100th Anniversary Line
The year is 1961 and Elgin's newly formed Design Group have just fashioned the Lord Elgin Electronic, the thinnest, smallest electronic wrist watch manufactured anywhere in the world and released it to market.
The Design Group was then tasked with designing a new line of fine jeweled watches that would reach a sophisticated quality market and be a representative of Elgin's tradition of fine watch making.
The purpose of this new line was to celebrate the companies 100th anniversary and the line would be an additional line and sit among the Electronic, Starlight, Sportsman, Lord and Lady Elgin watches of the current day.
The newly designed line was called "Elgin-Centura" in anticipation of the 100th anniversary in 1964.1)Elgin Annual Report, 1962
Elgin were kind enough to provide an image of one of the electronic models of the Elgin-Centura's in their 1962 annual report.
For a long time, the only mention of the Elgin-Centura lay in the 1962 annual report.
It now appears that the Elgin-Centura line was released to market
- If you check any watch identification book you will find no mention of the Elgin-Centura line
- If you ask experienced watch collectors, where is the 100th Anniversary line from Elgin, you'll get silence
- If you search the internet, you will find only reference to the above example model from the 1962 annual report
- Three years of searching newspaper archives, I finally found a retail advertisement2)24/10/1964 - The Boston Globe, Page 32
The Elgin-Centura line does in fact exist and isn't a figment of my imagination and 53 years after its design, I'm happy to introduce the belated 100th anniversary line from Elgin, The Elgin-Centura.
This is just one of the known Elgin-Centura models to exist and is the only complete one with an Elgin-Centura box.
This is the tip of the iceberg in relation to the 100th anniversary line from Elgin and we look forward to adding to this developing chapter of Elgin over the coming years. We do not know how many existed but we have sighted cased examples in 14k yellow gold, white gold and in both Electronic, manual and automatic mechanical movements.
What makes a Elgin-Centura you wonder ?
- the case should be solid gold, the design studio only completed the design models and they only worked in solid gold to allow for easy scrapping and remodeling of rejected models, if the case isn't solid gold, doubt it
- the dial should have "Elgin/Centura"
We also know that these came in the following configurations
- Manual Swiss movement
- Automatics Swiss movement
- American electronic movement
- American manual movement
- Mens and ladies models
In the near future we will be expanding this page to include images of sighted models, examples of franken Centuras and why we believe they are not genuine and also the range of dials found to date.
11/01/2020 - its now apparent that the Centura line was released to retail market in some capacity
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Elgin Annual Report, 1962|
|2.||↑||24/10/1964 - The Boston Globe, Page 32|