Pocket Watch Database
Elgin National Watch Co.
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Elgin Mat Laflin Pocket Watch
Matthew Laflin was a major investor in the National Watch Company, and his family continued as one of the largest shareholders throughout the history of the company. Mr. Laflin originally made his fortune manufacturing blasting powder and then moved into real estate. He was a member on the board of directors at Elgin from 1868 to 1887. The first Laflin grade was introduced January 1868.
Two numbered grades feature the "Mat Laflin" moniker: 55 and 68. The numbered grades were assigned by Elgin at a later date, and all "Mat Laflin" movements were originally considered the same grade. The "Mat Laflin" watch was designed for the low-end market, especially when compared to the B.W. Raymond or the H.Z. Culver grades. The Grade 55 Laflin (7-Jewel Expansion Balance) is the more prevalent of the Laflin grades. The Grade 55 numbered classification is also shared with the Ryerson (7-Jewel, Solid Balance) and the Ferry (11 Jewel, Solid Balance).
All Mat Laflin movements are 18-Size with a gilt finish and seven jewels. The Grade 55 Laflin is keywind and keyset while the Grade 68 Laflin features a transitional keywind/stemwind mechanism and is slide lever-set.
Elgin Mat Laflin Pocket Watch Grade Catalog
|Est. Production Years:||1868 - 1876|
|PWDB Rarity Index:||51.72|
|Introduced:||January 4, 1868|
|Grade Profile Code:||18s-M1-7j/11j-HGK-U-Mat. Laflin/Mixed|
Total production of Grade 55 is 73,095 with a mixture of Mat Laflin, J.T. Ryerson, W.h. Ferry, and G.M. Wheeler. 1,650 of the Grade 55 were designated as "55" in the 1896 Material Catalog Serial List and could be nameless or marked with one of these names.
|Est. Production Years:||1873|
|PWDB Rarity Index:||1.50|
|Grade Profile Code:||18s-M2-7j-HGL-U-Mat. Laflin|
The first two runs of Grade 68 are designated as "Laflin" in the 1896 Material Catalog Serial List. However, the third (last) run is simply designated as "68." This could indicate the last run is marked for Elgin National Watch Company instead of Mat. Laflin. As a result, this run of 100 is not included in the listed production metrics. The last run was produced during the time when Elgin was introducing nameless grades, and the run could also be marked Elgin National Watch Co. or Laflin.
|Grade Number||Est. Production Years||Size||Model||Setting||Configuration||Movement Finish||Jewels||Adjustments||Est. Production|
|55||1868 - 1876||18||1||Key||Hunting||Gilt||7-11||U||17,584|
|Est. Total Production:||18,094|
Further Reading and References:
1871 Elgin Almanac, National Watch Company, 1871
1872 Elgin Almanac, National Watch Company, 1872
1873 Elgin Almanac, National Watch Company, 1873
1874 Elgin Almanac, National Watch Company, 1874
1875 Elgin Almanac, National Watch Company, 1875
1876 Elgin Almanac, National Watch Company, 1876
1896 Elgin Material Catalog, Elgin National Watch Company, 1896
1904 Elgin Material Catalog, Elgin National Watch Company, 1904
1915 Elgin Material Catalog, Elgin National Watch Company, 1915
1927 Elgin Material Catalog, Elgin National Watch Company, 1927
c.1950 Elgin Material Catalog Supplements, Elgin National Watch Company, c.1950
The Complete History of Watch Making in America by Charles S. Crossman
The Watch Factories of America Past and Present: A complete history of Watch Making in America by Henry G. Abbott
Elgin National Watch Company, The Keystone, August 1890
NOTE: Production metrics are based on the Elgin Numbered Grade Classification System. Other variants, including "unnamed" movements and movements with different named grades may have recieved the same grade number. The data on these pages attempts to segment and isolate the targeted named grade within the number classification for analysis.