As a brief departure from the study exploring the 18-Size “Veritas Model,” this post highlights the first model design from the new safety barrel generation of Elgin movements introduced around the turn of the century. These new movements featured many of the same innovative traits included in the “Veritas Model,” introduced three years later.
In February 1898, the Elgin National Watch Company ventured into an innovative product line by introducing their new 12-Size design, originally advertised as the “1898 Model.” The new movements featured Hunter’s patented safety barrel, patent recoiling click, and “display winding work” – features mirrored in the subsequent models introduced in the following years.
The 12-Size Model 1898 was initially offered in three styles, each available in open face or hunting configuration:
- Grade 190 and Grade 194: 23 Jewels
- Grade 189 and Grade 193: 19 Jewels
- Grade 188 and Grade 192: 17 Jewels
A few months later, in June 1898, the company expanded the line with the introduction of the Grade 187 and Grade 191 movements, featuring 15 Jewels. Following quickly in September, a 7-Jewel option was added as the company advertised the new Grade 196 and Grade 197. All the 12-Size grades introduced in 1898 were fitted with the patent safety barrel.
The accompanying image represents the first run of Grade No. 189 movements.