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 Why a Watch Needs Cleaning

This center wheel from a 12 size Elgin  grade 303 pocketwatch  shows the reason it's not a good a idea to run a watch without proper service to clean and change the lubrication.   The upper pivot on the center wheel is very badly grooved - all cut away on the side.  This happens because of grit in the pivot slowly wearing away at this part as it rotates once every hour for who knows how long.  Eventually this would stop the watch.

I think about this every time I read about a watch "runs just fine."  I'm sure this one ran just fine too.  But now this part has to be replaced.

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