LRF Antique Watches - Specializing in Elgin Trench Watches & Waltham Trench Watches
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Listings updated on June 22, 2017

Up for sale today is an exceptionally beautiful and EXTREMELY RARE 36mm Sterling Silver, Semi-Hermetic WWI Elgin Trench Watch that features the BLACK ENAMEL European font military dial and a high grade 15 jewel movement! This absolutely remarkable piece of American/English craftsmanship is in SUPERB condition and has been beautifully restored! Our Great Grandfather's knew how to make things that would last for generations! The movement was just completely taken apart and serviced on 5-12-2017, a brand new mainspring has also been installed. It's in superb running condition and keeping excellent time. 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 detailed beauty! I'm sure that you have noticed by now that this is not your ordinary trench watch case by a long shot! This is a sterling silver trench watch case that was manufactured by the Dennison Watch Case Company in 1918. The hallmarks on the inside of the case back read: Dennison Watch Case Company, the Lion for England, the Anchor for Birmingham, A.L.D. for Aaron Lufkin Dennison and the date letter code of "U" for the year 1918. This is a SEMI-HERMETIC case so the bezel and case back are boter threaded, they screw on and off. This is a far superior design when compared to common friction fit cases that snap together. The threading is in excellent condition. This case is much bigger than your average size 0s trench watch case, it measures 36mm not including the crown. This case is highly prized by collectors for its beauty and design features, especially the coin edge bezel and case back. Plus, this case still has the original factory crown! Yes, Dennison put gold filled crown on their sterling silver cases, so did Joseph Fahys & Company. The case has NOT been polished, its in beautiful aged original condition. This Elgin has been fitted with a "pinwheel" crystal guard that was designed by Frank Farr in 1916. The guard is a "strap-on" design that gets looped through the strap. The guard does have some age showing in a few different spots but it matches the rest of the cosmetically un-restored case, looks fantastic. This watch is simply incredible! The enamel dial on this trench watch is among the most desirable that Elgin ever produced, the European font Black Enamel Military Dial. These dials are extremely rare and are quite difficult to obtain, especially in this condition. The dial features a black face, silver tone shadow box European font numerals, an outer chapter of minute markers, the correct size 0s silver tone center reservoir military hands for this dial (skeleton hands are also correct), a sub-second at 6 o'clock and is signed "ELGIN USA" near the center. This dial PRE-DATES the "black star dials" by about a year and a half and they are bigger. The "black star dials" were ONLY made in size 3/0s, this Elgin is the bigger size 0s! This historic and iconic American/English trench style watch has been fitted with a black leather Kitchener Strap that absolutely makes the watch! The strap was made in the USA by the Prairie Flower Leather Company about of Nebraska. Very high quality strap that was made using a sewing machine from the Great War era! Take a look at picture number two again, this watch looks stunning on the wrist! The strap will fit a wrist up to about 8 inches and has a matching silver tone buckle. 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: 1909 Elgin, 15 jewels, size 0s, serial number 15089692, grade 354. They just don't make them like this anymore! The case measures a whopping 42mm lug to lug, 36mm without the original factory crown with a 12mm lug diameter. An antique glass crystal was just installed just UV cement and a UV curing machine. The inner sleeve on the crown tube is in excellent condition, the crown has a nice firm "pop" just as it should. 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, 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! You would be seriously hard pressed to find a finer example of this 36mm WWI Sterling Silver Elgin Trench Watch featuring the incredibly rare European font black enamel military dial, this one sets the bar! You will get a FREE signed copy of my latest book "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War" with this purchase!

1918 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, Pinwheel Crystal Guard, Sterling Silver, SEMI-HERMETIC Dennison Case, HUGE 36mm Case, Factory Crown, Coin Edge Bezel & Case Back, Rare European Font Black ENAMEL Military Dial, 15 Jewels, Correct Military Hands, Black Leather Kitchener Strap
1918 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, Pinwheel Crystal Guard, Sterling Silver, SEMI-HERMETIC Dennison Case, HUGE 36mm Case, Factory Crown, Coin Edge Bezel & Case Back, Rare European Font Black ENAMEL Military Dial, 15 Jewels, Correct Military Hands, Black Leather Kitchener Strap
Price: $995.00 $896.00

