The founding story of most watch brands starts in some small town in Switzerland but that is not the case when it comes to Elgin. Elgin was founded in Elgin, Illinois at the end of the US civil war and was a major player in what was once a booming watch industry in the United States. The company was originally founded under the name of the National Watch Company, but the company quickly came to be known by the public as Elgin so, in 1874, the company officially added Elgin to the front of their name. The company grew into a powerhouse, producing thousands of watches per week. They even created the Elgin National Watch Company Observatory in 1920 to ensure the quality and precision of the watches that they were producing. One of the more interesting moments in the history of Elgin came during the first world war. To support the war effort, Elgin trained 350 soldiers on watch repair so that soldiers’ watches could be maintained and repaired in the field as needed.
The 1960s were a difficult time for US watch manufacturers with the Swiss gaining a firm handle on the industry globally. In 1968, Elgin closed its doors for good and sold all of its assets including its name. Over the years various watches would be produced with the Elgin name and this is one of those watches. Interestingly, this watch wasn’t even produced in the United States but rather in Switzerland and features a Swiss Valjoux movement. To our eye, this Elgin is very reminiscent of many of the Heuer watches of the era and that’s a good thing. The black on white panda dial paired with an orange chronograph hand is a winning combination.
The 39mm stainless steel case is in excellent condition and we can confidently say that the watch is in original and unpolished condition. Outside of some minor superficial scratches and a small dent on the lower left lug the case is flawless. The crown, pushers, caseback and crystal are all correct and thought to be original. The caseback features custom engraving that reads Good Doc.
The Dial and Hands
The black on white panda dial is in excellent condition. The tritium lume on the hour markers and hands is all full and in excellent condition. The lume has started to take on a little bit of patina and has aged consistently across the dial.
The watch is powered by an Elgin signed hand wound Valjoux 7734 chronograph movement. The watch is running and all chronograph operations are functioning as expected. The service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Elgin signed hand wound Valjoux 7734|
|Dial||Black on white panda dial|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Original Leather Strap|