Classic watches, watchmaking, antique tools, history, vintage ephemera and more!

Learn about mechanical timepieces and how they work, the history of the American watch industry and especially all about the Elgin National Watch Company! Check back for new content daily.

Although this is technically a blog, the content is not generally in a time-based sequence. You can find interesting items throughout. Down the page some is an alphabetical word cloud of keywords used here. A great way to dig in is to look through those topics and click anything you find interesting. You'll see all the relevant content.

Here are a few of my favorites!

There are some large images on some posts, so that might impact your load times, bit I think you will find it worth the wait. Thanks for visiting!

John Mitsch

Here's an unusual private label watch marked "John Mitsch, Allegheny Pa."

It's also marked "Manfd ELGIN ILLs". It would seem to be an Elgin grade 55, 7 jewels, key wind and set.

The dial is marked "National" and not Elgin, The National Watch Company being the original name of the firm. The National name was used until it was officially changed in 1874. It was changed since customers developed the habit of calling these "watches from Elgin" so the new name was thought more descriptive and fitting.

Note the solid balance on this slow-beat design.

The watch features an hour wheel which has been repaired at some point in the past. A tooth has been replaced - nice work too.

The repair is hard to photograph but the silver solder around the brass of the replacement tooth is visible in the last image.
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