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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.

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Elgin Grade 294, and Old Oil and Dirt and Debris

Here's some images of a watch before any cleaning.  Note the debris around the pivot holes and dirt generally collecting here and there on various parts.  This watch did not run, but it has no significant problems that I've detected so far.  The old oil is just gummed up.  Its condition is typical of watches that do "run", but have not been serviced.  If ticking, that gunk around the pivots would grind away at the metal until damage was done.


Running an old watch without getting the dirt out and replacing the old lubrication is very much like running a car without changing the oil.

This is an 18 size, 7 jewel, Elgin grade 294.

The movement was made about 1909.
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