Jewel settings on Elgin gr 156/162 and gr 270

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Ron Birchall, May 10, 2007.

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  1. Ron Birchall

    Ron Birchall Registered User

    Dec 15, 2004
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    These are beautiful three finger bridge movements but I am curious:

    The gr 155 and 162 are listed at twice the pClick Hererice of the gr 270 in the 1903 Oy catalog at Elgin.org
    Click Here

    Interestingly, the higher priced 156/162 have pressed jewel settings whereas the gr 270, at half the price, has screwed down settings.

    Were pressed settings more costly to manufacture, higher quality or considered more attractive?
     

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  2. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Registered User
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    Aug 18, 2002
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    I don't know what Elgin's answer would have been but I do think these settings give some of the top grade Elgins a very attractive and clean look.

    These are similar to the jewel settings I am used to seeing on the grade 72 and on some of the very fine smaller size watches. There are some of these nice small size Elgins shown at this link on Tom McIntyre's website ...

    http://awco.org/Elgin/SmallElgins.htm

    Fred
     
  3. Ron Birchall

    Ron Birchall Registered User

    Dec 15, 2004
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    Wow! The Francis Rubie goes back to 1868! :eek:

    I didn't realize pressed settings went back that far.

    If Elgin and others had the technology that early, I wonder why they didn't use it more. Today, we can understand why that would be so much more precise, efficient and less costly.

    Elgin's use on these high end watches would suggest the opposite!
     
  4. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Registered User
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    Aug 18, 2002
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    The jewel settings in the Francis Rubie look to be composition and flush with the plate surface. The grades 122, 174, and 176 have raised gold settings very similar to the 156 and 162.

    Waltham also used a raised gold setting on some top end watches with the bridge model "American Watch Co." grade movements and some of the other higher grade movements.

    Some better grade Fredonia Watch Co. movements also have a nice looking set of gold settings.

    Definitely some terrific watches sharing this feature!

    :)

    Fred



     
  5. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Aug 24, 2000
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    I think the best of these for dramatic flair are the convertibles. These are huge chatons that are set in by friction. In general the screws allow for easier fitting, I think but are not superior. It is a matter of competing esthetics. The screws are decoration and their absence is decoration.
    34.jpg

    Note that the grade 91 chooses the alternate esthetic to go along with its plate cuts that look like bridges. Just a bit more cluttered than the 72.
    36.jpg
    Click on the pictures to make them big.
     
  6. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Aug 24, 2000
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    By the way Ron, your source may have an error or you may have misquoted. The 155 and 161 are 17 jewel "Lace Doileys." The 156 and 162 are the 21J high grade that were Elgins top of the line at the time.

    The watch you show is a 156.
     
  7. Ron Birchall

    Ron Birchall Registered User

    Dec 15, 2004
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    Thanks Tom; I misspoke (er, mis-typed!)

    And thanks for the photos; I've enjoyed browsing your site many times.

    So you believe the Elgin's choice between pressed or screwed in settings is primarily esthetics?
     
  8. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Yes, I think that becomes pretty clear when you look at the two top convertibles.

    On the other hand the pressed in jewels are only used in high grade, while screws are used in both cases.

    I noticed that the Hulburd also has friction set jewels. Since it was the entry in the "Prestige Race" they must have thought the jewels were special.

    36.jpg
     
  9. s. smith

    s. smith Registered User

    Oct 13, 2006
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    Here is a 6 size grade 122 with the raised Jewels in the original 14k gold case pictures are not too good ..
     

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  10. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Aug 24, 2000
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    To complete the set, here is the 176, which is a higher grade follow on to the 122.

    This isn't a very good picture either.

    37.jpg
     
  11. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
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    Aug 25, 2000
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    Neat watches.

    S. Smith's grade 122 and one of Tom's convertibles share an unusual (for Elgin) feature. Any guesses? It's small and rather hard to see. Feel free to ask for a hint or two.
     
  12. s. smith

    s. smith Registered User

    Oct 13, 2006
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    Okay Greg give us a hint about the unusal feature .:)
     
  13. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
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    A Derby winner often ends up as one.
     
  14. Bill Tapp

    Bill Tapp Registered User

    Feb 16, 2004
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    They both have a round hairspring stud.
     
  15. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
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    Bill is our winner!

    Can someone tell us (or speculate) as to why Elgin used a round hairspring stud on a few of their grades? Is it better in some respects? I don't know.

     

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