Elgin Natl Watch Co - Pocket watch

Thread: Elgin Natl Watch Co - Pocket watch

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  1. #1
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    Elgin Natl Watch Co - Pocket watch

    I have about 25 old and new watches in various states from pristine to questionable whether they should be thrown away. In this pile I had a pocket watch assumed to be junk that was my great grandfathers. It does not work and is missing some of the hands. I had never really looked at it very close until today. I began looking closely at it and realized there was a door to the movement. When I opened this door and saw some of the stamps inside, it made me wonder what I really had. I have pictures below. Can someone tell me more about this watch? Is it worth repairs or better sold to someone who knows how to repair it. Is it worth anything? Is the 14k plating or is this thing so heavy because the case is 14k? I really do not know where to start with this. I see prices all over the place on eBay, so that is not much help. I am only familiar with wrist watches.

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  2. #2
    Vintage & NAWCC Forum moderator Ben_hutcherson's Avatar
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    Re: Elgin Natl Watch Co - Pocket watch

    I think that your watch is a grade 70 BW Raymond(I'm lazy and don't want to go upstairs and get the book to confirm).

    In any case it has 15 jewels and is generally a good quality watch. At this time, this was Elgin's best quality 18 size watch, although it was a significant step-down in quality from their contemporary 21j Convertible. The BW Raymond was introduced as and was always intended to be a railroad grade watch. This particular grade was named after Benjamin Raymond, a member of the Elgin board of directors and also at some point in his life a mayor of Chicago. Elgin used the BW Raymond name continuously through their history-the first watch they produced in 1867 was a BW Raymond, and at least one BW Raymond grade watch was kept in use through the end of Elgin's US operations.

    J. Boss cases are always gold filled. This means that the have a layer of gold soldered to a brass core. The gold layer is significantly thicker than conventional gold plating but still fairly thin. The "20 year" marking refers to the fact that the gold layer was guaranteed to not wear-through in 20 years of use.
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  3. #3
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Elgin Natl Watch Co - Pocket watch

    This is quite a nice watch. One of the best in its time. Your grandfather had good taste!

    The watch is RGP - rolled gold plate. Two layers of gold sheet are pressure welded to a brass plate and the watch is made from that RGP sheet metal. J Boss warranted that daily use would not wear through to the underlying brass (known as 'brassing') for at least 20 years. The gold thickness is far greater than gold electroplated watches of today.

    This is a true heirloom watch - high quality and meant to be handed down to later generations. I'd get it serviced if it were mine as I have nothing that my grandfather touched every day. It would have more value to me than what any one else would pay for it.

    But that's just an opinion I have. I don't expect everyone to have my opinions
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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  5. #4
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    Re: Elgin Natl Watch Co - Pocket watch

    Thank you for the history and information. I really had no idea where to start and had spent a fair amount of time Googling trying to see what I could come up with. I saw that a few had the words Goldfilled stamped but when this one didn't, it had me wondering if maybe the outer covering was gold with a brass movement. This really helps and give me more appreciation for the watch. I never knew how to view it compared to my wrist watches.

  6. #5
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    Re: Elgin Natl Watch Co - Pocket watch

    Eeeb, thank you for the additional information. I had this watch in a drawer and not even in the safe with my other items. I knew it was his and knew it was old but with the hands missing and not working..and also knowing that he was not a wealthy man....and the fact that it wasn't passed down to me as something of significance, I really had no idea. I think if my mother and grandmother had any idea of this history and value, this information would have been passed on to me with the importance noted. This really helps and I think I will ask my local jeweler what it would cost to get it running again. Do you have any idea? I know it would need a crystal, hands, a cleaning and who knows what parts are missing. Although the damage appears to all be surface, it does not look as if anything internal is missing.

  7. #6
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    Re: Elgin Natl Watch Co - Pocket watch

    Eeeb, I'm going to split hairs with you on the case. I think it's gold filled which means that it has greater gold thickness than rolled gold plate and I think the latter also tends to be 10K. I also think that RGP cases tend to be on watches of more recent manufacture toward the end of PW production.

    KF5END, a basic cleaning, oiling and adjustment goes for about $100-150. Since you need hands and a crystal it will be more. Also charges vary on geographic location.

  8. #7
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Elgin Natl Watch Co - Pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by RON in PA View Post
    Eeeb, I'm going to split hairs with you on the case. I think it's gold filled which means that it has greater gold thickness than rolled gold plate and I think the latter also tends to be 10K. I also think that RGP cases tend to be on watches of more recent manufacture toward the end of PW production.

    KF5END, a basic cleaning, oiling and adjustment goes for about $100-150. Since you need hands and a crystal it will be more. Also charges vary on geographic location.
    What is the difference between gold filled and RGP? I thought they were similar processes.

    KF5SEND: I did not mean to imply the watch was worth piles of money. They don't sell for what they are 'worth' because of fairly low demand. Indeed, the lower quality pocket watches sell for very little. Might as well buy the best when it is all a buyers market.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  9. #8
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    Re: Elgin Natl Watch Co - Pocket watch

    GF vs. RGP? Similar process except that gold filled is thicker as far as the gold part of the metal sandwich. Also when a choice was available between a GF and a RGP case on the same watch, the RGP cased watch was cheaper.

  10. #9
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    Re: Elgin Natl Watch Co - Pocket watch


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