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I paruse many auctions and only win a few. I rolled the dice by bidding on a blurry pic. I got the lot and found an Elgin 539. I really liked the black "accents". Despite the small size I found to be a nice addition to my Elgin collection. Not a lot to go on for a resto, but I'm a sucker for a new resto project. I just can't hardly give up on a movement.
The SN dates it around '43. It has the black unmarked dial. All is there cept the sweep hand and the addition of a broken staff.
Upon researching the a-11/539, I found reference that these were used mostly in the USAAC. This to me was interesting because my dad was in the AF 20yrs(half as aircraft mech, half as Titan II). My moms dad was a short time in ww2 AAC.
Also I found that there are not much if any Elgin 539 movements for sale on the net. I found parts(surplus), but no movements. Are there that few out of the 100s of thousands made left?
Ultimately, what I'm going to need to get this ww2 vet going is a case. I have the movement and the strap. Bought the strap in a lot at an antique store its kind of a light green/OD green canvas. I'm not exactly sure what original strap looks like. I don't have many military watches( Waltham ellery 1862,and some wire lugs) but this significant tool from ww2 would a great addition.
As you say, they made huge numbers of these, not only Elgin, but the other big makers of the day as well.
These were issued to all kinds of men in the Army Air Force during the war - not just pilots. Today they are more common than you might think from your brief looking around. They sell regularly on Ebay for between $50 and $200 depending on their condition. To fix yours up, if you cannot find parts you can always buy a donor watch on Ebay for not too much money. They are fun to wear and use.
I was blessed and got the lot for $8 or so. Got a parts ham 910 and a nys with it. I did find staffs and even a complete balance for it. Like to find an original case but if not, I talked to an old watchmaker that said that they sold non gov identical cases after the war to replace the worn ones.
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