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Are Elgin Wrist Watches Valuable?

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Jacky Chou

Are Elgin Wrist Watches Valuable

Elgin watches might sound new to you – unless you are a hardcore watch collector, of course. This watch brand may not stand out like other famous watch brands, but it is still recognized for producing several beautiful and distinct detailed watches.

Elgin watches were produced in high quantities which prevents them from enjoying the exclusive status that you get from most high-end collectibles. While they still go for a good price, with some costing into the $100s, Elgin watches could have been more valuable if they were not as plentiful in the market.

As a true-American watch manufacturer, Elgin watches have produced over 60 million units of its fine jeweled timepieces for about 100 years. So, what’s unique about these watches?

What is an Elgin Wrist Watch?

The BW Raymond Railroad Grade Pocket Watch

Close to the end of the American civil war (in 1864), the watch company was founded in Elgin, Illinois. Three years later, it released its first watch – a BW Raymond railroad grade pocket watch

Elgin was notable for the production of pocket watches but with a twist: these pocket watches were elegant and less expensive competition for other vintage watch brands.

Over the years, the Elgin pocket watch has become extremely popular in the vintage and antique watch market. Elgin never produced the highest quality of watches, neither did they manufacture the cheapest. However, the collection of Elgin watches has become popular today. 

Interestingly, Elgin produced so many watches and spare parts, making it easy for collectors to purchase and fix old Elgin watches for daily use. 

Though mechanical watches can’t compete with quartz watches in terms of accuracy, there’s something about using a watch that ticks. Something a quartz watch can’t replace – maybe that’s why many sought after Elgin watches.

How Much Is My Elgin Worth?

An Elgin watch’s worth varies between $200 to $5,000. The value of your Elgin watch depends on some characteristics like the production year, the material used, and the significance of the model. 

To identify the age of your Elgin watch, look for the serial number – a number that’s usually on the back of the wristwatch. The serial number will match it to the year it was produced. 

Are Elgin Watches Real Gold?

Yes, Elgin watches are made of real gold, but they vary in purity. Being a valuable collector’s item, multiple replicas of the Elgin watches are available in the market. 

If you don’t want to end up with a fake Elgin watch, it is advisable to know how to check if the Elgin watch you’re about to get is made of real gold.

To confirm the authenticity of an Elgin watch, open the rear cover and search for the inscriptions “10K,” “14K,” or “18K.” The marking should be easy to see, as it is impressed inside the back cover. If one of the markings is present, then the Elgin watch is real gold.

How Do I Identify My Elgin Watch?

Observe the Elgin watch serial number around the top.

If you are ardent about antique and vintage watches, you might have several Elgin watches in your collection. If you recently got one, or you’re just looking to get one, you are probably wondering how you’d identify your new Elgin watch. 

Vintage watch collectors are avid on the identification of Elgin watches. That way, the production year and the watch’s value are easily determined.

The older the watch, the more valuable it is. Your watch bears two serial numbers – one on the case and one inside the wristwatch – and the following steps will guide you to identifying your Elgin watch:

  1. Check the serial number on the inner moving part. You’d want to write it down once you see it, as it’s the one you’ll require to identify your Elgin watch.
  2. Visit Pocket Watch Database and select Elgin on the home page. Your request will direct you to a page to look up the serial number for your Elgin watch.
  3. Input the serial number you wrote down and search.
  4. The result will provide you with details of the watch. And you’ll see the actual year your Elgin watch was produced.

In a case where you are particular about the model of a specific Elgin watch, you’ll have to study the case design. And the key to identifying the model is to pay attention to details. 

All Elgin watches of a particular model have the same case designs though the material may differ. You’ll want to concentrate on the little details like the lines on the case or the shape of the lugs.

Also, you’d want to check the dial features, like the placement of certain hands of the dial and the shape of the sub-seconds – if any. Model numbers were usually inscribed inside the back case, but the model names weren’t present.

So, the only clues to get the model of your Elgin watch is via visual comparison with matching Elgin watches in adverts and catalogs or through other collectors. 

Are Elgin Watches Good?

Elgin produced premium timepieces with delicate craftsmanship, unique finishes, top-notch materials, and several exquisite designs. And till today, most Elgin watches remain in excellent working condition. 

So, yes. Elgin watches are good. And their working conditions testify to the superiority of Elgin’s craftsmanship.

What Is the Value of My Elgin Watch?

Today, most Elgin watches that are in good working condition are practical to use. You can purchase an Elgin watch between the range of $50 to $300.

However, some rare Elgin timepieces may cost $1000 and above. And it is quite an affordable deal for an antique watch with a respectable reputation.

So, if you’ve got a vintage Elgin watch, you could make some profit off of it as it’s in high demand by timepiece collectors. 

Why Collect an Elgin Watch?

There’s a particular uniqueness to all Elgin watches – and this makes them widely sought after. Such a unique timepiece can be an expensive addition to one’s wardrobe or art collection.

Today, Elgin watches are among collectors’ favorites; that’s why they are most in demand. 

Is Elgin a Good Watch Brand?

Elgin is reliable when it comes to the production of solid and quality watches. Not a lot of people know that. And that’s why collectors cherish and patronize Elgin timepieces. 

How Long Is the Serial Number on an Elgin watch?

Elgin assigns at least 5-character long serial numbers to their watches, and it may start with an alphabet. 

Why are Elgin Watches so Cheap?

The mass production and high volume of Elgin timepieces ensure that these wristwatches maintain a relatively low price compared to other vintage watch brands. The affordability of the Elgin watch is one of the significant reasons many collectors hunt watches from the brand.

Why Do Collectors Love Elgin Watches?

Over 50 years ago, Elgin released a variety of styles of pocket watches before graduating to the manufacture of wristwatches. These watches sport several unique designs, depending on the decade it was made and its purpose.

Asides from the affordability of Elgin timepieces, vintage watch collectors enjoy finding and owning wristwatches from so many different and exquisite watch designs Elgin manufactured. And the availability of replacement parts for each type of Elgin watch makes restoration an easy task.

Jacky Chou

Jacky Chou is the co-founder of Uberwrists and has gotten into watches from his father from a young age. His first watch was a black G Shock that was comedically large for his wrist. He appreciates watches from Seiko to a Patek Philippe.

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