I have recently obtained the ONLY Generation #4 Depollier Waterproof Wrist Watch known to exist. Generation #1 and Generation #2 Depollier Waterproof Wrist Watches were in fact advertised but neither one of them has ever been found or documented. The black case Generation #3 Depolliers Waterproof Wrist Watches are well known and highly coveted by collectors. Gen #3 Depolliers in good condition are pretty hard to come by but they can be found, you might see ONE good example per year if you are lucky. NOBODY even knew that a Gen#4 Depollier Waterproof Wrist Watch existed until late May of 2017. This Generation #4 Depollier Waterproof came out between June 1922 and December 1925, I am still trying to work on narrowing those dates down if possible. The movement features the Brun/Depollier "shock absorber" that was patented on June 6, 1922. You can clearly see in the pictures that some of Depollier's early patented waterproof technology made it into this 4th waterpoof design with one major design change, the crown. The crown is not "screw down" as seen on earlier case designs. This crown features a friction fit bow that pushes the crown down into a gasket to form the waterproof seal, a radically different design. Believe it or not but this Gen #4 Depollier was Swiss made, previously all Depollier military watch watch cases were made in the United States. After the Great War in the early through mid 1920's Depollier was having major financial troubles. I was recently able to obtain tax appeal documents that directly pertain to the Depollier story. Nobody really knew for certain what happened to Depollier after 1922, that is until now. These tax appeal docs tell the story of Depollier's troubles, the flood gates have finally been opened. There were several attempts at corporate restructuring and at least two new companies were formed with Depollier at the helm, they all ended badly shortly after they were started. We currently believe that this Generation #4 Depollier Waterproof Wrist Watch was a last ditch effort by Depollier to get back on top. He owed a lot of money to a lot of people so he took his technology rights and had this Gen #4 made in Switzerland. Due to the EXTREME RARITY of this watch I decided not to take any chances, I am NOT a Swiss movement expert. So, I sent the watch to one of the best watchmakers on the planet, Roland Murphy of the RGM Watch Company. The Gen #4 Depollier 15 jewel movement is currently be overhauled by the RGM team. My field of expertise lays in American made movements, not Swiss, so the best option was to have RGM do the work. No cosmetic work will be done on this piece only mechanical repairs, originality will be key to holding its value. The case measures 40mm lug tip to lug tip, 34mm not including the crown tube with an 18mm lug diameter. The case is made of STERLING SILVER! The case alone weighs in at 26.4 grams, that is just short of one full ounce of sterling silver! Thousands of people have read about this watch across several internet watch forums and not a single person has stepped forward claiming to have seen a Gen #4 previously. I have also spoken to several vintage watch experts from around the world and none of them have ever seen a Gen #4 Depollier Waterproof either. The ONLY Generation #4 Depollier Waterproof Wrist Watch known to exist will be up for sale after it returns from the RGM Watch Company in 4-6 weeks. For now enjoy the pictures! If you would like to see larger more detailed pics of the watch you can visit my "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War" Facebook page.

The Depollier price is currently pending.

If you would like to be contacted when the Depollier goes up for sale please send me a message. You will be put on "the list" and contacted soon as I get it back from RGM.

My latest book "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War" just arrived on December 10, 2015 and is now available for purchase here on my web page. My first book "Elgin Trench Watches of the Great War" is currently available for purchase on AmazonClick on the "Trench Watch Book" tabs on the left to buy your copies now. 

My latest book, "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War" has been reviewed by award winning writer and critic Bruce Shawkey. His review is incredibly favorable to say the least!!! Here is a quote from Bruce's review: "It is not just a book about military watches, it is a book about the dawn of the American wrist watch industry"Another quote from Bruce's review: "If you are going to buy only one book in 2016 make it "Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War".

This review was originally published in the January/February 2016 issue of the "Watch & Clock Bulletin" magazine, a journal of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc. For more information about the association and its membership benefits, please visit

Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War, a review by Bruce Shawkey part 1

Waltham Trench Watches of the Great War, a review by Bruce Shawkey part 2The article below was written by reporter Bill Whelan with the 
"Waltham News Tribune", the local newspaper in Waltham, Mass. 
It was published on December 31, 2015

Waltham Trench Watch

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