Classic watches, watchmaking, antique tools, history, vintage ephemera and more!

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

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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