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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.

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!

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Elgin Grade 59, Animated!

This is an unusual T. M. Avery model.  This early Elgin design includes several features rare among Elgin pocketwatches.  For one thing, this is a truly full plate design with no upper bridges at all, aside from the balance cock.  The inside is fully covered, including the barrel, and under the balance.  Which dust covers in place, the inside is well closed off.  Yet, like a 3/4 plate design, the balance is inset. 

There's also a unique ratchet, set in a recess under an extra plate, back side.

Then there's the solid silver balance wheel of course...










This watch is key-set from the rear, notice the square post in the center.  A shaft passes though the center wheel staff, which is actually a hollow tube, and the cannon pinion mounts to that shaft on the front.  Friction from the inside of the center tube moves the pinion, and hands, when the watch is running.

The watch is in excellent condition, virtually no tool marks.  Good thing we don't need parts for this.
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