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!

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Watch Oil

I see this quite a bit.  This is the winding/setting gears on a lever-set, 18 size, grade 207 Elgin pocketwatch.   The whole area has been slathered in what is likely a common household oil.  This doesn't work at all.

Watch lubricants have very specific properties, and are used in precise places, and very, very small amounts.  I use at least 3 and as many as 5 different oils on each watch.

Over oiling is one of the most common problems I see in antique watches.
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