Elgin - I've already created a Pocket Watch page about this Company.
While most watch companies reviewed in these pages seem to be Swiss, in the late 1800s the Americans were slowly building a watch manufacturing industry that matched anything the Swiss could produce. Indeed, the Swiss were curious as to why their watches were no longer being sold to the US in the vast quantities they once were.
They sent a representative to the World Exhibition in Philadelphia, held in 1876 to see what was going on. What they saw at the exhibition sent shock waves through the Swiss. American engineers had been able to create what the Swiss couldn't - fully automated machines that could turn out just about any watch part without any intervention by a human.
One company in particular that stood out at the exhibition was the Elgin Watch Co. The Company demonstrated that they could manufacture over 330 completed watch movements in a single day, something the Swiss simply couldn't match with the hand operated machines that they still had in Switzerland.
Elgin started off life under the name of "National Watch Company" but in 1874 they changed it to include the "Elgin" name. The Company was originally formed with one purpose; to mass produce good quality and most of all, affordable watches for the average person. This is one goal that they definitely succeeded in, and over the time period up until the mid 1960s when they ceased watch production they made over 60 million movements.
Elgin have made so many watches that it is hard to pick out any particular example, simply looking at the watches below should give you an idea of what is still available. This is a brand that will hopefully never fade away into obscurity. The Swiss have since regained the lead in watch production and Elgin has become a legend of time past.
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