LRF Antique Watches - Specializing in Elgin Trench Watches & Waltham Trench Watches
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Elgin Trench Watch

For your viewing pleasure is one of the RAREST American Wrist Watches you will ever see ! ! ! This is an exceptionally beautiful and highly polished 14k SOLID GOLD WWI Elgin Trench Watch that features a high grade 15 jewel movement that dates back to 1918. This absolutely remarkable piece of American craftsmanship is in superb condition and has been beautifully restored ! ! ! This Elgin movement is an incredible 95 years old but looks almost brand new. Our Great Grandfather's knew how to make things that would last for generations! This high grade 15 jewel movement was just completely taken apart and serviced on 5/10/2013. 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 was the best size 3/0s movement Elgin produced in 1918 ! ! ! The 15 jewel movement is set inside an extremely rare 14k SOLID GOLD trench watch case that was manufactured by the Keystone Watch Case Company during the Great War. This case is highly prized by collectors for it's beauty, design, wide lugs and gold content. This is the ONLY one of it's kind that I have found over the years so that should tell you something about it's rarity! Most of the 14k solid gold American made WWI trench cases have been melted down for the gold value over the years unfortunately. The case alone without the movement installed weighs 12.6 grams, this is VERY heavy for a case of this nature! This is a very unique trench watch case, the bezel and case back are both hinged and both only open up to 90 degrees and have not been bent open any further. They both snap together crisply, just as they should. 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 ! ! ! Plus, this watch still has the original factory crown. This watch features one Elgin's best enamel military dials of all time, the Black Star Dial ! ! ! This iconic dial features a black face, white Arabic numerals, 48 white stars, sunken sub-second at 6 o'clock, the correct and original blue steel Elgin military hands and is signed ELGIN USA inside of the Eagle crest. The hour & minute hands have been re-lumed and will glow green in the dark once charged by sunlight. The back side of this enamel dial has a 1918 date stamp! 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 this one just might take the cake! I have fitted this historic and iconic American trench watch with a brand genuine Pigskin leather strap that absolutely makes the watch! The black & white strap looks SUPERB with the black & white 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 inches and has a matching gold tone buckle. It will have a bit of wear on it because I simply could not resist wearing this one for a few days! (can you blame me?) Here are the movement details: 1918 Elgin, 15 jewels, size 3/0s, serial number 21018228, grade 464. A brand new GLASS crystal has also been installed using UV cement and a UV curing machine, it's seated perfectly! A brand new inner sleeve have also been installed, the crown now has a nice firm pop. This watch winds and sets exactly as it should, smooth as silk! The case measures 37mm lug to lug and 32mm without the original factory crown with a 16mm 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. Solid old World craftsmanship at it's finest ! ! ! You could search for years and not see another one of these iconic watches in 14k SOLID GOLD ! ! ! This watch is simply sublime, it probably belongs in a museum!
14k Solid Gold Elgin Trench Watch, Black Star Dial, aka Pershing14k Solid Gold Elgin Trench Watch, Black Star Dial, aka Pershing14k Solid Gold Elgin Trench Watch, Black Star Dial, aka Pershing14k Solid Gold Elgin Trench Watch, Black Star Dial, aka Pershing14k Solid Gold Elgin Trench Watch, Black Star Dial, aka Pershing14k Solid Gold Elgin Trench Watch, Black Star Dial, aka Pershing
14k Solid Gold Elgin Trench Watch, Black Star Dial, aka Pershing14k Solid Gold Elgin Trench Watch, Black Star Dial, aka Pershing14k Solid Gold Elgin Trench Watch, Black Star Dial, aka Pershing14k Solid Gold Elgin Trench Watch, Black Star Dial, aka Pershing14k Solid Gold Elgin Trench Watch, Black Star Dial, aka Pershing14k Solid Gold Elgin Trench Watch, Black Star Dial, aka Pershing

Waltham Trench Watch

I've been so busy with the Elgin Trench Watches lately that I have not had the chance to work on the Waltham Trench Watches. Sorry, had to finish up with the last few Elgins for the book! But, in the past couple of months I did restore some beautiful WWI Waltham Trench Watches and a few post WWI Waltham military watches. Many of these Walthams had the most desirable cases such as cushion and round Fahys integrated shrapnel guards made of sterling silver. Enjoy the pictures!
WWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench Watch
WWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench Watch
WWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench Watch
WWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench Watch
WWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench WatchWWI Waltham Trench Watch

