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Sterling Silver Watch Case

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Pocket Watches941 of 1472Charles Lindbergh Watch Fobs, Charles Oppenheim DesignBOVET  Pocket Watch 1800 - 1900
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Posted 5 years ago

(5 items)

Hello, I recently purchased this beautiful 1871 Elgin Key Wind pocket watch. It has a sterling silver case, and I am wondering if anyone can help identify the hallmarks on the piece. As you can see from the photo, it is marked "AM. Watch Company, Waltham, Mass." "Warranted Sterling Silver". I thought all sterling silver pieces had some kind of hallmark, but the only thing that is stamped throughout the case is a star, followed by R196. There is a 4 and a star stamped on the inside dust cover, but I know this means the case is 4 oz. of sterling silver. If anyone can help to identify what the Star R196 means, I would be greatly indebted!


  1. BHock45 BHock45, 5 years ago
    Beautiful watch! I would guess that the star shape and the R are the silver maker's hallmark, and the 193 is the watches model number.
  2. pw-collector pw-collector, 5 years ago
    I don't have an answer on your case, but would guess the star R196 refers to the case style and number.
    I would like to see a clear closeup shot of the movement & serial number.
    Your dial with Elgin Nat'l Watch Co. indicates it was manufactured 1874 or after. That is when they changed the company name from The National Watch Co.
    The link below shows my watch with the dial marked National Watch Co.
    You can add 2 more photos to this post by clicking on the edit post.
  3. wilbere123, 5 years ago
    Yes, Dave, the dial should read "National Watch Co." based on the serial number. THis has puzzled me for some time, but I believe the answer is someone refaced it at some point in it's life. It's a shame, because this devalues the piece considerably. If you look closely, you'll notice a small screw at the 10 o'clock position. I don't believe Elgin would ever put a screw on the face of a dial like that. The guy I bought it from said the owner was a watchmaker and it was handed down from father to son. Maybe the original dial was cracked or damaged so he replaced it. The movement is clean and bright and it runs perfectly! By the way, your watch is fantastic! I have never seen an Elgin with such a LOW serial number! How in the world did you get it? I just purchased another Elgin with a serial number of 21058, which puts it in the 1868 time frame. It does have the correct "National" dial, but I think it was recased at some point. The case says "Dueber Silverine, Canton, O". If I'm not mistaken, Dueber didn't move to Canton until the late 1880's. What I think I'm going to do is switch the early Elgin into the Sterling Silver case and put the later Elgin into the Dueber case and perhaps sell the later one.
  4. kerry10456 kerry10456, 5 years ago
    I might also add , according to the records on this serial # it's a "Hunter" case movement. Still love the watch, thanks for sharing.
  5. kerry10456 kerry10456, 5 years ago
    Here's my 1873 B W Raymond if you want to see one similar to yours, Kerry

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