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!
This one is a named movement, G. M. Wheeler, made about 1895. Nice blued screws, all intact...
This watch features an unusual case.
The chronographs were kept in a separate room which only two people were allowed to enter at a time in order to avoid temperature shifts. The room was heated to a constant 81 degrees by dozens of light bulbs all around the room. Each light bulb had an individual thermastat turning it on and off as needed to maintain temperature. To control air pressure, each chronograph was sealed in a glass enclosure connected to an apparatus allowing air to be pumped in or out as needed.
|From Elgin National Watch Co|
Elgin operated this system until 1958 when technology began providing better methods. Last I knew, the observatory structure still exists today at 312 Watch Street. It is owned by the city and operated by the Elgin school distict as the Elgin U-46 Planetarium.
I'll have to work out a way to take better photos of this sort of thing.
These three by by M. Cutmore provide a good deal of information on the history of watches as well as about their care and use.
How much is your watch worth? This book is the place to look. This is a very widely used price guide that also contains quite a bit of general information on vintage watches, watch terminology, history and more.
Practical Watch Repairing by Donald de Carle is a reprint of a classic instructional book on watchmaking. So of it is dated, some but most techniques are basically the same today.
Also by de Carle is Pratical Watch Adjusting.
For even more technical information, there's this one by master craftsman George Daniels.
This is not a definitive list, just a few I have seen. There are also many old and out of print books on watchmaking. Regularly checking used book stores and eBay will turn up a more.
Here are a few online resources:
- Clocks And Watches
- Illustrated Professional Dictionary of Horology
- Mike's Clock Clinic's hints and repair tips
- The Watch Guy
- The Metatechnical Cabinet
The what, when and how of remembrances...
Don't guess - ask your jeweler
Many of the services rendered us are labors of love and friendship.
They are above and beyond and suggestion of monetary reward... and too richly laden with sentiment to permit of any remembrance of fleeting worth.
Each such service should be recognized with a gift that lasts - a gift as enduring as the sentiment it betokens.
But how to express a gift impulse so as neither to overstep the bounds of good taste nor understate gratitude... that is the delicate problem of gift-giving.
What shall be the type of gift from a bridegroom to his best man... to his ushers... what gift form will best express to an intimate friend regret over an impending parting? These are but a few of the myriad delicate gift-questions.
When you have a gift problem - on't guess - go to an expert for authoritative counsel. See your Jeweler. He is a past-master in the science of appropriate gift-selection. And his consultations are free.
But, today, send the coupon below for a Tiny Treasure Book, a pocket brochure that treats of the What, When and How or remembrances.
|From Elgin National Watch Co|
"Because women are patient, artistic and have a delicate touch, the Elgin National Watch Company is encouraging the employment of women workers in their factory here. Although the company's production force is predominately women, it relies on expert male watchmakers to do technical work on fine watches. If the present employment drive is successful, the company expects to step up its production schedule 1,000 units a day within three months. Elgin officials estimate that this could be increased to 2,000 watches daily within six months. The company attempts to maintain a normal ratio of 54 per cent women watchmakers. Officials point out that the added force of women would create 500 additional production jobs for men.
"Here Elinor Ridgell, of Waldo, Florida, student at the Elgin Watchmakers' College in this city, is shown at the jeweler's desk working on a wrist watch."
The photo is dates August 2, 1946.
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- Dr. George Daniels
- Elgin Grade 210
- Elgin Grade 44
- Elgin Grade 626
- Elgin Grade 336
- The Elgin Observatory
- Elgin National Watch Company Letterhead, 1933
- Elgin Grade 117
- That Elgin Grade 478
- Elgin Watch Factory at Noon, 1920
- Vintage Pocketwatch Resources
- Elgin Advertising, 1926
- And Yet Another Factory View
- Women Watchmakers at Elgin, 1946
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