Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Elgin Grade 55

Here's a follow up on this watch.

It's doing much better now as you can see.

A Messy Elgin Grade 55

I received this watch recently, which I'm told has been in another shop with less than satisfactory results.  These photos are before I've done anything.

The watch was not disassembled fully.  There is dirt visible on the plates inside, on the wheels and pivots, and under the ratchet wheel.  The upper plate has been polished rather aggressively - buffed probably.  It looks like the screws were removed before doing this but not much else.  There is still black, greasy polishing compound in the pivot wells in the plate, and in crevices such as around the banking screws.

This is another one of the old 18 size movements that has just one case screw and a pin opposite that goes into a hole in the case.  The movement was loose in the case because, as is so often the case, that pin is missing and needs to be replaced.

In short, it's a mess.  The mainspring looks new though, as do the dial foot pins.

The watch is a Elgin grade 55.  And it's an old one, made about 1868.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Elgin Grade 59

These are an unusual, and early, style of Elgin products.  It it is key-wind and key-set, in the front, and features a solid silver balance wheel.

This grade 59, 17 size, 7 jewels, was made about 1875

Elgin Grade 207

The Elgin grade 207 is a large, 18 size, 7 jewel and lever-set pocketwatch movement.

This example features a fancy gold inlay dial and gold hands.  It was made about 1901.

It's rare to see these dials without some cracking, especially in the large size, which are rare anyway.

Illinois Precise

This Illinois, 16 size, 21 jewel, lever-set movement is their "Precise" model, made about 1925.

Elgin Grade 386

This Elgin grade 386 was made about 1917.  It a 16 size, 17 jewel model.

This type of hand inlaid dial is rare in good condition, particularly the larger ones like this.  These dials are quite fragile.

The complete set of fancy gold hands is also nice to see.

Elgin 303

This is an Elgin grade 303, one of the most successful Elgin product.  It's a 12 size, 7 jewel, movement.  

This example was made about 1927

Click here for more examples of the 303...

Waltham 645

The Waltham grade 645, this one made about 1908, is a 16 size, 21 jewel watch, lever-set.

16 Size Hamilton

Here's a classic 16 size Hamilton, 21 jewels, made about 1910.

Nice double sunk dial on this one...

Friday, September 19, 2014

Elgin Grade 100, A Convertible Movement with Animation

Here's the bottom plate, dial side, of an Elgin grade 100 pocketwatch, convertible. This unique movement can be assembled in either hunter or open face configurations.  The difference between the two is that the stem is 180 degrees from the seconds dial (the forth wheel) in an open face watch, but 90 degrees from the seconds in a hunter case movement.

This plate allows the winding arbor to be in either of two positions, 90 degrees different from each other. 

In this image we can see a linkage of two similar parts connecting both stem positions to the "snap" mechanism for the crown to snap in and out.  Among the many unique features of this movement, the "snap" is here in the movement, rather than provided by a sleeve spring in the neck of the case.
The "snap" is provided by the business in the upper left.  The hunter position for the winding arbor is directly pointing left.  The open face position is facing down in this image.  The jewel for the lower forth wheel, which is the seconds hand, is at the upper most in the image.

The Elgin convertible models have the ratchet in between, inside, a two part barrel bridge.  The trick to converting from hunter to open face is that a main wheel, which turns the ratchet wheel, which winds the mainspring, can be positioned at one side of the other inside the bridge - a 90 degree difference.
This watch is being assembled in open face mode.  The stem is facing down in these images.  The unused void for the hunter configuration is to the right. 

Adding to its uniqueness, the winding mechanism is on the top, or back side, of the movement, opposite the dial.  

When in setting mode, a pin pushes up from the other side and lefts an arm, causing a main wheel to move up, off of the ratchet wheel, and engage a wheel in the center.

The cannon pinion on the other side rides directly on the arbor of this exposed center setting wheel, thus turning the hands.
Find more examples of Elgin's convertible movements here...