Elgin like most others made some extremely good quality watches, so it would have to depend on the gtade of Elgin you are talking about. Any of the Father times, BWR, 349, 180, 150, Veritas, and many more grades all were great RR approved timepieces. They also made lesser quality working mans watches, so hard to answer your question really. I think all the watchmakers of that era, made a wide range of quality watches.
My opinion well expressed by Perby. I have p.w. better grade examples from 1869 to 1950+. Unlike most competitors Elgin sustained highest practical quality all the way. They started well financed by B.W. Raymond and robbed Waltham of many of their best employees.First and last shown for the B.W.R.
As others are saying, they made some good watches and some not so good watches.
One of my personal judges of movement quality is how well the pivots seat back in place when reassembling the movement. Elgin's 7j movements are notoriously bad at this.
At the other end of the spectrum, though, I have two examples of the Gr. 69 B.W. Raymond movement. This was the first movement introduced by the company. My examples are from the second run of these made(SN 1986, from 1867), and then a later example from the same run Art shows above in the 19,000 range.
I took both of these apart, and when I put them back together, the pivots on both just went right into place and required no additional effort to get them there. That, to me, is the mark of a high quality movement.
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