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Elgin Graded 214, Veritas

This is an Elgin grade 214, 18 size, 23 jewels, made about 1901. It is a Veritas model, railroad grade and one of the best watches of its day.

This particular example has seen a lot of wear. Parts are beat up and dinged - not sitting flat and true. But it does tick. Unfortunately it needed a new balance staff. The one it had was not completely broken, but one pivot is cut up pretty badly by a cracked jewel.

The secondary serial number stamps on the under sides of parts on this movement are prefixed with a rounded capital 'E' very much like the later Elgin logo from the 1960s.

This is the 23 jewel version. The motor barrel bearings are jeweled, upper and lower.
The upper cap is a large piece of gold, with a diamond for the cap jewel. This shows the old cracked jewel that has ruined the balance staff, and a new replacement.

This watch has a two piece double, or safety, roller. Here is the balance wheel, still with the old staff, the two roller parts, and the hairspring. The old staff will be removed using the lathe.
To get a good fit to the balance jewels, the pivots on the replacement staff had to be reduced some.
The staff should fit in the balance jewel such that it stands at an angle. This looks right for proper side-shake. It's been reduced enough. Now for the upper pivot...
The two roller parts, and the hairspring are installed to complete the balance assembly.

On Elgin's Veritas model, the balance wheel is quite tall. There is very little clearance between the top of the pallet bridge, below, and the bottom of the center wheel, above. It all has to be adjusted just right.

This image was actually taken while testing the fit, before installing the roller and hairspring.

The case on this watch is nothing particularly special. I see this a lot. Since customers bought movements and cases separately, you often find high end movements in inexpensive, plain cases. And the reverse, basic model movements in flashy, expensive cases.

See more examples of Elgin's Veritas watches here!

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