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Author Topic: Fixing and wearing a pocket watch - Elgin national from the 1800s  (Read 2767 times)
Vrin
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United States United States


« on: February 01, 2009, 09:36:21 am »

So after some research I have some idea about this family heirloom, like production runs jewels etc, but I cant make out if it is a "railroad" watch or not. I was told it was. BUT I now know arabic numbers were the standard for most rail watches. But then there are exceptions to this right? Is this one of them?

I cannot move the stem to set it and the crystal is loose. Any suggestions about reputable repair establishments would be appreciated.

Second is this fob thingy that to my eye is the real treasure, The stone is a beefy chunk of amathest the size of my thumbnail but the gold part is broken too one of the little gargoyles is missing his tongue, and the thing is made of 14k gold according to its stamp!... I have NO experience with jewelry repairs other than watching the guy at the mall. Is getting this thing fixed going to break the bank.

And how does one wear this thing properly?

http://steaming-north.deviantart.com/art/watch-01-111416307

http://steaming-north.deviantart.com/art/watch-02-111416441

http://steaming-north.deviantart.com/art/watch-04-111416622

http://steaming-north.deviantart.com/art/watch-03-111416520



« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 09:41:56 am by Vrin » Logged
Zwack
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And introducing the wonderful Irish (Mrs Z).


« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2009, 03:49:25 pm »

On the back of the movement there is a serial number... That should be enough for someone to answer some of your questions about the watch itself.  If it is a railroad watch then it will be lever set (I don't think that there were any exceptions to that) which will mean that there is a small lever that needs to be pulled out to set it.  If this is the case then if you unscrew the crystal you should find the lever.

However being lever set doesn't make it a railroad watch. 

As for how to wear it, it looks like it's on a chain...  A common method is to put the watch in your waistcoat (vest) pocket (opposite side to your dominant hand is common) and then slide the T-Bar through a button hole.  The chain should hang from the centre of your waistcoat to the pocket, the fob would hang down in the middle.  A Double Albert chain would have two ends with a T-Bar in the middle, in that  ase you put the watch on one end and carry something else on the other end.  I tend to switch between a tiny penknife (about an inch and a half long) and a ring top fountain pen.

I hope that this helps,

Z.
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I'm British but living in America.  This might explain my spelling.
HAC
Steam Theologian
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Canada Canada


HAC_N800
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2009, 05:30:12 pm »

That's a nice old Elgin. If I read the serial number correctly in that pic,  (i see it as 5254484), then your watch is a grade 33, 18s 15 jewel lever set, with anywhere from 2 -4 adjustments, made in 1893. It was one of a production run of 1000, with a total production of 16000 in that grade. It may or may not have the word "TAY" on the movement.
 Its a relatively high grade watch for its day, having a decent jewel count, and  several adjustments. Sadly, however, that grade was not railroad grade, it has fewer jewels and adjustments than was called for.
Still, having said that, this is a much better watch than the vagerage man of that day would have had.
The fob is a real gem, if its hallmarked, you should be able to determine its date easily..

Nice watch, all, in all..
Cheers
Harold
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 06:56:43 pm by HAC » Logged

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Rowan of Rin
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Australia Australia

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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2009, 12:09:39 am »

Deliciously beautiful, both the watch and the fob, but I might even go as far as saying I like the fob more (and is probably more valuable than the watch). Lovely heirloom, make sure it never leaves the family!
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Vrin
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United States United States


« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2009, 03:56:32 am »

Thanks all-

Zwack it is indeed a lever set! With that new tidbit I have set it and it is running again, and after how many decades....  I will do a test to see how well it keeps time for the next few weeks hopefully it still does the job.

Thanks for the info Harold you had the number right on. I had seen some of it before but I did not know the exact date. I also did not know anything about its relative quality, nice to hear. It does not have "tay" on the movement but it does have "H.H. Taylor - Elgin, Illinois" is that what this means?

Yes the fob is pretty neat, its really quite artful. Ok hallmarks there is 14k stamp on the loop with a tiny tiny arrowhead with "c" in it. Any thoughts....

I suppose I had better get in the market for a vest so I can rock this look!

I love this case, the spring loaded flip open is really neat but the case is really worn, brass is showing in some spots and it looks like it was really gorgeous in its day, is getting a new case a spendy proposition? This one is a keystone 2440990. Here is a detail of a once stunning case.

http://steaming-north.deviantart.com/art/watch-05-111518192
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 04:09:09 am by Vrin » Logged
HAC
Steam Theologian
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Canada Canada


HAC_N800
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2009, 06:34:31 am »

Thanks all-

Zwack it is indeed a lever set! With that new tidbit I have set it and it is running again, and after how many decades....  I will do a test to see how well it keeps time for the next few weeks hopefully it still does the job.

Thanks for the info Harold you had the number right on. I had seen some of it before but I did not know the exact date. I also did not know anything about its relative quality, nice to hear. It does not have "tay" on the movement but it does have "H.H. Taylor - Elgin, Illinois" is that what this means?

Yes the fob is pretty neat, its really quite artful. Ok hallmarks there is 14k stamp on the loop with a tiny tiny arrowhead with "c" in it. Any thoughts....

I suppose I had better get in the market for a vest so I can rock this look!

I love this case, the spring loaded flip open is really neat but the case is really worn, brass is showing in some spots and it looks like it was really gorgeous in its day, is getting a new case a spendy proposition? This one is a keystone 2440990. Here is a detail of a once stunning case.

http://steaming-north.deviantart.com/art/watch-05-111518192


Yes,  on an Elgin , the "TAY" would refer to Taylor, as you remarked. Nice uncommon Elgin.. As for the fob, I know of one date hallmark that sounds like it could be a match. The London datemark for 1878 looked like this:


As for cases, good hunting cases are hard to find but do turn up occcasionally.. Expect to have prices start in the $100.00 range and up..

Cheers
Harold
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