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!

A Case Pin for Early 18 Size Elgin Movements

Early Elgin movements are held in the case by just one case screw, and a pin on the other side.  The pin sticks out of the edge of  the movement and into a hole inside the case.  These pins are small pieces of brass with threads on one end to thread into the movement.

For whatever reason, these little pins are often missing or broken and a new one has to be made.

16 Size Elgin Railroad Dials

These are two examples of a certain type of 16 size Elgin pocketwatch  dial.  Most Elgin dials are highly standardized and interchangeable on Elgin pocketwatches, of a given size, throughout the company's 100 year history.  But these are for certain higher end 16 size models, including B. W. Raymond grades.  They are double sunk with railroad approved markings, set up for open faced cases.  But their feet are in different places for usual, and the holes in the center and for the seconds hand are slightly closer together than on other Elgin dials, meaning that watches that need these dials have to have this dial.  

These are getting quite hard to find in good condition.  The fact that they are often not recognized by people selling them as being just slightly different makes finding one that much harder.  Better parts dealers will recognize these, but then they will also want 3 or 4 times a typical price.

Both of these examples are imperfect, as the photos show.

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