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 art deco movement began in Paris in the 1920s as a counter to the popular art nouveau movement that preceded it. Art nouveau was defined by highly stylized and ornate curves that were chock full of details so it was unsurprising that the art deco movement bucked those trends with much simpler, yet still highly stylized, angular designs. Coming about during a time of great economic expansion and opulence (think Great Gatsby), art deco became associated with that same technology, optimism, and prosperity that the roaring 20s were known for. As with many great design movements, watch design followed suit to stay relevant and current. This Lord Elgin watch is a great example of that with its rectangular shape, square stepped lugs, and stylized numerals all wrapped in a solid 14k gold case.
The solid 14k yellow gold case is in good to very good condition. There are light scratches throughout which is to be expected. The curved acrylic crystal is in similar condition with no major faults to note. The caseback does have an engraving that was done very nicely in a matching art deco style and reads “O.W.S”.
The Dial and Hands
The matte black dial and gold hands and applied hour markers are in good condition. There are no scratches or faults to note. There are limited comps available but the ones that are available show the same hands and similar dial layouts and text which leads us to believe that the dial and hands are correct for the watch.
This watch features a hand wound Elgin caliber 559 movement. The watch is running and the service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Manual, Elgin caliber 559|
|Case Width||23mm x 32mm|
|Case Material||14k Gold Cap|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|