Looking for opinions on an Elgin watch
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  1. #1
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    Looking for opinions on an Elgin watch

    Hi All,
    Looking for some opinions here. I have an Elgin watch that was a gift from a friend. The watch was discovered buried away in her mom's house and likely was bought new in the 1930s or 40s. When given to me, the watch was in need of repair, so it has sat in a drawer until I rediscovered it a few weeks ago and brought it in for a repair estimate. The estimate of needed work is extensive - new crystal, mainspring, etc. - to the tune of just over $800. So, my question for you is, would you go ahead with the repair even though it likely exceeds the value of the watch? Unfortunately, I don't have pics because the watch is now in the shop.

    Thanks


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  2. #2
    Member NathanielGoodtimes's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for opinions on an Elgin watch

    I am by no means an expert but it boils down to what the watch means to you. Most likely the watch will not be near worth that much fixed and running.

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    Re: Looking for opinions on an Elgin watch

    For way less than the outrageous $800 price tag you could more than likely buy a running movement of the same model/grade and switch them out. the only instance of a massive repair bill being worth doing well past the value of the watch is a hugely sentimental item. Crystal $20, Mainspring $30, cleaning $50 (Pocket Watch?). Without pics or any info other than your post it is hard to tell if you are being ripped off by the watchmaker.

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    Member tinknocker's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for opinions on an Elgin watch

    Did you bring it to a Jewelry store? If you did, find a watch repairer.
    You can get the work done for less than that. Is the crystal just scratched up or is it cracked? You can re-polish the acrylic crystals if it's not cracked.
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    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for opinions on an Elgin watch

    Replacement parts for an Elgin... for 800 dollars? Did he mean Trinidadian dollars? If not, I'd find some watchmaker who isn't that greedy. I don't know who was it that made this estimate, but if he deals in watch repairs on a daily basis, then he probably drives a Rolls-Royce already.
    800 bucks is roughly what Omega charges for servicing some pre-1965 watches.
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  7. #6
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    Re: Looking for opinions on an Elgin watch

    New crystal = USD$5, mainspring = USD$10. Labor costs would therefore seem to be in the region of USD$125/hour, which seems a little enthusiastic. Silly price. Find someone else. A US watchmaker I've used publishes online $115 as his basic price for an overhaul on a similar simple mechanical watch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orangeguy View Post
    Hi All,
    Looking for some opinions here. I have an Elgin watch that was a gift from a friend. The watch was discovered buried away in her mom's house and likely was bought new in the 1930s or 40s. When given to me, the watch was in need of repair, so it has sat in a drawer until I rediscovered it a few weeks ago and brought it in for a repair estimate. The estimate of needed work is extensive - new crystal, mainspring, etc. - to the tune of just over $800. So, my question for you is, would you go ahead with the repair even though it likely exceeds the value of the watch? Unfortunately, I don't have pics because the watch is now in the shop.

    Thanks


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    Last edited by Habitant; December 1st, 2015 at 21:20.
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    Member bsshog40's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for opinions on an Elgin watch

    Some picture would this thread greatly! $800???????????
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    Member bsshog40's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for opinions on an Elgin watch

    Some pictures would help this thread greatly! $800??????????? 
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    Re: Looking for opinions on an Elgin watch

    $800?!? That's an "I don't really want your business" price. He's telling you to go away and not bother him.

    You can find professional watchmakers online who will do a basic service for about $100, sometimes less. Even if you had to source every last part NOS to replace it, it doesn't add up to even half of $800.

    WRT whether it's worth $800, there is to my knowledge only ONE Elgin wristwatch model worth that much.
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  11. #10
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    Re: Looking for opinions on an Elgin watch

    Thanks for the feedback. I think you all confirming my suspicions. Can you recommend a reputable restoration service? I'm in the SF Bay Area, but willing to ship for good service.


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