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Silver Hawk

More On Elgin 725...

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Bill posted this topic a few months back and I've been trying to get my own Elgin 725 for several years...it really was a gapping hole in my early electric watch collection. Every time I went after one on the 'Bay, I was out bid... :taz:

But I did finally win one a few weeks ago and it arrived on Wednesday. So far so good. Before it arrived, I got in touch with Jim (ixor2) from Eire who had posted recently against Bill's original topic...we had a few phone conversations and a deal was struck....and his 725s arrived...also on Wednesday; thanks Jim :thumbsup:.

So this is bit like London buses....in this case, I've been trying to get hold on a 725 for 4-5 years and this week I now have eight (yes, 8!) :eek: Except most of them are not 725....at this stage, I'm not too upset...read on.

First up are three photos of the eBay item. All mine are the s/steel variety...which I prefer since the gold ones are tiny. This does house the Elgin 725 and measures 34 diameter. It's a backset, so no side crown:

Elgin-Electronic-725-1.jpg

Elgin-Electronic-725-2.jpg

Elgin-Electronic-725-3.jpg

Now some photos of the haul from Jim. Same case as above. First, three assembled watches on straps:

Elgin-Electronics-Haul-725-and-910-1.jpg

Now a few photos of the parts watches:

Elgin-Electronics-Haul-725-and-910-3.jpg

They all look to be 725s at this stage wink.gif

[more]

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But flip those uncased movements over and you'll see most are marked "910"....in fact all the Jim watches, except one, are 910s:

Elgin-Electronics-Haul-725-and-910-2.jpg

Elgin-Electronics-Haul-725-and-910-4.jpg

Elgin-Electronics-Haul-725-and-910-5.jpg

Finally a couple of larger pictures of the 725 and 910...slight change in jewel numbers but nothing else:

Elgin-Electronic-725-Movement.jpg

Elgin-Electronic-910-Movement.jpg

So what is a "910"? No idea...you can google all day and find nothing. The only reference to an Elgin 910 is in the Doensen bible on electric watches in which he states "The '910'. This is believed to be a prototype.". No, I'm not disappointed these are not all marked "725" :wink:

Edited by Silver Hawk

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Finally a couple of larger pictures of the 725 and 910...slight change in jewel numbers but nothing else:

So what is a "910"? No idea...you can google all day and find nothing. The only reference to an Elgin 910 is in the Doensen bible on electric watches in which he states "The '910'. This is believed to be a prototype.". No, I'm not disappointed these are not all marked "725" :wink:

Wow! What a find! It just proves that old saying "When it rains, It pours"

I've not heard of an Elgin 910, but I also have a larger stainless case Elgin Electronic that I've assumed housed a 725. Now I'll have to take a better look at it's movement to see if it's in fact a 910. Just a WAG (wild ass guess) on my part, but I'm thinking that the 910 was a later version based on the 725. Have you had a look to see what the movement is in your other (chandler) watch yet?

Here are my comments for further discussion. The first thing I noticed is that these are all the larger stainless case style, with a rear removable battery hatch. I'm fairly certain that these cases were a later product offering from Elgin, which I would date to be circa 1963/64 versus the earlier gold cases.

I also noticed that all the movements you have have use a different coil with an external diode (black blob in the lower right hand corner). Have a closer look below at the picture of what I believe to be my oldest 725 movement.

dscf0165t.jpg

Compare it to the one in your photo's.

Elgin-Electronic-725-Movement.jpg

The coils in your movements are definitely different, and to me look similar to those found in a LIP 148 movement. Maybe an example of the LIP influence on the Elgin design? The balance in your photo's appears to have undergone some modifications as well. You can also see that battery clips (polarity) changed to suit the rear battery hatch.

So if I had to make a WAG, I'd say that what you have is an updated and modified 725 prior to the 910 release (like a Hamilton 500A), with the 910 being an official upgrade over the 725.

All in all a good find Paul. Let us know what movement you find in your other (Chandler) watch. I've got a feeling that you're going to find that it's a 910.

I just love this forensic engineering.

Larry

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I have a decided interest in electric/electronic watches and this site (thanks to Silver Hawk and others) has more esoterica dealing with them than any other site in the world. Thanks gentlemen as it is always fascinating. My collection is more mundane consisting of Omega F300s.

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Larry, you have certainly given me more detail to look at...but having looked at my Chandler one, I'm more confused than ever.

The Chandler one is marked 725 but it does have a black object stuck to the side of the coil...and the wiring looks very similar to the picture of yours. In fact, looking at yours, I think you also have something stuck to the side of your coil...it maybe white rather than black...follow the brass wire from the contact wires past the U turn and just before it passes underneath the coil to the battery post.

