‘…An Elgin watch at Christmas has always been a perfect … and permanent … expression of Christmas sentiment.’ — Elgin ad in the Delineator magazine, December, 1928.
Any lovers of Art Deco or ‘le style moderne’ would be happy to find one of these watches in their Christmas stockings, but we’d need another kind of time machine to buy one at 1928 prices.
[I’ll post the full page ad first, then break it into smaller sections for legibility.]
After World War I, wrist watches began to replace pocket watches for men. Only three pocket watches are shown here, all with white gold cases.
The watch at top is priced at $100; the center watch has a 19 jewel C.H. Hurlburd movement and cost $350, and the bottom watch, with ‘a smart cushion case’ cost $50.
Art Deco Designer Watches for Women
I would love to own any of these Art Deco designer wristwatches. [I have labeled them in the photo.]
Pierre Cardin may hold the record for the most ‘licensed products,’ but 6 of these 1928 ladies’ watches have designer names attached to them. Lanvin and Molyneux are the most familiar names today, but Agnes, Jenny, Premet, and Louiseboulanger [always written as one word] were successful couturiers whose work was often pictured in the Delineator. All of these ‘Parisienne’ watches are priced at $35. They are costume jewelry. That may seem very inexpensive, but consider this ad from the back of the magazine, March 1929: Men’s and Women’s Watches in ‘le style moderne
A. (top left) Set with 2 genuine diamonds; 2 synthetic sapphires — $68
B. (top rt) An Exquisite Elgin — $35
C. (ctr left) Ladies’ Sports Model — $10
D. (ctr rt) Set with 16 genuine diamonds. 17 jewel movement — $200
E. (btm left) Case set with 20 genuine diamonds. 17 jewel movement — $260
F. (btm rt) The Famous Elgin Legionnaire — $19
G. (top left) The hours are enamelled on the outside of the case — $95
H. (top rt) A smart restrained style — $35
I. (ctr left) Modernistic case. 17 jewel movement — $50
J. (ctr rt) Lady and Tiger case. 15 jewel movement — $65
K. (btm left) Case inlaid with enamel. 15 jewel movement — $65
L. (btm rt) Another distinguished Elgin Legionnaire — $25
6 responses to “Elgin Watch Ad, 1928: Art Deco Designer Watches”
I must have that Molyneux watch, and I don’t even wear a watch. I can call it a bracelet, right?
Thanks for including wage information with the prices–it puts everything into perspective!
Thanks for the comment — it led me to your blog, americanagefashion.com, which I love. It’s ovbious we have interests in common!
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