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!

Elgin Grade 419

The grade 419 is a small, ladies watch, 3/0 size, with15 jewels.

 This one, made about 1916, is in a hunter case, but the front cover has been broken off at some point.  The inside is engraved so the watch was no doubt important to someone.  They fit the front with a think crystal, as would be found on an open  face watch case, so that the watch could continue to be used.  I have only seen this sort of fix one other time.

Hunter case crystals are extremely thin and fragile - like egg shells.  It is a common misconception that hunter cases are more durable than open face cases.  This is very much not so.

I took a couple of "before" photos of these one. The movement had been slathered in some sort of common machine oil, or household oil. It was just all over... This sort of thing will never, ever, help a watch.

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