My Chandler 725 seems to have the same balance as yours and is not the same as those on the 910. And my Chandler 725 has the same coil as yours i.e. no mount screw at the balance end.

So my Jim 725 (below) is a bit unusual, since it has a 910 type coil (LIP style) and a 910 type balance.

So maybe this is the evolution:

1st Your two-battery 725

2nd My Jim one-battery 725 with 910 style coil and battery

3rd My 910 which were never released.

What do you think? And check what is glued to the side of your coil please :wink:

Elgin-Electronic-725-Movement.jpg

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Larry, you have certainly given me more detail to look at...but having looked at my Chandler one, I'm more confused than ever.

The Chandler one is marked 725 but it does have a black object stuck to the side of the coil...and the wiring looks very similar to the picture of yours. In fact, looking at yours, I think you also have something stuck to the side of your coil...it maybe white rather than black...follow the brass wire from the contact wires past the U turn and just before it passes underneath the coil to the battery post.

My Chandler 725 seems to have the same balance as yours and is not the same as those on the 910. And my Chandler 725 has the same coil as yours i.e. no mount screw at the balance end.

So my Jim 725 (below) is a bit unusual, since it has a 910 type coil (LIP style) and a 910 type balance.

So maybe this is the evolution:

1st Your two-battery 725

2nd My Jim one-battery 725 with 910 style coil and battery

3rd My 910 which were never released.

What do you think? And check what is glued to the side of your coil please :wink:

I think we know more about Elgin Electronics now than we ever did before. :gossip:

Here are two more pictures of the same movement. There is a build up of insulator wax ("glob") on the side of the coil where the wire leaves. I've tried to capture what it looks like in the 1st photo below.

dscf0133zd.jpg

This is what you're seeing.

dscf0131l.jpg

Guess I'll just have to send mine to you for a closer look :derisive:

I think the evolution is like this:

1st My two-battery 725, encapsulated diode, no rear battery hatch, smaller case.

2nd My one battery 725, encapsulated diode, rear battery hatch, smaller case.

3rd Your Jim one-battery 725, with 910 style coil, external diode, rear battery hatch, larger case.

4th Your 910 one-battery, external diode, rear battery hatch, larger case. (I think this is also my larger case SS Electronic)

I'm not sure that we can say (yet) that the 910 were never released. When I purchased my larger SS case Elgin Electronic, the seller made reference to it being a 910, but because I could find no reference to that model, I've always assumed it to be a 725 movement. It is in running condition, so I've never had it out of it's case to see. I could be totally wrong and it may well be that the 910 was never released.

Maybe we can ask Jarrad what movement he has in his.

Either way it's great to be able to share information like this.

:thumbsup:

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Larry, where is your encapsulated diode in 1st and 2nd? :huh:

I think it's wrapped with the coil, opposite the balance end. I could be wrong Paul, but when I look at it, I can't see any external diode. Just two wires leaving the coil. It could be hidden underneath, just like you've said, but I can't see it.

Let me send it to you for a more detailed look and then we'll know for sure. :)

Larry

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Larry, where is your encapsulated diode in 1st and 2nd? :huh:

I think it's wrapped with the coil, opposite the balance end. I could be wrong Paul, but when I look at it, I can't see any external diode. Just two wires leaving the coil. It could be hidden underneath, just like you've said, but I can't see it.

Let me send it to you for a more detailed look and then we'll know for sure. :)

Larry

I bet they don't have one...only on the later ones when LIP got involved. I'll try and get a photo of this black thing on the side of my Chandler 725....my other 725 (from Jim) has the normal LIP-like black one.

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Larry, where is your encapsulated diode in 1st and 2nd? :huh:

I think it's wrapped with the coil, opposite the balance end. I could be wrong Paul, but when I look at it, I can't see any external diode. Just two wires leaving the coil. It could be hidden underneath, just like you've said, but I can't see it.

Let me send it to you for a more detailed look and then we'll know for sure. :)

Larry

I bet they don't have one...only on the later ones when LIP got involved. I'll try and get a photo of this black thing on the side of my Chandler 725....my other 725 (from Jim) has the normal LIP-like black one.

That would be cool! :thumbsup: Keep in mind that these were called Electronic because they did have a diode. I just can't find mine.

I'd like to see those photo's. In the meantime I have to go out and do some chores. B)

Larry

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Keep in mind that these were called Electronic because they did have a diode. I just can't find mine.

Good point Larry...totally forgot that. :blush2:

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Keep in mind that these were called Electronic because they did have a diode. I just can't find mine.

Good point Larry...totally forgot that. :blush2:

Paul,

Here is another shot of the coil from another direction. You can see where the insulator (wax resin?) bridges between the wire and the coil.

dscf0149r.jpg

I'm afraid that this is the best I can do to show you what this looks like.

