Elgin Serial Numbers

Production Data and Dates of Manufacture

     Jeff Sexton
     jsexton@elgintime.com

Elgin watch serial numbers can be used to determine an approximate date of manufacture, and other information. The date is not exact because plates were often made, with numbers, and stockpiled for later use, sometimes years later.  But a general idea is available.


Note that the serial number this information refers to is the number appearing on the movement itself, on the works of the watch, on the inside.  Numbers on any part of the case refer to the case and not the Elgin watch movement.

Check here for information on how to open a pocketwatch case, to access the movement number.

If your serial number begins with a number, it is a later model.  More on that here.

The Nation Watch Company, later known as the Elgin National Watch Company, was founded at the end of the Civil War, in 1864, in Elgin, Illinois. 
 The first Elgin pocketwatch was an 18 size movement given the number 101, made in 1867.  The serial numbers run from there up to the ballpark of 55 million, which is a lot of watches!  


To get a lot more information about a specific watch, look up your movement serial number using this interactive site.  Just enter the serial number and click search.  There you can learn the class, model and grade of a movement, as well as it's production history, size, jeweling and other specifications.

 Look up the details about your antique Elgin watch here

 


For just a rough estimate of the age of a movement however, given the serial number, the following table is pretty widely accepted.


Year Serial Number  
1867     9000  
1868    25001  
1869    40001  
1870    50001  
1871   185001  
1872   201001  
1873   325000  
1874   400001  
1875   430000  
1876   480000  
1877   520000  
1878   570000  
1879   625001  
1880   750000  
1881   900000  
1882  1000000  
1883  1250000  
1884  1500000  
1885  1855001  
1886  2000000  
1887  2500000  
1888  3000000  
1889  3500000  
1890  4000000  
1891  4449001  
1892  4600000  
1893  5000000  
1894  5500000  
1895  6000000  
1896  6500000  
1897  7000000  
1898  7494000  
1899  8000000  
1900  9000000  
1901  9300000  
1902  9600000  
1903 10000000  
1904 11000000  
1905 12000000  
1906 12500000  
1907 13000000  
1908 13500000  
1909 14000000  
1910 15000000  
1911 16000000  
1912 17000000  
1913 17339001  
1914 18000000  
1915 18587001  
1916 19000000  
1917 20031001  
1918 21000000  
1919 22000000  
1920 23000000  
1921 24321001  
1922 25100000  
1923 26050000  
1924 27000000  
1925 28421001  
1926 29100000  
1927 30050000  
1928 31599001  
1929 32000000  
1930 32599001  
1931 33000000  
1932 33700000  
1933 34558001  
1934 35000000  
1935 35650000  
1936 36200000  
1937 36978001  
1938 37900000  
1939 38200000  
1940 39100000  
1941 40200000  
1942 41100000  
1943 42200000  
1944 42600000  
1945 43200000  
1946 44000000  
1947 45000000  
1948 46000000  
1949 47000000  











Jeff Sexton on