LRF Antique Watches - Specializing in Elgin Trench Watches & Waltham Trench Watches
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1918 Elgin Trench Watch Restored to Military Specifications, Painted Black Case

97 years ago this week on October 24, 1916 the United States Army revised the general specification for wrist watches. The revised specification required that all wrist watches cases were to be painted black, along with the crown and strap buckle. In mid-1918 another revision was made requiring that the dial of the watch be black in color as well. The Elgin Trench Watch photographed here is a 1918 model. You may have seen some watches like this before but most of the original paint has worn away and only trace patches remain. Spray paint and powder coating was not invented until 1949 - 1950 so the methods used during the Great War were either hand painting or some sort of gravity spray. The quality of paints nearly 100 years ago were moderate at best so the paint would scratch off easily, this is why you don't see any pristine original examples today. The paint on this case is just like the paint on a car, if it gets scratched it will leave a mark. I know what the exact requirements were so I decided to restore this 1918 Elgin Trench Watch back to US Army specifications. It was not as easy as simply spray painting the case, trust me. A certain order had to be followed so the paint would not run and the final results would have the required finish. I wanted to feel the same sensation that a WWI American Soldier would have felt when he first strapped on his military spec Elgin Trench Watch! I have been searching for years in the hopes of finding an original 1918 photograph showing a mil spec Elgin but I am starting to believe that none exist. Only artist's renderings (drawings) are out there, no actual pictures. So, all I had to go by was the written US Army general specifications and some Great War era advertisement drawings. The restoration of this Elgin far excides my expectations! I had to idea that it would turn out as well as it did. It is truly quite a treat to see this Elgin as it once was now that it has been returned to the condition as worn by US Soldiers. Below is a picture of this mil spec Elgin with an artist's rendering of a similar watch. This Elgin has a "Black Star Dial" while the artist's rendering shows a "White Star Dial", either dial would have been correct. Open face movements were correct in these cases but more often than not you will see them with hunting case movements. Watch info: sterling silver Illinois Watch Case Company cushion trench watch case, original sterling factory crown, 1918 7 jewel Elgin movement, grade 463, enamel black star dial, original military hands that have been re-lumed, new glass crystal, new mainspring, new 14mm leather strap, painted case & strap buckle. Enjoy the pictures because chances are you have never seen this level of restoration on an Elgin Trench Watch to true US Army specifications before!
1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case
1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case1918 Elgin Trench Watch, Restored US Army Military Specification Black Painted Case
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