Home / Buyer Beware / Buyer Beware: Elusive Baseball Theme Dial Pocket Watch For Sale at Auction – A Reproduction

Buyer Beware: Elusive Baseball Theme Dial Pocket Watch For Sale at Auction – A Reproduction

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The beginning of April always ushers in a new season of Major League Baseball. This year, we also saw a new listing pop up on eBay offering a special baseball theme dial that is extremely desirable by collectors.

The dial features several baseball scenes illustrated around the dial in place of hour figures and is signed “Elgin” in the center, underneath two crossed bats. What a remarkable find for a baseball enthusiast who also appreciates antique timepieces.

However, Elgin never offered a dial with this particular design. The company did produce a baseball theme dial in several variants, as illustrated as part of the “Society and Sproting Dial” lineup in the late 1880s.



So, what is the story behind the baseball theme dial with the “Elgin” signing on eBay?

Unfortunately, the Elgin watch is fitted with a reproduction dial designed to inflate the perceived value of the watch. The original dial with this design was only offered by the American Waltham Watch Company.

The following watch exhibits an authentic double-sunk Waltham Baseball Dial that was likely the exact one copied to make this reproduction dial many years ago.


c.1890 American Waltham Watch Co. Baseball Theme Dial
c.1890 American Waltham Watch Co. Baseball Theme Dial

Further inspection of the reproduction dial on eBay reveals artifacts from poor print quality when the dial was made. Notice the fuzziness around the edges of the design elements and the muddiness the figures. The dial is also completely flat, inconsistent with authentic dials.


Fuzziness in Print Quality on Reproduction Baseball Dial
Fuzziness in Print Quality on Reproduction Baseball Dial

Reproduction Dial (Top) Compared to Authentic Dial (Bottom) Exhibiting Identical Design Details

Many times, sellers are unaware that they are selling a reproduction dial, and buyers will bid up the listing, hoping to score a rare watch with a dial destined to spark a conversation. In this particular listing, the seller does not note that this dial is a reproduction.

If you are looking for a pocket watch with an authentic baseball-themed dial, skip eBay and check out the one being offered by Jones & Horan in the upcoming auction, which will close on May 4 (not a sponsored mention, just a reference to an authentic dial currently on the market for interested buyers).


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