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 288

This is an Elgin grade 288, 18 size, 7 jewels, made about 1908

Here are some images showing the secondary serial number markings on the base plate, dial side, and the under side of the balance cock.
These secondary stamps are often prefixed with a symbol standing in for the first few digits. I suspect this system had something to do with how inventory and production runs were organized, but the exact reason is lost to time.

This watch has a one, with three lines above. The serial number begins with 13, so this makes sense.

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