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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found this neat, yet broken Elgin Pocket watch for about $5 at a garage sale. I was wondering if anyone could ID/give the history on this? :) It has a neat design on the back.

137501

137502
 

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Hi there iKokomo, welcome to WF first off. :)

Really hope you enjoy yourself, and have fun
looking around the place. There is a lot to see
here, as well as a bunch of amazing members. 馃馃弳

Enjoy !

Whoa, have to say that this pocket watch was
a really wonderful find. 馃槸Not that I know a ton
about pocket watches. But just seeing the name
Elgin on watch is cool, and check out that Hunter
Case ! 馃槑

Can鈥檛 really help on the identification. However, if
you have a serial number, I found a couple sites
where you can evidently type in the serial # for
some answers hopefully. (y)

Good luck !

Elgin Watches Serial Numbers | Elgin National Watch Company Serial Number, Elgin pocket watch

Elgin National Watch Co. Pocket Watch Serial Number Lookup & Identify

[ELGIN] The Elgin Watch Collectors Site
 

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Thank YOU for extra the looks !!馃槷:)(y)(y)

It looks like serial # 7070972. So when I typed it in to the
Elgin Serial # site it said all of this below here, holy cow
have a look... 馃榾


Elgin Serial Number : 7070972
Production Year :1898
Size :18s
Jewels :7 jewels
Grade :96
Model :2-4
Class :6
Run Quantity :3000
Production Dates :1884 to 1898
Total Grade Production :566000
Movement Configuration :Hunter Case
Movement Setting :pendant Wind, Lever Set
Movement Finish :Gilded
Plate :Full Plate
Barrel :Going Barrel
Adjusted :No
 

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Try again...the number on the movement is the serial number I believe. Besides the movement is stamped 15 j not 6 j and I don't think that's a hunter case...
 

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From the previously supplied links:


Will this suit?????
 

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nothing here...
 

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Why the Movement and Case Serial Numbers Are Unrelated

Watch movement made by Elgin National Watch Co. of Elgin Illinois​

Inside a watch case made by Illinois Watch Case Co. of Elgin Illinois​
The reason that the movement and case serial numbers are unrelated is because up until the 1920's, almost all American watches were sold separately from the watch cases. People would go to the local jewelry store, pick out a watch movement that they liked, and then with the money left over, they would pick out a watch case. Or, if they were more interested in fashion than the watch's time keeping ability, they would pick out a case they liked and used the money left over for the watch movement. The jeweler would then put the movement and the case together. With only a few exceptions, the watch companies and watch case companies were completely unrelated business.

In addition, watch cases tended to wear out much quicker than the watch movements. So, the owner would sometimes go through two or three cases over the life time of the watch. Obviously, these later cases can't be related to the movement serial number.

Even after the 1920's, when watch companies started selling cased watches, the watch companies still bought the watch cases from outside sources and the serial numbers were still unrelated.



Are Case Serial Numbers Useful For Anything?

Case serial number is highlighted​
For the most part, case serial numbers only server to confuse people about what kind of watch they have. To the best of my knowledge, there are no records from any case manufactures that can make these case serial numbers useful. There are a few minor things you can use case serial numbers for:

  1. The case serial number is printed on several parts of the watch case. You can usually tell if you have a complete watch case by seeing if these serial numbers match.
    Sometimes, the watch case companies would mark the bezels with the last few digits of the case number using Roman numerals. Usually the Roman numerals are scratched in by hand. For example, a case with a serial number of 153069 that has a screw on bezel might be marked "X VI VIIII". This code is kind of strange since each digit is written as one block of Roman numbers, the "X" is for zero, not ten, and the 9 might not be written as "IX".

  2. For Elgin watches, case serial numbers on solid gold watches will usually be only 10% or less of the serial number on the movement. So, if someone is selling a watch as solid gold, and it has a movement serial number of, say, 3,870,123 and it has a case serial number of 1,073,678, a red flag should go up in your mind and you should be even more cautious about the claim. The reverse, however, isn't true, a small serial numbers doesn't mean it is solid gold.

  3. Case serial numbers, if they are recorded, can help if the watch is ever stolen. Both the movement and case serial numbers should be written down, since the movement and the case can be easily separated.
All of these are rules of thumb, not absolutes, there are many exceptions, especially for rule 2. Again, for the most part, case serial numbers just serve to confuse people.
 

Watch Freek
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Why the Movement and Case Serial Numbers Are Unrelated

Watch movement made by Elgin National Watch Co. of Elgin Illinois​

Inside a watch case made by Illinois Watch Case Co. of Elgin Illinois​
The reason that the movement and case serial numbers are unrelated is because up until the 1920's, almost all American watches were sold separately from the watch cases. People would go to the local jewelry store, pick out a watch movement that they liked, and then with the money left over, they would pick out a watch case. Or, if they were more interested in fashion than the watch's time keeping ability, they would pick out a case they liked and used the money left over for the watch movement. The jeweler would then put the movement and the case together. With only a few exceptions, the watch companies and watch case companies were completely unrelated business.

