My second Auction purchase is this 1947 vintage Lord Elgin model. A 3 position adjusted 21 jewel Cal. 670 manual wind movement which is fully signed and working beautifully, keeping excellent time. Not bad for a watch that’s 70 years old.
This model has articulated lugs, a feature I’ve always admired (in fact I have a few modern watches with this) and these are particularly nice. The dial here is Cognac coloured with black Roman numerals and a subsidiary Seconds dial, with gold hands. The Swiss Made script I expected at the foot of the dial is hidden and actually covered over by a coloured slick of paint, so I assume this dial has been refinished at some point in it’s life – the paint used maybe to protect the Swiss text. Whatever, it was very well done and as the dial is really good I’m certainly not about to fiddle around with it. It is what it is . . . .
The case is in great condition, 14K Gold Filled and no marks or rubbing at all. The back is similar and is a very definite snap fit. The high domed glass is perfect and overall the watch looks great. The strap is an after market leather one which is absolutely fine and obviously new. I like the upper and lower case decoration, it’s nicely figured and well done and lifts the watch somewhat from the more usual square faced models I’ve seen.
The watch dimensions are 22 mm wide and with the hinged lug design it means the lug to lug is nearly 46 mm, so when on the wrist this watch looks perfect for today. On the wrist it looks bigger than you would think.
I’ve always liked Lord Elgin and in fact Elgin watches in general as they were very well priced in their day, affordable and great value for money. And in saying this, it is gratifying to see that you can pick up a model today such as this for under £40 at auction, which when you consider the style and the fact that this watch works well, is accurate, doesn’t need a battery, looks good and has already lasted 70 years or so – it really can’t be bad!
One of the reasons perhaps why I buy vintage watches. The other is that I like the look of them. They often have a style and elegance that seems to be missing from the majority of models offered these days AND of course I wear them. They are not solely confined to a display cabinet or box, because I wear them all in rotation and they all must function. I mean that’s what they were made for in the first place and never intended as inanimate objects, but real-time recorders of time.
I have in my collection a few models that I suppose are true vintage in that they are pre’ 1900 and I always make a point of wearing them often, despite the fact that shock suppression wasn’t the best if there at all.
Let’s face it, it didn’t stop people wearing them then, so why should it now? I usually find in these really old models a certain mechanical quality that’s often so good, that a well looked after watch that’s been around maybe 100/150+ years or so hardly diminishes at all – and I like that!