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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!

Atlas Duplex

This is an Atlas branded zero size watch movement.

Atlas was one of a handful of brand names Elgin used to market movements with lower-end features and less refined finishing.  These movement do not usually say Elgin anyplace on them, but the serial numbers do usually fall right in line with other Elgin products.  This one's number does not fit though.

The plate layout is very similar to earlier Elgin zero size movements that do not have exposed wheels (main and ratchet) - but not exactly the same.

This watch is lever-set.




Closer examination reveals the really interesting bit.


This watch has an American-style Duplex escapement.

There is no lever.  The long teeth of the escape wheel contact pins on the balance directly.

The second set of smaller teeth (hence the name duplex) are on the same level as the long teeth, which was an American variation of this early form of escapement.

This mechanism is closer to something that might be found in a clock than a watch.

I have yet to do any research on this, but it's an odd item for sure.
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