Elgin Sweep Seconds 16s 84, 83 and 89 (A.K.A. Doctors watch)

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by musicguy, Jul 27, 2019.

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  1. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Jan 12, 2017
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    When I went to the National convention this year in Springfield, MA I was looking for one particular
    watch. I had always wanted a 16 size, 3/4 plate , Sweep Seconds, Stem wind Elgin National with
    convertible dial. (A.K.A. Elgin Doctors watch) . Circa 1880-1883

    These watches were made as:
    * Grade 84 - 16j Nickle adjusted(one extra jewel for the sweep second) 4,000 made ($43,00)
    * Grade 83 - 16j gilded adjusted(one extra jewel for the sweep second) 3,200 made ($35.04)
    * Grade 89 - 14j gilded(one extra jewel for the sweep second) 1,000 made ($28.70)
    (*****Please Note movement prices are from document attached below*******)

    I asked at every table at the NAWCC Mart(that sold pocket watches) if they had one. I finally did find one
    at the Jones & Horan table. I had already spent too much money that day so I didn't buy it. It had
    bothered me until a few days ago when I sent an email to Jones & Horan and asked if they still had it.
    They said yes! Jones and Horan have a great staff and they are very professional
    in the way they do business.

    I bought the grade 84 Elgin as a movement only and I put it in a case that I already had . It had been set up
    in a hunting configuration and I had to switch it to open face. (The dial needed to come
    off and I set it in the open face position)

    These weren't Elgins highest grade movement at the time(but still 16j and adjusted), and it's cost
    was a little less than the Elgin convertible grade 50, but they made 36,000 of the grade
    50 which is 4 times the total production of all grades of the Sweep Seconds watches (at that time).
    According to Elgin.org Sweep second Elgins weren't made again for 37 years after this.
    These are very unique movements among Elgin watches.

    The three moon hands on these are really beautiful as well as the unique dial signature
    and design. When the Moon second hand passes over the Moon hour hand the Moons
    line up!

    Thanks to Greg Frauenhoff and others for the supporting documents.
    Greg has noted(in past threads) that he has never seen official documentation that Elgin
    ever called these Doctors watches or marketed them that way
    (even though some original cases are inscribed with Dr's names)

    Circa 1882 16s grade 84 Sweep Seconds Elgin:

    dr wacth.jpeg 1NEWDR.jpg

    Jobbers catalogue:
    Greg Frauenhoffimg944.jpg

    Elgin grade 84 info:
    img241.jpg

    Patent information:
    US222460-drawings-page-1.png US222460-drawings-page-2.png




    If you have the other two versions(83 or 89) or want to share your grade 84 I would
    love to see them all.



    Thanks for reading this.
    Rob
     
  2. Rick Hufnagel

    Rick Hufnagel Just Rick!
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    Oct 25, 2018
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    Nice nickel one Rob! Still has all of the moon hands too. Very nice, and great write up!

    Also interesting about the dial.I was unaware they could be turned to accommodate hunting cases. I've never seen one set up in a hunting case.

    Thanks, have a good day!
     
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  3. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Senior Administrator
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    Feb 11, 2005
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    Nice buy, Rob! Love the nickle plates on these. I'm not really an Elgin collector, but found that I had to have one of these. Mine is also a grade 84...

    Elgin1079379Dial.jpg Elgin1079379Mvmt.jpg
     
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  4. Tim Fitzgerald

    Tim Fitzgerald Registered User
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    Jan 2, 2016
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    Nice Rob, I have been looking for one myself.
     
  5. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Just some thoughts on the snap on interchangeable(convertible) dial(push on dial).
    When I removed the dial(from the movement) it was very tight and I was worried
    about cracking the dial, but I went very slowly(using the two pry spots) and it came off
    without a problem. Getting it back on was another story. Since it was such a tight
    fit(and it had to match up with the lever slot) it didn't just slip on it needed a good amount
    encouragement(downward pressure). Again I was concerned about ruining the dial.
    I did get it back on, but it took a while. It's not something I would do again for a while
    if I didn't have to. The normal dials that are held on by dial feet screws
    are much easier to work with(in my opinion). I wish I took some photos
    of the back of the dial because it did look like it originally had dial feet
    which were removed at the factory(they were sanded down flat).
    Unlike a regular movement with the 4th wheel pinion sticking out, with the sweep
    second setup(no pinion sticking out) there is no reason why you cant just rotate the dial
    to make it interchangable(convertible).

    Here is a photo of the back of one of these dials. You can see it has two
    places(slots) for the setting lever.
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Dj6-PqxX4UQ/VLRZqInvIyI/AAAAAAAClYs/lQJ4KI9m2aU/s1600/20150112_152646.jpg
    (I don't have permission to post this photo that's why I'm using a link to ti it)
    Elgintime Vintage Horological: Elgin Grade 83



    Rob
     
  6. Bryan Eyring

    Bryan Eyring Registered User

    Dec 11, 2007
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    Always push on the outer perimeter, NEVER on the center or anywhere else.

    Seems obvious but can't begin to tell you how many snap-on dials I've seen ruined because pressure was applied in the wrong vicinity!
     
  7. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    I agree.



    Rob
     
  8. D Magner

    D Magner Registered User
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    Dec 27, 2004
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    Neat watches! Enclosed is a photo of my Grade 84
    I am assuming that statement about 37 years was referring to smaller movements as used in wrist watches. Am I right that the next Elgin 16 size movement with sweep seconds was in the 1940s with the grade 581 as shown?
    David

    Elgin Doctors Watch 017 copy.jpg Elgin Doctors Watch 030 copy.jpg BWR British Deck Watch 003.jpg BWR British Deck Watch 005.jpg
     
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  9. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    One of my favorite Elgins is the grade 4 (3/4 plate hunting 16s).
    The Elgin Grade 84 and Grade 4 are very similar.
    It looks like they just took grade 4 parts and made some modifications to
    make the grade 84 interchangeable and add the sweep second hand.
    Both are designed in the hunting configuration.

    1882 Grade 84 interchangeable with sweep hand on left, 1881 Grade 4 on right
    Unssssstitled.png 1887 elgin_watches[1].jpg

    Both watches have identical engravings(other than the damaskeening)
    but you can see that Dave Magner's grade 84 above does the same damaskeening
    as my my grade 4. They used a few patterns, Dave Coatsworth's is also different.





    Rob
     
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