Precious Metal Weight: 8 dwt
Precious Metal Material: 14k yellow gold throughout
Dimensions: This pendant watch measures 71.05 mm from the top of the top-loop (the bow) to bottom of the longest tassel. The outermost diameter of the watch itself measures 24.35 mm and has a 7.40 mm depth from back to the front/top of the beveled glass bezel face. The glass 'opening' bezel measures 16 mm in diameter, and the tassels measure about 21.80 to 22.40 in length (despite extremely modest differences in length, these do appear even to the eye).
Weight: An extremely impressive 12.88 grams
Markings: The face of the watch reads "Elgin" encircled by numbers (hours) and tick marks (minutes) to keep time. The inside of the gold case reads "14K DUEBER" with an anchor pictorial mark, as well as the stamped number "10258281". Another series of at least six service reference numbers are hand etched around this maker's mark and represent each time that this watch was professionally serviced during its life. The interior shows the stamped serial number "21841644", which denotes that this is a Grade: 444, Model 4, movement size 10/0s Lady Elgin Pendant Watch by Elgin National Watch Co. of Elgin, Illinois. There are believed to be less than 480,000 made, which is quite few for a production article.
Era: This piece dates to between 1916-1922, and is believed to specifically hail from 1919 according to the American Horological Archive.
Buyer Notes: Most notably, this pendant watch is rare in its model and 14k yellow gold fabrication, and boasts an estimated value of between $1,130 and $1,200. This pendant watch is running at the time of inspection and listing (please see video), without any extensive evaluation; a guarantee cannot convey with purchase. The clock keeps time by winding the crown, which is the ribbed button dial that is housed within the bow at the top of the piece. The clock hands show some bluing, wherein the metal naturally oxidizes over time. Likewise, the reverse of the outer gold case shows some dings here and there and the glass bezel shows nips at the edges (pictured); these characteristics are perfectly commensurate with the piece's 100+ year age and affectionate use. As a disclaimer, Revival Fine Jewelry specializes in vintage and antique fine jewelry, not pocket watches. As such, please kindly refer to a professional watchmaker and watch expert, a horologist or bench jeweler with experience in antique pocket watches for detailed analyses and upkeep. Revival Fine Jewelry cannot guarantee a warranty once this pendant leaves our inventory, given the delicate and individual nature of such secondhand articles and the unaccountability of buyer handling post-purchase.
Founded in 1864 as the "National Watch Company", Elgin began with a vision of mass-manufacturing both reliable timepieces and corresponding interchangeable parts. This was a notable mission given that, at the time, all watches and parts were individually handmade, which rendered each part ineligible for easy replacement as needed for basic upkeep. The company began with seven machinists-turned-watchmakers who left Waltham Watch Company to kickstart what is now known as Elgin.
Their first movement produced was an 18 Size piece called the "Benjamin W. Raymond" model, named after the company's president at the time, who also served as the local mayor. It sold in April 1867 for $115.00, which is the equivalent of $2,251.16 as of March 2022. By the end of 1867, the company rolled out another movement known as "H.H. Taylor" grade, which earned esteem with railroad men as the most reliable timepiece in the business. From there, the company quickly gained momentum and developed an especially noteworthy reputation as the blue collar go-to in their affordability and accuracy. By 1872, they were producing about 25,000 watches per year.
By 1873, Elgin introduced a stem-wind variant of the "B.W. Raymond" movement, for which demand soared. Eventually, they amped up production to roughly 100,000 watches annually, and as business boomed, the company evolved their record-keeping system to numerically notate movement sizes, jeweling, grades, and finishes. Their familiarity with the public lead them to formally rename the company the "Elgin National Watch Company", and launch two luxury lines to compete at all consumer levels: mens luxury watches under "Lord Elgin", and likewise, women's luxury watches under "Lady Elgin".
Three and a half decades later, Elgin's progress had certainly not slowed. With President Theodore Roosevelt's 1908 demand that the US Bureau of Standards standardize precise timing on a national level, Elgin obliged with force. In 1910, the company's engineers constructed an observatory a few blocks from the factory, with the goal of obtaining the most scientifically accurate timekeeping. Indeed, their keeping was improved down to a tenth of a second accuracy. The Elgin Observatory led to a reputation of "...time keeping by the stars". With this expansion, Elgin introduced their first line wristwatches, which kept time with, arguably, the most accurate precision. This observatory was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, and more about its construction, use, significance and history may be read in its NRHP registration form here.
This pendant watch is a product of Elgin's 1919 production year, a design that, while seemingly simple, is actually quite rare on the market. It boasts the pared down florals of the refined Edwardian era, with a modernized minimalism that looked ahead to the Art Deco movement. A superb detail, the dangling tassels are exceptionally unusual to find today, and make this relic as dynamic, flirty and feminine as the day it was made. Perfect for wear at virtually any length, this pendant is an exciting addition that marries form and function in gleaming antique gold.