18s,15j grade 76 14kt gold
Thank you for sending this pocket watch to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall try to help you with that tonight.
Gent’s, Art Nouveau, 18 size, gold-filled, pendant wound and pendant set, railroad grade, open face pocket watch, Monarch No. 1 case made by the Fahy’s Watch Case Company, S/N 5374076, Grade 76 movement, made by the Elgin National Watch Company, Elgin, Illinois, circa 1894.
Case: 18s, three leaf, gold filled, open face pocket watch with a fluted gilt ball pendant and round bow placed at the twelve position relative to the dial. The back cover is engraved with foliate designs, most heavily around the perimeter of the cover, around the barrel of the case and along the gilt bezel, all very much in the Art Nouveau style of circa 1880-1910, stressing the natural world of flora and fauna. The inside of the back cover has a case number of ‘557975’ and the circular logo of the Fahys Watch Case Company’s Monarch No.1 case, patented April 22, 1879. This trademark was first issued on January 19, 1892. All Fahy’s Monarch cases were gold filled, as noted in their early catalog advertisement seen below:
For more on Fahy’s see ‘History’ below. Fact is, they made almost all gold filled cases, sometimes just marking them 14K, indicating that the composition case was gold plated above and below the metal interior case, with a layer of a few microns thick 14k gold plate. It can appear deceiving but that is just how this case maker, and many other makers as well, wanted it to be!
Dial: White enameled dial with Roman hours, closed minute track, sunken subsidiary seconds dial and wonderful steel skeletonized Cathedral hands. The upper dial signed in script ‘Elgin Natl. Watch Co.’.
Movement: A gilt nickel full plate movement, size 18, the grade 76, model #5, Class 8 made by the Elgin National Watch Company of Elgin, Illinois with serial number 5374076, produced circa 1894, in a run of 1000 such movements, all made with 15 jewels, some in screw settings. The movement is pendant wound and pendant set with going barrel, quick train, Breguet hairspring, Moseley regulator and is adjusted and of railroad grade as of 1894. The movement is properly signed and numbered.
Condition: Case – Quite worn engraving which once apparently covered the back cover but now is mostly visible on the edge. Dial: Good condition with a few small smudges and few speckles. However, there is also a small hairline fracture at the 17 minute marker. Movement – In good functional condition. Original and genuine.
HISTORY of FAHYS, JOSEPH, WATCH CASES:
Joseph Fahys came to America in 1848, took his training in Hoboken, N.J. and set up shop on Nassau Street in New York City in the year 1857. He opened a second case shop in Carlstadt, New Jersey in 1861. In 1882 he merged it with a large factory he had built in Sag Harbor, N.Y. Fahys generally made watch cases of either silver, gold filled or nickel cases. However, sometime between 1865 and 1890 he formed the Brooklyn Watch Case company for making solid gold watches. After 1900 he merged the Brooklyn Company with the two Fahys companies. By 1890, 500 workers were at work there turning out gold filled, silver and nickel cases. The "Fahys Watch Case Company" of Sag Harbor, N.Y. turned out to have filed ten trademarks with the government starting in 1891 and filing the last in 1905. Fahys main office remained at all time in New York City under the name of "Joseph Fahys & Company" of New York City and Brooklyn. They filed their first of six trademarks in 1908 and their last in the year 1925. The company operated until the great depression of 1929. By the mid-1930's Bulova had taken over their Sag Harbor factory.
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/85437549_antique-elgin-bw-raymond-pocket-watch-17j (Sold in 2020 for $160)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/70875869_elgin-gold-filled-17-jewel-18-size-pocket-watch (Sold on 2019 for $125)
(Sold in 2018 for 250 Canadian dollars)
The pocket watch database provides and estimated fair market value for your watch, in its current condition, in a range of $140-$160, and in view of the comparables that I have seen online I would tend to agree with their value. I hope I have explained the fact that the case is not 14k gold in a manner that is understandable. Still a wonderful piece of past American horological history.
Thank you again for choosing mearto.com for your appraisal.