Elgin Pocket Watch

Elgin pocket watches are on a class of their own thanks to the long-respected reputation carried by its name. Founded in 1864, the Elgin National Watch Company has been making beautiful timepieces worthy to be either worn everyday or included in treasured collections. Elgin has produced more than 60 million watches in the last 150 years.

Aside for being known as an enduring company that produces classic watches, Elgin is also known for the big role it played in America's transition from agriculture to industry in the mid-19th century. watches were one of the first machines for which the public had a high demand so it was no surprise that a company devoted to manufacturing watches appeared in order to meet the public's needs.

Elgin didn't start out with that name when it was founded in August 1864 around the time of the end of the Civil War. Then, it was only known as the National Watch Company. It became the Elgin National Watch Company when the city of Elgin in Illinois was picked to be the site for the factory. To show the government's support for the industrial age, the city of Elgin gave the company 35 acres of land on which the factory was built within just two years.

The founding of Elgin was largely influenced by the success of another similar company, the Waltham Watch Company which was based in Massachusetts. Several former employees of Waltham wanted to build another watch company within the US; this time, they wanted it to be in the Midwest. To achieve this goal, they teamed up with renowned Chicago-based watchmaker JC Adams in an effort to find inventors interested in their proposed venture. Benjamin Wright Raymond, then-Mayor of Chicago, was one of the first investors the team recruited. Because of Raymond's political influence, a lot of investors came along their way quite easily.

Elgin made its first watch in 1867, and it was a BW Raymond railroader's watch in size 18 and with a full plate design. The watch was named in honor of the then-Mayor of Chicago of the same name. Elgin then became known for producing high quality yet affordable watches, thanks to the usage of easily-repaired and replaced parts made by machines.

During World War II, Elgin shifted their focus from timepieces to precision instruments used in the military and defense industry, but the factory never really closed down until 1964, which was coincidentally its 100th anniversary. During this time, Elgin stopped making timepieces and moved on to bigger things such as engineering construction, among other ventures. Because of this change, Elgin dropped the name 'Elgin National Watch Company' and adopted Elgin National Industries instead as its official moniker.

Nevertheless, Elgin pocket watches still remain popular today. In fact, many people collect them because they're not only unique and interesting, but they're also considered vintage items that carry so much history with them. Also, there's something satisfyingly nostalgic about hearing the tick tock of an old-school watch. It can bring you to another...time.



Recent Comments

Zofia Vickery wrote:

