Elgin Pocket Watch w/ Keystone Case

Thread: Elgin Pocket Watch w/ Keystone Case

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  1. #1
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    Elgin Pocket Watch w/ Keystone Case

    I have had my great grandfathers Elgin watch for a while now. I used to wear it on a semi regular basis, but it has been dormant for several years now. From the serial number I have found that it is a 300 grade, size 16, 15 jewel movement made in 1904. I'm not totally sure what al that means but it seems like it was a pretty common watch.

    What I am having trouble dating, just to see if it is the original, is the case. It is a Keystone case with the serial number 4829152. From the marks it appears to be solid 14k gold, but detailed information on the net is scarce.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Once I figure out how to get clear pictures I will upload.
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    Last edited by JaggedB; June 8th, 2010 at 06:08. Reason: Pictures added.

  2. #2
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    Re: Elgin Pocket Watch w/ Keystone Case

    You can probably forget about dating the case as such information is for all practical purposes unavailable. The American watch-case makers did not leave serial number/date lists to posterity as did the watch makers. The style of your watch's case appears to be stylistically correct for the watch's age and I don't see any extra screw marks that would indicate reusing a case originally from another watch.

    Could you take another very sharp close-up of the case markings? That way we'll be able to tell if it's gold filled or solid.

  3. #3
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Elgin Pocket Watch w/ Keystone Case

    From what I could read, the caseback says:

    "GUARANTEED
    14K
    585 FINE
    ...?"

    I think the last line is "The (Keystone?) W.C. Co".

    Would that mean that it's certainly 14kt solid? I thought gold-filled watches of this era usually had a marking of years (Guaranteed to wear for 5/10/20/25/etc years) on it.
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    Omega Forum Moderator emmanuelgoldstein's Avatar
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    Re: Elgin Pocket Watch w/ Keystone Case

    Quote Originally Posted by Shangas View Post
    From what I could read, the caseback says:

    "GUARANTEED
    14K
    585 FINE
    ...?"

    I think the last line is "The (Keystone?) W.C. Co".

    Would that mean that it's certainly 14kt solid? I thought gold-filled watches of this era usually had a marking of years (Guaranteed to wear for 5/10/20/25/etc years) on it.
    14K=.585 fine gold. So yes it is solid gold.
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  6. #5
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Elgin Pocket Watch w/ Keystone Case

    Thanks for the confirmation, MannyGoldstein. Yes, JaggedB, your great-grandfather's pocket-watch is cased in a 14kt gold watch-case.

    Unfortunately, though, as Ron says, determining the *exact* age of the case is impossible due to the fact that watch-case makers did not bother to keep serial-number & date tables/records, unlike the major American watchmakers, who recorded manufacturing dates & numbers of watch-movements pretty extensively.

    That said, it's a fine, good-quality watch that should probably be serviced before you wear it again (if you intend to wear it), or put it on a table-stand and use it as a clock.

    By the way, JaggedB, what are the initials/the monogram engraved on the cartouche on the caseback? It's really pretty.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  7. #6
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    Re: Elgin Pocket Watch w/ Keystone Case

    Quote Originally Posted by Shangas View Post
    Thanks for the confirmation, MannyGoldstein. Yes, JaggedB, your great-grandfather's pocket-watch is cased in a 14kt gold watch-case.

    Unfortunately, though, as Ron says, determining the *exact* age of the case is impossible due to the fact that watch-case makers did not bother to keep serial-number & date tables/records, unlike the major American watchmakers, who recorded manufacturing dates & numbers of watch-movements pretty extensively.

    That said, it's a fine, good-quality watch that should probably be serviced before you wear it again (if you intend to wear it), or put it on a table-stand and use it as a clock.

    By the way, JaggedB, what are the initials/the monogram engraved on the cartouche on the caseback? It's really pretty.
    We are pretty sure the initials are AWR or ARW on the watch itself, but it is very ornate and very hard to read. This does match up with one of the maternal lines of the family. Of course I come from a long line of pack rats, er collectors, and I cannot vouch for the ownership prior to the 1940s.

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