Trench Watches

Restoring the Black Star Dial Elgin Trench Watch & Elgin Pershing is my absolute specialty! I have completed over 60 of these restorations, it is my favorite American watch ever made. This watch has a very rich history within American horology, it was the very first "named" Elgin wrist watch. Not all Elgin black star dial watches are called a "Pershing", this is a very common mistake by the general public. The name "Pershing" was given to a very specific style of this watch in February 1919. If you want to get VERY technical a "Pershing" has a cushion case design with spring bar lugs, NOT a round trench watch case design. If it has a round trench watch case design and the movement dates back to before February 1919 it's proper name is an "Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch". In February of 1919 this exact same round case design was given the name "Foch".  The third in this series was called the "Kitchener" and it had a squared trench watch case design with rounded corners, also given it's name in February of 1919. These three designs were the most popular of their time so only these three designs were named but other case styles were certainly available. All three were available in Nickel, Gold Filled and Sterling Silver. Brand new in 1919 the prices ranged from $18.50 up to $31.00 depending on the case material. Fully restored these watches have increased in value approximately 25x ! ! Elgin had several different styles of the "Star Dial" including the "White Star Dial" which came in out in 1917 before the "Black Star Dial". The white dials were only available in metal, not in enamel. The black dials were only available in enamel, not in metal. The white dials are much harder to come by as far fewer of these were manufactured compared to the black dials. People from all over the world have sent me their Pershings and Black Star Dial Trench Watches for restoration. A couple of them after restoration even found their way back to the battle fields of another war 95 years later on the wrists of a US Army Colonel & Lieutenant serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pictured below are just some of the restorations that I have done. Enjoy!
Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin Pershing
Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin Pershing
Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin Pershing
Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin Pershing
Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin PershingElgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch & Elgin Pershing

Army Issued 1918 Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch, aka Pershing

I recently acquired this VERY RARE Elgin Trench Watch in February 2012 so I thought that I would share it with you guys, it is rarely seen.This is an Army Issued 1918 WWI Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch. What makes this watch so incredibly rare is the United States Army ORD Department stamp with a serial number on the outside of the case back. This watch was actually issued by the US Army in mid-1918! It is a very common misconception that this watch is called a Pershing, it in fact is not. It is called a "black star dial" trench watch. A version of this watch was given the name "Pershing" in February of 1919 just after WWI ended. A "Pershing" has a cushion case with spring bars. The "Foch" came in a round trench case and the "Kitchener" came in a squared trench case with rounded edges. All of them had the same black dial. These were the very first "named" Elgin wrist watches. The surplus of these military watches were released to the general public due to the Armistice. They were given these names to honor the three main military leaders of the Allied Forces, General Pershing, Marshall Foch and Lord Kitchener. You could buy one of these black star dial trench watches towards the end of WWI in a military base PX but they looked a bit different than the US Army issued version. The dial and hands were different. Plus, the issued version of this watch had the case painted black to Army specifications. You can still see remnants of this black paint on the case when it is taken apart. This watch is in it's 100% original condition  except for the crystal & strap.
 
Army Issued 1918 Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch, aka PershingArmy Issued 1918 Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch, aka PershingArmy Issued 1918 Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch, aka PershingArmy Issued 1918 Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch, aka PershingArmy Issued 1918 Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch, aka PershingArmy Issued 1918 Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch, aka Pershing
Army Issued 1918 Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch, aka PershingArmy Issued 1918 Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch, aka PershingArmy Issued 1918 Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch, aka PershingArmy Issued 1918 Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch, aka PershingArmy Issued 1918 Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch, aka PershingArmy Issued 1918 Elgin Black Star Dial Trench Watch, aka Pershing

1916 WWI Elgin Trench Watch, 10k Gold Filled BARREL Case, BIG Size 0s, Incredibly Rare BLACK Enamel Dial with Golden Features

