Elgin Pocket Watch

Elgin pocket watches are on a class of their own thanks to the long-respected reputation carried by its name. Founded in 1864, the Elgin National Watch Company has been making beautiful timepieces worthy to be either worn everyday or included in treasured collections. Elgin has produced more than 60 million watches in the last 150 years.

Aside for being known as an enduring company that produces classic watches, Elgin is also known for the big role it played in America's transition from agriculture to industry in the mid-19th century. watches were one of the first machines for which the public had a high demand so it was no surprise that a company devoted to manufacturing watches appeared in order to meet the public's needs.

Elgin didn't start out with that name when it was founded in August 1864 around the time of the end of the Civil War. Then, it was only known as the National Watch Company. It became the Elgin National Watch Company when the city of Elgin in Illinois was picked to be the site for the factory. To show the government's support for the industrial age, the city of Elgin gave the company 35 acres of land on which the factory was built within just two years.

The founding of Elgin was largely influenced by the success of another similar company, the Waltham Watch Company which was based in Massachusetts. Several former employees of Waltham wanted to build another watch company within the US; this time, they wanted it to be in the Midwest. To achieve this goal, they teamed up with renowned Chicago-based watchmaker JC Adams in an effort to find inventors interested in their proposed venture. Benjamin Wright Raymond, then-Mayor of Chicago, was one of the first investors the team recruited. Because of Raymond's political influence, a lot of investors came along their way quite easily.

Elgin made its first watch in 1867, and it was a BW Raymond railroader's watch in size 18 and with a full plate design. The watch was named in honor of the then-Mayor of Chicago of the same name. Elgin then became known for producing high quality yet affordable watches, thanks to the usage of easily-repaired and replaced parts made by machines.

During World War II, Elgin shifted their focus from timepieces to precision instruments used in the military and defense industry, but the factory never really closed down until 1964, which was coincidentally its 100th anniversary. During this time, Elgin stopped making timepieces and moved on to bigger things such as engineering construction, among other ventures. Because of this change, Elgin dropped the name 'Elgin National Watch Company' and adopted Elgin National Industries instead as its official moniker.

Nevertheless, Elgin pocket watches still remain popular today. In fact, many people collect them because they're not only unique and interesting, but they're also considered vintage items that carry so much history with them. Also, there's something satisfyingly nostalgic about hearing the tick tock of an old-school watch. It can bring you to another...time.



Recent Comments

Lucilla Lecuyer wrote:

