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!

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Elgin Grade 57

The grade 57 is an early 18 size design, key-wind and key-set, having 11-13 jewels depending on the exact production run.

These early Elgins have a "tangential" lever escapement, or "English style" lever, rather than the improved Swiss style used by Elgin later, and in watches to this day.

On this watch the lever pivots at a tangent to the escape wheel, rather than pointing directly away from the escape wheel at 90 degrees from the tangent.

This example, with an especially low serial number, was made about 1871.
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