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The Comprehensive List of Elgin B.W. Raymond Grades

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When the National Watch Company was organized in 1865, former Chicago mayor Benjamin Wright Raymond was appointed as the company’s first president.

After organizing a factory at Elgin, Illinois, the company introduced a watch to the market in 1867 – christened the “B.W. Raymond” in honor of the company’s president. Despite Raymond only remaining with the watch company for a couple years, the company maintained the “B.W. Raymond” in its product line for nearly a century, establishing a brand synonymous with quality.


Benjamin Wright Raymond, First President of the National Watch Company (Elgin)

The following list contains the 35 known grades manufactured by the Elgin National Watch Company that were marked “B.W. Raymond.” This comprehensive list includes grades that are often overlooked due to mixed production, noted with “Mixed” coverage in the table below. All data is compiled using the Elgin factory grade number classification system, which provides the best logical stratification for a comprehensive list. Early B.W. Raymond grades did not receive number classifications until a later era.


Comprehensive B.W. Raymond Grade List

GradeCoverageSizeModelFinishJewelsETPYearsNote
69Mixed18sModel 1Gilt15~27,054c.1867-1881Keywind, 2 Mixed Runs, 1 Run ENWC
70Mixed18sModel 2Gilt15/17~70,488c.1873-1896Several Mixed Runs with ENWC, Upgraded to 17 Jewels in 1894
27All18sModel 2Nickel15/1745,000c.1887-1898Replaced by G183, Upgraded to 17 Jewels in 1894
77All18sModel 5Gilt15/1735,000c.1887-1896Upgraded to 17 Jewels in 1894
116All18sModel 5Nickel15/1728,000c.1890-1898Replaced by G184, Upgraded to 17 Jewels in 1894
166Mixed18sModel 5Nickel17~700c.1897Only 1 BWR Run, c.1897
180All18sModel 7Nickel1718,500c.1898-1909
183All18sModel 2Nickel1711,702c.1898-1905Replaced G27
184All18sModel 5Nickel1710,120c.1898-1900Replaced G116
189Mixed12sModel 2Nickel19~5,000c.1911-1914HTG, Changed to BWR c.1911
193Mixed12sModel 3Nickel19~5,000c.1911-1914OF, Changed to BWR c.1911
240All18sModel 8Nickel1967,500c.1900-1914Some WI, Replaced by G385
273All18sModel 7Nickel17880c.1899-1900
274Mixed18sModel 9Nickel2187c.1905Mixed Variants, 87 Marked BWR
280Mixed16sModel 9Nickel17~500c.1904BWR Mixed in 1 Run, c.1904
341All16sModel 8Nickel171,500c.1906-1907
361All16sModel 13Nickel171,000c.1909
370All16sModel 5Nickel177,300c.1910-1911
371All16sModel 14Nickel194,000c.1910-1913
372All16sModel 15Nickel1935,700c.1910-1918Some WI
385All18sModel 8Nickel171,500c.1911-1912Replaced G240
390Mixed18sModel 8Nickel21~4,000c.1911Some WI, Some Marked “No. 349”
391Mixed16sModel 15Nickel21~8,000c.1911-1913Some WI, Some Marked “Father Time”
401All16sModel 17Nickel19~200c.19121 Run, Terminated After ~200 Units
448All16sModel 24Nickel19~100c.19171 Run, Terminated After ~100 Units
455All16sModel 15Nickel1964,000c.1918-1922Some WI
472All16sModel 15Nickel2121,000c.1923-1927Some WI
478All16sModel 15Nickel21185,400c.1923-1944Some WI, Some Gold Flashed
494All16sModel 15Nickel235,000c.1932-1934All WI, Motor Barrel
506All16sModel 15Nickel214,600c.1933-1934Some GCT WI
540All16sModel 15Nickel2310,000c.1938-1941Motor Barrel
544All16sModel 15Nickel22200c.1941Sweep Second, GCT, Hack Seconds
571Mixed16sModel 20Nickel21~550,000c.1947-1955Some Early (c.1947-1948) G571
Movements are not marked BWR
581All16sModel 15Nickel2220,800c.1940-1943Some Gold Flashed, Some GCT
590All16sModel 15Nickel218,000c.1944-1946
BWR: B.W. Raymond, ENWC: Elgin Natl. Watch Co., OF: Open Face, HTG: Hunting, WI: Wind Indicator, GCT: Greenwich Civil Time

“All” means all movements within the grade classification are marked “B.W. Raymond” (with the uncommon exception for private labels).
“Mixed” means movements within the grade classification are marked with different variations, some of which are marked “B.W. Raymond.”
The estimated total production only reflects those movements marked or assumed to be marked “B.W. Raymond” based on run analysis.

This list only covers pocket watch movements, not “B.W. Raymond” wristwatches.

Elgin B.W. Raymond Grade Production Timeline

Click the image below to view the timeline details or to print a copy.

Elgin National Watch Company B.W. Raymond Grade Production Timeline

Interesting Insights

Rarest B.W. Raymond Watches

Based on this information, we can identify the rarest B.W. Raymond grades – the ones most difficult to add to a collection:

  1. Grade 274 (c.1905) – Estimated Total Production: 87
  2. Grade 448 (c.1917) – Estimated Total Production: ~100
  3. Grade 401 (c.1912) – Estimated Total Production: ~200
  4. Grade 544 (c.1941) – Estimated Total Production: 200
  5. Grade 280 (c.1904) – Estimated Total Production: ~500

B.W. Raymond Watches with Highest Jewel Counts

The most prestigious B.W. Raymond grades offered by Elgin were the 23-Jewel Grade 494 and Grade 540. In addition to the impressive jewel count, these two grades were the only movements produced at the Elgin factory with a motor barrel. One attractive feature of the Grade 494 over the Grade 540 is the 494 movements are fitted with wind indicators – desirable by collectors.


Total Estimated Production for All B.W. Raymond Movements

While production totals for certain grades require calculated guestimation due to mixed runs, we can estimate a close approximation for the total production for all “B.W. Raymond” pocket watch movements manufactured by the Elgin National Watch Company. From 1867 to the end of production, Elgin produced around 1,257,831 pocket watch movements marked “B.W. Raymond.”


A group of B.W. Raymond watches original sold by the Elgin National Watch Company

Search B.W. Raymond Watches Available for Sale on eBay

4 Comments

  1. Hello
    I recently came across not 1 but 3 different types of pocket watches. I am a contractor working on an estate property & During the cleanout process I found 1 then during the full gut out of the property I found 2 others. I really don’t know much about them except what I have read. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I can send photos and specs upon request. Thank you in advance

    • We have created a large community of watch experts and enthusiasts that are available to answer questions and provide insight about your watch.

      Once you post your question to The Pocket Watch Group on Facebook, there are many experts willing to share their knowledge and answer any questions you may have.

      Here is the link. It is an open group for beginners and experts alike.

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/americanhorology

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