Got my ELGIN POCKET WATCH 6 SIZE HUNTER 11 JEWEL GRADE 94 VINTAGE 1886 years ago and am really happy with it.
Hannah Leiker wrote:
Today I picked up my 1920 ELGIN POCKET WATCH - 20 YR GOLD FILLED CASE - WATCH RUNS on eBay.
Holly Kiel wrote:
Today my son-in-law bought my Elgin Grade 342 16s 17j Hunter Case Pocket Watch on eBay.
Vaughn wrote:
Got my ELGIN 16 SIZE MODEL 575 ADJUSTED 4 POS. POCKET WATCH IN GOOD RUNNING CONDITION some time ago and am totally pleased the transaction.
Leora wrote:
Got my Elgin 16 size open face 15 jewel montgomery dial pocket watch gold filled. some time ago and am totally pleased the purchase.
Kimberely wrote:
Just yesterday my wife picked up my Antique Elgin Pocket Watch 18s Grade 308 at a yard sale.
Moshe Schull wrote:
Today I bought my 5 VINTAGE POCKET WATCH (1) ZENITH,(2) WALTHAM,( 2) ELGIN at garage sale.
Hannah Leiker wrote:
Got my ELGIN 16 SIZE 17 JEWEL HUNTER CASE RUNNING BRAIL POCKET WATCH some time ago and am really happy that I got it.
Mabelle wrote:
Got my Vintage Elgin Silver Pocket Watch and Gold Chain some time ago and am totally pleased with the price.
Lynnette Bomberger wrote:
Just yesterday my son picked up my 1917 ELGIN POCKET WATCH 18s 15 JEWEL RUNS STRONG at a yard sale.
Hannah Leiker wrote:
Just last week I picked up my ELGIN 7 JEWEL 6 SIZE GOLD FILLED HUNTER POCKET WATCH ,RUNS GREAT at a yard sale.
Dollie Tagle wrote:
Today I bought my Elgin Pocket Watch 12s 1924 at garage sale.
Nathan wrote:
Recently my kids picked up my ~~VINTAGE 1929 ELGIN POCKET WATCH~~ Beautiful-31653513-7j-size 12--RUNS at a yard sale.
Angela wrote:
Today my kids found my 1902, Elgin, Size 16s, 15 jewel Pocket Watch. on eBay.
Martha wrote:
Got my Vintage Elgin Pocket Watch ~ gold filled ~ circa 1908 years ago and am really happy that I got it.
Loura Mahle wrote:
Just yesterday my son-in-law picked up my 18 size elgin pocket watch (1890's) on Amazon.
Martha wrote:
Got my VINTAGE ANTIQUE 14K SOLID GOLD ELGIN POCKET WATCH (2CW) months ago and am totally pleased with it.
Nydia Delcid wrote:
Got my 1888, 15 jewel Elgin size16 , running hours ago and am totally pleased how much it cost.
Ivey wrote:
Got my ESTATE FIND Working ELGIN pocket watch ESTATE FIND hours ago and am totally pleased the transaction.
Joe wrote:
Last week my wife found my VINTAGE ANTIQUE ELGIN 14K SOLID GOLD POCKET WATCH HUNTER CASE on eBay.
Leola Rodda wrote:
Got my Elgin GM Wheeler 1987 Pocket Watch Runs Keeps Perfect Time years ago and am totally pleased the purchase.
Cristin Hora wrote:
Got my Elgin pocket watch hand engraved case and Movement Excellent condition GF hours ago and am really happy that I got it.
Bill wrote:
Just yesterday I found my Vintage 1928 Elgin 12s - 17 Jewels - Open Face Pocket Watch on eBay.
Lashawnda Berning wrote:
Got my Elgin Pocket Watch Grade 386 16s 17j months ago and am really happy with it.
Zofia Vickery wrote:
Got my ELGIN 15 JEWEL 14KT GOLD FANCY DIAL 12S 1923 GRADE 315 hours ago and am really happy with the price.
Jeanie Green wrote:
Today I found my ELGIN 18s 17J RARE MEXICAN RAILROAD LOANER WATCH at garage sale.
Ivey wrote:
Got my Vintage Elgin Pocket Watch Wadsworth Pilot Case 20 Years Cracked Crystal weeks ago and am really happy that I got it.
Cira wrote:
Today I picked up my Circa 1912 15-Jewel Elgin Grade 313 Model 7 Open Face at garage sale.
Shawnna Devlin wrote:
Got my Vintage ELGIN Pocket Watch - 15 Jewel- Size 10 - Gold filled case - Runs great weeks ago and am totally pleased that I got it.
Lurline Reneau wrote:
Got my 1899 ELGIN POCKET WATCH 18s 7 JEWEL MINT ENGRAVING ON BACK LOOK hours ago and am really happy the quality.
Daisy Bellis wrote:
Got my Antique Elgin Pocket Watch 17 Jewels Fancy Dial Fancy Case hours ago and am totally pleased the transaction.
