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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.

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Elgin Grade 62, An Early Example

This Elgin pocketwatch was made during the first year of production at the factory's operation. Elgin's with numbers this low are scarce and highly collectible.

This H. Z. Culver movement is a grade 62, 18 size, 15 jewels, made about 1867. It's not the very oldest one I have seen, but it is close to it.


Some older Elgin 18 size pocketwatches include what's called a "Geneva stop" under the mainspring barrel.  Often these parts very are missing as they are not necessary for the watch's time keeping function, but this movement has them in place.  Notice how two of the six leaves on the stop wheel bow outward while the other four are concave.


The turning of the mainspring arbor, either while winding or unwinding, is thus limited to four full rotations, a typical "wind" being a half-rotation of the key. 
The ratchet, click and click spring are all blued steel.

The serial number of an old Elgin movement appears in several places. On this very old one, having a 4 digit number, just the last two digits appear on the underside of the hour wheel.






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