1888 Elgin pocket watch.
Serial # 3698329
This has 11 jewels and is a size 18S. In NON-RUNNING condition, although it did keep time quite a few years ago.
The movement is marked: Elgin Natl. Watch Co. 3698329.
Case width measures approximately 53 mm. It weighs 3.96 ounces.
Spoke with professional watch maker. He estimated the watch is 90-95 years old. He further stated the watch can be easily repaired for approx. $100. If this watch was in full working condition the estimated value is between $400-$450. You do the math... you can easliy double your money on this investment.
The Elgin Watch Company (also known as the Elgin National Watch Company) was the largest US watch company in terms of production. In fact, Elgin produced approximately one-half of the total number of higher-quality pocket watches manufactured in the United States. Total production over their 100 years of operation reached 60 million watches!
The company was founded in 1864 in Elgin, Illinois as the National Watch Company, and some of the organizers were J. C. Adams, P. S. Bartlett, D. G. Currier, Otis Hoyt, and Charles H. Mason, with financial backing from former Chicago Mayor Benjamin W. Raymond. The factory for the National watch company was completed in 1866, and the first movement produced was an 18-size B. W. Raymond which sold in April of 1867 for the astounding price of $115. This identical watch, serial number 101, was sold at auction in New York in 1988 for $12,000. In 1874, the company officially changed their name to the Elgin National Watch Company, and that name remained until they stopped producing watches in the early '60's.
Elgin was not known for making the highest quality watches, though some of their higher grades were exquisitely made timepieces. Together with Waltham Watch Company, they dominated the huge market for mid-grade watches. Elgin watches remain extremely popular with collectors today because they are plentiful, can be obtained at reasonable prices, and can be relatively easily repaired due to the large number of watches and parts available.
Elgin shipped their first wristwatch in 1910, and later manufactured the first wrist watch to be qualified for railroad service, the grade 730A B. W. Raymond. Throughout their history, the Elgin National Watch Company was known for horological innovations. In 1958, they introduced the "DuraBalance," an ingenious design for a free-sprung balance (no regulator pins) which used spiral balance arms and small weights to govern the moment of inertia of the balance. They also produced the only American-made automatic wristwatch movements: grades 607, 618, 760, and 761. These movements featured bi-directional, full-rotor winding, and had two automatic winding gear ratios, which were automatically engaged as the mainspring tension increased.
The contributions of the Elgin National Watch Company to American Horological industry cannot be overstated. Many Elgin watches that were made over 100 years ago are still providing reliable and accurate daily service to their proud owners.

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