Verlie wrote:
Recently my wife found my Elgin Size 0 Gold Filled Hunters Case Grade 110 Not Running on eBay.
Sumiko Gabourel wrote:
Recently I picked up my Antique Elgin Pocket Watch Size 16 Gold Trane Gears 7 Jewel,Movement # 13982124 on eBay.
Octavio wrote:
Got my Elgin BW raymond 18s pocket watch running weeks ago and am really happy the purchase.
Rosario wrote:
Just yesterday my son-in-law found my ~~ Santa Fe 25 yr HUNTER Case - 1910 - 16 sz 7j ELGIN Pocket Watch Antique on Amazon.
Vicente Manville wrote:
Last week I picked up my 1895 7 jewel Elgin, size 18, running. at garage sale.
Rosario wrote:
Got my ANTIQUE ELGIN STREAMLINE SERIES POCKET WATCH 4" BY 3 1/4" PRESENTATION BOX hours ago and am totally pleased the transaction.
Mabelle wrote:
Got my Antique Elgin Circa 1915 Gold filled Running Pocket Watch weeks ago and am really happy that I got it.
Janeth Cassinelli wrote:
Got my 1897 Elgin 15 Jewels size 6 ROSE GOLD Filled hunter case (ticking ) NO RES. months ago and am really happy that I got it.
Andera wrote:
Got my lot of 6 vintage pocket watch movements Elgin Illinois for parts or repair some time ago and am really happy the quality.
Wayne wrote:
Last week I bought my Elgin Pocket Watch 12 Size 17 Jewel - Runner - KR78 on eBay.
Moon Arrieta wrote:
Just last week I bought my Elgin Pocket Watch Hunter size 18 year 1905 25 year case 17 jewels Running at garage sale.
Laronda Tippit wrote:
Got my Antique Women's Elgin Gold Pocket Watch years ago and am totally pleased how much it cost.
Yetta wrote:
Got my Beautiful Elgin 18K Gold Pocket Watch Extensively Engraved years ago and am totally pleased with it.
Kelvin wrote:
Got my 1897 7 jewel Elgin size 18 running hours ago and am really happy how much it cost.
Jenette wrote:
Today I picked up my 1889 Elgin 18 size 15 jewel Pocket Watch Swing Out Case runs great on eBay.
Ermelinda Leadbetter wrote:
Got my ANTIQUE 14K GOLD FILLED ELGIN MASONIC POCKET WATCH c1920's hours ago and am really happy how much it cost.
Dustin wrote:
Got my 1868 GM Wheeler 18s sn14408 NICE- dial Elgin National watch pocket 11j hunter KW some time ago and am totally pleased the purchase.
Doyle Greenly wrote:
Recently my daughter found my ANTIQUE ELGIN POCKET WATCH MADE IN 1919 on eBay.
Sina Whitney wrote:
Just last week my son-in-law found my ELGIN ANTIQUE LADIES POCKET WATCH SOLID 14 K GOLD SIZE 0s RUNNING EXCELLENT COND at a yard sale.
Holly Kiel wrote:
Got my Vint.1911 Elgin Veritas 23 Jew Up/Down Indicator Time Zone Pocket Watch 16 Size some time ago and am really happy the purchase.
Leola Rodda wrote:
Recently my kids found my 1918 elgin gold plated pocket watch at garage sale.
Leora wrote:
Got my ELGIN 18S 17J POCKET WATCH 1919 hours ago and am totally pleased the transaction.
Verlie wrote:
Last week my kids bought my 1896 7 jewel Elgin size 18, running at a yard sale.
Gloria wrote:
Last week my daughter picked up my 1888 7 jewel Elgin size 18, running at a yard sale.
Leola Rodda wrote:
Today I picked up my 1911 GOLD ELGIN SZ16 & 19J NICE MOTOR BARREL RR RUNS at garage sale.
Mollie wrote:
Got my Antique Elgin Nat'l Pocket Watch B W Raymond 17 Jewel,Gold Setting, Works,1899 months ago and am totally pleased how much it cost.
Elwood wrote:
Got my Antique Elgin Nat'l Pocket Watch Movement #6050500 Clean & Working 7 Jewel,Nice weeks ago and am really happy with the price.
James wrote:
Today my son picked up my RUNNING ANTIQUE 1883 14K GOLD ELIGIN NATIONAL WATCH CO 16S POCKET WATCH at garage sale.
Corrie Ickes wrote:
Got my 1884 11 jewel Elgin size 18 running weeks ago and am really happy that I got it.

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