1868 Elgin pocket watch


Michelle Knows Antiques is a great way to find the value of your antiques. Submit your antique for appraisal on our easy to use form. Here is a recent appraisal from Michelle’s column in Discover Vintage America:

Q: I bought what I was told was an 1868 Elgin pocket watch. Now I want to verify the information I was given. The serial number is 22510.

 A: The serial number tells us that the watch was made in 1868, based on the photos of the works of the watch the style is the “J.T. Ryerson”. Ryerson was on the board of directors for Elgin and also owned and operated a metal company. His company more than likely provided Elgin with the metal needed to create their watches.

There were 1,000 of these watches made in 1868. Your watch is a key wind and non-railroad watch. As with most pocket watch manufacturers of the time, the watch was sold without a case. Customers would have a jeweler handcraft a case or purchase a pre-made case from a wide selection carried in jewelry stores.

As to your case, the Dueber Watch Case Manufacturing Co. was in operation from the 1860s – 1930. The word “coin” on your case tells us that it is made of coin silver. Coin silver is an alloy of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. Although, you can find coin silver that is 80 percent and 20 percent.

The resale value is $250-$300 if the watch is fully functional, complete with the key and the exterior of the case is in very good to excellent condition with minimal scratching and dings.

note – All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop or other resale outlet. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawnshop prices are about one half or less of resale value.

Written by Michelle Staley

Michelle Staley has over 35 years of experience as an antique collector, picker and dealer. She has done hundreds of insurance and IRS appraisals in addition to just satisfying another collector or dealer’s curiosity concerning what an item is, does or its worth. Other experience includes her work as a forensics consultant and in archeological identification and dating.

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  1. I have a Elgin pocket watch serial #35613. It is gold and is engraved for a gift. Can you tell me about it?

    • Michelle Staley

      Thank you very much for visiting my appraisal website. If you are in need of information and and appraisal please visit the Submit Appraisal page – http://www.michelleknowsantiques.com/submit-online-antique-appraisal/ .

      If you live in the KC metro area please look at the Events page for locations where I will be conducting appraisals.

      As much as I would love to freely share my knowledge questions such as yours require research which can take some time. I hope that you understand that this is how I earn a living and cannot do this free of charge.

      My best to you, Michelle Staley

  2. I have an Elgin 4970 beautiful shape is being worked on for the watch to work. Cushman is engraved inside. Any ideas of value.. Thx so much -Jay

    • Michelle Staley

      Thank you for writing.

      I will need to do some research on your question and need photos along with the serial number and photo of the face and case.

      You can submit an appraisal here – Submit Appraisal

      Thank you, Michelle

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