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My longtime favorite U.S. watch firm is the Elgin National Watch Company, a prolific American firm established in 1864 on 35 acres of land donated by the City of Elgin, Illinois (the factory had a National Street address). It was a strategic location, right next to the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, one of the busiest railways into Chicago, and the Elgin factory would become the focal point of the town.
Elgin would offer its first watch for sale in 1867, marking the beginning of fierce competition with its chief competitor, Waltham, which (ironically) was instrumental in forming Elgin, as two of the original organizers were P.S. Bartlett and D.G. Currier of Waltham fame. Bartlett and Currier would later join the Illinois Watch Co. of Springfield.
If you are a "flapper" at heart and love all things great about the Jazz Age, this is a must-have. I am proud to offer for sale this scarce fired enameled case lady’s 1928 Parisienne PREMET parallelogram dial timepiece, designed by Madame Charlotte, "Directrice" of the House of Premet. In great condition inside and out, it measuring 30mm end to end and 17mm in width (18.5mm with winding original crown). This works out to be 1-3/16 inches long by 5/8 of an inch wide, not counting the winding crown. It has been fully serviced by my skilled watchmaker David and its original triplex style manual wind mechanism winds and sets smoothly while keeping accurate time.
In terms of desirable Elgin watches made for women, the “Lady & Tiger” enameled case model is the most sought-after, followed by a limited series of Parisienne models created for Elgin by noted French designers of the Era, including Premet, LeLong, Agnes, Lanvin, and Jenny – all great “Couturiers of the Rue de la Paix.” This asymmetrical, parallelogram Premet model and a similar design by Molyneux are the most sought after Parisiennes, and I'm not just saying that because I have one for sale…okay, it doesn't hurt to mention! I suggest you google "Premet Designer" and see what beautiful works Madame Charlotte and the House of Premet did in the 1920s, a peer to Coco Chanel.
The ivory colored, matte enamel finished dial is in excellent condition, fully restored to its exact original status…my photos do not quite do it justice. I just love the uniqueness of the dial and inlaid black enamel case, how they work so well together but as individual design details are strong on their own. The numbers are Breguet in design while the original “arrow tip” hands are blue steel. A 60 minute inner track border completes the dial and it is signed ELGIN below the 12.
The solid glass crystal is in excellent order. The three-piece case is 14K White Gold Filled and the body and bezel are in excellent shape, the highlight being its inlaid black enameling that is not just above and below the dial but connected by vertical inlaid enameling on either side of the dial! All enamel work is in excellent order. The original button-style winding crown is in great shape and operates smoothly.
Turning the watch over I note that the back lid is clean and free of any personal engravings or scratches. It does show some wear (rub/brassing) to the corner edges but overall I would say it is in very good condition. Inside is its original 7 Seven Jewel triplex type manual wind movement (Caliber 488, 18/0 Size) that is signed ELGIN – U.S.A with serial number #31,973,571 – dating the mechanism to early 1928 as per company production records, the same year that the advertisement I have in the background is dated. The inside of the case lid is signed Cased and Timed by Elgin National Watch Co. – 14K Gold Filled – Illinois Watch Case Co., Elgin.
This fully serviced Parisienne winds and sets smoothly while keeping accurate time. It is fitted on a new 12mm matte black leather band with fold-over ends and matching color buckle – especially designed for wire lug watches such as this. All in all an extremely fine example of a desirable Parisienne "Premet" model watch – who will be showing off this vintage marvel in just a short time?
- Since 1998, Holben's Fine Watches' goal has been happy customers. I treat buyers as I like to be treated: with courtesy and respect. I’m especially proud of my excellent response and high number of repeat clients. I’m a long-standing member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC), and have collected Swiss and American mechanical watches since I was a kid.
- Watch sizes: I provide exact measurements in millimeters (the watch industry standard) and inches, and include a U.S. quarter in photos as a size reference. Draw the measurements on paper to help visualize the watch on your wrist. Remember, men’s watches from the 1910s - 1960s were smaller than considered normal today.
- Buyers outside the United States with less than five response: Please introduce yourself via email PRIOR to offerding. Otherwise, your offer may be retracted.
- U.S. winners pay $6.75 for fully insured, safely boxed USPS First-Class Mail shipping. Washington State residents (and those with shipping addresses in Washington State) add 8.6% sales tax.
- Canadian ($13.75) and international buyers ($17.75) receive safely boxed USPS First-Class Mail International REGISTERED shipping. I can ship via USPS Express Mail International to most countries for approximately $30 and this is REQUIRED for shipments to countries that do not scan registered parcels at delivery. Import duties, taxes and charges are not included in the item price or shipping charges. Prior to offerding, check your country's customs regulations to determine any additional costs.
- Preferred payment method is PayPal; other options are available by contacting me.
- Payment is due within three days of sale end, unless you’ve contacted me prior to arrange otherwise. In accordance with policy, payments not received in four days will initiate an unpaid item case through the Resolution Center.
- In the rare event of a problem occurring after transit, return the wristwatch to me (or to my watchmaker, David) at my expense. It will be quickly corrected and shipped safely back to you.
- If you like unique and collectible vintage or antique wristwatches, add holbensfinewatches to your Favorite Sellers. I specialize in timepieces from the 1910s – 1960s. My selection changes weekly, and is comprised of manual wind and automatic watches from the following categories: WWI trench; WWII; military; fancy case, art nouveau; art deco; mid-century modern; stainless steel; sterling silver; white, yellow and rose gold; solid gold; platinum; and diamond, ruby and/or sapphire ladies’ cocktail watches.
Are you looking for high quality watch straps for your new or vintage military, sport and wire lug watches? Our sister store, Holben's Fine Watch Bands, offers an extensive selection of straps, including:
- UTC G10 NATO ballistic nylon (one-piece, two-piece, solid, striped and PVD);
- German Bund leather military (riveted and non-riveted in black and brown);
- NATO striped James Bond;
- Canvas military WWII (one-piece and two-piece in khaki, olive green and black);
- Alligator-, crocodile- and buffalo-grain leather (open-ended / wire lug and closed-end in black, brown and tan);
- Hamilton Khaki-,Breitling- and Panerai-style leather;
- GT Rally Tropic leather (big hole) and buffalo-grain Tropic (small holes); and
- Rubber and silicone deployment/deployant clasp divers (solid color, contrast-stitched and textured).
- As my pal Cautious Carl says, "Buy a Nice Watch from Mike"….but what does he know, he can’t even tell time!