Month's Goal: $300, Received: $235.00 - (78%) Contribute Now
Donate whatever you can or Join the 15,000 other NAWCC members for only $72 (plus $10 for hard copy publications). Check it out here.


NOTICE Notice: This is an old thread. The last post was 1605 days ago. If your post is not directly related to this discussion please consider making a new thread.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16
  1. #1

    Default 1881 Elgin national watch company pocket watch. looking for information about my watc

    hello everyone and nice to meet you. i am new to the forums and am looking for some help to identify my pocket watch and maybe learn the rarety of my watch and the value. also the model how many jewels it has and is the whole thing gold ? it says 18k on it so i know a decent amount is gold but is pretty much all of it gold ? also the watch weighs 142.5 grams if that helps at all.

    i have a elgin national watch company pocket watch. i did the serial number look up to find out the date it was made and i beleive it is from 1880 the serial number on this watch reads 888180. my grandfather won this in a poker game and then passed it on to my father who passed it on to me. i











    thanks everyone for looking and i hope i can get some help. any info you have would be really appreatiated.
    -> posts merged by system <-
    i actually now believe this is a 1880 and not a 1881 i did the serial number date look up wrong. the serial number on this is 888180
    Last edited by biggreen; 07-03-2010 at 11:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    2,366

    Default Re: 1881 Elgin national watch company pocket watch. looking for information about my (RE: biggreen)

    What you have is a very nice, 15 jewel Grade 80 H.H. Taylor. At the time, this would have been considered a railroad grade watch, if I'm not mistaken.

    As far as the case material-a photo of the hallmark would be extremely helpful. The bow obviously is gold filled(with very little gold left), however it's entirely possible that it's a replacement and not indicative of the metal content of the case. I see no brass showing on the case itself-something that would probably happen to a gold filled case with the amount of wear that this case shows(although it could just be thick gold filled and hasn't worn through yet).

    I also don't think that I've ever seen a gold filled case that was marked in any way as 18K, although that certainly doesn't mean that they don't exist.

    In any case, though, it's very difficult to say whether it's solid gold or gold filled without seeing a photo of the hallmarks.

  3. #3

    Smile Re: 1881 Elgin national watch company pocket watch. looking for information about my (RE: biggreen)

    Hi biggreen:

    Welcome to the NAWCC American Pocket Watch Message Board!

    Looking up your watch in the references listed in the Elgin Watch Co. wiki article, movement serial number 888180 (the number on the movement) can be seen to be be an 18-size, model 2, H.H. Taylor grade No. 80, 15-jewel, adjusted, gilt finish, hunting-case, lever-set movement, built in about 1881 (give or take a couple of years). Of course you can tell most of this just by looking at the watch, but this is what the records show. At the time it was built, the "H.H. Taylor" grade was considered to be a railroad watch, widely accepted for railroad time service.

    There were 41,000 of these built between 1875 and 1894, making it a fairly popular watch. An indeterminate number were marked "Elgin Nat'l Watch Co." (a "Nameless" watch) and the remainder "H.H. Taylor". Elgin did this intentionally so that a person buying the "Nameless" watch from a discounter could never be certain that it was a grade No. 80, equivilant to the "H.H. Taylor" grade (serial number vs. grade lists were considered to be confidential information). You can see a brief catalog description of the "H.H. Taylor" grade, and where it fit in Elgin's line of 18-size watches, on the Elgin catalog sheet of the 1887 (Updated to 1889) S.F. Myers Catalog. The only difference is that your watch being a little older has a plain regulator, not a patent regulator. Keep in mind that the prices shown are only for the movement. The cost of the watch case would have to be added to it.

    You didn't show us a clear picture of the case manufacturer's stamped trade marks from the inside of the case back, and I can't recognize it from what appears of it in the picture of inner back (the cuvette). So, I can't offer an opinion if it is really an 18K, solid gold case (but it probably is). The movement is not gold.

    It may be helpful for you to read the wiki article on Watch Service and its related links, especially the one to the message board thread on the subject.

