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.

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Old Style Stems and Cases, Elgin Grade 95

Older watches have a different style of winding arbor where the stem is part of the movement rather than part of the case.  This is an example.  The male stem goes into a square hole in the neck of the case, rather than the arbor being part of the case and going into the movement.  There is a set screw in the case that releases the crown and the moving part from the neck so that the movement can come out.

Cases for this type of movement are very hard to find.

Every time the price of gold is high, irreplaceable gold cases get destroy for a couple months' phone bills. And these were not real common to begin with.

The Elgin grade 95 is a 6 size, 7 jewel movement.  This example was made about 1888.

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