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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.

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A Pocketwatch That Runs Poorly Only When Carried?

Q: I have an antique Elgin pocketwatch that runs wonderfully and keeps great time when it's in my watch case. However, when I carry it with me, the watch will run slow or even stops. I haven't carried it around because I don't want to mess it up any more than it already may be. Balance staff maybe?

A: It probably just needs routine service. It could be a staff or jewel problem, but there are other possibilities. It likely runs very poorly in a specific orientation other than hanging upright. If a balance staff is actually broken, a watch won't run at all.

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