Vintage ladies Elgin wrist watch info

Discussion in 'Wrist Watches' started by keener61, Jan 25, 2020.

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  1. keener61

    keener61 Registered User

    Dec 29, 2013
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    I have a vintage ladies Elgin wrist watch 20mm x 13mm with a gold stretch band.Watch & band is gold. Watch back is silver with a flower symbol beside word Basemetal. I carefully removed movement but the back was attached to movement. I had no idea of how to safely remove the back. No serial numbers visible.
    Any info would be appreciated.

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  2. Chris Radek

    Chris Radek Registered User
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    Apr 13, 2014
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    It's lovely! A bit of guessing here, but that is probably an Elgin 617 or 619, from approximately 1945-1948. The logo on the dial is "dp" for durapower, a more durable mainspring technology. It will have a serial number on the movement that can date it exactly.

    I like how the relatively large (and therefore more accurate) movement is disguised behind the small dial. These are fully jeweled, high quality, tiny movements.

    It can be tricky to get the movement out of the case back, and these types of watches are often found with broken stems (the part the winding knob attaches to) because someone pried on it.
     
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  3. Shawn Moulder

    Shawn Moulder Registered User
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    Sep 13, 2017
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    Your watch case is made by the Star Watch Case company. The symbol is actually a bird with it's wings out.
     
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  4. MrRoundel

    MrRoundel Registered User
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    Dec 28, 2010
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    Out of curiosity, it is curiosity that has you wanting to remove the movement from the case? While it's not that difficult, providing there are not big rust issues, it does take some finesse with a screwdriver. Usually there is a recess or two on the plate below the dial. You can usually get them started by inserting a jeweler's screwdriver in those areas and gently prying upward. Once it starts to come out you can probably grab it, or drop it into your palm with a piece of watch-paper laid on it. It's probably obvious that these small baguette watches are very tricky to handle and work on due to their size alone. Unless you know how to work on watches, are crazy curious about something that might be inside the case, or don't care about the movement at all, I'd suggest leaving it alone. JMHO.
    Some background on what the watch means to you would help. Good luck.
     
  5. keener61

    keener61 Registered User

    Dec 29, 2013
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    Dear MrRoundel,
    This watch belonged to my wife's grandmother.
    When I initally removed movement from case, I thought I'd see the movement with a serial number.
    My intention was to research it's age & model#. But when the back came with it, I realized to leave well enough alone.
    I did examine the edge where the movement meets the back with my cell phone magnifier.
    There was green material visible which I knew was rust.
    I also gave the watch a tiny 1/8 turn on the winding stem. I could hear ticking and see gears move(using magnifier) thru a slot beside face dial. The watch kept time for 4 hours.
    Quite amazing that a balance wheel & gears were manufactured into such a small size.
    Best Regards.
     
  6. MrRoundel

    MrRoundel Registered User
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    Dec 28, 2010
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    Yes, they're all amazing little machines that were made on amazing little machines, by amazing little (OK, not always.) humans. I'm glad that the watch is running. That means the balance staff is probably in good shape. That said, now that you know it runs, it's best not to run it a lot before it has a service, as it could damage those tiny pivots on the staff and train wheels.

    My guess is that it is most likely a 15-17J movement, as that's what I've seen most of in those sizes.

    I'm glad that you held back on satisfying curiosity on the little heirloom. Now it gives you a nice gift idea in having it serviced for your wife to wear someday. Enjoy.
     
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