy American email me about an old beat up watch movement sold 145 years ago... well.. its not exactly a priority i'm sure.


20210906_133224_2.jpg 20210906_133125_2.jpg 20210906_130845_2.jpg

I included the photo of the balance and escapement to show the gold balance. Also the escape wheel and pallet, actually the whole train, is exactly the same as a 10s. Yes, it was tried on a 10s parts movement just to check. In fact the 4th wheel and pinion in this watch now comes from that 10S movement. It was exactly the same in fit and finish. If nothing else, I hope you enjoy the chance to see under the dial and the escapement of a lesser common early Elgin movement.
 
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musicguy

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musicguy

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I haven't done any work on the PL above it's just sitting
looking nice right now(and running well), but I was looking at the photo and
the rounded head screw on the barrel bridge
just stood out to me like a sore thumb and I had somehow missed
it before. These Ogden's should only have flat head screws. So,
I found a correct blued flat head screw (from the same time period)
in my pile from a Chas Fargo and replaced it. It looks right now.






Rob
 

Jerry Treiman

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367022 12 Size, model 1, grade 24.
It is 7 jewels with a gold balance wheel.
It is interesting that this has a gold balance wheel which is atypical for the grade. I have two examples from this run (one only ten numbers away from yours) and both have the expected solid steel balance wheel. Perhaps the gold wheel was a special request to go along with the private label?
 
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musicguy

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Elgin 18s grade 12 circa 1873 gilded slow train (4.5 bps) 11j
B H Broer, Toledo Ohio, 3 oz coin case
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20211006_161638b.jpg


Rob
 

Rick Hufnagel

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H.H. Taylor, keywind.
H.S. Abbey of Akron Ohio marked on movement and dial!

20211014_171043.jpg 20211014_170614~2.jpg


Henry Stephen Abbey was born November 5th 1808 and died from heart disease on October 25 1873. In the 1850 census he is listed as a silversmith.

His actual jewelery store, named H.S. Abbey & Co, is a partnership with a Mr. Hart. It was in business from 1868 to his death in 1873. This is a very short time, and you can see an announcement of his opening here from March 5th, 1868. H.S. Abbey & Co..
The store was located at 120 Howard St. I'm having a hard time pinpointing the address on an 1874 map, but it looks like a good location on the NW edge of the first Ward.

There is a drawing of Mr. Abbey here.

This watch is super interesting because it marks some of the earliest movement marked private labels. The National Watch Co blocked out serial numbers starting at 30,000, and here we see.many small runs of various grades of P.L. It looks like they pulled and finished these watches as needed.

The serial number and engraving on this movement suggests that this would be a very early H.H. Taylor. The lowest S.N. for Taylor is a run of only 100 movements starting at 25,001. I've not seen one from this run, but would expect H.H. Taylor marked movements from looking at production trends (Elgin never fails to surprise, though). The run of 10 movements that the watch comes from is the second run of only ten serial numbers. Their early method seems to employ separate groups of serial numbers for regular and P.L. movements that ran concurrently. The first major run of H.H. Taylor marked movements (900) begins at 31,101

The little WCo logo on the barrel bridge is also interesting. Maybe "watch co" ? H.S. Abbey Watch Co? I haven't been able to find anything to link that together.

It is exciting for me, not only be able to get an observation of this small run, but to own the watch as well. I'm quite happy with it.
 
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musicguy

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All I can say is that we MUST be watch nerds, love it. :cool:
I did see it when it was for sale but didn't think too much about it.
It would seem to make sense that Elgin would like to mark a double signed PL
somehow discreetly.


Rob
 
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Rick Hufnagel

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Elgin battled against fakes from early on. This monogram could have been an idea that just didn't stick with the 18s. Later movements had "Manfd Elgin Ills" on the barrel bridge, with the jewelers location on the top plate.

30158 has nothing engraved on it to show it was from Elgin, but it has a National dial.

This is a snipit from an ad in the NY daily tribune, August 26th 1868:


The Company have six styles now in market, bearing the following trade marks on upper plate of movement:

B. W. RAYMOND,
H. Z. CULVER,
CULVER,
G. M. WHEELER,
MAT. LAFLIN,
J. T. RYERSON,

ELGIN, ILLINOIS,

With National Watch Co. on the Dial.


The trade are cautioned against purchasing worthless imatations of these movements, which have been recently placed is market, bearing the fictitious names, "Chicago Watch Co.," "Chicago Watch," and "National Watch Co., New-York," with the intention, on the part of dishonorable manufacturers, of injuring the reputation of the Elgin goods



So Elgin made a point of properly marking their movements for identification so that they could not be confused with the fakes. Even early on. They even went as far as to trademark "National Watch Co", "Chicago watch co" and "the Chicago watch" in 1873 to try to protect themselves.

Where is HHT in this article? Just... Thinking out loud... Haha.
 
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musicguy

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The trade are cautioned against purchasing worthless imitations of these movements, which have been recently placed is market, bearing the fictitious names, "Chicago Watch Co.," "Chicago Watch," and "National Watch Co., New-York," with the intention, on the part of dishonorable manufacturers, of injuring the reputation of the Elgin goods
Those evil Swiss Fakes :cool::)


Rob
 
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Dave Coatsworth

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The trade are cautioned against purchasing worthless imatations of these movements
An example of an early fake. I'm not sure the average buyer, confronted with only the movement on the right, would know that it was a fake.

Movements.jpg Dials.jpg
 

musicguy

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yikes I haven't seen too many like that!


Rob
 

Rick Hufnagel

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That is, by far, the best imitation. They even did the hairspring stud, which is usually just a pressed in pin on these. Great watch, Dave.

Like I said before... Barrel bridge gives it away every time. Haha.

But no, the average person wouldn't have a clue!
 
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