Just yesterday my son-in-law found my ANTIQUE ELGIN 16S GOLD OPEN FACE POCKET WATCH 7J FANCY PORCELAIN DIAL CASE on eBay.
Julia Mcquay wrote:
Recently I picked up my ELGIN POCKET WATCH 18 SIZE OF GRADE 73 7 JEWEL MADE IN 1890 NO RESERVE at garage sale.
Beverley wrote:
Just yesterday my son found my 1904 18s Elgin 7j Abraham Lincoln Theme Dial Running. at a yard sale.
Danyell wrote:
Got my VINTAGE ELGIN POCKET WATCH., 17 JEWELS., ADJUSTED., WORKING years ago and am totally pleased the transaction.
Doug wrote:
Just last week I bought my ELGIN POCKET WATCH 16 SIZE HT GRADE 312 15 JEWEL MADE IN 1908 NO RESERVE on Amazon.
Mercedes Busick wrote:
Last week my son found my Elgin 17jewel size18s engraved pocket watch on eBay.
Georgianne wrote:
Last week my daughter found my Vintage 1914 Elgin 324 7j Gold Filled Openface Pocket Watch Size 0s on eBay.
Moshe Schull wrote:
Got my ANTQUE ELGIN HUNTER POCKET WATCH some time ago and am totally pleased the purchase.
Vicente Manville wrote:
Got my ELGIN ANTIQUE - 1904 -POCKET WATCH - SIZE 18 - 7 Jewel - Gold Filled Case years ago and am totally pleased the transaction.
Bill wrote:
Today I found my Antique Elgin Gold Filled Pocket Watch 21J Size 18 RUNS at garage sale.
Andera wrote:
Recently I found my ELGIN POCKET WATCH WITH SECOND HAND IN ITS OWN ORBIT on eBay.
Mollie wrote:
Last week I bought my Antique Elgin 17 Jewel Pocket Watch Model 2-4 Grade 335 c.1912 on Amazon.
Shantae Vanzile wrote:
Last week my wife found my VINTAGE ELGIN POCKET WATCH., GOLD FILLED., 15 JEWELS., WORKING. at a yard sale.
David wrote:
Got my 1926 17 jewel Elgin pocket watch with masons chain years ago and am totally pleased the transaction.
Danyelle Gowan wrote:
Got my Elgin Pocket Watch 23 Jewels weeks ago and am really happy that I got it.
Elinor Oshiro wrote:
Last week my son-in-law picked up my VINTAGE ANTIQUE ELGIN 14K SOLID GOLD POCKET WATCH HUNTER CASE on Amazon.
David wrote:
Got my 16s Elgin 21J B.W. Raymond Pocket Watch Grade 478 weeks ago and am really happy the quality.
Evelyn Trevizo wrote:
Last week I found my Elgin 16s 7J Pocketwatch on Amazon.
Annett Glanton wrote:
Got my Antique Elgin 16S 17 jewel open face pocket watch hours ago and am totally pleased how much it cost.
Vaughn wrote:
Got my Vintage Elgin Pocket Watch 15 Jewels Fahys 25 Years Guaranteed Loose Hands hours ago and am totally pleased with the price.
Devorah Byerly wrote:
Last week I found my Antique Elgin Model 2 Grade 314 15 Jewel Pocket Watch Hunter Case c.1915 at garage sale.
Janeth Cassinelli wrote:
Got my Vintage 1920's Open Face Elgin Pocket Watch years ago and am really happy the transaction.
Yetta wrote:
Today my daughter found my Antique Elgin Nat'l Pocket Watch B W Raymond 17 Jewel,Gold Setting, Works,1899 at a yard sale.
Cammie wrote:
Recently I bought my ANTIQUE 1910 ELGIN AMAZING FLORAL HUNTER CASE 16s POCKET WATCH WITH COLORED DIAL at garage sale.
Ivey wrote:
Got my ELGIN 15 Jewel 16s Pocket Watch 1919 Running...WOW!!! some time ago and am totally pleased with the price.
Fay Dudas wrote:
Today my wife found my 18 size elgin pocket watch (1890's) on eBay.
Latricia Starner wrote:
Today my son-in-law picked up my Antique Elgin pocket watch, works! 1922 on eBay.
Julia Mcquay wrote:
Got my Nice Elgin Hunting Case Pocket Watch, 3 Finger Bridge, NICE GF CASE!! months ago and am really happy with the price.
Kristel Raschke wrote:
Last week I bought my Antique Elgin Gold Filled Open Face Pocket Watch 48.5mm at garage sale.
Marya wrote:
Just yesterday my kids picked up my 1900 Elgin Open face Pocket watch on Amazon.
Sims wrote:
Got my 12s Elgin Masonic Pocket Watch 15J Freemason dial Art Deco Case 1920 Runs Well some time ago and am totally pleased with it.
