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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys!

After an EIGHT YEAR exhaustive search I can confirm that the "ADMIRAL EVANS" trench watch cases were in FACT made in the BEHEMOTH size 12s ! ! !

Just a few days ago I located one, secured it and it is now in my possession.

A few years ago I obtained and restored a "CROWN" size 12s trench watch, you guys might remember that one, the resto process was NOT an easy task to say the least.

But, you cannot put a size 12s Elgin, Waltham or an Illinois movement into a Philadelphia case that was made for the Crown Watch Company.

The "CROWN" size 12s is way different that the Elgin, Waltham or Illinois size 12s movements, it's like trying to put the round peg in the square hole, simply won't work.

On page 170 of my book "Elgin Trench Watches of the Great War" I discuss the behemoth size 12s trench watches..................

Specifically the size 12s trench watch cases that were by the Illinois Watch Case Company.

I knew that I had seen a size 12s Admiral Benson (square case) many years ago but at the time I did not think that it was real.

I thought that it was a "Ukraine Special" that never started out as a genuine trench watch that was actually made by the Illinois Watch Case Company.

No less than FOUR advertisements exist from the Illinois Watch Case Company stating that they did in FACT make size 12s trench watch cases.

The adverts state that the Admiral Evans, Admiral Benson and General Funston cases were available in sizes 12s down to sizes 3/0s and even some 6/0s.

But, the BEHEMOTH size 12s Admirals and Generals are pretty much impossible to come by.

When I told a few good friends that are SEASONED experts what I had obtained I think I heard their jaws hit the floor over the phone lines!

A SIZE 12s GOLD FILLED "ADMIRAL EVANS" TRENCH WATCH DOES IN FACT EXIST ! ! ! ! ! !

The 12s "Admiral Evans" case measures 53mm lug tip to lug tip, 43.5mm without the crown, with a 13mm lug diameter.

I have taken the watch completely apart and thoroughly inspected how the lugs were attached to the case center.

These lugs were in FACT attached at the IWCCo factory, the method used is IDENTICAL to all other IWCCo cases that use the lug style.

There are NO OTHER tooling marks and everything is EXACTLY as it should be for an Illinois Watch Case Company product.

I then took a VERY close look at the crown tube on the case to see if I could find ANY tooling marks that might indicate that the tube had been shortened for wrist watch use.

The crown tube is EXACTLY as it should be from the IWCCo factory and has NOT been modified!

With all of this being said I am officially certifying this size 12s "Admiral Evans" case as GENUINE ! ! !

I have ZERO doubts, it is in FACT the REAL DEAL and is 100% AUTHENTIC ! ! ! !

The movement on this 12s Elgin Admiral Evans Trench Watch is in very bad condition, somebody over the years swapped out the train bridge and the staff is broken.

This watch movement originally had 7 jewels, not 15 jewels, all of the serial number stamps except the train bridge start with "20" indicating 1917.

The train bridge has a serial number that is from 1919.

Now, the IWCCO cases were JOBBER cases so ANY Elgin, Waltham or Illinois movement would be 100% correct.

The movement that is currently in this watch will need to be replaced due to incorrect parts being swapped out over the years, I've already begun hunting for a suitable correct replacement.

I just happen to have a sterling silver swivel lug size 3/0s Waltham Admiral Evans here with me in the shop right now.

I pictured the NORMAL size 3/0s Admiral Evans next to the BEHEMOTH size 12s Admiral Evans to you can get a very good idea of the size difference.

The 12s Admiral Evans dwarfs the 3/0s Admiral Evans!

I have always hoped that one of the size 12s trench watch cases from the IWCCo would pop up one day...................

But honestly, I never dreamed in a million years that it would be an ADMIRAL EVANS ! ! ! ! ! !

ENJOY ! ! ! ! !
































 

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I'm curious as to why you "titled" your thread the way you did???

Did someone say that there was "no way or possibility" that the watch you spent 8 years looking for couldn't possibly exist?

I guess all I could say is I guess persistence pays off.
 

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I'm curious as to why you "titled" your thread the way you did???

Did someone say that there was "no way or possibility" that the watch you spent 8 years looking for couldn't possibly exist?

I guess all I could say is I guess persistence pays off.

There are many advertisements out there promoting watches that have never actually been seen before.

