Elgin "Transit" movement

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Beetlebug, Aug 18, 2006.

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  1. Beetlebug

    Beetlebug Registered User

    Dec 5, 2002
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    Hi,
    I've just received an Elgin Transit movement watch. I know that not many of this two tone 12s movement were produced. That's about all I know. It's a bit unusual not only for the decoration but also for the fact it is adj. to 4 pos. Does anyone know the history of this movement or why it is called "Transit".
    Thanks,
    Tom
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Beetlebug

    Beetlebug Registered User

    Dec 5, 2002
    33
    0
    0
    Hi,
    I've just received an Elgin Transit movement watch. I know that not many of this two tone 12s movement were produced. That's about all I know. It's a bit unusual not only for the decoration but also for the fact it is adj. to 4 pos. Does anyone know the history of this movement or why it is called "Transit".
    Thanks,
    Tom
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Aug 25, 2000
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    There were a number of similar watches, in various sizes, produced by several of the companies. Common characteristics are adjustment to 4 positions and either two-tone damasceening or gilt screws. Other discussions have been old ref::HERE and HERE. It would make a very interesting research project to try to figure out what market these were aimed at, or if they were even meant for a particular market. Four-position watches were sometimes used on electric inter-urban railways, but the 12-size TRANSIT does not seem quite right for this market.

    [you will find more good links embedded in the two links I provide here]
     
  4. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Super Moderator
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    Sep 3, 2000
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    These watches have always been of interest to me as well.

    Odd and way understudied.

    Jerry, you have a knack for ferreting out information on little known or underappreciated avenues of horology.

    Do you think these were aimed at bus drivers, truck drivers etc as well as street cars and such ?

    Jeff Hess
     
  5. John F

    John F Registered User

    Sep 28, 2001
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    I have recorded 10 of these 2-tone "Transit" movements, all made in 3 runs of 1000 each between 1914 and 1915, all marked this way. Elgin did not make many 2-tones, but this is one of their better efforts.

    My research into the origin of the name has come up empty. I had thought that perhaps the reference might be to the observation of a meridian transit, because of its importance for timekeeping purposes.
     
  6. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Jan 12, 2017
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    #6 musicguy, Apr 21, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
    Re: Elgin "Transit" movement

    Bringing this thread from 2006 back to life
    RE: Elgin "Transit" movement

    I just bought what I think to be a really beautiful 12s, 17j, two tone, 4 adjustments,
    open face watch(for not much $). The case is in great shape, but the movement is dirty, and needs work.
    (by they way, I don't mind it will clean up nicely). I will post more photos once I get the watch.
    I do have permission to post the one photo. I would love to know what the
    history is behind the "transit" name in the watch. I would guess that
    maybe they were trying to sell these as an alternative to the 16s to be used
    by transit workers, but that's just a guess. It is an open face with Arabic numerals.
    No matter what, it's a new project for me.


    [​IMG]



    Rob
     
  7. Firegriff

    Firegriff Registered User
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    Feb 22, 2013
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    Re: Elgin "Transit" movement

    Do you have pictures of the dials and hands?
     
  8. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Jan 12, 2017
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    Re: Elgin "Transit" movement

    when I get the watch I will post some photos.




    Rob
     
  9. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    #9 musicguy, Apr 24, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
    Re: Elgin "Transit" movement

    As requested picture of Dial and Hands.
    First shot with crystal second without.
    This watch is 10x nicer in person than it was in photos.
    I thought there was a hole in the dial that turned out to be just dirt.
    The two tone gold and nickle on the movement is really nice.
    The case width is also very thin.



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  10. CentreKeystone

    CentreKeystone Registered User
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    Feb 19, 2014
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    Re: Elgin "Transit" movement

    from a previous discussion on trolley watches:

    I found this interesting quote about the use of pendant set watches on Brooklyn Trolleys (p. 94, Feb 2000 NAWCC Bulletin)[​IMG]:
     
  11. Accutronica

    Accutronica Registered User

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    Re: Elgin "Transit" movement

    Nice watch. Nice ring also.

    Robert
     
  12. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Re: Elgin "Transit" movement

    Thanks Robert

    Rob
     
  13. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Re: Elgin "Transit" movement

    I keep coming back to this watch, I would have to say
    it's one of my favorite watches. The 12 size is really growing on me.
    I don't wear a vest, but this seems like the perfect size for a vest pocket.


    [​IMG]




    Rob
     
  14. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Aug 24, 2000
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    Re: Elgin "Transit" movement

    The flowers on the balance cock are a secret quality signature in my opinion.

    The Transit is the watch that Wayne Schlitt chose to adorn the serial number lookups on the ElginWatches.org web site.
     
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