In addition, watch cases tended to wear out much quicker than the watch movements. So, the owner would sometimes go through two or three cases over the life time of the watch. Obviously, these later cases can't be related to the movement serial number.

Even after the 1920's, when watch companies started selling cased watches, the watch companies still bought the watch cases from outside sources and the serial numbers were still unrelated.



Are Case Serial Numbers Useful For Anything?

Case serial number is highlighted​
For the most part, case serial numbers only server to confuse people about what kind of watch they have. To the best of my knowledge, there are no records from any case manufactures that can make these case serial numbers useful. There are a few minor things you can use case serial numbers for:

  1. The case serial number is printed on several parts of the watch case. You can usually tell if you have a complete watch case by seeing if these serial numbers match.
    Sometimes, the watch case companies would mark the bezels with the last few digits of the case number using Roman numerals. Usually the Roman numerals are scratched in by hand. For example, a case with a serial number of 153069 that has a screw on bezel might be marked "X VI VIIII". This code is kind of strange since each digit is written as one block of Roman numbers, the "X" is for zero, not ten, and the 9 might not be written as "IX".

  2. For Elgin watches, case serial numbers on solid gold watches will usually be only 10% or less of the serial number on the movement. So, if someone is selling a watch as solid gold, and it has a movement serial number of, say, 3,870,123 and it has a case serial number of 1,073,678, a red flag should go up in your mind and you should be even more cautious about the claim. The reverse, however, isn't true, a small serial numbers doesn't mean it is solid gold.

  3. Case serial numbers, if they are recorded, can help if the watch is ever stolen. Both the movement and case serial numbers should be written down, since the movement and the case can be easily separated.
All of these are rules of thumb, not absolutes, there are many exceptions, especially for rule 2. Again, for the most part, case serial numbers just serve to confuse people.
Wow, MM! Thanks very much for the enlightenment. I had no idea about they case number versus the movement number.
 

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I just hope enricosonic is happy...
 

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Better glee than answers...
 

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From the previously supplied links:


Will this suit?????
I don't care about this subject I only took offense to you telling Atomic Tom, whom we all know around here as the nicest guy on planet Earth to "try again". You're new and don't know him but I felt pissed on his behalf. And I may have had a long day.
 

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Very noble gesture on your part; no offense taken. I certainly can identify with "long days"! (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Why the Movement and Case Serial Numbers Are Unrelated

Watch movement made by Elgin National Watch Co. of Elgin Illinois​

Inside a watch case made by Illinois Watch Case Co. of Elgin Illinois​
The reason that the movement and case serial numbers are unrelated is because up until the 1920's, almost all American watches were sold separately from the watch cases. People would go to the local jewelry store, pick out a watch movement that they liked, and then with the money left over, they would pick out a watch case. Or, if they were more interested in fashion than the watch's time keeping ability, they would pick out a case they liked and used the money left over for the watch movement. The jeweler would then put the movement and the case together. With only a few exceptions, the watch companies and watch case companies were completely unrelated business.

In addition, watch cases tended to wear out much quicker than the watch movements. So, the owner would sometimes go through two or three cases over the life time of the watch. Obviously, these later cases can't be related to the movement serial number.

Even after the 1920's, when watch companies started selling cased watches, the watch companies still bought the watch cases from outside sources and the serial numbers were still unrelated.



Are Case Serial Numbers Useful For Anything?

Case serial number is highlighted​
For the most part, case serial numbers only server to confuse people about what kind of watch they have. To the best of my knowledge, there are no records from any case manufactures that can make these case serial numbers useful. There are a few minor things you can use case serial numbers for:

  1. The case serial number is printed on several parts of the watch case. You can usually tell if you have a complete watch case by seeing if these serial numbers match.
    Sometimes, the watch case companies would mark the bezels with the last few digits of the case number using Roman numerals. Usually the Roman numerals are scratched in by hand. For example, a case with a serial number of 153069 that has a screw on bezel might be marked "X VI VIIII". This code is kind of strange since each digit is written as one block of Roman numbers, the "X" is for zero, not ten, and the 9 might not be written as "IX".

  2. For Elgin watches, case serial numbers on solid gold watches will usually be only 10% or less of the serial number on the movement. So, if someone is selling a watch as solid gold, and it has a movement serial number of, say, 3,870,123 and it has a case serial number of 1,073,678, a red flag should go up in your mind and you should be even more cautious about the claim. The reverse, however, isn't true, a small serial numbers doesn't mean it is solid gold.

  3. Case serial numbers, if they are recorded, can help if the watch is ever stolen. Both the movement and case serial numbers should be written down, since the movement and the case can be easily separated.
All of these are rules of thumb, not absolutes, there are many exceptions, especially for rule 2. Again, for the most part, case serial numbers just serve to confuse people.
Gotcha! Thanks a lot! :) Is there any other way to tell if the case is gold or not? :) Or is the "10 percent" serial number method?
 

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An interesting topic as I just recently restored a similar Elgin pocket watch back to working condition and I learned a bit about them along the way... ;)
 
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