The first Elgin watch manufactured by the Elgin Watch Company was on April 1, 1867. The last Elgin watch made in the United States was in 1968. If you are fortunate enough to get your hands on one of the old Elgin watches, you want to cherish it as it is likely worth thousands of dollars. The older the watch, the more valuable it is. Date your Elgin watch to determine its exact value.
Locate the serial number on the “hand” of your watch. Write down the serial number so you can reference it when needed.
Look up the serial number using a resource that allows you to access a database of Elgin serial numbers about Elgin watches. A few of the online resources you can use are Pocket Watch Site, Elgin Watch Collector's Site and Pocket Watch Repair.
Visit a website that sells used Elgin watches. On these sites, you can compare the serial number of your Elgin watch to the serial number of other watches that are for sale. If your serial number matches the serial number of one that is for sale, you have pinpointed the date of your Elgin watch. Some of the sites that auction Elgin watches are Northern Partners, Elgin Watches and eBay.
Take your Elgin watch to an antique watch appraiser. Though you will generally have to pay a fee for the appraisal, it will help determine the exact value of your watch.
Look up the serial number for your watch in a book, such as the “Elgin Watch Company Grade and Serial Numbers Price Guide” or “Elgin Watch Company Grade and Serial Numbers.” When you find the serial number in these books, it will also list the date the watch was manufactured.