ELGIN 725 ELECTRIC 1963

 

Elgin's first production electric watch - the 725 "Electronic" (also the last). Not much data is available and additionally it is extremely rare. The superior name Electronic was used instead of Electric in a similar fashion with the French LIP watch that had a diode for spark suppresion. As mentioned in the description of the LIP R27 both companies cooperated since the late 1940's on the electric wristwatch and to some extent similarities are visible in both watches. A joint prototype was even presented to the public in 1952 but we had to wait another 10 years before a reliable Elgin electric reached the market. Elgin had large difficulties within R&D and unlike Hamilton probably did not want to launch an advanced prototype to market.

 

 

At first a scarce 722 calibre was created that either had two batteries or a special kidney-shaped battery pack. It proved to be unreliable and was finally trashed. The Elgin concept was a lot smaller than the Hamilton Electric allowing more case designs to be considered including a ladies electric. The final product with one battery was named 725 and was marketed in a test run in the Chicago area. A following upgraded version was called 910 with double contact wire. Unfortunately technical problems resulted in a vast factory return operation and the entire project was killed... very likely due to financial problems as Elgin was near bankruptcy back then. The 725 has a battery hatch and setting crown on the back while the movement with fixed coil can be removed through the crystal (flat with sharp edge...unusual).

 

 

The contact system is almost identical with the LIP R148 but the 725 has a more robust contact wire and akward countering jewel mounted at an angle on the baseplate. A smart hacking pin has been applied to the setting crown assembly that gently stops the balance wheel when pulled out. Some (goldfilled) editions without a battery hatch can also be found of which some might contain the preproduction two-battery 722 calibre. Please be aware that only the 725 (and 722) "Electronic" are genuine American Elgin electric watches with diodes that reduce sparking. Any other Electronic watches with the Elgin brand were sold in the 1970's with a Junghans Atochron 600 movement but they have no association with the genuine Elgin that closed in 1964. Read more technical details on the Watch Forum.

 

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Keywords:elgin electric, elgin electronic, elgin 725

Market value: 200-500$ (condition, box)

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