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These watches were made over a full 100 year period and in that time, many different types were made.They were made from different materials, with different movements, by different makers and many then had custom made cases.For more information on Swiss Elgin watches, including a listing of Swiss Elgin grades and their equivalent Swiss movement calibres, please view our Swiss Elgin page. It manufactured watch cases under many brands, such as "Elgin Giant," "Elgin Pride," "Tivoli," "Spartan," and "Elgin Commander." The use of the name "Elgin" in their brand names, or marking the cases with "Elgin USA" has often led people to believe that a watch was made by the Elgin National Watch Company when it was actually made by another manufacturer, or to think that a watch no longer has its original case because it is "now in an Elgin case." Keep in mind that watch movements and watch cases were usually made by different manufacturers.The Illinois Watch Case Company of Elgin, Illinois should not be confused with the Elgin Watch Company. Elgin watches are entirely different than Illinois "Elgin" cases.When you add into that, the condition of the watch, if it is working or not, and things like is there any way of authenticated the piece, then you can see just how difficult this can be.The only way to be absolutely certain is to take it to an approved evaluator.
Rich owners would than have taken these to a jeweller to have a case designed for their own preference.
The Elgin National Watch Company went out of business in 1964.
They never made any battery-powered, quartz watches.
During the last few years that Elgin was in business (late 50's through mid-60's), they began to reduce their US production and began importing Swiss watch movements which were finished and labeled as Elgin watches.
Much of this assembly work was done at a new Elgin plant in Elgin, South Carolina. Co) was a major manufacture in the city of Elgin, Illinois.