    You may also find the following Wiki articles useful in understanding pocket watches and the terms that are used in discussing them:
    Movement Type
    Pocket Watch Dials
    Pocket Watch Jewels
    Pocket Watch Regulator
    Setting Watch Hands
    Watch Adjustment
    Watch Grades
    Watch Models
    Watch Runs
    Watch Size

    As it says near the top of this page, in the menu bar, "No Appraisals." However, now that you know the proper description of your watch, you can use a Google Search to find similar watches offered by internet dealers, or on eBay, and see what they are selling for. Alternately, check the value in the Complete Price Guide to Watches, No 27, C. Shugart, T. Engle and R. Gilbert, Tinderbox Press, Mount Pleasant, SC, 2007. A new edition comes out each year in February, so ask for the latest edition. The book is available at libraries, at most major booksellers and online at the NAWCC Gift Shop (ask about the current edition). Condition matters! Also, a solid gold case instead of a gold-filled case will make a difference as well. Keep in mind that the weight of the case excludes the crystal and steel (and other metal) case parts that would not be counted in calculating the gold value.

    Having gathered and printed out information about a family watch, it is a wise idea to write out as much as you know about the family member to whom the watch originally belonged. Then, add the names and relationships of the family members who passed it down to the current holder. Make up a booklet with this and all of the watch information and try to keep it with the watch. This way, the watch has real family heritage instead of it just being an old family watch, the identity and relationship of the original owner having been lost in the distant past.

    Please let us know if you have any further questions.

    P.S. I see that Ben typed a little faster than I did.

    Good luck,
    Last edited by Kent; 07-04-2010 at 12:23 AM.
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  4. #4

    Default Re: 1881 Elgin national watch company pocket watch. looking for information about my (RE: Kent)

    hey thanks for the rapid responce everyone.

    so the watch is stamped on it 18k i can take a pic of it if you would like. i had this watch appraised at 2200$ about 4 years ago. would you guys say this is a reasonable appraisal ?

  5. #5

    Default Re: 1881 Elgin national watch company pocket watch. looking for information about my (RE: biggreen)

    Quote Originally Posted by biggreen View Post
    hey thanks for the rapid responce everyone.

    so the watch is stamped on it 18k i can take a pic of it if you would like. i had this watch appraised at 2200$ about 4 years ago. would you guys say this is a reasonable appraisal ?
    If you read the rules of this forum we are not allowed to discuss values of watches here. Sorry about that. However, I will discuss the value of appraises for a bit. I do appraisals and here is what I tell my customers. There are basically 3 types of valuation. One is replacement value (insurance value), two is retail value, and 3 is disposal value. Insurance/replacement value and retail value may be the same in the case of new goods but they are not necessarily the same when it comes to antiques. You can't just find a watch like yours in most stores and if you find someone who has one and tell him you want it the price usually goes up. Retail value is what you could expect to pay in a retail setting such as a high end estate jewelry store. Disposal value is what a private party could expect to get if they need to sell goods...probably to a retail outlet. The retailer who buys your goods reasonably expects to make a profit, so there is a margin between disposal and retail.

    Most appraisals are at the high end or for insurance purposes. Most appraisals do not reflect what you could get for a watch but what it would take to buy one to replace it....big difference.

    In today's market the value of gold cased watches like yours can pretty fairly be based on the value of the metal. Gold is at record highs and the value of a watch case as scrap is probably more than what the watch would truly have sold for when you got it appraised a few years ago.
    John Cote
    Past President, Indiana Chapter 18 - Membership Chairman, Chapter 149

  6. #6

    Default Re: 1881 Elgin national watch company pocket watch. looking for information about my (RE: biggreen)

    i would like to add a picture of the hallmark for you guys i am just not sure what that is ? is it where the stamp is that says 18k ?

    thanks for the info im sorry that i asked for a price and did not remember i can not ask that on here.

    thanks so much for the info i would have never known this much about my watch if it was not for you guys.

  7. #7

    Smile Re: 1881 Elgin national watch company pocket watch. looking for information about my (RE: biggreen)

    Actually, a hallmark is a government agency (but not in the U.S.) stamp, certifying the precious metal content. In the U.S., the case companies registered trade marks that indicated whatever the case maker said that it indicated in the trade mark application. Even the manner in which the case maker's name, or the "18K", is stamped may be significant.