:thumbsup:

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Paul,

While you were sleeping, I did a search for the Elgin Electronic 910. On the NAWCC website I found this:

"Regarding your question of where they're only two models sold. The most common Elgin electric is the 725 which was marketed for a unknown period of time. The model 910 shows up occasionally and as far as I can tell the ladies version 722 was never sold."

The most common is the 725 and the 910 shows up occasionally? Based on how scarce the 725 is, you know it's going to be hard to find a 910, but it would appear as if the 910 did hit the market for some unknown period of time.

I realise that this is just one posters comment, but still, it does add to the controversy surrounding the history of the Elgin Electronics. :help:

Larry B)

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While you were sleeping

What a dreadful sleep...tossing-and-turning, ended up counting sheep...got to 725 and then continued to 910.

Spoke to International Dial yesterday and they have the correct dies for my Elgin dials, so I will send some of them off on Monday morning. Then I thought I might as well convert one of my white dials to a black one...but just noticed that they are quite different. The black ones (yours and Jarrets) have double flutes at 12 and no hour numerals...so I guess I'll stick with white.

Anyone else got a white dialled s/steel version? :huh:

Black (Jarrets):

DSC04237.jpg

White (mine) :

Elgin-Electronic-725-Dial-1.jpg

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Hi,

Was just reading all this interesting stuff, and got to the bottom to see my watch. I want to make a QUICK CORRECTION, before you have your dial done in black. MINE IS GRAY, NOT BLACK. Pretty much a medium gray, nowhere close to black. Sorry if the picture appears black.

Looks like you got a very nice set of rare Elgin Electronics. Good for you Paul. :thumbsup:

harleymanstan

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Looks like you got a very nice set of rare Elgin Electronics. Good for you Paul. :thumbsup:

harleymanstan

Thanks Jarett....we were wondering if yours is marked 725 or 910? :huh:

And where is Bill? :search:

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Hi,

Was just reading all this interesting stuff, and got to the bottom to see my watch. I want to make a QUICK CORRECTION, before you have your dial done in black. MINE IS GRAY, NOT BLACK. Pretty much a medium gray, nowhere close to black. Sorry if the picture appears black.

Looks like you got a very nice set of rare Elgin Electronics. Good for you Paul. :thumbsup:

harleymanstan

Here are a couple of pics of mine. Same dial as Jaretts.

The only white dialed ones I've seen to date are Pauls (Chandler and the ones from Jim).

dscf0605.jpg

dscf0618.jpg

:cheers:

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Looks like you got a very nice set of rare Elgin Electronics. Good for you Paul. :thumbsup:

harleymanstan

Thanks Jarett....we were wondering if yours is marked 725 or 910? :huh:

And where is Bill? :search:

It's a 725. Should have taken pictures when I had it apart, but didn't get it done. I wonder of the ones out there, how many run? I have this one with the stainless case, and one with the gold filled case. The stainless one runs, and the other does not. I have a copy of the 725 manual, and tried to figure what was wrong with the gold filled one, but had no luck. Maybe one day?? :rolleyes:

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As I recently joined your group and this is my first posting I thought I would add to the mystery and clarify a few things. The 910 is not a prototype it is the next evolution of Elgin's electric watches. From looking at your photographs I think all of your watches are 910’s. The one watch that is marked 725 is really a 910. As your watches came in pieces it suggests they probably came direct from the factory liberated one way or another by an employee. The wonderful aspect of this is we get to see what was supposedly destroyed. But you can end up with a strange mix of things.

If you look at the upper bridge other than the engraving the 725 and 910 bridges are identical. The main differences are the coil is longer and has screws on both ends, the diode is now visible and the balance wheel is considerably lighter than the previous ones.

For the diode mystery I have posted a few photographs. The 725 has a diode similar sized to the 910 but the case is transparent glass and it's attached to the side of the coil. That is why to the casual observer it's invisible. I have a close-up photograph the blob is the diode. One of the other photographs has the black 910 diodes. Then the square things are the diodes found in the 722. As I mentioned 722 I've attached a photograph of one of those.

As you're asking about the white dials I've attached a photograph with one of mine.

John

Img_5488s.jpg

Img_5473s.jpg

Img_5496s.jpg

Img_5486s.jpg

Img_5502s.jpg

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Hi John_R,

First, welcome to :rltrlt: and secondly, great to have another Elgin owner on board. Got a host of question and comments, so in no particular order:

1) Do you have any accurate dates for 722, 725 and 910 releases? Were they always sequential or were watches containing the 725 and 910, for example, sold at the same time?

