WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I found a watch when I was cleaning today and my mother said it was her grandfather's watch. It's a manual wind Elgin DeLuxe watch with 16 mm lugs. I just want to learn more about the watch - such as age. I'm going to buy a new strap and spring bars for it, so I can start wearing it around (I wound it and it still runs). Any help would be appreciated.
20111221141012.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,743 Posts
Nice little watch. The Elgin De Luxe was a product line between the standard Elgin and the Lord Elgin (I think). I should have a nice quality movement. The style of the watch suggests mid-1940s to early 1950s. With the serial number off the movement it should be possible to get a better date.

If it has not run in many years then the movement should be serviced before you begin using it. Oils that protect the delicate components dry out over time. Running the watch without proper lubrication can quickly destroy it.

Again, nice watch with a family connection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the help. I didn't know that the movement should be serviced before running it. I'll try to find someone to service it, although I haven't been able to find any around me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,743 Posts
No problem. If you need a watchmaker try the AWCI's (American Watchmakers Clockmakers Institute) website - it has a search function that will give you watchmakers throughout OH (and beyond). I can recommend a guy in Colorado - but I imagine that you can find someone local. Talk to a couple and find someone that likes working on vintage.

Hopefully a WUS member from back your way will chime in with a recommendation based on personal experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,025 Posts
Paleotime has the era right. Elgin made the DeLuxe series from the late 30s or early 40s through the early 50s, and yes, it was an intermediate range between Elgin and Lord Elgin.

Originally, Elgins had 15 jewels, Elgin DeLuxe had 17, and Lord Elgin had 21. In the late 40s, Elgin made all its watches 17j or higher, so both Elgin and Elgin DeLuxe were 17j, but the DeLuxe had closer tolerances and higher-grade finish - like mirror polish on the ratchet wheel versus brushed finish. Also, the DeLuxes got 14k Gold Filled cases and better straps and bracelelets, versus 10k gold filled or stainless for the Elgin.

Elgin prided itself on selling a broad range of products from inexpensive ($33.75 in 1952) to very expensive watches - 'The Elgin Line', so jewelers could sell an Elgin to pretty much anyone.

If you could take a picture of the movement, we might be able to tell you what year it was made.

EDIT: There's one just like yours on Ebay right now, with a serial number that dates it to 1946. Likely your watch is within a couple years of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I just took a picture of the movie. It reads L442382. I looked that up and it places the year as 1945. Would it be better to find a custom 16mm strap or a manufactured strap? So far the only 16mm straps look cheap.
20111221192923.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,025 Posts
I just took a picture of the movie. It reads L442382. I looked that up and it places the year as 1945. Would it be better to find a custom 16mm strap or a manufactured strap? So far the only 16mm straps look cheap.
Ah, there you go - a 555. One of Elgins 8/0 sized movements. The plain Elgin version was the 554 with 15 or 17 jewels, and the Lord Elgin version was the 556 with 221. No rust, that's good! A trip to a good watchmaker and it will run like a...well, like a watch!

The actual strap size is 5/8", which 16mm fits well, but if you check out Ebay for 5/8" straps you should find a nice one. A lot of the gold and gold-filled watches of that era came with tan straps, which go surprisingly well with the gold color. I've found that local watch strap stores (the kind in the mall) tend to only have girly straps in 16mm, presumably because these days watch size is used to convey masculinity - "Look! I'm man enough to still lift my arm with this 60 mm P*n*r** watch on it!"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,025 Posts
Actually, none of them were shock resistant. Elgin did make shockproof 8/0 movements, but the 554/555/556 weren't. Look for 'Shockmaster' on the dial.

Regarding strap color, the one you have there looks like the ones in the ads. If you're going for a really authentic look that one's the ticket.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Ok, so I recently got this watch back from being serviced, but i have been having a problem. I can wind the watch but it won't run. When I pop the caseback off to see what the problem is, it starts running; although it will only run for a few minutes after putting the caseback back on it. What could be the problem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,025 Posts
Ok, so I recently got this watch back from being serviced, but i have been having a problem. I can wind the watch but it won't run. When I pop the caseback off to see what the problem is, it starts running; although it will only run for a few minutes after putting the caseback back on it. What could be the problem?
The most obvious thing is something rubbing somewhere, but if you had is serviced, the watchmaker should fix that for you.

Try leaving the caseback off, and see if it keeps running.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,743 Posts
The most obvious thing is something rubbing somewhere, but if you had is serviced, the watchmaker should fix that for you.
+1...The watchmaker should be able to fix that right up. Usually something simple.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I appreciate the quick replies. I checked the case and there was a bend in the lower part of the case, so I bent it back a little and I haven't had anymore problems. Here's a picture now that I've put the band on it, I chose pigskin.
20120202213803.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Nice watch. I have that was my grandfather's. It looks almost exactly like this one, although the watch is more rectangular than yours. His watch is engraved on the back with September 1940 as the date.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
From what you are saying, it could be as simple as the hands not being seated or aligned properly for case-closed. many times a watch will be times before re-casing, but best practice, and one any watchmaker worth his weight, will do is to check it again for smooth operation once it has been refitted inside the case. What might be happening is the hands are at a distance form the dial which forces them against the crystal once closed.

Just the friction and pressure against the crystal can cause the watch to stop.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top