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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Question Box

From Horology magazine, August, 1938

Mainsprings Break Repeatedly
Editor Horology
Dear Sir:

I would like to ask a question. I got a 6 size safety barrel watch with a broken mainspring and I have already put in three genuine factory mainsprings which broke within 48 hours. I use a K & D mainspring winder and have never had this happen before.

Can the cause be in the watch or is it on account of the weather or defects in the springs? I will be very grateful for your opinion of the trouble.
E. C.

Answer: It is a well known fact that an electrical storm always results in an increased number of broken mainsprings. However, the fact that three mainsprings in succession have broken would indicate that the entire package of springs is defective. Such things have occurred before and the manufacturer usually is glad to replace such a package free of charge. Your watch is an old model and has no doubt functioned for years, so that one could not reasonably blame any defect in the watch for this trouble. 

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