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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 10, and An Interesting Dial

Elgin's grade 10 pocketwatch movement is a large, 18 size, 11 jewel model.

This one was made about 1887.

This particular watch would probably rightly be called a side-winder because it is a hunter case movement, placed in an open face case.

Hunter movements have the seconds dial at 90 degrees from the stem.  Open face movements have the seconds dial at 180 degrees (opposite) the stem.  This watch has had a dial installed with the number rotated 90 degrees from usual.  As a result, 12 o'clock is at the stem, where it would normally be in an open face case.  The seconds dial then locates at 3 o'clock.

It's important to keep in mind that dials and cases are rather mix and match on vintage American watches.  Customers got what they wanted, or what was available, at the time of the purchase, at the retail location.  The Elgin company actually didn't make pocketwatch cases, generally speaking.

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