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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!

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!

Why Have Your Watch Serviced?

Q: Why should a watch that runs fine be serviced?

A:  Here we see not an atypical example of watch watches look like inside before servicing. This is a view under the dial of a lever-set watch, where of course the bezel would have been frequently removed to set the watch, allowing all sorts of dirt inside.

Watches that look like this inside are often described as "running fine". But I'm sure the potential for problems is clear in these images.

Running a watch without service is very much like running an old car without ever changing the oil. It may well "run fine", until it doesn't. And when it doesn't, a serious problem will likely have been caused by grit and grime, mixed with gummy old oil grinding away at moving parts like sandpaper.

Watches offered on sites like eBay that are described as running are very likely to be in good general shape, and not need a lot of replacement parts. In fact something half of watches that don't tick, do not actually have anything broken but are just seized up with gummy old gunk. But they do need service.


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