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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.

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Elgin Grade 74

Elgin's grade 74 is an 18 size, 11 jewel, movement.

This typical example was made about 1895.

This movement had a loose pallet stone. This is a common problem in movements that have not been serviced in a long time. Fortunately in this case, the stone is still there, it's just no longer secure. You can see how it is loose and tilting down here.


The pallet stones are held with shellac. To fix this, all I have to do is to set the pallet fork in a pallet warmer and then heat the side with the issue using an alcohol lamp. Then I add a tiny speck of shellac over the back of the stone. It melts from the heat and flows in. Moving the stone a bit to and from while the shellac is liquid assures it will be secure. The shellac firms up almost instantly.


Often this task has to be repeated to get the stone at the right depth for the escapement to function, assembling the watch each time to check it.






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