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

musicguy

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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
 

Rick Hufnagel

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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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musicguy

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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
 

musicguy

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D Magner

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Neat watches! Enclosed is a photo of my Grade 84
According to Elgin.org Sweep second Elgins weren't made again for 37 years after this.
These are very unique movements among Elgin watches.
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
 

musicguy

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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
 

musicguy

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Circa 1880 Elgin Grade 83 (Hunting or Open face) user chooses.


c.jpg
n.jpg
20220808_164838.jpg



Rob
 
Last edited:

PatH

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Great watch, Rob! How common were sweep seconds at this time?
 
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musicguy

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* Grade 84 - 16j Nickle adjusted (one extra jewel for the sweep second) 4,000 made
* Grade 83 - 16j gilded adjusted (one extra jewel for the sweep second) 3,200 made
* Grade 89 - 14j gilded (one extra jewel for the sweep second) 1,000 made

They made 8,200 in total and didn't make them again in the 16 size
until they made the military sweep watches in the 1930's.
They did make the Nun's watches also in the 1930's as well.


Rob
 

musicguy

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Last edited:

musicguy

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Here are the sweep Nun's watches. Waltham Elgin and Hamilton.

1660001818179.png

1660001946576.png


Rob
 

musicguy

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Just a quick thank you to Dave's Watch parts for putting
a crystal in my case. I have him do all of my crystals now.
Having people who do things right (the first time) and know what they are doing
is really nice these days. In addition, I really like supporting
people who support the watch collecting community.




Rob
 

Greg Frauenhoff

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Here's one I had a while back:



img348.jpg

It is based on an exceptionally early 16s grade #4 mvt, but I could see nothing to suggest that it is not factory original. Of course, it could possibly be a genuine factory conversion done after it had been sold. Who knows. It comes in what appears to be the original case that is engraved on the dust cover " Dr. J. F. Bell, Elgin, Ill." So I guess it truly is an Elgin Doctor's watch.
 

musicguy

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It is based on an exceptionally early 16s grade #4 mvt,
Very nice Greg, I've posted this before comparing the two, but it does seem relevant

Unssssstitled.png


Rob
 
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Airstream

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Rob:
Are you still interested regarding Elgin grade 83.will send info, picture etc if you desire.
Serial 898349,
Regards, Dale Peters. NAWCC #2578
 
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musicguy

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Yes, absolutely post some photos.


Thanks
Rob
 

musicguy

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Last edited:

musicguy

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Great watch Dale!

These are some of my favorite Elgins. They really stand out
and look great!. I wouldn't change yours in any way but
if you wanted you could make it an open face orientation
instead of a hunter because it's interchangeable/convertable.


Rob
 

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