Men’s 1919 Elgin Trench Watch w/ Roman Numerals

Men’s 1919 Elgin Trench Watch w/ Roman Numerals

Item: W2386

Watch's origin: American

Number of jewels: 7

Case: Illinois

Manufacturer: Elgin

Type of Watch:  Wrist

Type: Open-Face

Lug Width: 12mm

Dimension: Measuring 39mm lug-to-lug by 34mm in diameter

Composition: Nickel

Other Attributes:   Military
 Wire Lug

Price: $1,295.00

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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.

Elgin began devoting much energy toward manufacturing watches and timers for the U.S. military.

The ice-cream porcelain dial of this WWI era example is simply stunning. An outer minute track surrounds oversized, stylized Roman numerals and a counter-sunk sub-seconds register. Its imperially slim blued hands are in remarkably original condition. The period French glass crystal is free from inclusions. The crown also is original.

Its solid nickel case, measuring 39mm lug-to-lug by 34mm in diameter, unscrews to reveal not only its markings of Illinois Watch Case Company but a fine Elgin movement with a jeweled balance and solid nickel plates, decorated in fancy hand-etched damaskeening and marked "Elgin U.S.A" It's a sturdy and historic engine for a classic case design, the forerunner of the modern wristwatch. We've taken the liberty of cleaning, oiling, and timing the watch so that it can be worn confidently. We've also fitted the watch with a correct recreation of the two-piece cordovan strap that would have been worn during the era.