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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!

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Old Ratchet Wheels and Old Repairs

I found these two old ratchet wheels while looking for a different parts. They show some interesting history.




This first one has divots put in with a punch around the square hole in the center, the hole for the mainspring arbor. This sort of thing is pretty common in old watches.

There must have been a lot of wear on those square edges. Punching like this pushes the metal inward, closing the hole some.

It's also possible that this wheel was adapted to repair a watch it was not originally for - a watch with a smaller arbor than the hole.
This second one is similar, but more interesting. Here, a punch of a different shape has been used to spread the teeth further apart.

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