The Elgin Trench Watches listed on this page are simply the rarest of the rare and the best that money could buy during the Great War
Up for sale today is probably the RAREST and MOST desirable American Trench Watch that has ever been manufactured! This is a behemoth size 12s 1917 WWI Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watch and it's THE ONLY EXAMPLE KNOWN TO EXIST! Size 12s trench watches were the BIGGEST ever made by the Americans. For the past 8 years I have done a hard target search looking for this trench watch and in August of 2015 one finally surfaced. There are 5 advertisements from the Illinois Watch Case Company out of Elgin, Illinois stating that these behemoth size 12s trench watches were first available in 1917 but until now none have even been documented. I have contacted some of the greatest minds in the antique watch world and nobody has ever seen one of these before. Combined these experts have hundreds of years of experience and all agree that it is in fact genuine. What makes this trench watch so incredibly special is it's size. It simply dwarfs every other Elgin, Waltham or Illinois Trench Watch. Normally when you see an octagon shaped "Admiral Evans" trench watch case it is the regular sized 3/0s and the case measures 31.5mm going across, not including the crown. This behemoth size 12s "Admiral Evans" is about 44% larger than the common sized 3/0s version. This size 12s "Admiral Evans" measures a whopping 43.5mm going across, not including the crown. I photographed a size 3/0s Waltham Admiral Evans next to this size 12s Elgin Admiral Evans so you can see the size difference which is quite substantial. I personally inspected the lugs on this watch case after removing the movement to ensure that the lugs were NOT added after the fact. There were NOT any tool marks and the lugs were installed in the EXACT manner and style that was used by the Illinois Watch case Company, they are genuine. I then did a very through inspection of the crown tube to ensure that it had NOT been shortened after the fact for wrist watch use. Everything on the crown tube is EXACTLY as it should be from the Illinois Watch Case Company factory. I have certified this size 12s "Admiral Evans" case as GENUINE, it is the real deal and is NOT one of those horrible Ukraine Specials that you should avoid like The Plague. The experts that I have consulted with have zero doubt about this watch's authenticity, as do I. IWCCo advertising states that size 12s trench watch cases were available in round and square sizes as well. But, this is the octagon shaped "Admiral Evans" design which in my professional opinion is the most desirable and collectible case shape ever made by ANY American case manufacturer. The fact that one has finally surfaced is almost unbelievable and it's a gold filled version which just puts a cherry on top of it all. This watch was in all likelihood would have been used by a WWI US Army Air Corps Pilot due to it's behemoth size. Pilots wore much larger wrist watches than the infantry soldiers in the trenches. A pilot had to be able to read the time with just a quick glance so a smaller wrist watch simply would not work well for them. Pilots had a lot going on in the cockpit like flying, navigating, manning his machine guns and avoiding being shot down so this larger size 12s wrist watch would be the perfect tool for an aviator. Our Great Grandfather's knew how to make things that would last for generations. The 1917 15 jewel movement was just completely taken apart and serviced on 8-13-2015 and a new mainspring has also been installed. It's in superb running condition and keeping near flawless timing, within just a few seconds per day. Quite remarkable considering that this watch is 98 years old! This watch has been tested on a professional Timegraph 5000 Machine for accuracy so rest assured! Take another look at picture number three again, this movement is clean as a whistle and stunning in it's beauty! This watch is going NOWHERE but up in value down the road! While doing research for my books about American Trench Watches I discovered an amazing document from the Illinois Watch Case Company dating back to 1917 that gives PROPER NAMES to many of their watch cases. This particular watch case model was named the "ADMIRAL EVANS". Robley D. Evans (aka Fighting Bob) served in the United States Navy from Civil War through the Spanish American War achieving the rank of Rear Admiral in 1901. He was Commander in Chief of the Asiatic Fleet and the North Atlantic Fleet. Two US Navy Destroyers were named in his honor (1918 & 1942). So, it makes complete sense that the Illinois Watch Case Company would honor him and name one of their top of the line military watch cases after him. It is VERY RARE to discover "proper" watch names nearly 100 years later so this new evidence is almost unbelievable! The case has been nicely polished and now has a beautiful finish once again, looks simply fantastic! The corners of case do have some very minor wear spots but nothing that I would consider major. This simply means that somebody wore this Admiral Evans very often and loved wearing it. The enamel military dial on this watch is among the most desirable that Elgin ever produced, the Shadow Box Military Dial! The military dial is original to the watch as are the military style center reservoir hands. The enamel dial features a bright white face, shadow box numerals, an outer chapter of minute markers, the correct hands, sub-second hand at 6 o'clock and is signed "ELGIN USA" near the center. The original center reservoir hands have been re-lumed using Bergeon luminous material, they will glow in the dark once properly charged by sunlight. This historic and iconic Great War American Trench Watch has been fitted with a 14mm dark brown genuine leather strap that absolutely makes the watch! Take another look at picture number two again, this watch looks stunning on the wrist. It will have a bit of wear on it because I seriously could not resist wearing this one for a few days, can you blame me? It's kind of like Ferris Bueller and that Ferrari, if you had access to one would you just leave it in a garage? I think not! Here are the movement details: 1917 Elgin, 15 jewels, size 12s, serial number 20590637, grade 314. Take another look at the demaskeen design on the movement they just don't make them like this anymore! The case measures a whopping 53mm lug to lug, 43.5mm without the crown with a 13mm lug diameter. I just installed a brand new inner sleeve and stem on the crown tube, the crown now has a nice firm "pop", just as it should. A brand new glass crystal has also been installed using UV cement and a UV curing machine, looks fantastic. This watch is ready to be worn and shown off, it will surely get noticed! I put a lot of time and effort into this Elgin "Admiral Evans", I'm sure that you will appreciate the quality and quantity of work that has been done. Solid old World craftsmanship at it's finest! Chances are that you will NEVER see another one of these genuine size 12s Elgin "Admiral Evans" Trench Watches again in your lifetime, this watch is truly that rare! I've been doing this for a long time now, I've even wrote two books about trench watches and I can honestly say that this is the rarest trench watch that I have ever seen, it seriously has NO EQUAL! No other trench watch even comes close!
