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Elgin Yellow Gold Filled Art Deco Hand Engraved Pocket Watch from 1918

About the Item

FACTORY / HOUSE: Elgin Watch Company STYLE / REFERENCE: Round Open Face Pocket Watch METAL / MATERIAL: Yellow Gold Filled CIRCA / YEAR: 1918 DIMENSIONS / SIZE: Length 43mm X Diameter 53mm MOVEMENT / CALIBER: Manual Winding / 15 Jewels / 12 Size DIAL / HANDS: Original Kiln Fired Enamel with Breguet Style Arabic Numerals / Original Blued Steel Hands WARRANTY: 18 months on the movement This is a "vault find" watch, it has been locked up for nearly 50 years, which means it needs a service. We will give it a factory quality service by our finest watchmaker as part of the purchase price before it is shipped out to you. This will delay shipping for a few days of course. LIFETIME SERVICE COMMITMENT The Elgin National Watch Company was founded in 1864 in Elgin, Illinois, as the National Watch Company in Chicago, Illinois. In September of the same year, the founders visited the Waltham Watch Company in Waltham, Massachusetts to “poach” some of their employees. They successfully convinced seven of Waltham's watchmakers to come to work for their new company. The growing young city of Elgin, Illinois, some 30 miles northwest of Chicago, was chosen as the factory site. The Elgin Watch Company quickly became one of the leading watchmakers in the United States. In 1870, the company produced its first million watches. By 1890, Elgin was producing over two million watches per year, more than any other watch factory in the world. The company's success was due in part to its innovative manufacturing techniques and its commitment to quality. Elgin recognized that the idea of interchangeable parts was the future of all production methods. Their watches were known for their accuracy and durability. The Elgin Watch Company also played a major role in the development of the pocket watches for the railroads They built fine, dependable, sturdy and, very accurate watches. In 1910, Elgin introduced the first wristwatch that met the criteria for the railroads, even though it was not approved for use for 50 years. It was still an achievement. The company continued to produce high-quality pocket and wristwatches throughout the 20th century, and its watches were worn by celebrities, politicians, and other notable figures. As with other American companies in technology for the times they benefitted from military contracts for watches for W.W. 1 and W.W. 2 as well. They built instruments for cars, planes, ships and trains as well. Elgin invented the “unbreakable” mainspring and many other technological breakthroughs. The Swiss paid licensing fees to Elgin for many of their inventions in watchmaking. Patek Philippe even used Elgin’s technology in their Balance Wheels in the 1950’s. When I started learning watchmaking in the late 1960’s I was about 13 years old. The man who was my teacher was named Norman Jarrett and he was 85 years old when I started. He had been a Forman in the Elgin factory in the 1920’s. I learned watchmaking the old-fashioned way. He taught, “Never fit the watch to the part” he always said, “only fit the part to the watch, or don’t start the project.” He pointed out, “I the future someone better than you may have the skill to do it right, but you ruined the watch already because you did not have the skill.” In some way, it was a rule for living life as well. Watchmaking was a serious craft he said to me one day. Once he shared with me a story about one of the men, he worked with in a shop. The man was not able to accurately adjust the timing after many hours. The next day he committed suicide. I decided that if I could not fix the watch to just put it down for awhile and look at it another day.
  • Creator:
  • Case Shape:
    Round
  • Movement:
  • Style:
  • Place of Origin:
  • Period:
  • Date of Manufacture:
    1918
  • Condition:
    Wear consistent with age and use. It is important to recognize that this watch only had a 12-month warranty when it was new. However, we are so confident of our workmanship and team that we offer an 18-month warranty on all our watches, even those over 100 years old.
  • Seller Location:
    Long Beach, CA
  • Reference Number:
    Seller: 24491stDibs: LU422316330392
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