2) Do you have any original (or copies) Elgin documentation on the 910? Sales brochures, tech leaflets etc

3) The diode stuck to the side of the 725 is not always clear like yours (and presumably Larry's); I have a 725 here where the diode is black like the 910 loose one. Hardly surprising really; LIP used all sorts of different diodes in their R 148.

4) I agree...based on the appearance of the balance and coil, the large movement photo of my "725" looks to be a 910 with a 725 bridge plate.

5) I do have a 725...the first three photos are of a watch with a 725. Was there any correlation between dial / case style and movement used? There are a few of us on this Forum who have 725s, but I'm the only one with a 910...and now you...but I don't have any gold cased Elgins....did these ever use a 910?

I'm sure I have other questions / comments. BTW: thanks for the photo of the tiny 722. Does it work?

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As I recently joined your group and this is my first posting I thought I would add to the mystery and clarify a few things. The 910 is not a prototype it is the next evolution of Elgin's electric watches. From looking at your photographs I think all of your watches are 910’s. The one watch that is marked 725 is really a 910. As your watches came in pieces it suggests they probably came direct from the factory liberated one way or another by an employee. The wonderful aspect of this is we get to see what was supposedly destroyed. But you can end up with a strange mix of things.

If you look at the upper bridge other than the engraving the 725 and 910 bridges are identical. The main differences are the coil is longer and has screws on both ends, the diode is now visible and the balance wheel is considerably lighter than the previous ones.

For the diode mystery I have posted a few photographs. The 725 has a diode similar sized to the 910 but the case is transparent glass and it's attached to the side of the coil. That is why to the casual observer it's invisible. I have a close-up photograph the blob is the diode. One of the other photographs has the black 910 diodes. Then the square things are the diodes found in the 722. As I mentioned 722 I've attached a photograph of one of those.

As you're asking about the white dials I've attached a photograph with one of mine.

John

Img_5473s.jpg

Img_5486s.jpg

Hello John,

Those are some great photos. It's nice to know that there are other 725 owners out there. I like the picture of the clear diode from the 725. In an earlier post I had said that I knew there was a diode probably located opposite the balance wheel but that I couldn't see it. Now I know why, it's invisible.

That 722 is a rare bird indeed. That's the one that I thought was a myth. It would be great if you could post a picture of the dial and case so we can see just how small it really is.

Great to see you've found us. I hope you can expand on our discussion of Elgin Electronics.

Larry

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I was looking at your questions and one of the problems were going to have is I have more questions than you. Even though I started my research a very long time ago so many of the key people were not found, had died or didn't want to talk. Fortunately there were still some people that had some exposure to Elgin's electronic watch but I'm afraid we're left with more mysteries and questions then answers.

Starting with question number 1 and 2 and as far as I know the 722 was never sold. The only ones I've seen cased up are in either 14 karat gold or 18 karat gold. The 910 is an incredible mystery it only shows up in stainless cases. Up until your recent discovery I only knew of five others. One of the others I knew of has a tag hanging from the case with the data of 12-02-63.

Then for the Elgin 725 from the variety of references I have I don't think it's really that clear. They supposedly did a limited test marketing in July 1962 in Chicago. Then from a variety of different sources those watches were all destroyed. The references for the destruction are very reliable but it still leaves us with unanswered questions. The service manual was printed in two versions one for one battery and one for two batteries printed in 1961. In 1962 the stockholders report they show a picture of a different Elgin electronic hinting it's going to be out soon. Then also on February 7, 1963 a rather interesting letter from Dr.C N Challacombe who at that time was the manager of R&D and product design watches. Unfortunately like all the letters that he's done he's answering somebody but we don't know who it is. This particular letter the wording is somewhat strange in that he says that “the watch is planned to sellâ€. Which gives the impression to me that it's not out yet. He also gives prices of $89.50 in gold filled and $79.50 in stainless steel. What the ultimate aim of $49.50 retail although he doesn't want to be quoted on that.

Very likely I didn't answer all the questions as I'm trying to multitask between several other projects. Then I suspect my answers are more than likely going to generate more questions so I'll get to those as time permits.

Then I'm attaching a few more photographs that will partially answer one of Larry's questions and probably generate new questions. One of photographs shows a 722 square diode on the bottom of a 725 coil. It probably explains why there's a convenient hole in the main plate. When I was looking for a movement to get a picture of the invisible diode I noticed this one. Then the question I'm sure everyone's been asking or should have been why is there only one half of a watch. It should be plainly obvious what filled the other part of the case in a rather nice green color. Then for a Larry's question a group photo showing just how small is 722 is.

John

Img_5474s.jpg

Img_5494s.jpg

Img_5498s.jpg

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