First impressions of this Elgin Pocket Watch

Thread: First impressions of this Elgin Pocket Watch

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  1. #1
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    First impressions of this Elgin Pocket Watch

    I've already told you all that I'm a cheapskate, and I don't even look at expensive listings on eBay. I spied this watch for 45.00 ppd ... and I know it's a gamble, but it looks like a pretty nice watch to me, and one that's seen precious little use.

    Judging by the pendant and bow, what size would you speculate this one could be?

    The large arabic numerals are reminiscent of the B W Raymond high end stuff, but without the double sunk dial.

    The seller says only this about the watch:

    "Not sure of Date made or if it has any gold content. Could not get open. Also missing the thing you wind with. Its heavy and was part of a collection that had expensive pieces. "

    I asked her the diameter, and she said she didn't know ... but it was one of the larger ones that she had, and she reiterated that "it's heavy". I'm hoping it could be at least a 14s....though 16 would be better.

    I just thought there's folks here who have been at it so long that they could tell by size relationship ... what it might be.

    JDT
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    Last edited by justdigtickers; December 15th, 2011 at 18:43.

  2. #2
    Vintage & NAWCC Forum moderator Ben_hutcherson's Avatar
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    Re: First impressions of this Elgin Pocket Watch

    It is definitely 18 or 16 size based on the dial. I could go either way on which one it is-the case back is shaped like I would expect on an 18 size(16 sizes are generally flatter) although proportionally the pendant leans me more toward 16 size.

    I'm leaning toward 18, but like I said I'm not very confident on this.

    The dial looks to me like a silvered metal dial. These were offered on some RR grade watches(and others) for a time. You might find a RR grade movement behind it. If it's 18 size, you'll probably find a model 8 3/4 plate-these are mostly higher grade, adjusted to positions watches.

    If the dial is enamel, my guess is that you'll find a 15 or 17 jewel unadjusted watch underneath it.

    It is gold filled most certainly, as it's a screwed case and not hinged.

    If I'd seen it, I would have bought it for $45. Incidentally, I buy a lot of watches this way. I've been fooled several times, but I'd like to think that I'm right more often than I'm wrong.
    Member National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors
    Member, NAWCC Chapter 149. Vice President and Secretary NAWCC Chapter 140. Member, NAWCC Convention Committee.
    Serious collector of American pocket watches-Waltham(and the predecessor companies) is my specialty.

  3. #3
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    Re: First impressions of this Elgin Pocket Watch

    The actual selling price was 29.99 .... but 14.95 shipping jacked it up to 45-ish.

    How hard is it to re-solder a hunter case? It might be a lost cause. but she has one of those too, for dirt cheap ... but again .... no diameter listed. I have enough tiny watches to placate me for now.

    Thanks for your input. I'll let you know what the postman brings me.

    JDT

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  5. #4
    Vintage & NAWCC Forum moderator Ben_hutcherson's Avatar
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    Re: First impressions of this Elgin Pocket Watch

    Most of the battle is finding a good casemaker. There are probably two dozen watchmakers for every casemaker around-it's very much a dying art.

    The ones that are around are often expensive(they can charge what they want) and slow because they're backlogged with work.

    I'm getting ready to send one off on which I have the cover, but the hinge is broken. I was quoted a price of $125 to repair it. This particular case is a civil war period American Watch Company eagle hallmarked coin silver case that I bought for melt value(~$80). Once repaired and fitted with an era-appropriate movement, it will be a $600-800 watch, so it will be well worth it.

    Most cases are not-the repaired case is probably worth less than the cost of the repair.

    If the cover is missing completely, the cost is going to skyrocket to fabricate a new cover-plus it's unlikely that the replacement will ever look right.
    Member National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors
    Member, NAWCC Chapter 149. Vice President and Secretary NAWCC Chapter 140. Member, NAWCC Convention Committee.
    Serious collector of American pocket watches-Waltham(and the predecessor companies) is my specialty.

  6. #5
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    Re: First impressions of this Elgin Pocket Watch

    The cover is with the watch, but it's apart. I don't know the nature of the failure though. I asked if she would combine shipping if I bought the second watch .... nope. I think I'll take a pass on that oe even though it's only 35 bucks including shipping. Had I been able to get a fair shake on shipping the second watch in the same carton, I would likely have bought it.

    there are so many watches out there. I picked up a lot of 4 for 52.00 yesterday, one is a key wind, key set, There's a "north shore" ... whatever that is, a NY Standard, and this cool rigid bow Illinois. I like the look of the rigid bow cases. This one's missing the bezel and the crystal, but I think I have a suitable bezel, but not in white gold. I've dabbled in plating some....

    JDT
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  7. #6
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    Re: First impressions of this Elgin Pocket Watch

    It took the seller forever and a day to get this watch to me, and about 2 weeks after I bought it, I got an email telling me that the post office returned it to him and the crystal had been trashed. I was offered a refund or they'd throw in another watch for my trouble ... of course I opted for the 2 watches for 29 dollars (plus shipping ... 45 dollars net). A crystal isn't a deal breaker for me anyway.

    OK...long story short. The movement is not marked as to how many jewels, so it's probably 7? .. at any rate it's not a high grade movement, and the balance is trashed. The second watch has a bad balance too, but is a 16s South Bend in a silveroid case. physically, that watch is excellent. It's a 9 jewel double roller No 209, so not high grade, but another "patient" for my continuing education.

    My best "get" ...... a 17 jewel Bulova wristwatch which I am wearing and which is keeping time very well, and a waltham ladies' hunter cased 15 jewel 3s gold filled case ... both for 23 dollars shipped. The waltham had a sticky balance, so I removed the movement, the hand (one is missing) and the dial. I loosened the 6 screws that hold the plates together just to loosen the pinions, and sat the movement in a glass dish with nitrate thinner in it. It began to run immediately even though immersed in thinner. I left it in that for about 15 minutes, dried it via my heat gun, at a pretty good distance so as not to heat up the hairspring ... tightened up the plates, and put it back together. I need to get some oil, but the watch runs pretty well. I let the mainspring tension down until I get some oil and get it lubricated.

    It's all fun.....

    JDT
    Last edited by justdigtickers; January 12th, 2012 at 03:55.

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