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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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Private Label Elgin Grade 290


This is a 16 size, 7 jewel movement, in a nice hunting case.  It's also a "private label" watch.

A private label is a watch with a movement or dial, or both, custom marked with some name other than, or in addition to the make, the make being Elgin in this case.  This example was made about 1904.

This watch is marked "Goe. W. Welsh's Son, New York" on the dial.

Elgin did this quite a lot, on watches from the factory, around the turn of the century.  These "vanity watches" seem to have been made for large retailers.  

The labeling echoes a much earlier era of watch making when watches were made by hand, by an individual, who then signed the movements.



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