As a leading manufacturer in the United States for over 100 years, Elgin Watches continue to remain hugely popular among collectors in the antique and vintage markets. The company, founded with the ideals of manufacturing watches of good quality in industrial quantities, turned rare and authentic pieces into valuable and expensive addition to any watch enthusiast or collector's collection. Their reliable and inexpensive models still enjoy a good reputation among collectors of vintage Elgin Watches for sale at Bidsquare's watch auction.
Initially, the company focused on producing superior quality watches in large quantities to reach the middle class that had been left out of luxury products. The innovative and easily recognizable designs of the watch quickly made the piece an item of validation in society as consumers displayed their modern taste on their wrists. Approximately half of all U.S. pocket watches of "better quality" were produced by Elgin. The most expensive models produced by the company were extravagant and elegant, some of which were made from solid gold, though these comprised less than 10% of the production; as always, mass appeal and availability remained the primary objective. In the company's early production, timepieces were named after its founders. The unique craftsmanship and the use of machine-made interchangeable parts when repaired without the need for hand adjustments made these Elgin watches extremely popular among the American bourgeois class.
During World War II, the Elgin Watch Company moved into the defense industry, producing military watches and equipment for the defense - it designed the iconic A-11 specifically for the soldiers. After the war, Elgin Watches failed to establish itself again, as the company had to compete with the less expensive wristwatches dominating the market, eventually giving up the watchmaking side of the business, the last productions were marketed in 1968.
The Elgin History Museum's volunteers can help research old Elgin National Watch company timepieces. They specialize in Elgin watches made between 1867 and the mid-1960s. Visit their Research Services page for more information and download their watch research brochure.
Unless you are a hardcore watch collector, Elgin watches might sound new to you. Elgin may not have stood out like the other known Swiss brands or counterparts such as Hamilton, but this American watch brand is still recognized for producing numerous fine and distinct jewelled watches.
Elgin watches have been in existence as one of the largest, true-American watch manufacturers for about 100 years. They have made about 60 million watches over that course. Today, their antique and vintage watches are some of the most in-demand in the market. This makes them one of the favourite brands among collectors.
Even today, most of Elgin watches are in good working condition and can still be practical to use. You can purchase them from $50 to $300, while the rarer and more luxurious pieces may cost you more than $1,000. This is quite an affordable deal if you compare it to both other Swiss vintage watches or other American brands such as Hamilton and Waltham.
In 1910, the Elgin National Watch Company pioneered its first wristwatch, leading ahead of other American watch companies. Elgin watches produced many of the self-winding wristwatch movements such as 607 and 618 calibres (bumper wind), and 760 and 761 calibres (30 and 27 jewels).
Elgin watches also played a role in history during World War I and World War II. In WWI, the manufacturing site workers taught repair techniques to hundreds of U.S. military soldiers. While in WWII, Elgin began to craft timepieces and other watch parts for the military.
The mass production of high-quality pocket watches using machine made, interchangeable parts was the underlying idea of Elgin. Most of Elgin watches were hand-made around 1850. This means that if a part broke, you would need someone with the skills and tools to fix or replace that part.
The high volume, mass production of Elgin watches ensures a relatively lower cost, compared to other vintage watch brands. This cheap and easy access is the particular reason why vintage watch collectors pursue this brand. The prices range from a few hundred to thousand dollars depending on the model and the quality.
You can choose from cases that cover the entire watch face such as open face pocket watches or hunter pocket watches. There are engravings on the bezel or hunter case that help determine which era they were made.
In general, railroad pocket Elgin watches range from anywhere from $200 to $5,000. It depends on the material it is made of, the significance of the model, and the year of production. The significant and practical function of Elgin pocket watch may be why vintage collectors love this watch brand.
The Elgin A-11 Military Ordinance Watch has a standard design with a black or white dial and contrasting hands. These watches helped the Allies win and enabled them to fulfil contracts ahead of time.
Because of that, Elgin watches significantly hold a historic and timeless quality. Purchasing one is like owning a piece of American industrial and manufacturing history. A legacy that lives on in their pocket watches or wristwatches.
During World War II, all civilian manufacturing was halted and the company moved into the defense industry, manufacturing military watches, chronometers, fuses for artillery shells, altimeters and other aircraft instruments and sapphire bearings used for aiming cannons.
Perhaps, then, this book, ``The Advertising World of Norman Rockwell,'' is the most honest book of Rockwell art. Here he is shown as the outstanding salesman he is. The messages he conveyed: Crest toothpaste stops cavities; Elgin watches last forever; and Coca-Cola is wholesome refreshment. The book contains ads Mr. Rockwell did for over 100 companies, with short biographies of each company.
Today you can count on one hand the number of companies manufacturing watches in the United States. The Montana Watch Company is among an elite group of horologists who are keeping alive the tradition of homegrown, handcrafted wrist and pocket watches. 2b1af7f3a8