WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I've been checking through eBay and I've noticed that a lot of Elgin watches are quite cheap. Can anyone explain why? I've found this 643 Shockmaster and the seller said it's been recently serviced. It's only $140 which seems quite low. I don't think the crown is original but everything else seems legit. Case is highly polished but that really doesn't bother me. Caseback is signed too. Does anyone have any opinions on it? Thank you!

Vintage Elgin 643 Automatic Watch --- Textured Dial & 35mm Stainless Steel Case
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,895 Posts
Sadly Elgin went the way of a lot of old brands. They went bust and were resurrected for fashion watches which damaged the value of most of these watches. However that is a boon to those that collect the elgin watches as you can get a lot for cheap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Looks fine to me, I'm no serious watch connoisseur I suppose. Saves me $150 on getting it serviced. Good-looking case, good-looking original dial, movement looks clean. It seems like sometimes folks go out of their way on here to be overly-critical. I guess you have your opinion tho.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,717 Posts
Seller said it was "recently serviced" without documentation, means nothing, but hey, it's your money
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,037 Posts
Hi there,

It seems like sometimes folks go out of their way on here to be overly-critical.
I'm afraid you misunderstood the replies. A late Elgin with Swiss movement and steel case is no poor thingy, but it represents the decline of the brand, and deserves no brand premium, compared with any other watch with an AS 1361.

So US$ 140 may be o.k. if actually serviced. But my trust regarding a service would be pretty limited if not explicitely supported by an according warranty and a return privilege.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,028 Posts
It's a nice model, the Niagara, introduced in 1955. Also available with black dial. Sold for $59.50 in 1955, the equivalent of about $565 today, so a significant purchase back then!

I am leery of paying more for a watch because the seller says it's serviced, except when I know the seller. The amplitude looks okay, but since it's an automatic I don't know how far up it was wound to reach 265, so I don't know whether that's the best it can do (not great) or if that's just about half wound up and it'll get closer to 300.

If I had it in hand, I'd check the top balance jewel for an oil ring, check the jewels for crud, check the rotor for wobble (though there's no scarring on the inside caseback, so that's good).

Personally, I wouldn't pay that, because I'd end up tearing it down and servicing it myself anyway. It's in nice, but not mint condition, though a new crystal and strap are always helpful.

I can't tell you more than that. It's not a low price, and generally most buyers - wisely! - ignore claims of recent service and don't pay a premium for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,107 Posts
Money matters aside for a moment, one ought to have a bit of faith in someone who's been on the bay since 2005 and has all (over 850 in fact) positive feedback's. Bottom line - the watch is only worth as much as you're prepared to pay for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,107 Posts
If you are keen on buying the watch, even though it's not a "make offer" sale, you can always email the seller with a price you have in mind! It's a 50/50 proposition. I've done that before and ended up buying at negotiated price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey guys, thank you for all of the responses. I don't think I'm going to buy this one, but I am still surprised at the price of Elgins. Appreciate all the input though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,028 Posts
Hey guys, thank you for all of the responses. I don't think I'm going to buy this one, but I am still surprised at the price of Elgins. Appreciate all the input though.
Elgins back in the day were good, solid, quality watches. They were priced a little below Hamiltons, and they sold a hell of a lot more. But Hamilton had always marketed its watches as premium products and Elgin made a broad range of watches from very affordable 7j watches to very expensive 19-23j ones cased in solid gold, even platinum. Elgin was THE biggest producer of jeweled watches in the world, which means they're more common by far than Hamiltons.

My take on it is that collectors don't want what their Dad owned. They want what their Dad WANTED. Everybody's Dad had an Elgin watch, and Ford or Chevy sedan. But everybody's Dad WANTED a Hamilton watch and a Thunderbird or Corvette. So, Elgins are like the Ford Galaxie or Chevy Impala, and Hamiltons are like the T-birds and Corvettes. Collectors want the T-birds and Corvettes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
773 Posts
Hello all,

I've been checking through eBay and I've noticed that a lot of Elgin watches are quite cheap. Can anyone explain why? I've found this 643 Shockmaster and the seller said it's been recently serviced. It's only $140 which seems quite low. I don't think the crown is original but everything else seems legit. Case is highly polished but that really doesn't bother me. Caseback is signed too. Does anyone have any opinions on it? Thank you!

Vintage Elgin 643 Automatic Watch --- Textured Dial & 35mm Stainless Steel Case

So, I sell a lot of watches that are more or less in that kind of condition. Some nicer, and some less-nice. It's just a hobby for me, and maybe I restore / sell 1-2 watches a week on average. But this seller seems like he's rather similar to me... though I can't vouch for or against his ethics and how well he services watches.

What I will say though is that... although it's an Elgin, it's not particularly valuable.

The watch has an NOS strap... he probably buy's old NOS watch straps in bulk (like I do) and fit them with whatever looks nice and period. That might even be one from a Wyler as the buckle looks similar to that style. The strap is not the greatest, but looks decent and is certainly period-correct.

I'm not an expert on these movements, I really only started this hobby 7-8 months ago. There is an import code on the movement "VXY" but that doesn't come up for anything i know. I've seen this movement before and even though the shake weight has Elgin on it, I don't think it's actually an Elgin movement. I assume it's a run of the mill mid-level Swiss movement (by virtue of the fact it has an import code on it).

The watch has some wear on it, face has some scuffing. The case has been buffed out, and the crystal looks new.

Personally, I would have matched it with a dark brown strap... as it would certainly show better.


Lol... just read his description... probably could have saved myself a lot of rambling.


He doesn't show pictures of the face off, so you don't really know if it was properly serviced, or if it just ran and he figured he'd get away with it... (it's crossed my mind a few times with my watches, and then I resist the urge and do the work).


I'd say if you really like it, go for it. Automatics certainly command a higher price, but I think it might be worth more like $95-100. In my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,028 Posts
I'm not an expert on these movements, I really only started this hobby 7-8 months ago. There is an import code on the movement "VXY" but that doesn't come up for anything i know. I've seen this movement before and even though the shake weight has Elgin on it, I don't think it's actually an Elgin movement. I assume it's a run of the mill mid-level Swiss movement (by virtue of the fact it has an import code on it).
The import code is actually "YXY" which is Elgin's. The Elgin 643 is an A Schild 1361. It's one of the ones Elgin began importing as Elgins in 1953, after their 607/618 Bumper automatic failed to catch on commercially. In 1953, Elgin CLAIMED that the imported movement were spruced up with special features to make them better, and for the first 3 they imported (the 643, 644, and 645) there were a number of parts that were different from standard AS parts. But after those 3, it was pretty much only the rotors that were any different.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
My take on it is that collectors don't want what their Dad owned. They want what their Dad WANTED. Everybody's Dad had an Elgin watch, and Ford or Chevy sedan. But everybody's Dad WANTED a Hamilton watch and a Thunderbird or Corvette. So, Elgins are like the Ford Galaxie or Chevy Impala, and Hamiltons are like the T-birds and Corvettes. Collectors want the T-birds and Corvettes.
This is a good take. I concur.

My initial thought is $140 is a little high relative to what else I’ve seen but if it’s really recently serviced well it’s probably worth it



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top