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Thread: Original key-wind watches for sale

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    California People's Republic
    Posts
    227

    Default Original key-wind watches for sale

    I have two original key-wind watches for sale, both from the late 1870s (and practically twins, made within a couple months of each other), that are as close as you can get to an authentic Civil War watch as you can get without actually buying a pre-1865 watch. A working Civil War dated watch will start at about $400 if you can find a bargain, and if youíre like me youíre not brave (or careless) enough to take an irreplaceable period original to the field.

    These two are identical in virtually every aspect to a Civil War timepiece, except that their serial numbers date them from the 1870s and the fact that they are Elgins (the Elgin National Watch Company started in 1867). Both are very early 7 jewel Elgins, nothing fancy, and they would have been a common everyday manís carry watch. They are big, heavy 18-size watches.

    I have personally cleaned and oiled the watches (Civil War-era watch collecting is a hobby) and with a little care and respect they should provide excellent service for several years. For being almost 140 years old, they are both excellent timekeepers to within 2 to 4 minutes per 24 hours, depending on temperature and position the watch is carried. They both run strong.

    The first watch is in an excellent nickel case with a near perfect very thick crystal. This is currently the very best watch 18-size case I have. The bow is still pretty tight. Case hinges open and close tight like they should. It is a nice watch. I will include the key. Asking $175 shipped in the US by USPS Priority Mail.
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    The second watch is pretty much identical but the crystal has some mild scratching. The exterior of the case is in good condition but has some minor dents, and there is some scratching on the curvette inside the back. These are purely cosmetic flaws and do not affect the function of the watch at all, but it does drive the price down a little. I will include a key. I am asking $155 shipped in the US by USPS Priority Mail.
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    I prefer PayPal (and you can use a credit card to pay with Paypal), but I will also take postal money orders. PM me on the forum, or send me an email at pgbearcat@msn.com

    I will periodically have other watches for sale, and if you have an old key-wind watch that needs to be serviced and oiled, I can take a look at it for substantially less than the watch repair shop in the mall.
    Brett Gibbons
    3rd Regt. C.S. Engineers, Co. E
    www.hartsengineers.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    25

    Default

    I can personally vouch for the quality of Brett's work and the watches he sells. I bought an 1894 Elgin from him around a month ago, and it runs like new, and the price absolutely could not be beat. I've gotten so many compliments already on the beautiful watch. Brett's goods are top-notch.
    Daniel Sharits
    75th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Dickson, TN.
    Posts
    153

    Default

    I too will climb on the bandwagon of endorsing Brett and the quality of his watches. About two months ago I bought an Elgin (1877 key-wind) and it looks beautiful and works incredibly. In fact, I have been testing it's accuracy and I set it 3 weeks and 2 days ago by the naval observatory time and have kept it wound and running ever since. Believe it or not, as of this morning, it is off by only 50 seconds!! Many modern day watches do not hold time that accurately!!

    Very satisfied!

    Mark
    Mark Choate
    7th TN. Cavalry, Co. D

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    California People's Republic
    Posts
    227

    Default

    Second watch (the one with some dings and scratches) sold pending funds. Thanks.

    Mark... I cannot take any credit for the miracle of the 7 jewel Elgin keeping time within a minute over 3 weeks. By the book, that grade of watch is not supposed to keep anything close to that time. A minute a day is generally considered excellent timekeeping for an old 7 jewel watch, and usually the amount of work required to bring one of those Model 1's within minute-a-day timekeeping is far, far more than the watch is even worth. So it sounds like you have the exception to the rule!

    Also, if the nickel case begins to lose its shine, I can recommend Cape Cod Metal Polishing Cloths. Unlike many metal polishes, Cape Cod is good for nickel and can make these old nickel watch cases shine bright. Best of all, they're very affordable and made in the USA.
    Brett Gibbons
    3rd Regt. C.S. Engineers, Co. E
    www.hartsengineers.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Dickson, TN.
    Posts
    153

    Default

    Yes, Brett, I never expected anything like this when first I bought it from you. After some of my holiday travels concluded, I set the watch and kept it wound. Each day I looked for time loss or gained. It just did not happen. Kinda spooky, ha.

    thanks,
    Mark
    Mark Choate
    7th TN. Cavalry, Co. D

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    California People's Republic
    Posts
    227

    Default

    Both watches sold. Thanks!

    I've got a few more that are almost ready to go, I'm still tinkering with them trying to get the best timekeeping possible. Fixing these old watches is just a hobby, and I am in no particular hurry, but if you really, really want one, feel free to send a PM and I'll let you know what I've got on hand.

    "Got my watch from a jeweler, who has cleaned it and set it running (only $2)... My watch is a great convenience and runs well."
    --Lieutenant Aldace F. Walker, 11th Vermont Infantry
    Brett Gibbons
    3rd Regt. C.S. Engineers, Co. E
    www.hartsengineers.com

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