Men’s 1951 Elgin Rare 50 Million Watch in 18k Gold

Men’s 1951 Elgin Rare 50 Million Watch in 18k Gold

Item: W2466

Watch's origin: American

Number of jewels: 21

Case: Star Watch Case Company

Manufacturer: Elgin

Type of Watch:  Wrist

Type: Open-Face

Lug Width: 19mm

Dimension: 41mm by 26mm wide

Composition: Gold

Other Attributes:   Mint
 With Box

Price: $7,995.00

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September 7, 1951 was a grand occasion for the Elgin National Watch Company. The president of the company, James Sheraton, would be receiving a plaque from the Elgin, Illinois Chamber of Commerce. There would be a banquet, a dance, a flag raising ceremony, a beauty contest of Elgin employees with the winner being chosen as "Lady Elgin." There would be speeches and accolades and warm congratulations issued all around.

The 30,000 residents of Elgin, Ill. and the 4,700 employees of the Elgin National Watch Company had very good reason to celebrate: Elgin National Watch Company, which had been in business for 87 years; had endured two World Wars, economic downturns, depressions and a continuous stream of world-altering events was about to celebrate an astonishing achievement: the manufacturing of its 50 millionth timepiece. No other watch company had come close to such a Herculean feat.

Earlier the previous year, Lord Elgin 10th earl of Kincardine and Lady Elgin themselves traveled from England to Illinois to tour the facility and commence the auspicious occasion. "We have been greatly impressed by the friendliness of the watchmakers, their ability in manufacturing of the world's greatest watch, and the immensity of the plant," said Lord Elgin at the end of his tour.

Executives, designers, engineers, historians of the historic watchmaking factory were excited to create an impressive timepiece to mark the occasion. It had to be opulent, sophisticated and unique. It had to be every bit as memorable as the occasion itself. It would be limited to a relatively few pieces, given to dignitaries and sold to a lucky few through their best clients. A piece would be given to the president of the Community Chests and Councils of America, to be passed down from year-to-year and worn as a badge of office. At the end of each chairman's tenure, the watch would be returned to Elgin, refurbished, and worn again.

Designers were given free rein to use their imaginations to “outdo themselves” and create a work of horological art that would be envied not only for what it was, but what it represented. They did not disappoint: From their earnest enthusiasm and talent came the famed Elgin "50 Million" … a masterpiece of art and engineering.

The triumph features an 18 karat gold case with rich, oversized flexible lugs. Its solid sterling silver dial was adorned with 18 karat gold markers. Solid gold hour hand, minute and second hands are faceted, each hand a unique display of design.

Inside the memorable gold case is an equally superb mechanism: a 21 ruby jeweled, 15/0 size movement, adjusted to seven positions, with gold-plated barrel, train, pallet bridge, balance cock and pillar plate.

The watch was housed in a solid sterling silver presentation case. Once pieces had been gifted to dignitaries, the remaining examples were offered for sale by a few of the finest jewelers in the U.S.

We are so very intensely pleased to offer this original Elgin "50 Million" timepiece, as crisp and stunning as the day it was carefully created. Please take a moment to admire its originality and design. Measuring 41mm by 26mm wide, this piece, "No. 986," is a crisp an example as we've ever seen. We do not believe it has been touched by a polishing cloth or any wear. Also, we've not seen another example with its original presentation card as this piece has.

This masterpiece is fitted with a solid 18k buckle on its alligator lizard strap and offered in an Elgin case that we believe to be mahogany. While originally these watches were offered in a sterling presentation box, this box showcases the art of the piece quite nicely.

It's the perfect work of horological art for the perfect connoisseur of vintage wrist masterpieces.

We love our overseas buyers, but if the watch is purchased outside the U.S., we must replace the strap with a leather one.