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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 309, Animated

I often see watches having the balance cock, the bridge holding the top pivot of the balance wheel, tweaked.  It's usually raised up by a watchmaker cutting divots into the brass underneath.  This increases the play in the balance and can "fix" a problem while avoiding the actual fix for the real problem, such as bent or worn pivots, or cracked jewels.  In some worse cases the balance cock has actually been deliberately bent up or down.  I think that was the case on this one.

The tolerances needed on the balance pivots are in the 1000ths of an inch range.  It's very difficult to get the "end shake" as it's called correct if the part doesn't sit flat and secure, or has been "adjusted".  I think I finally got this one good, but it is just barely so.

This Elgin grade 309 is an 18 size pocketwatch movement, 7 jewels, made about 1906.
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