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Elgin Grade 581 H.S. 3 "Click" to Login or Register 
posted
Hello everybody,

this time I'd like to show you my Elgin B.W. Raymond Grade 581, marked H.S./|\3.




From my point of view it's a real beauty and in a very good shape.




According to Elgin's database the watch was made in 1942.



Two closeups of the movement - could need a little cleaning, but anyway, it's very nice!




I hope you enjoyed the pics!

Regards
Gerd
 
Posts: 50 | Location: Vienna in Austria | Registered: December 17, 2008
IHC Member 376
Watchmaker
Picture of Samie L. Smith
posted
Gerd
That,s a beautiful watch I really like the gold flashed movements ..Your watch looks to be in mint condition. Smile
 
Posts: 3208 | Location: Monticello, Kentucky U.S.A. | Registered: June 24, 2004
posted
Nice Elgin the H.S arrow 3 mark on back cover stand's for Hydrographic service.I only had one elgin RR watach that had the gold flash I sold it a while back some time's I wish I did not.
 
Posts: 523 | Location: Northern California in the USA | Registered: November 23, 2008
posted
Hello Samie and Mike,

thank you very much for your comments. These gold flashed movements really look great!

Regards
Gerd
 
Posts: 50 | Location: Vienna in Austria | Registered: December 17, 2008
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator
Picture of John J. Flahive III
posted
Gerd,

Very nice watch. I love military pocket watches and yours is an almost perfect example.

John III
 
Posts: 1744 | Location: Wisconsin in the USA | Registered: October 17, 2005
Picture of Mary Ann Scott
posted
Gerd - I really like this one! The contrast between the gold flashing against the stainless case really makes each stand out. Military watches aren't my thing, but could be if they looked like yours! Smile
 
Posts: 1047 | Location: The Colony, Texas in the USA | Registered: December 20, 2008
posted
Hello John III and Mary Ann,

thank you very much for your nice words. Mary Ann, you are absolutely right - the contrast is amazing!

But there is one question: I saw `many pictures of grades 581s, some have gold flashed movements, many don't - why?

Best regards
Gerd
 
Posts: 50 | Location: Vienna in Austria | Registered: December 17, 2008
Picture of Mary Ann Scott
posted
I think I read here somewhere, but don't hold me to it, that the gold flashing provided an extra layer of protection for the plates, that it wasn't strictly for show. Please, someone, correct me if I am wrong.
 
Posts: 1047 | Location: The Colony, Texas in the USA | Registered: December 20, 2008
posted
The Hydrographic Service seems to have obtained some nice timepieces which I am sure were critial for their work. They were the men who made the deep water and shoreline nautical charts and maps showing water depths, and also the tide tables. Having accurate charts and maps was important for the British Navy to fight the war.
 
Posts: 858 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
IHC Life Member

Picture of Jerry King
posted
Gerd, you have one of the finest examples of the Elgin 581 that I have seen anywhere....As Samie suggested, it looks to be in Mint Condition, if there ever was one....

You were wondering why some 581's are gild finished and some are not....well, I have a theory on why that is and it also ties into Mary Ann's post a little earlier....

Your watch, s/n 41752985 was produced in a run of 10,000 during 1942, yours was number 2985 of that run. There is no data specifically that identifies which movement was gilded but the data does say that some of that run were gilded and some were not....The data base identifies all grade 581 watches as "s3n15p" watches, the "n" meaning "nickel"....

There were nine runs of the 581 movement, your watch was in the eighth run and of those runs, #1, #2, #3 & #9 were not gilded and there were a total of 4800 watches in those 4 runs....
Runs #4, #5, #6, #7 & #9 were the runs that had all or mixed numbers of gilded movements, for a total of 16,000 movements

In all there were 20,800 units allotted for the 581....

Now we get to the GILDING aspect of the watches....
During the WWII years there were certain things that ran shortages, gasoline, oil for cooking, cigarette's and certain metals. One metal that was in short supply was Nickle and that was one of the main metals in watchmaking. Those companies that had large inventories of watch parts didn't want to remake the parts from brass, aluminum or other materials so they gilded the parts to give them a brass appearance, especially for those movements that were going to be used by the military....Of course, since gold will not rust or otherwise corrode it will certainly provide a bit of added protection as Mary Ann suggested....
To verify my theory; Look at your watch and you will notice that on the barrel bridge it states 21 Jewel....Now we all know that your watch and all but the last run of 581's have 22 Jewels....(There is no data on the number of 21 or 22 jewel movements made in that last run in 1942)

My point is that even though these movements were 22 jewel because of the sweep hand, Elgin did not make barrel bridges stamped 22 Jewel they instead used their existing inventory of 21 jewel and gilded them in the process....

This explanation of why the gilded movements is not mine to claim and I don't, but there is a string within our site that speaks to this subject in somewhat greater detail but I could not find it when I searched for it....I think it was sometime earlier this year or late last year when the subject came up and was discussed....and I thought the dates of the production runs of the 581 tied in very closely with the beginning and major build up of our involvement in WWII....

If anyone has more or different information, please let us know what that may be....

Be proud of your watch, Gerd, it is very very nice....

Regards,

Jerry
 
Posts: 2832 | Location: Chino, California in the USA | Registered: June 23, 2008
posted
Dear Jerry,

thank you so much for your very detailed and very interesting reply. It all makes sense and I think that your theory is a very good one. For me it's a logical explanation to my questions.

I am very glad that this beauty is part of my collection and I am very proud of it!

Best regards!
Gerd
 
Posts: 50 | Location: Vienna in Austria | Registered: December 17, 2008
IHC Member 376
Watchmaker
Picture of Samie L. Smith
posted
There was a few of these made that were marked 22 jewel i used too own one that was marked 22 jewel.. Smile
 
Posts: 3208 | Location: Monticello, Kentucky U.S.A. | Registered: June 24, 2004
posted
Please excuse my lack of knowledge.

Are military watches that are based on RR standards lever set like RR watches, or pendant set?
 
Posts: 148 | Location: Seattle, Washington in the USA | Registered: December 20, 2008
IHC Member 1153
posted
Hi Robert,
Definitely not being an expert by any stretch, I know all the 4992B Hamiltons are pendant, rather that lever set. But lets let the experts respond.
Bill
 
Posts: 1278 | Location: British Columbia in Canada | Registered: May 19, 2008
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