For your viewing pleasure is one of the rarest Elgin Trench Watches that I have ever seen. This is an exceptionally beautiful 10k yellow gold filled WWI Elgin Trench Watch that features a 7 jewel gilted movement which dates back to 1916! ! ! What makes this Elgin so incredibly rare is the dial! This is the ONLY size 0s ENAMEL BLACK DIAL Elgin Trench Watch that I have ever seen. It was thought for MANY years that the only ENAMEL black dial Elgin Trench Watches were the ones known as the "Pershings" and those were only available in the smaller size 3/0s, not the larger size 0s like this watch. I have been doing this for many years now and to actually find and catalog a new antique dial design for an Elgin has been one of the greatest pleasures of my career. When a un-catalogued antique dial is found I run several tests to ensure that it is authentic such as measurements and dial weight among others. This dial passed every test that I ran, it's the REAL McCoy ! ! ! This watch was made for the European market the dial font is a dead giveaway of this fact. I have documented and cataloged thousands upon thousands of Elgin Trench Watches over the years for my book and this is the ONLY one that I have ever found, that should tell you something about its rarity ! ! ! I consulted with several experts on American watches from this era and we all agreed that it is genuine and off the charts rare. This absolutely remarkable piece of American craftsmanship is in superb condition and has been meticulously restored while preserving many features such as the original radium lum on the dial and hands! Our Great Grandfather's knew how to make things that would last for generations! The 7 jewel gilded movement was just completely taken apart and serviced on 7/27/2013. 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, this 7 jewel movement is clean as a whistle! The movement is set inside a 10k yellow gold filled "GIANT" Barrel style trench watch case that was manufactured by Illinois Watch Case Company during the Great War. This Barrel case is highly prized by collectors for it's size and case design. The gold filled Barrel cases are quite hard to come by, especially in beautiful condition like this one ! ! 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! The bezel and case back both snap together crisply, just as they should. Now back to the incredibly rare BLACK ENAMEL DIAL. It features rounded shadow box military style font numerals, golden in color which is absolutely beautiful (European style). The American shadow box versions that were white in color were more box shaped. An outer chapter of minute markers, sunken sub-second hand and is signed ELGIN near the top center. This dial also has a little something extra, a "USA" stamp just below the Elgin signature. This is another telltale sign that it was manufactured for the European market during the Great War. The dial does have a very small blemish at the 12 minute marker, nothing major in my opinion. A lot of the original Radium lum is still in tact on the numerals and on the hands. I took special measures to ensure that the original lum remained on the dial and hands during the restoration process. I have fitted this historic, iconic and insanely rare American trench watch with a brand new black genuine 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: 1916 Elgin, 7 jewels, size 0s, serial number 19331000, grade 298. Elgin stopped manufacturing size 0s movements in very late 1916 making this one of the very last that were produced. The case measures a whopping 42mm lug to lug and 33mm without the crown, nice and wide 20mm lug diameter. A brand new glass crystal was just installed using UV cement and a UV curing machine, it's seated perfectly. A brand new inner sleeve has also been installed on the crown tube, it now has a nice firm "POP" just as it should. 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 ! ! This watch will be prominently featured in my upcoming book "Elgin Trench Watches of the Great War". Take a very close look at the pictures because chances are that you will never see another one of these larger size 0s black enamel dial Elgin Trench Watches again!
WWI 1916 Elgin Trench Watch, 10k Gold Filled BARREL Case, EXTREMELY RARE Size 0s Black Enamel Military DialWWI 1916 Elgin Trench Watch, 10k Gold Filled BARREL Case, EXTREMELY RARE Size 0s Black Enamel Military DialWWI 1916 Elgin Trench Watch, 10k Gold Filled BARREL Case, EXTREMELY RARE Size 0s Black Enamel Military DialWWI 1916 Elgin Trench Watch, 10k Gold Filled BARREL Case, EXTREMELY RARE Size 0s Black Enamel Military DialWWI 1916 Elgin Trench Watch, 10k Gold Filled BARREL Case, EXTREMELY RARE Size 0s Black Enamel Military DialWWI 1916 Elgin Trench Watch, 10k Gold Filled BARREL Case, EXTREMELY RARE Size 0s Black Enamel Military Dial
WWI 1916 Elgin Trench Watch, 10k Gold Filled BARREL Case, EXTREMELY RARE Size 0s Black Enamel Military DialWWI 1916 Elgin Trench Watch, 10k Gold Filled BARREL Case, EXTREMELY RARE Size 0s Black Enamel Military DialWWI 1916 Elgin Trench Watch, 10k Gold Filled BARREL Case, EXTREMELY RARE Size 0s Black Enamel Military DialWWI 1916 Elgin Trench Watch, 10k Gold Filled BARREL Case, EXTREMELY RARE Size 0s Black Enamel Military DialWWI 1916 Elgin Trench Watch, 10k Gold Filled BARREL Case, EXTREMELY RARE Size 0s Black Enamel Military DialWWI 1916 Elgin Trench Watch, 10k Gold Filled BARREL Case, EXTREMELY RARE Size 0s Black Enamel Military Dial

