Lord Elgin Celestial
My Lord Elgin Celestial is back from the watchmaker. The hairspring was “loose at the collet”, the mainspring was broken, and the winding shaft had sheared off.
Additionally, someone has painted the top of the hands with lume (very poorly) which didn’t fit with the watch’s character, as it was an Elgin “Nite Glo” model where radium was painted on the bottom of the hands. After seeing numerous Celestials with lume painted on the tips of the hands, it seems they came directly from the factory that way. I’ve recently restored the lume to its original state.
With a new crystal, the movement repaired, and case polished, it looks almost as it did in 1957 or so (minus the radium dots and radium painted hands).
The model is known as the Lord Elgin Celestial and it is characterized by a painted outer dial punctuated by 12 o’clock and hour hashes. The watch was part of the Horizon line (where the crystal stretched from bezel to bezel. It was produced in the late 50’s. Here’s an advertisement (1957) that features the Celestial:
The case is 14k white gold filled and it uses the 730 manual wind movement which has 23 jewels and is adjusted to 6 positions. Ranfft lists the 730 as having a 41 power reserve and beat of 18,000.
Finally, the metal Speidel that was sent with it was filthy and I was going to pitch it, but it just looked so cool I decided to see if I could save. I’ve never seen such a dirty metal band, but after an hour of using a tooth brush, I was able to see that the metal caps where 14k white gold and thus match the watch. After cleaning it, I repaired some links. While not original to the watch, I think it matches its character perfectly.