As today is Labor Day, I thought we could take a look at a former American powerhouse of watch manufacture – the Elgin Watch Company.

(And before I go to0 far, credit needs to be given to ElginWatches and the large auction site for the info I was able to find.)  Elgin started manufacturing pocket watches right after the Civil War ended, and their very first model was most definitely a working watch – it was certified for railroad use.

They started to produce wrist watches around 1910, which they continued to do until manufacturing ceased in the 1960s.  These were not the highest-end pieces, but they weren’t cheapies either – they quite comfortable fit into the middle ground that today we call “affordable” (yes, I know, that term means different things to different people!).

Now, why would you want to pick up an Elgin?  For starters, these are a great example of what the American watch industry used to put out in the market.  Second, though they were only made for fifty or so years, they were mass-produced.  Which means there are plenty that you can find out in the wild, and parts (or movements to be harvested for parts) can be readily found, and at quite

A quick search on Ebay shows that you could pick up an Elgin mechanical for under $50 in working order – but you could also spend quite a bit more if you were so inclined.  For myself, I think I may need to research these pieces a bit more to get a better feel for the market, and what would constitute a desirable watch, and/or one that would be suitable for daily wear.  Of course, if I do pick one up, you will be able to read the review right here!

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