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Learn about mechanical timepieces and how they work, the history of the American watch industry and especially all about the Elgin National Watch Company! Check back for new content daily.

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Elgin Serial Number Beginning with a Letter

Why do some Elgin movement numbers start with a letter?

In its later years Elgin began using a letter code as a prefix to movement serial numbers.  The letter stands for a number of millions, as follows:

X38 and 39
C, E, T and Y42
L43
U44
J45
V46
H47
N48
F49
S50
R51
P52
K53
I54

For example, a movement marked with a serial number L35467 would be serial number 43035467. Elgin serial numbers are always either a number, all digits and no letters, or a single letter followed by numbers. Anything else is either not the movement number, or the watch is not a vintage Elgin product.  The only exception is some imported (Swiss) grades Elgin that sold in the late 1960s, which do not have a serial number marked on the movement.

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