14k gold. Continental collection by Elgin
Thank you for sending in this wristwatch to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall try to help you with that today.
Remember that the watch is v=being valued as if sold on the watch market and NOT the gold market.
Gent’s, 14K yellow gold, manually wound, anti-magnetic and shock resistant, wristwatch with rice grain 14 k gold mesh bracelet with fold over gold clasp, from the Elgin Continental Collection, Swiss movement, Case made and watch sold by Elgin Watch Company, USA, circa 1966. Accompanied by original Elgin jewelry box.
CASE – Size not reported. Approximated to be 32-34 mm diameter, two leaf, 14k yellow gold watch case with hooded lugs which integrate this 14k gold rice grain mesh bracelet with hallmarked gold fold over clasp. The back cover of 14k gold and so marked snaps into place. An original jewelry box marked for the Elgin Continental Collection accompanies the wristwatch. . .
DIAL- Silvered dial with enameled baton hour indices, no second’s hand, and the dial marked Elgin with the rounded ‘E’ logo registered by Elgin when they started using Swiss movements inside their watch cases during the 1960’s. at the base of the dial there is no marking for Swiss. There are gilt pointy baton hands. . .
MOVEMENT: Unfortunately, not shown but this would be one of a number of Swiss mechanical movements, most were made by Adolph Schild in Switzerland and referred to as ‘AS’ calibre. It is not marked self-winding or automatic so I will assume this watch is manually wound. . .
CASE – Very good condition with minimal amount of scratches on the case surface. Bracelet is excellent but out of date aesthetically.
DIAL – Very good condition for its age with all the batons and writing legible.
MOVEMENT – Unfortunately this is not shown, but assumed original to this case, genuine and still functioning.
HISTORY - ELGIN WATCH COMPANY POST 1950’S:::
Elgin was renowned in American watch history for more than a century, but after WW II they began to slide towards oblivion, and really could not match the competition coming from the new war-free European brands, especially the Swiss.
In 1968, all US manufacturing was discontinued and the rights to the name “Elgin” were sold and subsequently resold multiple times over the years. The rights to the name are currently owned by MZ Berger Inc. Elgin-branded watches produced after 1968 have no connection to the original Elgin Watch Company. All US manufacturing was discontinued in 1968, and the rights to the name "Elgin" were sold and subsequently resold multiple times over the years. The rights eventually were purchased by MZ Berger Inc., which manufactures its watches in China and distributes them outside traditional watch dealerships. Elgin-branded watches produced after 1968 have no connection to the Elgin Watch Company. The Elgin Company diversified after World War II making decorator clocks, transistor radios, wedding rings, but the heart's beat was the Elgin watch. That heart beat had been getting slower every year and Elgin ceased to depend on the watch factory as its main enterprise. The clock tower of the National Street plant was torn down October 7, 1966. The Elgin, South Carolina, plant-a new building with 72,000 square feet of production space-was opened in 1963. It closed in 1968. A leased plant at 1565 Fleetwood Drive, Elgin, Illinois, was occupied beginning in 1964 when operations were transferred from the obsolete Main Plant. Watch production was now centered in South Carolina, and this was the site of the casing, fitting, shipping, service, and trade material departments as well as offices. It was closed up about 1970.
The world's largest watch manufacturing complex was located in several buildings from its inception in 1864 until the last Elgin movement made in the United States was completed in Elgin, South Carolina, in 1968.
This I one of the last watches that the American Elgin company had any hand in. Post 1968 the Elgin watches were totally made in Switzerland and then later in China. By the 1960s the handwriting was on the wall and Elgin was struggling. They turned to watchmaking firms in Switzerland to provide basic movements. The fact that the watch is solid gold as well as the bracelet and since this watch is now 50+ years old and vintage it has some value. The watch alone would be in the $250 range with the value of the bracelet most likely in the same range or a bit more, so that the fair market value of this wristwatch with original box would be in the $500-$600 price range.
I am certain that as this was your grandfather’s wristwatch it has more value to you than I can provide in dollars, so I hope you keep and enjoy it.