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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Elgin Grade 320

This is a fine example of Elgin's grade 320, a 0 size, 7 jewel movement, made about 1911

This movement is often found cased as an early wristwatch. This one is a ladies pocketwatch though.

I have always found these movements elegant but problematic, especially as wristwatches. There seem to be directly scaled down versions of larger designs. The mainspring as a result is weaker than it should be I feel.

A gold hunter case like this is typical of ladies watches of this time. They are very fragile and delicate, leaning more toward jewelry and less toward practical timekeeping. None the less, many young urban women of this era had jobs in the rapidly industrializing United States. They needed watches to get to work on time.
This watch was missing it's second hand. I put a black one on there for now. A gold one in the matching style is vanishingly rare.

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