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!

A Dirty Mainspring

Here are some before, and an after image of a mainspring from a 6 size Seth Thomas pocket watch.
This is one of these watches that does not appear to have been opened up in several decades, and in these cases it takes some extra work to get the parts clean. Old organic watch oil, made from sea animals, turns green and almost solid. There is certain stale, vaguely metallic, smell to it also. Modern synthetic watch oils do not break down in this way.
Much better...

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