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An Interesting Dial on an Elgin Grade 290

I was sent these photos from a watch owner in the U.K.  There is a lot going on with this watch.  This is a grade 290 Elgin, 16 size, 7 jewels, made about 1920.  It says "Elgin USA" in a block font.  This is not typical on an early watch in my experience.

Second, it is in a hunter case...  Keep in mind that Elgin never made pocketwatch cases.   The common practice was that a customer would pick out a movement and a case separately at the shop and the watchmaker or jeweler would assemble them together at the shop.

The type of movement is determined by the location of the seconds dial relative to the stem.  It's either 180 degrees or 90 degrees.  This movement is an open-faced movement made with the intention of having the stem at 12:00 and the seconds at 6:00.  A hunter movement is made so that the stem is at 3:00 and the seconds is at 6:00.

The difference is whether it is intended to be read with the stem up (open-face), or the stem to the right (hunter).  When a hunter movement is installed in an open-face case, it's often called a "side-winder".


The dial though can be made independently of all this.  You see dials made for placing hunter movement in open-face cases with the stem at 12:00 and the seconds at 3:00, for example.

This watch is the reverse.  It's a dial made to accommodate putting an open-face movement in a hunter case.  The dial places the 12:00 up when the watch is held normally, in the left hand, the stem at 3:00 and the seconds at 9:00.  Hunter movements in open-face cases are pretty common, with or without a special dial, but not the reverse.


I also like the radial roman numerals.  I have seen marks like this before, but it is a less common style.



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