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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!

Ad-Hoc Parts

Antique watches have very long histories of ad-hoc repairs. On this one it seems a proper case screw, or case screw washer was apparently not to be had. Someone has used an old star wheel an a plate screw to hold the movement in the case.

I was once asked if I use only factory new parts in watches. This question is off base in a couple of ways. One is that parts for these watches have not been manufactured for 100 years or more. There is no one you can just call up to order something or other. Secondly, parts were often not made in a factory to begin with. I see quite a lot of hand-made parts in watches. Even for machine made watches like Elgins, in the 18th century in particular it was much more cost effective to make a part than to have a "real" one shipped from the factory.



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