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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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Elgin Grade 495


Elgin stamped the movement serial number, or at least the later digits of the number on all the major pieces.

Here are the secondary serial number stamps on this movement.




Removing the roller table from the balance, in preparation for replacing the staff...

I had to buy a new staff for this watch. It is not often that I don't have a part like this on hand, but even once common parts are disappearing fast. I wish more people realized how fast this is happening before deciding to use an heirloom watch as an everyday timepiece.

Anyway, as is often the case the pivots are too large and have to be reduced.
Once the old staff has had the hub cut way and is pushes off the balance wheel, there is a little washer remaining. I always save these.

This is the old staff, cut up, the washer that is all that remains of the back hub, and the balance wheel.
The new staff is riveted to the balance wheel.









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