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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This tool is an aid in truing hairsprings. A hairspring, with collet, can be held by the nut. The taper centers it. The white dial makes it easier to observe the spring, while turning the tool causing the spring to expand. Hairsprings need to expand and contract evenly, and without their coils ever touching.
The oldest Elgin 18 size pocketwatches have just one case screw holding the movement in the case.
Opposite this screw there is, or should be, a little brass pin in the edge of the movement that goes into a little hole in the inside edge of the case. One advantage of this design is that the case can have two hole so that either an open face, or a hunter case movement can sit in the correct orientation.
A disadvantage is of course that this arrangement is not as secure as one would like. And the pin is often missing, as it is on this example.
As a fix for this, rather than make a new pin, someone has replaced one of the barrel bridge screws with a longer one, and added a handmade brass washer large enough to go over the edge of the case. But I'll replace the pin instead.
The finish work is simple and relatively crude. And it has a number of characteristics typical of European watches, the style of the dial screws for example. There's also simple shock resistance balance jewels.
I find it odd that there is a cap on the lower escape jewel, but only the lower. Also, nearly all the screws in this watch are identical, including the case screws.
- ► 2017 (108)
- ► 2016 (465)
- ► 2015 (452)
- An Injury at The Factory
- Elgin Grade 291, Animation!
- What Is It?
- Elgin Grade 313
- New Arrivals
- New, and Possibly Pointless, Feature
- Elgin Grade 69, Animation
- Elgin Grade 69, And Another Missing Pin
- Elgin Grade 755, Animation!
- A Simpler URL for The Elgin Pocketwatch Serial Num...
- Elgin Grade 540, Animation!
- ▼ August (11)
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- ► 2011 (135)
- ► 2010 (75)
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- ► 2008 (25)