Sunday, 3 March 2013

Vintage Elgin watch

Elgin ladies wrist watch from the 1940s
I got this little vintage Elgin wrist watch on eBay a couple of years ago. I knew it was old, and thought it was pretty, but didn’t know much else. The seller was in the US, so I paid about ten dollars plus ten for shipping. I doesn’t work, but I took it to the local watch repair place to see if they could sort it out – and they told me it would cost about £200 to fix, using handmade new parts, but assured me it would be ‘worth it’ financially.

I find this hard to believe as there are SO many broken vintage Elgins on eBay for peanuts, and the fully working ones only go for a hundred quid. And I have no idea how old this is, whether it’s real gold, how many jewels it is, whether it’s all authentic, basically I know nothing. But I suppose I’m secretly hoping this could be my ‘Del Boy moment’.

The most similar ones I can find on eBay are from the 40s so I’d guess at that, although the strap is a Flex-Let which seems to be more 50s. It’s the only one I’ve seen with just even numbers on the main dial, and no subdial. It’s also unusually tiny. The dial is about 10mm across, the word Elgin is less than a millimetre high. Looks a bit weird on my chunky wrist to be honest, it's for elegant and willowy society ladies.

Anyway. Elgin was a US company, founded in Chicago in 1864, stopped in the 1960s, although there are still some monstrosities appearing today using their name. They originally made beautiful pocketwatches before branching out into wrist watches, and pretty much every Elgin I see is beautiful. If you’re an expert on vintage Elgin watches, or know somewhere cheap to get them repaired, please help!