More information on Elgin Pocket Watch.

codfishbilly

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Jan 27, 2013
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[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]I was referred here for information on this watch.[/FONT]

[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]My grandfather has been falling ill, I went to visit him with my family and he told me he wanted to gift me his old pocket watch. He "wore" (if that's how it's said with a pocket watch) it while flying bombers in WWII.[/FONT]
While I know more than the average person about modern wrist watches, I do not know next to anything about pocket watches. I looked up the movement serial number and it is an Elgin watch made in 1893.
It says it is a model 2-4, class 4. It looks like it is made of brass. It is in pretty rough shape appearance wise.
I am going to keep this watch under lock and key until I can pass it on to my children or grand children. That being said, it would be great to know a little about this watch. Could I get some information about it?
Photo 1: http://i.imgur.com/Ntcn64M.jpg
Photo 2: http://i.imgur.com/1IPVRGq.jpg
 

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Daniel W.

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Hello and welcome to the NAWCC. Sorry to say but without a serial number it's impossible to say what you have. A good close up picture of the movement would help immensely.
 

Bill Manders

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codfishbilly,
From the serial number and the lookup, which is sometimes off, your watch should be a Mdl 2 , 15j, adj. watch made approx. in 1893, there was 13,000 made between 1892 - 1894. This watch is not considered a RR grade watch, and although 13,000 sounds like a lot of watches made, for Elgin it is a rather low number.
I know far more knowledgable people will respond, hope this helps a little. I also noted the stem and crown were missing on your pictures ?
Bill
 

Kent

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Hi codfishbilly:

Please add my welcome to Daniel's.

To add to the good information that Bill posted, checking the references listed in the Elgin Watch Co. Encyclopedia article (and looking at your pictures), Elgin movement serial number 4735951 can be seen to be an 18-size, grade No. 125, 17-jewel, gilt, hunting movement. You can see a brief catalog description of the grade No. 125, along with where it fit in Elgin's line of 18-size movements, on page 18 of the M.C. Eppenstein & Co. Pocket Price List, undated - but appears to be early 1890s, courtesy of the Internet Archive and the Winterthur Library (located by Richard Beauchamp). Around 1894, 15-jewel watches fell out of favor with the market and a number of watch companies changed some of their 15-jewel watch grades to be 17-jewel movements. !5-jewel movements that had already been built, but remained in inventory were sent back to manufacturing to be up-jeweled to 17-jewels. This appears to be one of them. Waltham explained this in ads, but Elgin and others did it without announcing the fact in the trade press or in ads.

If you tell us the markings stamped inside the back of the watch case (or post a picture of them), we may be able to tell you something about it. You can ignore any "hand-scratched" characters, they're probably watch repairers' marks. Your watch case is gold-filled or perhaps rolled gold plate, which appears to be somewhat worn off. It needs a crown and perhaps other parts as well.

This can be fixed, and you should have the watch serviced before running it very much. It may be helpful for you to read the Encyclopedia article on Watch Service and its related links, especially the one to the message board thread on the subject. The Encyclopedia article on Choosing a Pocket Watch Repair Person may be useful as well.

Having gathered and printed out information about a family watch, it is a wise idea to write out as much as you know about the family member to whom the watch originally belonged - or as far back as you can go, including (and clearly identifying) what you can guess. Then, add the names and relationships of the family members who passed it down to the current holder. Make up a booklet with this and all of the watch information and try to keep it with the watch. You might even include a CD or, better yet, a USB thumb drive with copies of the pictures or information, in addition to the printouts. Even though they may not be readable 100 years from now, some more recent descendent may transfer the files to the then current format and media. This way, the watch has real family heritage instead of it just being an old family watch, the identity and relationship of the original owner having been lost in the distant past.

Please feel free to ask about anything that isn't clear to you.

Good luck,
 
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codfishbilly

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Jan 27, 2013
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If you tell us the markings stamped inside the back of the watch case (or post a picture of them), we may be able to tell you something about it. You can ignore any "hand-scratched" characters, they're probably watch repairers' marks. Your watch case is gold-filled or perhaps rolled gold plate, which appears to be somewhat worn off. It needs a crown and perhaps other parts as well.
The case stamp looks like a lion and the word below it looks like it says "WARRENTEr." The reflection makes it very hard to read. I tried taking a photo of it but you can't see anything but a reflection of the camera.
 

Kent

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The case stamp looks like a lion and the word below it looks like it says "WARRENTEr." ....
If this is the trade mark, your watch case is a gold-filled grade which was originally made by H. Muhr's Sons, then its successor, J. Muhr & Brother and shortly thereafter, by T. Zurbrugg & Co. Judging by the date of the movement, my guess is that it was made by H. Muhr's Sons.
 

Tom Huber

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codfishbilly,
From the serial number and the lookup, which is sometimes off, your watch should be a Mdl 2 , 15j, adj. watch made approx. in 1893, there was 13,000 made between 1892 - 1894. This watch is not considered a RR grade watch, and although 13,000 sounds like a lot of watches made, for Elgin it is a rather low number.
I know far more knowledgable people will respond, hope this helps a little. I also noted the stem and crown were missing on your pictures ?
Bill
Bill, All Elgin model 2's were keywind. This watch is a model 3 or 4. To tell which one it is, one must look under the dial at the setting mechanism. That is what differentiated the models 3 & 4.

Tom
 

Bill Manders

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Thanks Tom,
I was just going off of the data base and also the same info was in the Yellow Book, and unfortunately we all know that both of these are not neccesarily correct, but to my defense I did say thay were not neccesarily right in my reply. The art of collections is always a learning curve, and the written word is not always so, I will remember that all Mdl 2's are K/W in the future.
Thanks again for the clarification,
Bill
 

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