Watch's origin: American
Number of jewels: 7
Case: Philadelphia Watch Case Co.
Type of Watch: Wrist
Lug Width: 16mm
Dimension: Approx. 41mm lug-to-lug by approx. 38mm in diameter
Elgin took a rather risky move at the turn of the 20th century: Acting on a breeze of fashion change in Europe, they began to manufacture "wristlets" or wristwatches for the public. These converted pocket watches could be worn on the wrist by a chain or ribbon, allowing the wearer to check the time without fumbling at the breast or in a pocket for a pendant. Women were the first to wear a wristwatch: Victorian men thought a watch tied with a ribbon to the wrist was too effeminate. However, after seeing a number of comrades shot as they fumbled with their pocket watches, legends has it that a German Army officer tied his pocket watch to his wrist with a piece of cloth so that he could quickly glance at it. Later, he was said to have had wire lugs soldered to the case and thus the men's wristwatch "craze" was born.
During WWI Elgin began devoting much energy toward manufacturing watches and timers for the U.S. military. Among their earliest, most forward-thinking examples was a special wrist model for the relatively unknown "U.S. Army Air Corps."
We at Strickland Vintage Watches, are happy to offer an exceedingly rare oversized Elgin U.S. military-type wristwatch, circa 1919. This silveroid example measures approx. 41mm lug-to-lug by approx. 38mm in diameter.
Its even more uncommon porcelain dial is original to the piece, as are its hands. We have taken the liberty of carefully restoring hands and dial so they appear as they did more than a hundred years ago.
The silveroid "Philadelphia" case is in remarkably good untouched original condition, pleasing from its proper crown and distinctive, thick lugs to its original glass crystal.
Its un-engraved back opens to reveal its original 7 ruby jewel nickel movement, which has been carefully cleaned, oiled and regulated to keep time as intended.
We've taken the liberty of fitting this example with a correctly re-created two-piece black cordovan strap of the type that would have been worn on this watch. This strap are not only historically accurate, it displays the watch well and is quite comfortable.
Please feel free to take a few moments and admire this historic work of horological art!