The company was re-organized on April 25, 1865 with a capitol of 0,000. This was followed on August 24, 1870 by the Francis Rubie, which was adjusted to temperature, on September 8, 1871 by the Gail Borden (of Elsie fame) and on December 20, 1871 by the Dexter Street.The first movement was delivered from the factory April 1, 1867 and was named in honor of Benjamin W. It was an 18 size, key wind, and full plate, with quick train and straight-line escapement arranged to set on the face and was adjusted to temperature. Elgin and most other watch companies sold their movements to wholesaler's who then sold them to the jewelry shops.Many Elgin watches that were made over 100 years ago are still providing reliable and accurate daily service to their proud owners.During the last few years that Elgin was in business (late 50's through mid-60's), they began to reduce their US production and began importing Swiss watch movements which were finished and labeled as Elgin watches.The Elgin National Watch Company was founded in 1864 in Elgin, Illinois as the National Watch Company, and some of the organizers were later to become the some of the biggest names in the American watch industry: J. Elgin watches remain extremely popular with collectors today because they are plentiful, can be obtained at reasonable prices, and can be relatively easily repaired due to the large number of watches and parts available. Throughout their history, the Elgin National Watch Company was known for horological innovations. Mason, with financial backing from former Chicago Mayor Benjamin W. The factory for the National watch company was completed in 1866, and the first movement produced was an 18-size B. Raymond model which sold in April of 1867 for the astounding price of 5.Seven new grades of 10 size, six grades of 12 size and five grades of 14 size, three quarter plate, key wind movements, were made by the company between September 29, 1875 and December 29, 1876.
For more information on Swiss Elgin watches, including a listing of Swiss Elgin grades and their equivalent Swiss movement calibres, please view our Swiss Elgin page. It manufactured watch cases under many brands, such as "Elgin Giant," "Elgin Pride," "Tivoli," "Spartan," and "Elgin Commander." The use of the name "Elgin" in their brand names, or marking the cases with "Elgin USA" has often led people to believe that a watch was made by the Elgin National Watch Company when it was actually made by another manufacturer, or to think that a watch no longer has its original case because it is "now in an Elgin case." Keep in mind that watch movements and watch cases were usually made by different manufacturers.Be sure to use the serial number on the movement (the works) of the watch. In the 1930s, Elgin began using a single-letter prefix to replace the "millions" digits on their serial numbers.So if your Elgin watch has a serial number starting with a letter, you must determine the millions digits from the table below in order to determine the full serial number. The towns people would also have to put up ,000 (keep in mind that the war was on and all the young men where gone). Since turn about is fair play, Elgin lost several of the Seven Stars to the Illinois Watch Co. The Seven Stars were all machinists first and watchmakers second. Moseley and he became the factory's first superintendent. The Elgin businessmen had been informed that if they wanted the company to be located in Elgin they would have to donate 35 acres of land.