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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!

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 181

This is an Elgin grade 181, 18 size, 21 jewels, made about 1898

Elgin's high-end 18 size movements often have these huge screws on the barrel bridge.
The secondary serial number stamps on this watch are prefixed with a sort of sideways 'V', with serifs.


The decorative finish on the plates is called damascene. On this movement the specific pattern is very unusual among Elgin watches. Extra work went into these.



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