    As I posted earlier, I can see that its on the inside of the outer back, but the angle is such that I can't tell what it is. A picture of the inside of the outer back, as good as your previous pictures, ought to clear that up.
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  8. #8

    Default Re: 1881 Elgin national watch company pocket watch. looking for information about my (RE: Kent)

    Without having a watch in hand, it is difficult to make a judgement on the case metal content. But, from my 55 years of collecting and handling watches, that case looks from the overall wear to be gold filled.

    A simple test to see if it is solid gold or not is to open the back cover. You will then see the inner dust cover. Place your thumb on the dust cover and place a small amount of pressure. A solid gold case, especially 18K, will be very thin and will easily give under the pressure. If the case is gold filled, the dust cover will be thick and stiff and will not give under small pressure.

    From my experience, this technique is about 99% accurate to tell if a case is solid gold or not.

    Tom

  9. #9

    Default Re: 1881 Elgin national watch company pocket watch. looking for information about my (RE: Kent)

    so the first pictures i will be showing are off the first cover that opens on the back of the watch...







    and the next couple images are of the second cover on that back of watch that covers the inside movments...





    i hope these pictures are what you guys where asking for. i am sorry if they are not.

    thanks

  10. #10

    Smile Re: 1881 Elgin national watch company pocket watch. looking for information about my (RE: biggreen)

    The case is made by the Brooklyn Watch Case Co. This was a reputable company, you can trust the marking that it is 18K solid gold.

    All-inall, you have a very nice watch!
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  11. #11

    Default Re: 1881 Elgin national watch company pocket watch. looking for information about my (RE: Kent)

    thank you for the rapid responce i really appreatiate all the information i have gathered.

    so when you say it is solid gold is that just the case ? what about the movments do you know what that is made of ? because it looks like gold also.

    and my last question is ..... say the watch weights about 142.5 grams. how much of that weight do you think is in gold ?

  12. #12

    Smile Re: 1881 Elgin national watch company pocket watch. looking for information about my (RE: biggreen)

    The movement plates are made of gilded brass. The wheels (gears) are probably brss on steel shafts and there are other brass and steel parts.

    There should be data on the Elgin website that states the weight of the movement, but the site isn't available right now, so I can't guide you to it. Try looking in the Technical Data section. I'd be easy enough for a watchmake to remove the movement from the case to weigh it, but as mentioned earlier, there's the crystal and steel (a possibly lead) case parts to account for.

    For a very, very rough estimate, you can use 45-55 DWT for the case weight, but with the price of gold being what it is, I wouldn't make any monetary decisions based upon that number.
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  13. #13

    Default Re: 1881 Elgin national watch company pocket watch. looking for information about my (RE: Kent)

    thanks again for your help.

    i have one last question. so the watch is or is not solid gold ? like is it solid gold or is it gold plated ?

  14. #14

    Smile Re: 1881 Elgin national watch company pocket watch. looking for information about my (RE: biggreen)

    The movement is not gold and has only a very, very thin layer of gilding to protect the brass.

    The watch case is solid gold. Because of this, some people refer to it as a solid gold watch.
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  15. #15

    Default Re: 1881 Elgin national watch company pocket watch. looking for information about my (RE: biggreen)

    also this watch is from 1880 and not 1881. the serial number look up says that all watches with numbers up to 900000 is 1880. so with the date being 1880 and not 1881 does this change anything about the watch ? is it still a 15 jewel ?

Similar Threads

  1. Dating a United States Watch Company pocket watch
    By Jerry Matthews in forum American Pocket Watches
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-24-2012, 02:07 AM
  2. Looking for Information about my Grandfather's Dueber Pocket Watch
    By scubachar in forum American Pocket Watches
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-09-2012, 07:45 PM
  3. Looking for information about Elgin Pocket Watch
    By misterted in forum American Pocket Watches
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-21-2012, 09:13 PM
  4. Looking for information about my Hamilton 921
    By xophe in forum American Pocket Watches
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 12-02-2011, 03:28 AM
  5. Waltham Watch Company Pocket Watch
    By yansky in forum American Pocket Watches
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-03-2007, 05:23 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •