I just picked up a midsize Elgin Automatic really cheap and in nice working condition. Using all of the decoders online with SN N50053 I come up with a 1951. I have been told that the serial number I am using is one digit short. It also pulls up the incorrect movement when decoded.
The movement is stamped as being a 554 17 Jewel. The SN decodes as a 15 Jewel movement.
I know the decoders are not foolproof, but if I add a 1 to the end of the stamped SN to make it N50053-1 it them shows in the decoder as a 17 Jewel 554 movement?
The only real difference I can see in my 554 and other photos I have found online is that the adjuster arm (whatever that is really called) on mine is a light gray, almost white color. On all of the examples I have found it is black, but those were also examples of watches produced in the 40's. Also, all examples I can find have a SN of a letter followed by 6 numbers. Mine is N followed by 5 numbers. All other markings in the movement are identical.
I have not been able to get photos to upload, but you can go to the following link to see photos. I threw it up on Ebay for a few days to se if it would garner any interest.
1950's Elgin 17 Jewel Automatic Sub Second Dial Running | eBay
The case and crystal are pristine on this watch, so is it possible that it is an older movement recased in a newer watch? Seems like alot to go through for a mid age low range Elgin. Also, I guess it could be a knockoff, but again, why knockoff a low range movement Elgin? I guess another option is that the factory just mis-stamped the movement. I tried amending the SN with other numbers (2,3 and so on). They did not yield the correct movement or jewel count.
Anyway, help! I don't know what I have here. I mean a 5 digit SN would date this to about 1870, but I'm pretty sure that's not the case.