Sales of Elgin’s 18-Size “Veritas Model” began to suffer in the 1910s as the market trended toward smaller watches. When the model was officially retired, existing inventory was sold to distributors at a deep discount.
As a result, many runs that were originally designated for production were left unfinished. Factory serial lists provide the full serial block, as originally designated. However, in scenarios where grades were discontinued prior to the end of the serial block, actual production can be much less, and relying on the factory serial lists can result in inflated production estimates.
Fortunately, we can apply new data analytic techniques to derive plausible termination points for each run that was ended early. By visualizing the distribution of serial number hits for each run, the indicators of early termination become evident.
The “Veritas Model” grades are a perfect study of this technique since most were ended before serial blocks were entirely fulfilled.
Fourteen runs have been identified as partially completed or not produced at all. This lowers the estimated total production of the “Veritas Model” (18-Size Model 8) from 146,000 to 136,500, a drop of approximately 6.5%.
The accompanying image represents the serial number distribution for Grade 367. The darker lines indicate a very high probability of a surviving example with that serial number. The lighter bars and lines indicate possible surviving examples. The darker the line, the higher the probability. It is important to note that some data “noise” is introduced into the modeling, so not every bar or line necessarily represents a surviving example. By studying this visualization and comparing normal distribution patterns, we can determine that there are actually four separate Grade 367 runs that were likely terminated early.
After analyzing each grade in the 18-Size “Veritas Model” (Model 8) series, the revised estimated totals are as follows:
- 214: 24,000 => 22,700
- 239: 20,000 => 18,800
- 240: 68,000 => 67,500
- 367: 13,000 => 10,300
- 369: 6,000 => 4,200
- 385: 2,000 => 1,500
- 389: 4,000 => 3,000
- 390: 4,400 (No Change)
- 400: 1,000 => 500
- 412: 3,600 (No Change)
As always, these figures are subject to change as new data is revealed. However, the totals above are much closer to the actual production than is reflected in the factory serial lists.