This watch will be prominently featured in my latest book about trench watches that will be available around Christmas time 2015.
Up for sale today is probably the RAREST American Trench Watch you will ever see in your lifetime! This is an exceptionally beautiful and highly polished 10k Yellow Gold Filled WWI Elgin Trench Watch that features a high grade 17 jewel movement with a SOLID GOLD TRAIN ! ! ! This absolutely remarkable piece of American craftsmanship is in superb condition and has been meticulously restored ! ! ! Our Great Grandfather's knew how to make things that would last for generations! This high grade 17 jewel movement was just completely taken apart and serviced on 12/18/2012. A brand new mainspring has also been installed. It has high amplitude and is keeping great time, it has been tested on a professional Timegraph 5000 Machine for accuracy so rest assured! Take another look at picture number three again, this movement is clean as a whistle! The heavy demaskeening pattern that has been machined onto the movement is simply stunning in it's beauty. The 17 jewel movement is set inside one of the RAREST American Trench Watch cases ever manufactured. This is a 10k Yellow Gold Filled "Giant" grade trench watch case that was manufactured by the Illinois Watch Case Company in 1918. Several factors make this trench watch case stand FAR above the rest. First of all this case has a SEMI-HERMETIC INTEGRATED SHRAPNEL GUARD, meaning that it is actually part of the watch case itself. Second, the INTEGRATED SHRAPNEL GUARD BEZEL & CASE BACK are THREADED so they screw on and off instead of popping on and off. Having them threaded on a case like this is a FAR superior design. The threaded semi-hermetic design feature is pretty much never seen on a case like this, 99% of the time the bezel and case back simply pop on and off. Third, this case features SWIVEL LUGS and NOT standard fixed lugs, adding to this watch's rarity aura. This is the ONLY case of it's kind that I've seen that is 10k GOLD FILLED. Sterling Silver or Solid Nickel cases are a dime a dozen when compared to a case of this nature! You simply NEVER see them in 10k GOLD FILLED! Plus, this watch still has the ORIGINAL FACTORY CROWN! The case has been polished using a professional grade machine, it now shines nice and bright as you can see in the pictures, it really catches the light and glows! This watch features one Elgin's best and rarest enamel military dials of all time, the BOLD Arabic LARGE Font RED 12 dial ! ! Usually when you see an ArabicRED 12 Elgin dial it is the small font variety, the LARGE font is extremely rare as I've only seen three of them over the years. The enamel dial features a white face, BOLD Arabic numerals, sunken sub-second at 6 o'clock, outer minute markers, the original & correct thick blue steel hands for this dial and signed ELGIN near the top center with the RED 12 at the top. PLUS, this dial has a little something extra, a "USA" stamp just below the Elgin signature meaning that it was manufactured for the European market. Not all enamel RED 12 dials have this extra feature but this one does ! ! ! Finding RED 12 dials in this superb condition is getting harder and harder as time goes by. This watch is simply fantastic! I have fitted this historic and iconic American trench watch with a brand new black & white genuine Pigskin leather strap that absolutely makes the watch! Take a look at picture number two again, this watch looks absolutely stunning on the wrist! The strap will fit a wrist up to around eight and a half inches and has a matching gold tone buckle. It will have a bit of wear on it because I could not resist wearing this one for the day! (can you blame me?). Here are the movement details: 1901 Elgin, 17 jewels, size 0s, serial number 9141270, grade 263. What makes this movement so special is that it features a SOLID GOLD TRAIN, meaning that all of the wheels inside of the movement are SOLID GOLD and NOT common brass. The raised jewel chatons are also solid gold! It's simply the BEST! Elgin stopped manufacturing size 0s movements in 1916 so ANY movement will pre-date the case which was made in 1918. The case measures a whopping 45mm lug to lug and 34.5mm without the crown, 14mm lug diameter. This is MUCH larger than your normal size 0s trench watch case! I put a lot of time and effort into this Elgin, I'm sure that you will appreciate the quality and quantity of work that has been done. This watch probably belongs in a museum as the center piece of an exhibit ! ! ! A lifetime could pass and you would not see another case like this that is 10k YELLOW GOLD FILLED, that has SWIVEL LUGS with a SEMI-HERMETIC INTEGRATED SHRAPNEL GUARD!