WW1 Trench Watch

This is an incredibly rare WWI Elgin Trench Watch features a 7 jewel movement which dates back to 1917 and one of the most sought after Shrapnel Guards of all time ! ! ! This absolutely remarkable piece of American craftsmanship is in SUPERB condition and has been meticulously restored ! ! !  The movement was just completely taken apart and serviced on 2-2-2012. It's in superb running condition and keeping excellent time. The movement is an incredible 96 years old ! ! ! ! The 7 jewel movement is set inside a very nice "silverode" trench watch case that was manufactured by the Philadelphia Watch Case Company during the Great War. The case measures a 39mm lug to lug and 32mm without the ORIGINAL FACTORY CROWN, 10mm lug diameter ! ! ! The Shrapnel Guard on this Elgin is one of the MOST sought after and RAREST designs from the Great War ! ! ! The guard was designed by Harry Daw of High Wycombe, England. He applied for this "lath style" design patent on January 17, 1916 and the patent was actually granted on December 11, 1917. On the inside of the guard it states that the patent has been applied for so this one was made before the patent was actually granted making it one of the very first to be manufactured. This guard is made of solid nickel and it's in fantastic condition. This is only the 2nd one of these guards that I've seen so that should tell you something about it's rarity ! ! ! The guard measures 46mm lug to lug, 35.5mm going across with a 10mm lug diameter. The enamel military dial on this Elgin is simply out of this world, the Shadow Box Military Numeral Dial ! ! ! It features a bright white face, shadow box military numerals, an outer chapter of minute markers, the CORRECT & ORIGINAL 1917 model year military hands, sunken sub-second at 6 o'clock and is signed ELGIN near the center. There is also a "USA" stamp just below the Elgin signature which is very rare for this type of dial! The dial does NOT have any hairlines, chips or cracks, it's in SUPERB condition ! ! ! The back side of the dial was date stamped at the Elgin factory when manufactured. The stamp reads "11 - 16" for November of 1916. The hands have just been re-lumed, they will glow green in the dark once charged by sunlight. This historic and iconic trench watch has been fitted with a brand new genuine leather Bund Strap that absolutely makes the watch! Take a look at picture number two again, this watch just looks stunning on the wrist! Here are the movement details: 1917 Elgin, 7 jewels, size 3/0s, grade 417, serial number 20221641. Elgin stopped manufacturing size 0s movements in 1916 so this movement is a size 3/0s with a size jumping spacer, common practice of the day so the larger size 0s case could be used. This Elgin movement has a VERY beautiful demaskeen design, they just don't make them like this any more! This is truly one of the most sought after and iconic trench watches from the Great War ! ! !
1917 Elgin Trench Watch with an Incredibly RARE "LATH Shrapnel Guard1917 Elgin Trench Watch with an Incredibly RARE "LATH Shrapnel Guard1917 Elgin Trench Watch with an Incredibly RARE "LATH Shrapnel Guard1917 Elgin Trench Watch with an Incredibly RARE "LATH Shrapnel Guard1917 Elgin Trench Watch with an Incredibly RARE "LATH Shrapnel Guard1917 Elgin Trench Watch with an Incredibly RARE "LATH Shrapnel Guard
1917 Elgin Trench Watch with an Incredibly RARE "LATH Shrapnel Guard1917 Elgin Trench Watch with an Incredibly RARE "LATH Shrapnel Guard1917 Elgin Trench Watch with an Incredibly RARE "LATH Shrapnel Guard1917 Elgin Trench Watch with an Incredibly RARE "LATH Shrapnel Guard1917 Elgin Trench Watch with an Incredibly RARE "LATH Shrapnel Guard1917 Elgin Trench Watch with an Incredibly RARE "LATH Shrapnel Guard
 
 
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