Tracking Elgin grade 150 pendant set to grade 277 lever set conversions

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by 49stude63, Sep 9, 2017.

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  1. Dave Chaplain

    Dave Chaplain Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 16, 2001
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    I appreciate all of the detail you've provided 49stude63, and that which you continue to provide - as well as your thoughts, speculations, etc. I speculate that some number of PS 150's were held in stock to continue to meet the retail need for the already well advertised gr 150 PS product, and that a serial number breakpoint was chosen from the PS 150 inventory to create the gr 277. And it appears that 180 of the 184 listed gr 277's were from PS 150 stock, so I don't know that there's such a thing as an official versus an unofficial gr 277 - unless you mean the 4 watches that are not known to have come from PS gr 150 stock.

    And then either from that PS stock held in reserve, or possibly from a return, my earlier sn PS gr 150 was converted to a LS gr 150, and marked as such via the "No. 150" applied to it, etc. Of course I can't say that it was certainly from inventory, or from a return, but either scenario is feasible. I do lean toward the "from stock" scenario. And that due to the adjustment markings on mine, it was most probably converted after the gr 277 had stopped being made, and long after the PS gr 150 had stopped being made.

    So given what we know, if someone were to ask me if LS grade 150's exist, I'd have to say yes, at least one! :)
     
  2. 49stude63

    49stude63 Registered User

    Mar 21, 2009
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    Some people only consider only the ones on the sheet of paper as official 277, and in one case it appears at least one of the 150's that was supposed to get converted never got converted and is still a pendant set grade 150. There are some in the lookup that were added afterwards for some reason not related to Elgin documentation. I would consider any grade lever set that came from a grade 150 serial number run that shows left over machining from pendant setting operation including the slot at 1-2 min mark area as a grade 277 without regards to be in on the list or not, but being politically correct I call them un-official 277s since they don't have a piece of paper somewhere showing that the were picked and converted. Is 432 different, yes, was it some sort of a test machining run to see if they could set up the machining to do the pendant set to lever set conversion that is hard to say, are there more it would be nice especially if people know how to tell the difference if it was a PS conversion or not to see if more exist. If I tossed it on Ebay would it garner a higher bid than the other converted lever set, probably maybe but only because it is dressed in a near mint box hinge Deuber 25yr case show below.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
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    Some data from my ephemera collection:

    June, 1895, Bogle Bros. price list:

    [​IMG]

    March, 1901, Otto Young price list:

    [​IMG]

    Also, the page of notes for the grade 277 on Wayne's Elgin site is not the best copy. To the right of the top line it is noted (in an old hand) the following: (same as #181).

    FWIW, in my opinion, the progression is 20j PS gr. 150, 21j PS gr. 150, 21j LS gr. 181 (some/most/all conv. from PS gr. 150), and then for some reason (maybe because most were begun as pure lever set) 21j LS gr. 277 (of which, at some point, a few PS gr. 150s laying around were converted to LS gr. 277s).

    I think Elgin was less concerned about the rational for their various grades than we are today.
     
  4. 49stude63

    49stude63 Registered User

    Mar 21, 2009
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    I don't think run 7 of the grade 150 was complete, there was a dmk effect change around run 4- 5 to better align with the grade 181 but I don't see Elgin making run 6 (1000) and run 7 (1000 or less) if they still had some from run 5 (7434xxx run). There was some overlap with the 181 which had a first run around 7132xxx but Elgin appeared to grab pendant set grades if they had stock and convert them as needed even if they were finished and in shipping because if you look at the conversion serials 5 here, 10 there maybe 40 here but rarely if anything in a continuous run of 100, the 273 conversion had small runs of 10-50 here and there and only two big runs of 200 some and 300 some and was probably the largest of the conversions at under 1000 . The only one that I can think of would be the 149 to 348 conversions which I have 1 on the low 10M range and one on the upper 12M range The low end 148/348 is 10,422,771 and on the 12M 149/348 conversion I have never seen a number much over 500 which appears to agree with what is on Wayne's site. If you look at my 432 watch which is from run three there is little no difference with the dial off from any of my 181s. And the 150>277> 181 was just a top of the line holdover until the 18 size 3/4 plate grades were released.
     
  5. 49stude63

    49stude63 Registered User

    Mar 21, 2009
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    Just as a side note you can see that the sales of big pendant set watches was dropping of and probably moving toward lever sets, for the grade 150 you have these runs

    1 6349xxx-6350xxx 1000
    2 6362xxx-6364xxx 2000
    3 6434xxx-6435xxx 1000
    4 6457xxx-6458xxx 1000
    Run 1 grade 181
    5 7435xxx-7436xxx 1000 not quite a 1M serial number gap between runs 4 and 5 where the prior 4 runs were much closer, so maybe the first grade 181 run stole a lot of the 150's sales.
    Run 2 grade 181
    6 7878xxx-7876xxx 1000
    7 8490xxx-8491xxx 1000?
     
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