Lord Elgin Aquamaster advice!
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  1. #1
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    Lord Elgin Aquamaster advice!

    To make a long story short I've always liked Elgin watches, and even have a fondness for their swiss period unlike most Elgin nuts. So when I saw an opportunity to snag this groovy aquamaster I decided to go for it.

    does anybody know what kind of movement this would have, or a resource where I could look it up myself? Will post movement pics tomorrow when I can, but odds are I can't ID it anyway by eyeball.

    Anywho, Id appreciate any input on the intended movement, what the original band looked like or the history of the watch in general. Cannot wait to get this baby up to speed.. Feel free to post pictures of yours if you'd like to share!

    Thanks!



    Last edited by Jebus1205; October 17th, 2014 at 03:41.

  2. #2
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Lord Elgin Aquamaster advice!

    Can't say much without the movement pictures but by the time this watch was made (early 70s from the look of it) Elgin was dead as the original watch company and the brand was probably owned by a watch importer.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

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    Re: Lord Elgin Aquamaster advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray MacDonald View Post
    Can't say much without the movement pictures but by the time this watch was made (early 70s from the look of it) Elgin was dead as the original watch company and the brand was probably owned by a watch importer.
    I thought this watch was from the period immediately following the sale of the original Elgin watch company, but there are several characteristics of the watch which lead myself to question this. For instance...

    - I was under the impression that the "E" symbol (an E with a vertical line through it) was not adopted until after the switch - this watch has the original Lord Elgin logo without the E whereas I have seen other examples of late 60s-early 70s Lord Elgins with the E logo.

    - The watch is also marked "ra swiss ra," which is indicative of watches from the early to mid sixties (a time when Elgin was original)

    - The case back says waterproof, which is indicative of watches made prior to 1968

    Maybe my aquamaster is a franken? (60s dial and 70s case)

    Anywho, movement pics coming tonight! Input appreciated!
    Last edited by Jebus1205; October 17th, 2014 at 17:12.

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  5. #4
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Lord Elgin Aquamaster advice!

    Style of hands says 1970s to me. Waterproof was actually used up until 1971 in the US at least. It might be a very late Elgin cased in South Carolina. Only way we can tell is to have a look at the movement.
    Edit: Saw a post on another site which indicates the movement might be an ETA 2472.

    http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-...2uswk&ETA_2472
    Last edited by Ray MacDonald; October 17th, 2014 at 18:20.

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    Re: Lord Elgin Aquamaster advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray MacDonald View Post
    Style of hands says 1970s to me. Waterproof was actually used up until 1971 in the US at least. It might be a very late Elgin cased in South Carolina. Only way we can tell is to have a look at the movement.
    Edit: Saw a post on another site which indicates the movement might be an ETA 2472.

    bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: ETA 2472
    You are correct about the look of the hands, thanks for the info, it is very much appreciated. I'll have movement pics tonight or will confirm that it's a 2472!
    Last edited by Jebus1205; October 17th, 2014 at 20:55.

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    Re: Lord Elgin Aquamaster advice!

    Here is a tentative guess towards dating your watch.

    First, Aquamasters seem to come in two basic case designs, squarish like yours and round. The case backs on all seem identical. There were certain cosmetic variations, such as dark and light dials, gold-plated cases etc and there were date only and day/date versions.

    The round version was in production in 1969 according to vintage publicity reproduced at TimeZone : Vintage Watches » Vintage Watches in Advertising...>. However the model may have been introduced prior to 1969, and/or the round case model may be a refinement of the squarish case model.

    What may be significant is a minor difference in the Lord Elgin logo. The 1969 publicity shows "LORD ELGIN", yours and others which I believe to be slightly earlier show "LORD-ELGIN" with a hyphen.

    Apparently the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP) banned the use of radium on dials in the US in 1968. However, I don't know if this ban was introduced quickly or whether radium was to be phased out over a period. What is apparent however is all watches marked "LORD ELGIN" are tritium, whereas "LORD-ELGIN" watches all appear to be RA.

    Here are some photos I've culled of the net with a very tentative time-frame.

    First this beauty, sold here by TristanZ:

    Note the hyphenated LORD-ELGIN, the RA lume, and aquamaster placed centrally above 6 o'clock. This makes me think it is an early version, perhaps 1967?
    Now yours:

    Again, hyphenated LORD-ELGIN, RA lume, but aquamaster placed at 9 o'clock as in the 1969 publicity. So perhaps 1968 pre-radium ban?

    Perhaps this is the next in the evolution:

    Not the best photo and I can't see for sure but I think this is RA, but you can note the unhyphenated LORD ELGIN. Note, too, the markings of the hours with lines running vertical. I'm guessing late 1968.
    Finally in the series of squarish cases is this:

    Here the hour markings are much more simplified, in line with the 1969 publicity for the round case version. Date, perhaps mid 1969 onwards to the early 70s?

    And the same difference of hyphenated logos and RA versus T lume in the round case version. Here we have two dials, perhaps 1968 and 1969?





    Finally here is another Elgin watch, not an aquamaster, but rather a typical gold watch as a reward for 50 years slavery, I mean, employment. The case back is engraved with the date of presentation, 1968. Note the hyphenated LORD-ELGIN:


    So Jebus, to me at least, it seems that your Aquamaster may well date to 1968 based on the radium dial and the logo predating 1969.
    Last edited by Neruda; November 26th, 2014 at 14:45.

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    Re: Lord Elgin Aquamaster advice!

    I have a circa 1969 Lord Elgin Aquamaster (round case) which would likely have issued either shortly prior to or after your model. My watch has an Elgin Grade 963, which is an A. Schild cal. 1882 17j auto movement.

    The square cushion case style actually makes me lean toward the early-1970s for your watch, although the RA dial, as discussed, seems to point the other way. Of course there's always the chance that Elgin were using a mix of parts older and newer at this turbulent time in the company's history. Either way, they are handsome and quite well put together watches.
    Last edited by Gumby992; November 26th, 2014 at 08:51.

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    Re: Lord Elgin Aquamaster advice!

    The 'hyphen' isn't a hyphen as such, it is merely a piece of metal that joins the two words together in the one-piece metal logo.Late 1960's to me, as others have said, radium was not used after 1969 at the latest.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Lord Elgin Aquamaster advice!

    bobbee - you're quite right! But anyway it does seem to disappear in 1969 to be replaced by a simpler printed logo - perhaps to cut costs or simply the metal relief was not available anymore?

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    I know it's been a while but I finally pried the case back off when I had a minute... I know my camera sucks (once smart phones came along I never got a camera), but I would really appreciate if anyone could let me know what movement I have here. The watch is in excellent condition and I'd love to get it up and running again...

    Marked "Elgin" and "17 jewel Swiss movement" or something to that effect.




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