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 320

Here is an Elgin grade 320 in a wristwatch case.  This is a nice piece because seems to be a men's watch, and men did not by and large wear wristwatches until later decades.  Wristwatches were considered a bit feminine.  The use of wristwatches by soldiers in WWI began to change this idea.

The grade 320 is a 0 size, 7 jewel movement, this example made about 1913.

It is worth mentioning again that in this era watch companies typically did not sell movements and cases pre-assembled together.  So this watch is something the original buyer individually wanted.

Early wristwatches are tricky because the mechanisms were not settled.  We see different arrangements, and mostly, scaled down pocketwatch stem and sleeve designs.  There is not a lot of room for the sleeve spring in the edge of the watch case between the movement and the bottom of the crown.  So these parts are prone to breaking and malfunction.

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