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

Julia Mcquay wrote:

Got my ELGIN FATHER TIME 21 JEWELS POCKET WATCH Keeps Correct Time,Very Good Condition some time ago and am totally pleased the transaction.
Kelvin wrote:
Got my 5 VINTAGE POCKET WATCH (1) ZENITH,(2) WALTHAM,( 2) ELGIN months ago and am really happy with it.
Gloria wrote:
Got my ELGIN B W RAYMOND POCKET WATCH 18 SIZE HT GRADE 183 17 JEWEL MADE IN 1899 some time ago and am really happy how much it cost.
Nathan wrote:
Got my Antique rose gold filled floral etched Elgin Illinois watch Co. case hours ago and am totally pleased the transaction.
Shantelle Provost wrote:
Last week I found my c.1917 16s ELGIN POCKET WATCH WITH CHAIN/HICKOK BELTOGRAM/GOLD FILLED CASE at a yard sale.
Octavio wrote:
Just last week I found my Elgin Pocket Watch Grade 386 16s 17j at a yard sale.
Daisy Bellis wrote:
Last week I found my ELGIN 7 JEWEL 6 SIZE GOLD FILLED HUNTER POCKET WATCH ,RUNS GREAT on eBay.
Brian wrote:
Got my Antique 1901 Elgin 7j Sz 18 'Working' Pocket Watch *Needs Winding Stem some time ago and am totally pleased how much it cost.
Cindi Fielding wrote:
Today I bought my ANTIQUE ELGIN STREAMLINE SERIES POCKET WATCH 4" BY 3 1/4" PRESENTATION BOX on Amazon.
Jeanie Green wrote:
Today I bought my VINTAGE ANTIQUE ELGIN 14K SOLID GOLD POCKET WATCH HUNTER CASE on eBay.
Brent wrote:
Got my ESTATE FIND Working ELGIN pocket watch ESTATE FIND some time ago and am really happy the purchase.
Jenna wrote:
Got my Vintage Elgin Pocket Watch Wadsworth Pilot Case 20 Years Cracked Crystal weeks ago and am really happy how much it cost.
Mercedes Busick wrote:
Got my Elgin Pocket Watch 12 Size 17 Jewel - Runner - KR78 hours ago and am totally pleased the quality.
Andera wrote:
Got my 18 size elgin pocket watch (1890's) months ago and am really happy with it.
Gloria wrote:
Got my Elgin pocket watch hand engraved case and Movement Excellent condition GF weeks ago and am totally pleased the purchase.
Ayanna wrote:
Got my Antique 1918 Elgin Size 16 open face Pocket Watch ~ Runs ~ months ago and am totally pleased with it.
Wayne wrote:
Last week my kids picked up my Vintage Elgin Silver Pocket Watch and Gold Chain at a yard sale.
Dean wrote:
Recently my kids picked up my Elgin BW raymond 18s pocket watch running at a yard sale.
Jenna wrote:
Today I found my Beautiful Elgin 18K Gold Pocket Watch Extensively Engraved on Amazon.
Holly Kiel wrote:
Today I found my ELGIN POCKET WATCH 7 JEWELS RUNS UNIQUE OCTAGONAL GOLD FILLED SIZE 12 CASE on eBay.
Dustin wrote:
Got my ESTATE FIND ELGIN pocket watch 25224443 ESTATE FIND months ago and am really happy the transaction.
Sina Whitney wrote:
Last week I bought my Antique Elgin Gold Filled Pocket Watch 21J Size 18 RUNS on eBay.
Marya wrote:
Got my Antique Elgin Nat'l Pocket Watch B W Raymond 17 Jewel,Gold Setting, Works,1899 weeks ago and am totally pleased the transaction.
Corrie Ickes wrote:
Got my Antique Elgin Pocket Watch Size 16 Gold Trane Gears 7 Jewel,Movement # 13982124 weeks ago and am totally pleased the quality.
Geraldine Meaney wrote:
Today my daughter picked up my ELGIN 18S 17J POCKET WATCH 1919 on eBay.
David wrote:
Got my vintage elgin pocket watch months ago and am totally pleased the transaction.
Davida Morrow wrote:
Today my daughter found my Elgin 18 size BW Raymond 19Jewel Grade 240 on Amazon.
Latricia Starner wrote:
Got my 1897 GOLD ELGIN SZ18 & RARE 21J WITH FANCEY CASE RUNS some time ago and am totally pleased the purchase.
Hannah Leiker wrote:
Recently my son picked up my ESTATE FIND Elgin pocket watch USA 10439885 ESTATE FIND on Amazon.
Lucilla Lecuyer wrote:
Got my ELGIN 'DIRECTOR' MODEL 17 JEWEL VINTAGE ART DECO OPEN FACE 12S POCKET WATCH-1927 months ago and am really happy that I got it.
Rachael Levan wrote:
