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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One Thing About Hairsprings
The regulator on a watch, if you look closely functions by moving a pair of pins through which the spring passes, along the outer coil. That makes the hairspring effectively longer or shorter, but only by enough to give it a swing of a +/- a few minutes per 24 hours.
A hairspring can get oil on it, become magnetized, or be out of shape or position to cause this. And you can usually the issue by watching the spring closely. It should expand and contract evenly with each beat, and not "snap" or expand out of round.
On this watch the spring's outer coil had crept upward somehow and was touching, just barely, the bottom of the regulator pins (this is an over-coiled spring, as opposed to flat so the spring does pass directly under the regulator pins). Adjusting the stud down a hair (probably less actually), and re-flattening the spring solved the problem completely.
Why this problem didn't manifest itself before I sent it back to the owner I don't know. The stud was secure, and so is the collet. It seems like no matter long I run watches for before returning them, the occasional mystery still occurs.
Watches can seem frustrating, but they are not mysterious nor magical. They are completely mechanical, governed by very basic principles of geometry and physics. There's always an explanation for a problem.
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- One Thing About Hairsprings
- An Elgin Grade 148, with a Winding and Setting Pro...
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- Waltham Crescent St. 1870
- Elgin Grade 97 Details
- Elgin Grade 2, Animated!
- Elgin Grade 2, and a Crude Click Replacement
- Elgin Grade 2, and a Barrel Problem
- Elgin Grade 10, and An Interesting Dial
- Elgin Grade 59, Animated!
- New Feature!
- Elgin Grade 386 and a Creative Fix
- Greasy Roller
- Elgin Grade 288
- Dial Foot Pins
- Tighening a Key-Wind Pocketwatch Cannon Pinion
- Performance Upgrade
- Elgin Grade 50, Animation
- Elgin Grade 314
- The Elgin Watch Serial Number Site is Updated
- Elgin Grade 244, Three Fingered Bridge
- Elgin Grade 313
- Elgin Grade 92
- An 18 Size Hampden
- Elgin Grade 303
- Elgin Grade 29, Lady Elgin
- Elgin Grade 237
- Elgin Grade 312
- Elgin Grade 206
- Elgin Grade 463
- Elgin Grade 317
- Elgin Movement Serial Numbers Look-up, Updating!
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