If you are ever offered, or are attempting to buy an Elgin antique pocket watch, there will always be a serial number on the movement.
This genius of teaming skilled American craftsmen and scientists with America's famed production know how, is the reason for the mastery of Elgin timepieces. sprouted from a small wooden building to the worlds largest manufacture of high quality jeweled mechanical timepieces. Elgin 16 size pocket watch models: The blind mans watch, the Convertible model in 13 jewel, 15 jewel, and 21 jewel.
These original building are long gone yet of their 55 million jeweled timepieces produced, many still exist. The Elgin Doctors watch in 15 jewel, the Elgin Watch co. The three finger bridge model in 15, 17 and 21 jewel, the famous Elgin Father Time model in 17 jewel and 21 jewel.
Total production over their 100 years of operation reached nearly 60 million watches, which is nearly 50% of ALL the jeweled watches produced by American watch companies! The Elgin Watch Company's success was not built on its production of the highest-grade watches, though some of their higher grades were top-quality, exquisitely made timepieces.
This makes Elgin one of the most commonly collected vintage watches since there are still so many examples available at reasonable prices. Their success can be attributed to their huge production of low to mid-grade watches... Together with the Waltham Watch Company, they dominated the huge market for mid-grade watches, producing over one-million per year during their peak years of production.
The case serial number is of no use for determining the value of an Elgin pocket watch.
In the picture below you will see an Elgin watch and the serial number is at the top of this watch and on the actual movement.Later, their accurate “wristlet” watches proved to be vital to the WWI war effort, helping to fuel a craze back in the states for something called “The Wrist Watch.” By the opulent Jazz Age, if you weren’t displaying the exuberant symmetry of an Elgin wrist watch or carrying a svelte, distinctive Elgin pocket watch, then who were you?Elgin had helped define the American pocket watch as unsurpassed in “Railroad Accuracy.” By 1930, the post Civil War dream factory imagined by a handful of American entrepreneurs had produced 32 million “time machines.” During World War II, all civilian manufacturing was halted and the company moved into the defense industry, manufacturing military watches, chronometers, fuses for artillery shells, altimeters and other aircraft instruments and sapphire bearings used for aiming cannons.The Elgin Watch Company (also known as the Elgin National Watch Company) was the largest American watch manufacturer in terms of total production volume. This identical watch, serial number 101, was sold at auction in New York in 1988 for ,000.In fact, Elgin produced approximately one-half of the total number of better-quality pocket watches manufactured in the United States. In 1874, the company officially changed their name to the Elgin National Watch Company, and that name remained until they stopped producing watches in the 1960's.Elgin shipped their first wristwatch in 1910, and later manufactured the first wrist watch to be qualified for railroad service, the grade 730A B. In 1958, they introduced the "Dura Balance," an ingenious design for a free-sprung balance (no regulator pins) which used spiral balance arms and small weights to govern the moment of inertia of the balance.