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.

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Elgin Grade 317

The grade 317 is another 18 size movement, 15 jewels.

This example, made about 1921, is also in a swing-out case.

A swing-out case has a one piece back.  On most pocketwatch cases we see, the front bezel comes off, and the back comes off, and the movement is mounted in a third part, a sort of ring, in the middle between the two.

With a swing-out case, the front bezel comes off, and the movement swings out mounted on a hinged ring.

Swing-out cases are considered safer for the watches, since there is no gap at the back where a case back attaches.  There is that much less opportunity for dust and moisture to get inside.

There are a couple of variations of swing-out cases, but these examples I have been posted lately are typical.

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