The Big Issue
436,081 incorrectly identified movements
ENWCo introduced the new material cabinet in 1926, when implementing this, they renamed/renumbered all the named grades to number grades, based on the parts used within the movements. This was ideal for the material cabinets as it simplified the identification of parts for all grades.
What wasn't intended, was watch collectors would come along and base their identification tables on updated grade tables in the future. Since the first reference for identifying Elgin grades was released based on the 1950 material list, all other references are based on it as well, including the look up databases online.
This has had an unintentional result and that is, 436,081 movements are incorrectly identified. The following table highlights the grades that affected and how many of each grade are incorrectly identified.
Missing grades and where they went
|1896 Grade||1950 KW/KS Grade||1950 Non KW/KS Grade||Class||Quantity|
|J. V. Farwell||12||5||2,506|
|M. D. Ogden||12||5||37,902|
|M. D. Ogden||8||5||1,917|
|N W Co||70||1||12|
To understand the real grades, you need to refer to the 1896 material list which you can find here.
Yes, NWCo never started at grade 69!