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!

There are some large images on some posts, so that might impact your load times, bit I think you will find it worth the wait. Thanks for visiting!

Elgin Grade 180

Here is a nice Elgin grade 180. This is an 18 size movement, lever-set, 17 jewels, made about 1909.

Lately I have been taking note of the secondary serial number marks, stamped on a few of the watch parts, in places where they don't show, on antique American watches. Frequently, these numbers are prefixed with a symbol that stands in for the first few digits of the movement number.

The secondary serial number stamps on this Elgin watch are prefixed with a '5' having 3 bars above it. The serial number of the movement is "13586621", beginning with "135", the the 5 and 3 bars makes sense.

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