Up for sale today is one of the RAREST American Wrist Watches ever made ! ! ! An exceptionally beautiful and highly polished 14k SOLID GOLD WWI Elgin Trench Watch that features the BEST size 3/0s 17 jewel movement that Elgin ever produced. It dates back to 1915. This absolutely remarkable piece of American craftsmanship is in superb condition and has been beautifully restored ! ! ! This Elgin is an incredible 98 years old but looks brand new. Our Great Grandfather's knew how to make things that would last for generations! This highest grade 17 jewel movement was just completely taken apart and serviced on 1/25/2013. A brand new mainspring has also been installed. It has high amplitude and is keeping great time, it has been tested on a professional Timegraph 5000 Machine for accuracy so rest assured! Take another look at picture number three again, the movement is clean as a whistle! This watch movement is incredibly special, Elgin only made 500 of them back in 1915. It is simply the BEST size 3/0s movement that they ever produced. Let me break it down for you. From 1914 through 1933 Elgin produced roughly 2 million size 3/0s movements but only 500 of them were made with 17 jewels, all the rest had 7 jewels or 15 jewels. So, only 1/4 of 1% were made like this one, now that's what I call EXTREMELY RARE ! ! This is number 232 of the 500. The vertical demaskeen pattern on movement is unmistakable, the 7 jewel and 15 jewel versions did not look anything like this one. These were the ONLY size 3/0s movements that had a solid gold center wheel, solid gold raised jewel chatons and solid gold screws on the balance wheel. Another high end feature that sets these grade 423 movements apart from the rest is the material, these movements consist of solid nickel plates. The 7 jewel and 15 jewel versions were nickel plated brass. The online serial number data base says that Elgin made 1,000 of these high end movements, the data base is WRONG. According to the Elgin master records only 500 were produced in one run back in 1915. This movement is simply the best of the best ! ! ! Money could NOT buy a better size 3/0s Elgin movement ! ! ! The 17 jewel movement is set inside an extremely rare 14k SOLID GOLD trench watch case that was manufactured by the Illinois Watch Case Company out of Elgin, Illinois during the Great War. This case is highly prized by collectors for it's beauty and design. You simply do not see many of these cases in 14k SOLID GOLD as most have been melted down for the gold value. The bezel and case back both snap together VERY crisply, just as they should. The hinged case back had to have a laser welding repair so it only opens up to about 70 degrees, nothing major. The case has been polished using a professional grade machine, it now shines nice and bright as you can see in the pictures. It really catches the light and glows! Nothing else in the world shines like solid gold ! ! ! This watch features one Elgin's best ENAMEL MILITARY DIALS of all time, the BOLD Roman Numeral RED XII dial ! ! ! The ENAMEL dial features a bright white face, BOLD Roman numerals, sunken sub-second at 6 o'clock, an outer chapter of minute markers, the 100% CORRECT blue steel hands for this dial, signed ELGIN near the top center with the RED XII at the top. Plus, this dial has a little something extra, a "MADE IN USA" stamp just above the second hand. Not all RED XII dials have this extra feature but this one does ! ! ! The dial does NOT have any hairlines, chips or cracks ! ! Finding RED XII dials in this wonderful condition is getting more difficult as the years go by. This watch is simply fantastic, it's going nowhere but up in value down the road ! ! ! I have restored hundreds of Elgin Trench Watches over the years but watches with these dials take the cake! I have fitted this historic and iconic American trench watch with a brand genuine Buffalo leather strap that absolutely makes the watch! The black & white strap looks SUPERB with the black, white & red dial ! ! ! Take a look at picture number two again, this watch looks absolutely stunning on the wrist! The strap will fit a wrist up to around eight and a half inches. With the case being 14k solid gold and with all of the solid gold on the movement I simply could not resist putting a matching 14k SOLID GOLD BUCKLE on this watch ! ! ! The 14k gold stamp is on the inside of the buckle proving it's content. It will have a bit of wear on it because I could not resist wearing this one for the day! (can you blame me?). Here are the movement details: 1915 Elgin, 17 jewels, size 3/0s, serial number 18628232, grade 423, 232 of 500 made. A brand new GLASS crystal has also been installed using UV cement and a UV curing machine, it's seated perfectly! A brand new stem & inner sleeve have also been installed. This watch winds and sets exactly as it should, smooth as silk! There is barely any friction when winding it was made so well 98 years ago. The case measures 36mm lug to lug and 31.5mm without the original factory crown with a 14mm lug diameter. I put a lot of time and effort into this Elgin, I'm sure that you will appreciate the quality and quantity of work that has been done. This watch is ready to be worn and shown off, it will surely get noticed! Solid old World craftsmanship at it's finest ! ! ! This museum quality 1915 Elgin Trench Watch simply has the BEST of everything. This watch IS American perfection ! ! ! !