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Thread: Vintage Elgin pocketwatch

  1. #1

    Vintage Elgin pocketwatch

    Vintage Elgin & from all the research I've done & a printout from the Elgin database the nearest I can tell is it's from 1892.
    It had a run from 1886-1898.
    Do I have a collectible on my hands?












    Any info would be appreciated. I don't plan on getting rid of it as I've had it for years, just wondering if the weeks of research I did is correct & is it worth anything or a collectible
    .



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    Last edited by watchdaddy1; Jan 26, 2015 at 03:54 PM.
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    William

    Member#842

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  3. #2
    Zenith & Vintage Mod Dan R's Avatar
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    Naturally, that is a tough question to answer. In the purest form of the word, yes. After all, it is from 1892 and many of us think that is cool as heck.

    But there are some issues. It is an 18s and I think collectors seem to prefer the next size down, 16s. It also has 7 jewels and collectors prefer a higher jewel count. The case looks well worn, but I can't see the back well enough to see if perhaps the case is original to the watch.

    But as it is running at 123 years, I'd say that qualifies it as collectible!



    Dan

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  5. #3
    Thank you Dan.
    I think it's cool as heck too....I love it whether it's a collectible or not.
    I'm pretty sure it's all original caseback & all.
    I'll take some better pics , today is overcast & cloudy outside.

    Sent from my SGH-T399 using Tapatalk
    People sleep peaceably in their beds @ night ONLY because rough men stand ready to do VIOLENCE
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    William

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  7. #4
    Old but Crafty RayMac's Avatar
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    Collectible - yes. Valuable - not really. Close to 700,000 were made. 7J is not really a high grade movement but OK.
    As a family heirloom these things are priceless. I have a similar model that belonged to my grandfather and I spent 3X what it was worth to get it in operating condition.


    Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap. ~Doug Larson

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  9. #5
    MWC is that my watch's Avatar
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    think as the guys say collectable yes love the movement plate that just shows what craftsmanship went in to it . valuable not overly but still dam cool and worth a place in any vintage collection
    one night I dreamed I was locked in my fathers watch, with Ptolemy and twenty one ruby stars mounted on spheres and the primum mobile coiled and gleaming to the end of space and the notched spheres eating each other's rinds to the last tooth of time and the case closed - John Ciardi ...

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  10. #6
    Few Industrial Age pocket watches are really "collectible" in the sense of making people gasp on Antiques Road Show. But lots of people collect them just because they are satisfying to find and own. As Ray says, collectible but not that valuable, at least when value is measured using the (poor) dimension of dollars.

    Most collectible American pocket watches are those that have high jewel counts (more than 17), railroad certification, original heavy glass crystals, perfect dials (this one has hairline cracks), and correct cases (which this one may have). For Elgin watches, that means the "named" watches, like the Raymond. Some are really valuable when they exhibit special rare and desirable features, but knowing of such and where to find buyers who will appreciate it requires research and expertise.

    For example, neither of these are particularly collectible:



    The one on the left has corrosion on the hands and too much patina on the dial, all caused by the original yellowed plastic crystal (which I had replaced). It dates from 1919. It's size (12) reduces value, but it is a good-quality 17-jewel movement that is "adjusted," meaning it's probably just adjusted to temperature or isochronism. This would have been a nice professional man's watch. The one on the right is older (1898) and is in an interesting nickel-silver Crescent Swing-Ring case. It's interesting because the case is open but the watch is a hunter. The dial is nearly perfect and the hands are in good shape. The movement is 15-jewel and of good quality. But of the 15 or so models Elgin made with the base movement, ranging from unjeweled to 25 jewels (or something like that), this one is about a third up from the bottom in terms of original price, though at 20 dollars (with case) in 1898, it was still a watch for a professional man. Both are cool and all get out, but not worth much to collectors.

    The mid-40's Hamilton railroad-grade 992b that I just bought is worth twice either of the above, though it is in some ways less fancy. It was a working-man's watch, but for a man who was working where an accurate timepiece was a requirement for employment. It has the characteristics that collectors prefer, but among the watches that have those characteristics, this one ranks fairly low because it is not particularly unusual.

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    The reason the railroad watches are more valuable is because more people want them; it's that simple. That could change any old time.

    Rick "for whom the above is the pinnacle of his pocket-watch collection ambitions" Denney
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

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  12. #7
    Oh well there goes my plan to retire from selling this.....

    Not really thanks for all the replies guy's it's appreciated.
    Either way I love it whether worth anything or not. It's a Beauty & way cool.I've had it for years& years so it will stay hidden away once again.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds @ night ONLY because rough men stand ready to do VIOLENCE
    on their behalf.....


    William

    Member#842

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  14. #8
    $100
    La lutte elle-mme vers les sommets suffit remplir un cur d'homme; il faut imaginer Sisyphe heureux.

  15. #9
    rick has a fine example of *almost* the pinnacle of 100 years of development for the American made pocket watch. Just you wait - he will eventually give up his Ebels to start tracing the entire story. As long as he never buys a Swiss made Ball, I'll be happy.

    BTW - as usual, he got this one at a good price.
    La lutte elle-mme vers les sommets suffit remplir un cur d'homme; il faut imaginer Sisyphe heureux.

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  17. #10
    Zenith & Vintage Mod Dan R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KennethRSloan View Post
    ...As long as he never buys a Swiss made Ball, I'll be happy...
    Kind of funny in a way. I like horological things. If it makes me smile, I get one. I have one Swiss-made Ball because it made me smile. A worthwhile philosophy IMO.

    Dan " did not post his Swiss watch as it was not vintage" Ravenna

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