Dating vintage helbros watches
Elgin had helped define the American pocket watch as unsurpassed in “Railroad Accuracy.” By 1930, the post Civil War dream factory imagined by a handful of American entrepreneurs had produced 32 million “time machines.” During World War II, all civilian manufacturing was halted and the company moved into the defense industry, manufacturing military watches, chronometers, fuses for artillery shells, altimeters and other aircraft instruments and sapphire bearings used for aiming cannons.While their altruism was vital to the war effort, Elgin’s patriotism ironically opened an opportunity for the Swiss.Serial number records are available for many of the old pocket watch companies like AM Waltham, Elgin, South Bend etc. The number you need is the serial number stamped on the MOVEMENT (i.e the inner workings).Write this number down and compare it to the charts on this website.Elgin engineers built their own Observatory to maintain scientifically precise times in their watches.Later, their accurate “wristlet” watches proved to be vital to the WWI war effort, helping to fuel a craze back in the states for something called “The Wrist Watch.” By the opulent Jazz Age, if you weren’t displaying the exuberant symmetry of an Elgin wrist watch or carrying a svelte, distinctive Elgin pocket watch, then who were you?Sometimes it is easy to answer, and sometimes it is impossible.
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Most vintage Swiss pocket watches did NOT have serial numbers and can't be dated by this method.
Many watch companies made hundreds of thousands of watches, and some companies made millions of watches!
Many have gone out of business, while others destroyed records to save space.
Some companies (as with the Gruen Watch Company), even lost rocords to fire or other natural disaster. I am sure they had no idea that their timepieces would someday be collected.
It would be impractical to list the individual serial numbers of EVERY watch made... Our serial number tables list RANGES of serial numbers.