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 7

The Elgin grade 7 is an older, 18 size, 7 jewel movement.

This example was made about 1883.
This is a key-wind and key-set model.  The same size key that fits the winding arbor also fits the square arbor in the center of the hands.

This is a tangential escapement, also called an English lever.  It is less stable than the Swiss style levers, perpendicular, that Elgin and other American makers moved to later.

Tangential and perpendicular refer to the orientation of the lever to the escape wheel.
An old star wheel has been re-purposed into a washer for a case screw.
The click is rather elegant on these old ones, but it is prone to wear out the shark's toothed wheel.
There was a tooth broken off of the cannon pinion, visible here.  That's a shame, those parts are getting hard to find.

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