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 303, and Creative Repair
This one was made about 1925, and helps make an important point.
People often write to me about an old watch that "runs fine" except for... Something. It's missing a hand, it doesn't set, whatever... But it "runs fine." Watches are also listed on eBay, described as "running." This would seem to mean that the watch winds up, ticks, and possibly keeps time within a few minutes a day.
But an old watch has likely not been cleaned in decades. Perhaps even a century. Such a watch will have stale oil that is doing nothing - in fact doing harm. And it will have particles of dirt inside, sticking in the gummy oil and forming an abrasive. An old watch, not serviced, may run fine now, but running it is just like running a car without oil. The dirt will quickly wear down baring parts and create a real problem by ruining something.
The center pivot, the hole in the main plate where the center wheel turns, at some point was ground out of round by running this watch without servicing it.
What to do? The main plate is all but ruined. But someone, likely long ago, re-shaped the pivot using a punch to deform the plate around the edge of the hole.
Notice the pits left around the center on the dial side of the lower plate.
I left this fix as-is. As an antique, this watch, now cleaned and lubricated with modern oil, now runs fine, for occasional use.
- ► 2017 (112)
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- ► 2015 (452)
- ► 2014 (291)
- ► 2013 (281)
- Elgin Grade 466
- Anti-Rust Soap
- Marshall Introduces New Cement for Unbreakable Cry...
- Elgin Announces Its Special Anniversary Line
- Fluorescent Mercury "Daylight" Now Available to Ho...
- Employees Given Vacations
- New Hamilton Watch Numbers
- Need For Improvement in Mainspring Winders Stresse...
- The Enthusiasm For Legislation Grows
- The Most Popular Posts
- Identification of Balance Staffs
- Elgin Grade 210
- Another Grade 303, Masonic Dial
- Elgin Grade 303, and Creative Repair
- Retailers' Tie-In Campaigns Hitting New Highs, Elg...
- Electric Clock Runs for More Than 40 Years
- Polishing Jewel Settings
- Happy Holidays!
- Do You Know?
- Unusual Electric Clock Showing International Time
- Hampden Diadem
- Elgin Grade 95
- Elgin Grade 216
- An Horologist
- Elgin Grade 288
- How to Measure For and Make a Barrel Cover
- A Chat With H. E. Anderson
- Elgin Grade 27
- An Elgin Grade 345, with a Catholic Dial
- Watchmaker for Seventy-Two Years
- New Roger Smith Videos
- Parts Data
- F. Berthoud Escapement
- The Rose Engine
- Elgin Grade 62
- Coming Soon!
- What's Wrong With My Balance Staff?
- Cover it Up
- Vintage Tools
- Using Google+ to Track Job Numbers
- Sharpening The Graver
- Save That Clock
- ▼ December (45)
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- ► 2008 (25)