Jeffery Cowan wrote:
Got my Vintage Elgin Pocket Watch hours ago and am really happy with it.
David wrote:
Got my Vintage Elgin Pocket Watch ~ gold filled ~ circa 1908 some time ago and am totally pleased with it.
Cammie wrote:
Got my ELGIN GOLD FILLED 17J 12 SIZE POCKET WATCH RUNS some time ago and am really happy the transaction.
Mercedes Busick wrote:
Got my Solid 14k Gold Multi Colored 16 size Elgin Pocket Watch Hunter Case Elk Beauty years ago and am really happy that I got it.
Kasie wrote:
Today my daughter found my VINTAGE POCKET WATCH ELGIN 16s OPEN FACE NR MINT DIAL 3-FINGER MDL8 17J ADJ MVT on Amazon.
Shawnna Devlin wrote:
Got my 1902, Elgin, Size 16s, 15 jewel Pocket Watch. some time ago and am really happy the quality.
Shawnna Devlin wrote:
Today I found my Clasic ANTIQUE ELGIN POCKET WATCH, 24 CARAT GOLD FILLED. NO RESERVE. on Amazon.
Devorah Byerly wrote:
Got my Elgin 16s 17j Adj, Grade 159 1896 Pocket Watch Movement, Broken Main Spring years ago and am really happy the quality.
Edith Twitchell wrote:
Got my VINTAGE 16s ELGIN- 21 jewels- 10k gold filled - RAILROAD GRADE POCKET WATCH some time ago and am really happy the purchase.
Jeanie Green wrote:
Just last week I bought my ELGIN 15 JEWEL 14KT GOLD FANCY DIAL 12S 1923 GRADE 315 on Amazon.
Denice wrote:
Got my ~~VINTAGE 1929 ELGIN POCKET WATCH~~ Beautiful-31653513-7j-size 12--RUNS + w/fob some time ago and am totally pleased the transaction.
Joe wrote:
Last week my wife found my VINTAGE 0 SIZE ELGIN HUNTING CASE POCKET WATCH GRADE 109 KEEPING TIME on Amazon.
Elwood wrote:
Got my ELGIN WATCH CO 6 SIZE MULTI-COLORED GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH!! #3M years ago and am really happy with it.
Micki wrote:
Got my LOT OF VINTAGE POCKET WATCHES 3 ELGINS MONTGOMERY DIAL LADIES ALASTA some time ago and am really happy the quality.
Nathan wrote:
Just last week I found my Vintage Elgin 354 15 Jewels Pocket Watch Deuber Hunters Case # 17441773 at garage sale.
Moon Arrieta wrote:
Recently I found my Elgin Pocket watch, size 18, 11 jewel on eBay.
Brian Hundley wrote:
Got my Elgin Pocket Watch No.311 Size 12 - 7 Jewel Box some time ago and am totally pleased with it.
Kimberely wrote:
Recently I bought my Elgin 10k Gold Plated Pocket Watch at a yard sale.
Shantelle Provost wrote:
Just yesterday I found my Vintage Ladies Swiss Elgin 17 Jewel Pocket Watch - 1960's - Size 6 at garage sale.
Daniel wrote:
Got my Elgin 16s 7j Silverode Pocketwatch with Leather strap months ago and am really happy that I got it.
Latricia Starner wrote:
Last week my kids bought my Vintage Elgin Grade 74 18s 11 Jewel Running Pocket Watch at garage sale.
Sina Whitney wrote:
Last week I picked up my Elgin pocket watch Antique 18k Solid Yellow Gold on Amazon.
Doug wrote:
Got my Antique Women's Elgin Gold Pocket Watch some time ago and am totally pleased the purchase.
Ayanna wrote:
Got my ANTIQUE ELGIN 20 YEAR GOLD FILLED CASE POCKET WATCH. 15 JEWEL. SIZE 16. C1900. weeks ago and am totally pleased with it.
Doyle Greenly wrote:
Recently I picked up my Antique Elgin Giant Watch 14k Gold Filled 15 Jewels Elgin Pocket Watch Fancy at garage sale.
Andera wrote:
Got my Elgin North Watch Co. 15 Jewel pocket watch weeks ago and am totally pleased the purchase.
Latricia Starner wrote:
Just last week I picked up my ELGIN 14K GOLD SIZE 10 HUNTER CASE POCKET WATCH 15 JEWELS on eBay.
Rosario wrote:
Got my Elgin Flower Pattern Pocket Watch weeks ago and am totally pleased with the price.
Rosario wrote:
Just last week I found my RARE US ArmyAC 1941 Elgin Pocket watch Size 16 21J Raymond Mvmt ADJ 5 position on Amazon.

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