Vintage Elgin Shockmaster
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  1. #1
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    Vintage Elgin Shockmaster

    Hello all,

    I've been checking through eBay and I've noticed that a lot of Elgin watches are quite cheap. Can anyone explain why? I've found this 643 Shockmaster and the seller said it's been recently serviced. It's only $140 which seems quite low. I don't think the crown is original but everything else seems legit. Case is highly polished but that really doesn't bother me. Caseback is signed too. Does anyone have any opinions on it? Thank you!

    Vintage Elgin 643 Automatic Watch --- Textured Dial & 35mm Stainless Steel Case

  2. #2
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    Re: Vintage Elgin Shockmaster

    Sadly Elgin went the way of a lot of old brands. They went bust and were resurrected for fashion watches which damaged the value of most of these watches. However that is a boon to those that collect the elgin watches as you can get a lot for cheap.

  3. #3
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    Re: Vintage Elgin Shockmaster

    Could it be $140 is not cheap for a simple distressed three hander that nobody buys it?
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  5. #4
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    Re: Vintage Elgin Shockmaster

    Looks fine to me, I'm no serious watch connoisseur I suppose. Saves me $150 on getting it serviced. Good-looking case, good-looking original dial, movement looks clean. It seems like sometimes folks go out of their way on here to be overly-critical. I guess you have your opinion tho.

  6. #5
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    Re: Vintage Elgin Shockmaster

    It was probably $49.95 new, didn't see any service marks on the back, I think it's a bit much.

  7. #6
    Member tinknocker's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Elgin Shockmaster

    Seller said it was "recently serviced" without documentation, means nothing, but hey, it's your money
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  8. #7
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    Re: Vintage Elgin Shockmaster

    Hi there,

    Quote Originally Posted by elias878 View Post
    It seems like sometimes folks go out of their way on here to be overly-critical.
    I'm afraid you misunderstood the replies. A late Elgin with Swiss movement and steel case is no poor thingy, but it represents the decline of the brand, and deserves no brand premium, compared with any other watch with an AS 1361.

    So US$ 140 may be o.k. if actually serviced. But my trust regarding a service would be pretty limited if not explicitely supported by an according warranty and a return privilege.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft
    bsshog40 and Benjamin Barrera like this.

  9. #8
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    Re: Vintage Elgin Shockmaster

    It did look like 3 service marks to me on the inside caseback. Not saying it's been recently serviced as you can't tell that by most watchmakers marks.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Vintage Elgin Shockmaster

    It's a nice model, the Niagara, introduced in 1955. Also available with black dial. Sold for $59.50 in 1955, the equivalent of about $565 today, so a significant purchase back then!

    I am leery of paying more for a watch because the seller says it's serviced, except when I know the seller. The amplitude looks okay, but since it's an automatic I don't know how far up it was wound to reach 265, so I don't know whether that's the best it can do (not great) or if that's just about half wound up and it'll get closer to 300.

    If I had it in hand, I'd check the top balance jewel for an oil ring, check the jewels for crud, check the rotor for wobble (though there's no scarring on the inside caseback, so that's good).

    Personally, I wouldn't pay that, because I'd end up tearing it down and servicing it myself anyway. It's in nice, but not mint condition, though a new crystal and strap are always helpful.

    I can't tell you more than that. It's not a low price, and generally most buyers - wisely! - ignore claims of recent service and don't pay a premium for it.
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  11. #10
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    Re: Vintage Elgin Shockmaster

    Money matters aside for a moment, one ought to have a bit of faith in someone who's been on the bay since 2005 and has all (over 850 in fact) positive feedback's. Bottom line - the watch is only worth as much as you're prepared to pay for it.
    fish70 and Benjamin Barrera like this.

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