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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Tightening a Solid Cannon Pinion
The cannon pinion is friction fit on the center post and intended to grip the center post tight enough so that the pinion (and thus the hands) turn with the post while the watch is running. But the pinion slips too, so as to allow setting the watch.
A common problem is that the cannon pinion slips too easily, and so slips when the watch is running. As a result, the hands do not move, even though the watch is ticking away normally, and the center shaft is turning. To correct this, the grip of the cannon pinion has to be tightened. Later watches have a sort of finger cut out in the side of this part. This finger can be bent inward to grip the center shaft more. But earlier watches like this one have a thick, solid cannon pinion.
From time to time, I see one like this one. A portion of the part's side wall has been filed away, very close to breaking through to the hollow inside, but not quite. Then the inside of the cut out is dimpled in, as so tightens the cannon pinion's grip.
It's not a great fix, but some cases there are no good options. At least this is a neat and tidy job.
Also note the squared top of the cannon pinion on this watch, for manual setting from the front with a watch key.
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- Elgin Grade 303, 8 Sided
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- Waltham 1908 Model
- Tightening a Solid Cannon Pinion
- Waltham 1857 Model
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- Every Elgin Now Assembled In Dust-Free Atmosphere
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