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!
There are some large images on some posts, so that might impact your load times, bit I think you will find it worth the wait. Thanks for visiting!
Shopping for a Pocketwatch - Part 2, Cases
The first two categories of watch cases to be familiar with are hunter, or hunting, cases and open face cases.
Hunter cases seem to be what everyone wants today, however you should be aware that there are some significant drawbacks. Hunter cases are very much more fragile due to the extra moving parts. The hinge for the cover is easily bent, or broken. And the glass on the front, the crystal, has to be paper thin to allow room inside.
If you are looking for a watch that can stand up to frequent use, open face is the way to go.
The most common material for antique watch cases are either one of several nickle alloys, or gold filled, or the similar rolled gold. Solid gold and solid silver are also around, but of course tend to be more expensive. For watches at lower prices, to be used occasionally, the nickle alloy, or gold filled are both good choices.
The material of a case is often marked inside the back cover. The nickle alloy cases will say silveroid, silverode or something similar.
Gold filled, or rolled gold, cases may, inside the back, say guaranteed or warranted for a number of years, such as 10, 20 or 25. This number of years is a reflection of the thickness of the gold, and therefor the expected number of year of wear before the base material shows though.
Gold filled and rolled cases are made using a sandwich of base metal, often brass, with gold on the outside. This sandwich is rolled or otherwise squeezed to the desired thickness, and the case is made from the resulting sheets.
Vintage watch cases are not gold plated. The amount of of gold in the outer layer on a gold filled case is much greater. Gold plating would likely wouldn't last even one year before being worn through.
- ► 2017 (112)
- ► 2016 (465)
- Why Have Your Watch Serviced?
- Shopping for a Pocketwatch - Part 4, Swing-out Cas...
- Shopping for a Pocketwatch - Part 3, Setting Mecha...
- Elgin Grade 466
- An Early Elgin, Grade 69, Part 4
- An Early Elgin, Grade 69, Part 3
- An Early Elgin, Grade 69, Part 2
- An Early Elgin, Grade 69, Part 1
- Burt's Patent
- Shopping for a Pocketwatch - Part 2, Cases
- Shopping for a Pocketwatch - Part 1, Getting Start...
- Elgin Grade 372
- How Pocketwatch Cases Work
- Elgin Grade 303, 8 Sided
- Elgin Grade 294
- Waltham 1908 Model
- Tightening a Solid Cannon Pinion
- Waltham 1857 Model
- Man's Conquest of Time
- Every Elgin Now Assembled In Dust-Free Atmosphere
- Watches for Sale!
- A Grade 303, Rusty
- Case Pin Gone Again, but for a Different Reason
- Do You Know?
- The Waltham Taper Shoulder Detachable Balance Staf...
- Staking the Balance Staff
- Dial Repair
- It's "Barrel Time", All the Time With This Big Clo...
- New Grooved Balance Staff
- Elgin Announces Their New Beryl-X-Balances
- The Scrap-Heap Clock
- Seconds-Beat Regulator and Calendar Clock
- Found! First Elgin Watch Ever Created
- ▼ March (35)
- ► 2014 (291)
- ► 2013 (281)
- ► 2012 (406)
- ► 2011 (135)
- ► 2010 (75)
- ► 2009 (96)
- ► 2008 (25)