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.

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Elgin Grade 320

Here is an Elgin grade 320, 0 size, 7 jewels, made about 1912.
This is a setting cam. These watches are prone to a problem where it is hard to fully engage winding mode (or setting if the stem is adjusted inward to make winding work better). The reason, well one reason, is that the narrow radius of operation of this cam means that if there is any wear on it, it will not push the setting lever far enough and winding will fail to completely engage. A common "fix" for this is to hit the part with a punch leaving a little dimple and thus pushing out the metal more. Sometimes we find that side of the part fully flattened and spread. On this one it appears to have been fixed in this way several times, and/or pretty crudely.

It's getting replaced - the new part is on the right.

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