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Acme America Atlas Solar Sun-Dial (low grade watches)

From around 1897 to 1899, Elgin made three grades of watches that they didn't sell under their own name, or so it appears. One was the G=177, a 6s hunter case watch, one was the G=178, an 18s hunter case watch, and the last was the G=179, an 18s open face watch. They were all very low quality (7 jewels, unadjusted watches) and it appears that most of them had "fake" compensated balances. That is, the balance wheel was made to look like a bi-metallic temperature compensating balance, but it wasn't, but they were solid brass.

What Elgin lacked in quality in these watches, they made up for in quantity. Almost a half million of these watches were produced. Considering the quality, it is understandable why Elgin didn't sell these under their own name. While these watches are by far the worst watches that Elgin produced, they were still better than the "dollar watches" that started to sell in great numbers around this time and there were better than the low end Swiss watches, which usually had cylinder escapements.

These watches were sold under the "Sun-Dial", "Atlas", "Acme", "America" and "Solar" names. Usually these were marked as such on both the movement and the dial. Sometimes the movement did mention "Elgin", but not "Elgin National Watch Co.".

I get the impression that Solar Watch Co and the Atlas Watch Co were trying to be "real" watch companies, even though they resold other peoples movements, much like the Ball Watch company was a "real" watch company. It appears that Solar sold watches made by both Elgin and New York Standard, while Atlas sold watches made by Elgin and United States Watch Co. Sun-Dial and Acme may have just been names that Elgin used so they could dump cheap junk onto the market.

Name Serial Number Date Description Dial Movement Comment
Acme 7538030 1897 18s, Gr179, Model 5, 7j Acme Watch Co Acme Watch Co  

Name Serial Number Date Description Dial Movement Comment
America 7235401 1897 6s, Gr177, Model 2, 7j Elgin "America" "Philadelphia U.S.A."  
America 8049217 1898 18s, Gr178, Model 2, 7j "America" "Philadelphia, U.S.A." "America" "Philadelphia, U.S.A."  
America 8784558 1899 18s, Gr178, Model 2, 7j "America Philadelphia U.S.A." "America Philadelphia U.S.A."  

Name Serial Number Date Description Dial Movement Comment
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7080584 1897 6s, Gr177, Model 2, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A"  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7083568 1897 6s, Gr177, Model 2, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A" engraved "Oct. 14 '75/Love Always/Randy"
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7085419 1897 18s, Gr178, Model 2, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A"  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7099152 1897 6s, Gr177, Model 2, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7108476 1897 6s, Gr177, Model 2, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7155903 1897 18s, Gr179, Model 5, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7156962 1897 18s, Gr179. Model 5, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7162582 1897 6s, Gr177. Model 2, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7170885 1897 18s, Gr178, Model 2, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7173700 1897 18s, Gr178, Model 2, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7185020 1897 6s, Gr177, Model 2, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7204736 1897 18s, Gr179. Model 5, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7260628 1897 18s, Gr179. Model 5, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7282720 1897 18s, Gr179. Model 5, 7j   "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A." movement only; has Waltham dial
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7285206 1897 18s, Gr179, Model 5,7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A." damaged dial
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7290571 1897 18s, Gr179, Model 5, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7302713 1897 18s, Gr179, Model 5, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7376271 1897 6s, Gr179. Model 2, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7382140 1897 18s, Gr178, Model 2, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7528504 1897 6s, Gr179. Model 2, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7647570 1898 6s, Gr177. Model 2, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7711618 1898 18s, Gr179, Model 5, 7j   "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A." Elgin roman numeral dial
Atlas Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7804490 1898 6s, Gr177. Model 2, 7j "Atlas Watch Co." "Atlas Watch Co. Chicago, U.S.A."  

Name Serial Number Date Description Dial Movement Comment
Solar Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7451734 1897 18s, Gr179, Model 5, 7j "Solar" "Solar Watch Co. Chicago"  
Solar Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7452984 1897 18s, Gr179, Model 5, 7j "Solar" "Solar Watch Co. Chicago 1865"  
Solar Watch Co., Chicago Ill. 7593803 1898 18s, Gr178, Model 2, 7j "Solar" "Solar Watch Co. Chicago 1865"  

Name Serial Number Date Description Dial Movement Comment
Sun-Dial 7330445 1897 18s, Gr73, Model 5, 7j Sun-Dial Sun-Dial  
Sun-Dial 7359883 1897 18s, Gr179, Model 5, 7j Sun dial Sun-Dial  
Sun-Dial 7387837 1897 6s, Gr177, Model 2, 7j Sun-Dial Sun-Dial  
Sun-Dial 7891768 1898 18s, Gr178, Model 2, 7j Sun-Dial Sun-Dial  
Sun-Dial 7945597 1898 18s, Gr178, Model 2, 7j Sun-Dial Sun-Dial  

While I'm not an expert, I believe the information on this page is correct. Please send suggestions and corrections to the webmaster.
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