Elgin 21J wrist watch, vintage mechanical manual-wind movement, unique "wandering hour" & "floating minute" time display, with 2 off-white disks, center disk is solid enamel and displays the hour while the outer disk floats above the center with with a thin clear acrylic center finished off-white around the edge and displays the minute, both display black Arabic-style numbers and red 5 minute markers that rotate to show the current time at 6 o'clock through the case aperture, the hour disk is in excellent condition with no notable damage however there are a number of cracks on the top acrylic minute disk radiating out from the center post.
Heavy smooth polish rectangular yellow gold filled (YGF) case with a faceted top case covering the entirety of the traditional watch dial area except for a triangular aperture at 6 o'clock set with a glass crystal, top-center of the case has a raised Elgin emblem and is marked "Lord Elgin", heavy sloping extended lugs, case is showing normal even wear overall with some small spots of brass starting to show on the lugs along with some smoothing to the raised Elgin emblem which does look like it may have had enamel accents which are now mostly gone, measures approx. 26mm wide x 36mm lug to lug x 9mm thick, deeply textured, lightly padded black leather strap band. A high quality and unusual vintage Elgin from the 1950s in excellent overall condition!
- Year Made: 1950s
- Company: Elgin
- Jewels: 21J
- Setting/Movement Type:
- Dial Material: hard enamel
- Dial Color: ivory/off-white
- Dial Details: wandering hour hand, floating minute hand
- Case Style:
Gold Filled - Yellow
- Case Details: Lord Elgin wandering hour model
Case Width, without crown:
26mm (1.02 inches)
Case Length, lug to lug:
Interior Lug Width:
(measurement range includes watch length & band)
- Band Material: leather strap
- Crystal Material: glass
The Elgin watch company, out of Elgin, Illinois, was in business from 1864-1964, and while active, was the largest-producing American watch company, manufacturing an estimated half of all pocket watches ("dollar" watches not included). By 1956 they had produced over 55 million pocket and wrist watches.
As an additional resource, we've posted a Serial Number Production List
which includes information for Elgin serial numbers and dates of manufacture.
The NAWCC also has a about the company.
You may browse all of our men's pocket watches from this manufacturer at our Vintage Men's Elgin Pocket Watches
This watch is in good running condition, unless otherwise noted in the description. This means that on receipt, pending any item-specific running conditions noted in the description, you can expect the watch to be winding and setting properly and to run smoothly while keeping reasonable time. We consider "reasonable time" to meet these basic guidelines:
- Railroad Grade Watches will be keeping +/- 5 minutes per day
- Pocket and Wrist Watches with 15 or more jewels will be keeping +/- 10 minutes per day
- All key wind watches and watches with 14 or fewer jewels will be keeping +/- 15 minutes per day
The above guideline is the lowest standard in which we would ship out a watch, however in most cases, you will see much better timekeeping. Most of our watches have been in storage for many years, so if you plan on carrying/wearing them everyday, you should consider having them cleaned and oiled soon, and then once a year thereafter to keep them in top running condition. If the watches will be for occasional use or display, they should be cleaned and serviced every 3 to 5 years depending on use.
As of May 17th, 2022, we are not offering a cleaning and service option through PM Time Service. While we do hope to offer this again in the future, we are unfortunately unable to meet customer requests for watch servicing at this time. Please note that, unless otherwise mentioned within the "Full Description" tab, this watch is being sold in good running condition and is ready to wear or carry on arrival.
This watch comes complete with an appropriate, intact glass crystal; however, on request PM Time Service can replace the current crystal on this wrist watch for you. We offer new plastic crystals for most vintage wrist watches; you can select your desired choice from the dropdown menu below.
Please note that the average turnaround time for wrist watch crystal replacements will be two days from the placement of the order; however, we do not carry every model of crystal in stock and there may be a delay of up to seven business days as we order the correct item from our supplier.
with any further questions or for an estimate on any shipping delays.
Please note: if you add this watch with a crystal exchange option to your shopping cart
but later change your mind on the crystal selection type, you'll need to remove the watch from the cart in order to make a new crystal selection. Once that is done, you can return to this page and add that new combination to the cart. We apologize for the limitations to our system that prevent you making that change from the shopping cart directly.
Unlike modern quartz watches, most vintage watches need daily winding in order to keep the watch functioning for timekeeping. Additionally, there are a number of different ways to set the time other than simply pulling the crown away from the watch body. We are happy to provide an overview of each of the different setting types on our "How To Use" page
, where we also provide information on proper winding techniques for each style and some suggestions for the proper long term care and storage of your watch.
For your gift giving convenience, please find a consolidated overview of the information on this item, with no reference to the price, on this printer-optimized page