Got my 1890-91 Elgin Gold Filled Pocket Watch For Parts Only Not Running hours ago and am really happy with it.
Jules wrote:
Today my son bought my ANTIQUE ELGIN POCKET WATCH MADE IN 1919 on eBay.
Edith Twitchell wrote:
Got my 1900 ELGIN 15 J SIZE 18 WALTHAM COIN SILVER CASE 10K GOLD EMBLEM POCKET WATCH years ago and am totally pleased how much it cost.
Mollie wrote:
Got my 25# 9 ELGIN VINTAGE POCKET WATCH DIALS PARTS ALTERED ART DECO hours ago and am really happy that I got it.
Edith Twitchell wrote:
Just last week my wife bought my EARLY ELGIN 18S OF POCKET WATCH, ORGL NEAR MINT DIAL & HANDS. RUNNING at garage sale.
Yetta wrote:
Got my Elgin Pocket Watch Hunter size 18 year 1905 25 year case 17 jewels Running years ago and am really happy how much it cost.
Leora wrote:
Got my Elgin 16 size open face 15 jewel montgomery dial pocket watch gold filled. months ago and am really happy that I got it.
Daniel wrote:
Got my Vintage Elgin Pocket Watch ~ gold filled ~ circa 1908 years ago and am really happy with the price.
James wrote:
Today I found my Elgin National Watch Co. Full Hunter Pocket Watch, Beautiful & Solid, 20yr GF on Amazon.
Shantelle Provost wrote:
Got my ELGIN ANTIQUE LADIES POCKET WATCH SOLID 14 K GOLD SIZE 0s RUNNING EXCELLENT COND weeks ago and am totally pleased with the price.
Holly Kiel wrote:
Last week my son found my Antique Elgin Nat'l Pocket Watch Movement #6050500 Clean & Working 7 Jewel,Nice on Amazon.
Laronda Tippit wrote:
Today I picked up my ELGIN 15 JEWEL 14KT GOLD FANCY DIAL 12S 1923 GRADE 315 on Amazon.
Jenna wrote:
Today I picked up my Size 10 Elgin Pocket Watch 15J Philadelphia Watch Case Yellow Gold Plated NR on eBay.
Theron wrote:
Today my son picked up my ELGIN 1925 POCKET WATCH! 17 Jewel, Size 12 14K G.F. case RECENTLY SERVICED!!!! at a yard sale.
Mercedes Busick wrote:
Recently my daughter found my ELGIN WATCH CO 6 SIZE MULTI-COLORED GOLD FILLED POCKET WATCH!! #3M at garage sale.
Cira wrote:
Today I bought my Elgin National Watch Co. 7 Jewel Pocket Watch at a yard sale.
Holly Kiel wrote:
Got my Clasic ANTIQUE ELGIN POCKET WATCH, 24 CARAT GOLD FILLED. NO RESERVE. months ago and am really happy how much it cost.
Cathie Rahaim wrote:
Recently I found my Vintage Elgin Pocket Watch 15 Jewels Fahys 25 Years Guaranteed Loose Hands at a yard sale.
Micki wrote:
Recently my son found my ELGIN COIN SILVER 1888 /18 size Open Face Pocket Watch/ Running/ at a yard sale.
Chiquita wrote:
Last week I bought my Antique Elgin Pocket Watch Size 18 thick Crystal,Collector Fresh, Clean at a yard sale.
Ivey wrote:
Today I bought my Elgin Flower Pattern Pocket Watch at a yard sale.
Kristel Raschke wrote:
Recently my son-in-law bought my ANTIQUE ELGIN 6S 15j HUNTERS CASE POCKET WATCH runs vest pocket watch on Amazon.
Zofia Vickery wrote:
Got my 1918 elgin gold plated pocket watch weeks ago and am totally pleased the transaction.
Andera wrote:
Got my ELGIN ANTIQUE - 1904 -POCKET WATCH - SIZE 18 - 7 Jewel - Gold Filled Case hours ago and am really happy that I got it.
Leora wrote:
Got my 1889 ELGIN POCKET WATCH FAHYS CONQUEROR No 1 FANCY GF HUNTER CASE weeks ago and am totally pleased that I got it.
Daniel wrote:
Got my Lady's Antique 1908 Elgin Fancy Porcelain Enameled Pocket Watch Sub-Dial 14K GF some time ago and am totally pleased with it.
Ermelinda Leadbetter wrote:
Got my 1941 Elgin Pocket watch Size 16 21J Raymond Mvmt ADJ 5 position marked US ArmyAC weeks ago and am really happy with it.
Hilma wrote:
Got my Vintage Elgin Grade 74 18s 11 Jewel Running Pocket Watch months ago and am totally pleased with it.
Fay Dudas wrote:
Just yesterday I picked up my Elgin Pocket Watch at a yard sale.
Octavio wrote:
Got my Vintage 1908 Eglin Pocket Watch months ago and am totally pleased the purchase.

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