Dating elgin wrist watches

Watch Serial Number Information

Kate N Registered User. Jun 13, 0 0. An 18s wristwatch would be hugeeven by today's watch standards!

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I don't believe that Elgin made wristwatches until, approximately, the s. The database has always worked for me for older wristwatches. Of course, like anything else, there could be a mistake, but, anytime I've gotten weird results, the error was mine.

Elgin National Watch Company Serial Number, Elgin pocket watch

May 20, 2, 9 38 Country Flag: The database doesn't work correctly for serial numbers that start with a letter designation. There is a way to get it to give the information, but it's been so long that I can't remember how.


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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. When a watch was brought in for repair or cleaning, the watchmaker would often, but not always, scratch some kind of code into the back of the case so that can tell if they have repaired a the watch before.

Sometimes these scratches would be some form of date code, or maybe just the initials of the watch maker, often just an invoice or repair number. There was no standard across the industry and individual watchmakers may change codes over the years. Accuracy of the Estimates of When Watches Were Made The table below with the serial numbers and years has be compiled from many sources and I believe it to be reasonably accurate, However, no table like this can be completely accurate because Elgin didn't produce watches in sequential order.

It was very common for groups of watches to be set aside and finished months, years, or sometimes as much as a decade later. After the watch was finished, it might sit in a wholesaler's warehouse or a jewelry shop for months or years. About the best you can say that the watch was probably not produced or sold as "new" before the date listed.

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High volume watches will tend to be closer to the date listed, while expensive, high quality watches will tend to be the ones that have misleading dates. New models of watches may be released before or after these general dates.

Including Elgin Watch Serial Numbers and Production Dates

Finally, I can find no definitive source of official dates, and there seems to be some disagreement between the various sources that I've found. This is especially true for the earlier years. The raw sources that I created this list from can be found here. Actually, it looks like I mostly used the first list It is quicker and less error prone. This page is really only useful as background information on how the Online Database determines the dates. Serial Number Data Table Movement serial number is highlighted Elgin originally started out with just a number, but in the late s they started to use a letter prefix on some of their serial numbers.

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Even later in the late s, Elgin phased out the use of serial numbers. If your watch has a letter prefix, you must first replace that letter with the two digit "millions" value from the following table. I am slowly adding serial number tables to this site. Serial number records are available for many of the old pocket watch companies like AM Waltham, Elgin, South Bend etc. If serical number records are available for your watch, here's how to use them: You will notice that there are many numbers stamped at various locations inside and outside your watch.

They all mean different things. Write this number down and compare it to the charts on this website. This will give a good idea of the manufacture date.

It will NOT tell you the actual date the watch was acquired If there are some letters incoroporated in the serial number common with Hamilton and Elgin your watch was probably made AFTER the last date on the chart. In the 's Bulova incorporated a symbol system to date the watches they manufactured.


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  • These numbers are stamped on the back outside of the case. If there is no two symbols, it could be that your watch was made before The code is very simple.. The code was usually stamped on the back of the watch case. For exabple, If you have a Bulova watch with the stamp M3 then it was made in So, How do you determine the age of all of the others? Quite often it comes right down to what the watch looks like. Here are samples of the styles that each decade offered. Note the thick hands, engraved patterns and bold design of all of these watches.

    These watches are typical of the "Deco" style of the teens and 20's.