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Enter the serial number from the pocket watch movement below. Do not use the case number. Tips for looking up your watch

How to Find Info About Your Pocket Watch

The Pocket Watch Database has compiled data covering the major American pocket watch manufacturers and created an easy way to find information using the serial number on the watch movement. Here are a few tips to find information about your pocket watch:

  1. Always input the serial number from the pocket watch movement (the "guts" of the watch).
  2. Never use the serial number from the case or any other part.
  3. If the serial number includes a letter, enter it along with the number when using the lookup feature.
  4. Many pocket watch case backs screw off. Others may require a dull wide blade to pry or pop the cover. Be careful not to scratch or damage the movement.
  5. Always select the correct manufacturer, which is usually stamped on the watch movement.
  6. If the manufacturer is not listed on the site, you may have a "private label" watch or it may not be American-made.
  7. Understand that many companies did not keep accurate or complete records. As a result, information displayed on this site may have inaccuracies. This is to be expected, and we have included an option to report inaccurate information on the result pages so the database can be continually improved.
Pocket Watch Serial Number Lookup - Hamilton, South Bend, Illinois, Rockford, Waltham & Elgin Pocket Watches
  Serial Number:
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Company Profile: Elgin National Watch Co.

Location: Elgin, Illinois

Years of Operation: 1864-1968

Specialty: Specialized in mass production of various quality levels.

Production Jewels: 7-23 Jewels

Production Sizes: Wide Variety

Total Production: 55,000,000+

Factory Building Status: Demolished in 1966. Shopping center now resides on the property.

The larget watch manufacturer in the United States during the pocket watch era.

Company Timeline

Predecessor: National Watch Co.

August 27, 1864

The National Watch Co. of Chicago Illinois is incorporated in Chicago by Philo Carpenter, Howard Z. Culver, Benjamin W. Raymond, George M. Wheeler, Thomas S. Dickerson, Edward H. Williams, and W. Robbins with a capital of $100,000.

April 25, 1865

The National Watch Co. of Chicago is reorganized with a capital of $500,000 in order to build a permanent factory in Elgin, Illinois.

1866

Construction of the watch factory in Elgin, Illinois is completed.

April 1867

The National Watch Co. sells its first movement for about $115.00, an 18s key wind and key set quick train B.W. Raymond, named after the president of the company, serial number 101.

July 16, 1867

The National Watch Co. produces a 18s slow-train watch, named the H.Z. Culver, after one of the company directors.

October 10, 1867

Benjamin W. Raymond is replaced by T.M. Avery as president of the National Watch Co.

October 14, 1867

The first J.T. Ryerson watch is produced by the National Watch Co.

November 20, 1867

The first H.H. Taylor watch is produced by the National Watch Co.

November 26, 1867

The first G.M. Wheeler watch is produced by the National Watch Co.

January 4, 1868

The first Mat. Laflin watch is produced by the National Watch Co.

January 28, 1869

The capital of The National Watch Co. is increased to $2,000,000.

May 20, 1869

The first "Lady Elgin" watch is produced by the National Watch Co. This 10s key-wind watch is marketed toward ladies.

August 24, 1870

After the success and popularity of the "Lady Elgin," The National Watch Co. offers the "Francis Rubie," another ladies watch, adjusted to temperature.

September 8, 1871

The first Gail Borden watch is produced by the National Watch Co., created specifically for the ladies market.

December 20, 1871

The first Dexter Street watch is produced by the National Watch Co., created specifically for the ladies market.

June 28, 1873

The first stem-wound model is manufactured as a lever-set quick train 18s H.Z. Culver, serial number 155,001.

October 10, 1874

The National Watch Co. is rebraded as Elgin National Watch Co.

March 1875

The Elgin Watch Co. begins to manufacture mainsprings to use in its movements.

June 16, 1875

The first watches to carry the Elign Watch Co. brand are manufactured. At this time, the company begins using numbered designations for movements.

1877

The Elign Watch Co. offers its first nickel-plated movement.

April 5, 1883

Benjamin W. Raymond, the National Watch Co.'s first president, passes away.

1888

The widely popular Elgin Watch Co. is producing about 7,500 movements per week and employ roughly 2,300 people.

1910

Elgin begins selling wristwatches.

1910

The Elgin National Watch Company Observatory is built in Elgin, Illinois to offer scientific precision for their watches.

1964

The Elgin Watch Co. moves operations to Blaney, South Carolina, and the town is renamed "Elgin."

1967

The original factory in Elgin, Illinois is demolished.

1968

All Elgin Watch Co. manufacturing is discontinued.

1970

Elgin's remaining trade material departments are terminated.