Elgin serial number dating
Founded in 1864 in Elgin, Illinois, just as the American Civil War was coming to an end, the company released its first watch to the market in 1867, an 18 sized BW Raymond railroad grade pocket watch, which took six months to complete and sold for a whopping 7 (several years ago, it was purchased at auction by the City of Elgin for ,000).
By way of context, pork chops were selling for three cents a pound at the time.
– America’s other watch-making powerhouse at the time – for a number of decades.
Total production over their 100 years of operation reached nearly 60 million watches, which is nearly 50% of ALL the jeweled watches produced by American watch companies! The Elgin Watch Company's success was not built on its production of the highest-grade watches, though some of their higher grades were top-quality, exquisitely made timepieces.
Back then, the business traded under the name “National Watch Company,” but this would later be changed to the “Elgin National Watch Company,” as most of the watch trade and public referred to its products as “watches from Elgin.” As one of the few true American watch manufacturers, the Elgin National Watch Company produced around 60 million watches over the course of its 100-year history, making it the largest American watch manufacturer in terms of total production volume.
The underlying idea was to mass produce high-quality pocket watches using machine-made, interchangeable parts.
Elgin watches, some of the most in-demand antique watches in the market today, are a perennial favorite among watch collectors.
If you’ve always wanted to own a piece of functional American history, without breaking the bank, then a wrist or pocket watch from the Elgin National Watch Company may just be exactly what you’ve been looking for.