Elgin National Watch Company was established in August 1864. This company was formerly known as the National Watch Company. The founders of the company were some former associates of the Waltham Watch Company and watchmaker J.C. Adams from Chicago. Adams convinced Benjamin Wright Raymond, who was the Mayor of Chicago during that time to invest.
The first factory of Elgin was in Elgin, Illinois. They had 35 acres of land which was donated by the city. In the year 1867, the first watch that they were able to produce was the B.W. Raymond. It was a size 18 watch and had a full plate design. It was the railroad grade watch.
The company Elgin was able to create self winding wristwatches. They were able to make 60 million wristwatches. The first wristwatch that they were able to produce was in 1910. The other company that was able to make self winding watches in the United States was Bulova. The watch company closed in 1964. They were able to produce half of the total pocket watches in the United States. They had made the bumper wind watches, the calibre 607 and 618. There were also the calibre 760 and 761.
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The watches that they make are mass produced high quality pocket watches and wristwatches. They are machine made with interchangeable parts. They created a high quality watch that was very cheap. The watch can be repaired easily when it is broken because the company also sold factory made replacement parts.
The name Elgin was sold to MZ Berger, Inc. They are the watchmakers that manufacture watches in China and distribute them to watch dealers.
There are still some Elgin pocket watches sold. There was the 1911 pocket watch sold for $50.00 at the antique watch store. There are some online stores which sell antique watches. I saw the Ashton-Blakey Antiques are selling vintage Elgin watches. They have the Elgin multicolour man’s vintage pocket watch from circa 1909. They are selling it for $675.00. The pocket watch is a size 16. It has 15 jewels and is full gold plated movement. The watch is still in good condition but, with some scratches. They also have the Elgin 14 carat gold vintage pocket watch. It was made in the year 1917. They are selling it for $650.00. The watch was decorated with 15 jewel movement. It has a serial number.
There are still a lot of Elgin watches available in the market. You just need to check if it is working properly. But, even the 100 years old watches made by Elgin can be still fixed and used on a daily basis.