For over 100 years, the Elgin Watch Company was one of the leading watch manufacturers in the United States. Founded in 1864, the watchmakers set up its factory in the developing city of Elgin, Illinois, competing with the progressive Waltham Watch Company of Massachusetts. The initial watches produced by the company were extravagant but elegant pieces aimed at the wealthy, with some of the cases being made of solid gold. Their watches became a must-have of the fashion-conscious in the 1920s, and these art deco pieces remain coveted today. After a period of aesthetic-focused manufacturing, the market drastically changed, with the Elgin Watch Company producing military watches and equipment for the U.S. army during the Second World War. Having ceased manufacture in 1968, today, vintage Elgin pocket and wrist watches are highly sought-after on the collectors' market.