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For most of the other makes the data is not generally available or, as is the case with Revue Thomman, the movements do not carry a meaningful serial number, just a 2 or 3 digit number to identify watches within a batch of production.Having had a lot of watches by Cyma and Tavannes I have been able to build up a good database of serial numbers vs date for production between c19 using the silver hallmarks (see below) which is now good enough to identify the date to within a year. Beyond this is comes down to experience and identifying key features such as machine set jewels which determines the earliest possible date.lever and pendant set, etc..) and the occasional transcription error.The original Waltham database is maintained by the NAWCC but the most comprehensive site I have found is The Pocket Watch database.Elgin had helped define the American pocket watch as unsurpassed in “Railroad Accuracy.” By 1930, the post Civil War dream factory imagined by a handful of American entrepreneurs had produced 32 million “time machines.” During World War II, all civilian manufacturing was halted and the company moved into the defense industry, manufacturing military watches, chronometers, fuses for artillery shells, altimeters and other aircraft instruments and sapphire bearings used for aiming cannons.While their altruism was vital to the war effort, Elgin’s patriotism ironically opened an opportunity for the Swiss.The American Waltham Watch Company had its beginnings in 1850 in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

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Later, their accurate “wristlet” watches proved to be vital to the WWI war effort, helping to fuel a craze back in the states for something called “The Wrist Watch.” By the opulent Jazz Age, if you weren’t displaying the exuberant symmetry of an Elgin wrist watch or carrying a svelte, distinctive Elgin pocket watch, then who were you?By 1964, after a Mid-Century decade that saw the rise of the elite “Lord and Lady Elgin” series, the original Elgin factory closed.Click here to view additional historical photos of the Waltham factory.Harper’s magazine summed their sentiment perfectly: “It was the genuine, audacious, self-reliant Western spirit.” By August of that year this consortium, including then-Chicago mayor Benjamin W.Raymond, purchased an abandoned farm 30 miles north of Chicago and built a watch factory there.

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