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Hello, everyone,
I am doing research on a specific Veritas Elgin watch, 23 jewels, case number 958355 and watch number 14231878, which was found on an unidentified deceased man outside El Paso in 1914. I believe the watch could verify the man's identity. Looking up the serial number simply revealed it was made in 1909, but have nothing of the owner. Although this was an Illinois based company, they appear to have had watches sold internationally. Does anyone know where I could find records of who owned this watch, or at least which shop it was sent to for distribution?
Thanks,
Josh Nieters
 

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I do not believe that any records exist that show the businesses that Elgin sold its watch movements to. Even if they did exist the business (jeweler or watchmaker or other type of retailer) records would have to exist to ID the end buyer. So I believe what you want to do is impossible.
 

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Hello Josh,
I personally believe it would be very difficult to track back the watch to the owners identity especially after 100 years, to find the specific retailer would probably be somewhat easier if there are approachable records kept, I guess somebody will chime in shortly who has more knowledge about Elgin's then me and can clarify the chances.
Btw. if I may ask, why it is important for you to identify the original owner?

S
 

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The basic sales model for the early american companies tended to work through "jobbers" and retailers...movements were sold uncased to them, and they would buy cases from other suppliers, and would be responsible for putting them together and reselling them to the customer. Thus, any records relating to the end-user would exist solely within the business at the point of sale.

There <might> be records indicating which retailer bought the movement, but such records don't exist on the internet, to my knowledge; you'd need to find out if Elgin's old sales records are available for physical perusal.
 
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