America entered World War I in April of , one year before the conflict ended, and it has been recorded that many doughboys arriving on the continent were in fact issued wristwatches. Though these watches were not given mil-spec markings like their counterparts issued to, say, the British Expeditionary Forces, certain models were produced specifically for military use and officially issued to U. American watch manufacturing firms such as Waltham and Elgin produced watches for U. The trench watch was essentially a transitional type of timepiece that saw soldiers trying to adapt the pocket watch for use on the wrist. At first, lugs were simply soldered on to an extant pocket watch and the timepiece was fitted with a leather strap. Eventually, however, recognizing the utility of a watch designed to be worn on the wrist to time artillery barrages, infantry charges, etc, the watchmaking community began designing and manufacturing them from scratch.
Online Elgin Serial Number Database
The first Elgin watch a pocket watch dates to The last Elgin movement made in America was produced in In between, pinning an individual Elgin down to a specific year and model can be a bit of a chore. Starting around , Elgin used model numbers to identify unique case designs. In the s, the use of model numbers was supplemented by individual model names. The model numbers remained, however, and are the key to finding replacement parts for Elgins of the period.
Brief history of the Elgin National Watch Company including watch serial numbers and production dates. Traces the evolution of the Elgin National Watch.
The purity of the metal is indicated by a unit called a “karat,” with 24kt having the highest percentage of natural gold. It is secure and also easy to clasp on and off.
How to Tell an Authentic Elgin Watch From a Fake One
How Jewels are Made. Between and sometime in the s when domestic manufacturing tappered off, Elgin made 10s of millions of pocket and wrist watches. The Elgin National Watch Company went completely out of business in Even though it had been, for a time, one of the largest industrial concerns in the world, today many people have no idea that America was once the world leader in quality timepieces.
Using this site you can learn a good deal about your antique Elgin timepiece.
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A pocket watch or pocketwatch is a watch that is made to be carried in a pocket , as opposed to a wristwatch , which is strapped to the wrist. They were the most common type of watch from their development in the 16th century until wristwatches became popular after World War I during which a transitional design, trench watches , were used by the military. Pocket watches generally have an attached chain to allow them to be secured to a waistcoat , lapel , or belt loop , and to prevent them from being dropped.
Watches were also mounted on a short leather strap or fob, when a long chain would have been cumbersome or likely to catch on things. This fob could also provide a protective flap over their face and crystal. Women’s watches were normally of this form, with a watch fob that was more decorative than protective. Chains were frequently decorated with a silver or enamel pendant, often carrying the arms of some club or society , which by association also became known as a fob.
Ostensibly practical gadgets such as a watch winding key, vesta case , or a cigar cutter also appeared on watch chains, although usually in an overly decorated style. Also common are fasteners designed to be put through a buttonhole and worn in a jacket or waistcoat , this sort being frequently associated with and named after train conductors. An early reference to the pocket watch is in a letter in November from the Italian clockmaker Bartholomew Manfredi to the Marchese di Mantova Federico Gonzaga, [ citation needed ] where he offers him a “pocket clock” better than that belonging to the Duke of Modena.
By the end of the 15th century , spring -driven clocks appeared in Italy , and in Germany. Peter Henlein , a master locksmith of Nuremberg , was regularly manufacturing pocket watches by
Elgin Trench Watches of the Great War
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Serial dating to grade model class pendant wind and set in a pseudo-box hinge. Saved from Antique Art Deco Silver Tone Open Face Pocket Watch by Elgin.
Original W. Elgin was founded in , right as the American civil war was coming to an end. The first watch Elgin made, an 18 sized B. Raymond railroad grade watch, was finished in and over the next years, they went on to produce about 60 million watches. Elgin produced their first wristwatch around Elgin was originally called the “National Watch Company”. The name never really stuck and in , they changed their name to the “Elgin National Watch Company” because most of the watch trade and public were calling them “watches from Elgin”.
They kept that name until the late s when they stopped producing watches and changed their name to the “Elgin National Industries”. Elgin never made the very highest quality watches in the world, nor did they make the very cheapest, but together with Waltham aka The American Watch Company , they dominated the vast middle ground of the watch market. Today, collecting Elgin watches is quite popular.
Superb Art Deco Gold Filled Gents Wrist Watch By Elgin Dating To 1924
Raymond pocket watch in Due to the number of replicas available in the marketplace, it is important to learn identifying features of authentic Elgin watches. Look for an inscription on the back of the watch or inside the watch cover that names the particular Elgin style of the watch.
Serial number records are available for many of the old pocket watch companies like AM Waltham, Elgin, South Bend etc. but not so common for wrist watches.. If.
Movement serial number NO! Case serial number The Online Database for the Elgin Watch Company can tell you a great deal of information about your watch, based on just the serial number off the movement. The “movement” is also sometimes called the “watch works”. Serial Number off the movement: Important! The serial number must be off the movement of the watch where the gears are , not off the case. These two serial numbers are unrelated. For more information see the Watch Serial Number web page.
You must give the letter prefix of the serial number, if there is one.
Dating Elgin wristwatch
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How Your Timepiece is Powered. Battery-powered watches should not be left unused for extended periods of time — a battery should be replaced or removed before they burst or leak acid, which can cause serious damage to the watch movement. A battery will generally last at least 1. If your watch is powered by a manual-winding movement, then it is solely powered by winding the crown of the watch in a clockwise or forward direction until resistance is felt and the crown cannot be wound any further.
Instructions for winding will be detailed in the next section. A full wind is required before wearing the watch and should typically last between hours. Most people generally wind their watch completely each morning before putting it on their wrist. A watch with an automatic or self-winding movement does not require winding, but it can also be wound manually if desired instructions for how to wind an automatic watch will be detailed in the next section.