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Elgin Grade 384

The setting cam in a 12 size Elgin is often found to have been tweaked to extend one of its "feet" by hitting it with a punch to spread the metal. This part of this part does wear down. And when it does it can be too shallow to push the mechanism fully and firmly into winding mode. As a result the clutch may allow the beveled pinion to slip when winding.
If that's really the problem then this fix is not too bad, although unsightly. But often the real problem is a worn beveled pinion, or a case stem that is not adjusted to the right depth, or amount of pull in and out, for this movement.


In this case at any rate the tweak is way over done and so the part is getting replaced with a new one. Fortunately, these parts are not too uncommon, yet.


Here is the new part in place.

Here is an other interesting "repair". The underside of the barrel bridge has been crudely filed down, probably to reduces friction on the barrel arbor. Whatever the real problem was, proper service has cleaned it up. But this change in irreversible.

I see this fix from time to time too. At some point the balance wheel was out of flat and/or round and must have rubbed on the top of the pallet bridge. Rather than adjust the balance wheel, which is harder, the top of the bridge was filed down to make it thinner, removing completely the nickel plating.
This doesn't impact its functionality of course, but in can never be restored. At this point it's just part of the history of the piece.
A file seems to have been someone's favorite tool on this one.

This watch is Elgin's grade 384, 12 size, 17 jewels, made about 1921

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