Sometimes I wondered if I was on a wild goose chase that lasted for years, but you are right...............persistence paid off in this instance.

There are still others out there that I am searching for, hopefully my luck will continue!
 

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Great find Stan.
Looks like I found the correct ad around the same time you found the wat,h! ;-)
Slight difference in the lugs, but the size looks correct, 1917 first posted on p.43 "early wrist watch articles" thread.




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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Bobbee!


I completely forgot about that advert for awhile, it's on page 47 of my Elgin book.


That is pretty much the advert that got me hunting for the GIANT American trench watches.


Among the rarest indeed, if not THE rarest!


I have a TON of parts inbound right now, they will be arriving over the next few days.


I should have it back to splendor within a week or two.


I'll post more pics as I progress....................
 

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Discussion Starter #10
There will be several "before & after" photographs in the Waltham book when it comes to case restoration, just like in the Elgin book.

In the Elgin book it was a dedicated chapter, in the Waltham book it is spread out and shown as I am discussing featured Waltham Trench Watches and their restoration.

We are still shooting for a Christmas time release of the Waltham book..................
 

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It has been kept true to the ELGIN brand, the needed parts have arrived.

It has been restored and fully assembled again using the correct 1917 parts, just as it was before.

Still dark here, I'll post the finished results late this morning when the lighting is perfect for pictures.....................
 

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The work on the size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch has been completed!

Like I said before, I kept it true to it's origins and restored it as close as possible to original.

The original movement had some parts swapped out over the years like the train bridge and it had many other issues, it simply could not be used.

The original Elgin movement serial number was 20575037, I was able to locate and obtain a size 12s movement with 15 jewels bearing the serial number 20590637.

These two movements were made VERY close to each other, within a couple of months probably.

I was VERY pleased that I was able to keep it as close to it's original manufacturing date as humanly possible!

I cleaned up the original military style hands and then re-lumed them using Bergeon luminous material, they will glow in the dark, just as the did before.

I put the enamel military dial in the ultrasonic for several cycles to remove the dirt from a couple of very faint hairlines, unless you are looking for them you probably won't even see them now.

The sleeve/stem combination had to be replaced, the crown was sticking out a bit too far for my taste, it's much closer to the case edge now, right were it should be.

The crown now has a nice firm "pop", just as it should with NO nuetral position.

Somebody installed a GS PK Hi-Dome plastic crystal over the years, it has been removed and a perfect fitting glass crystal has been installed using UV cement and a UV curing machine.

I lightly buffed up the case to bring out the shine of the 10k yellow gold fill of the "Giant" IWCCo case grade again.

The eight corners on the case on the octagon case do have some minor wear spots, this is very common among Admiral Evans gold filled cases, that means that somebody loved this watch and wore it often.

The grade 314 size 12s movement was completely taken apart, cleaned, oiled and adjusted, the timing is within 10 seconds per day in two positions which is nearly perfect.

To finish it all off I installed a 14mm dark brown leather strap with a matching gold tone buckle.

I could not be more pleased with how this project turned out!

Still very hard to believe that this watch has finally surfaced, I am extremely honored that it made a stop on my work bench!

The ONLY 12s Admrial Evans known to exist ! ! ! !

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Discussion Starter #15
I started messing around with making new straps from the Illinois Watch Case Company design about 8 months ago.

After doing a CBA I decided that it was just not cost effective to pursue the venture.

The cost of each strap would have been way too high to make them on a small scale.

Here is one of the prototype straps pictured (top two pieces in the pic) using the IWCCo design that is tapered at the lug end of the strap.

I even transferred over the original IWCCo strap hardware.

The strap on the bottom right is one of the original IWCCo straps that we used as a model.

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I bought a 19 jewel size 12s Riverside movement with a solid gold center wheel last week.


This watch WILL be presented as a WWI ELGIN Admiral Evans Trench Watch in my next book "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War".


I will explain in the book that I swapped the movements momentarily for educational purposes ONLY and that it will ALWAYS be an ELGIN Admiral Evans.


Just did this so the Waltham fanatics can see what one of these behemoth 12s Waltham Admiral Evans Trench Watches would look like.


The Elgin movement has already been re-installed.


Pictures of both will be included in the book...................














 
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