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.

Here are a few of my favorites!

There are some large images on some posts, so that might impact your load times, bit I think you will find it worth the wait. Thanks for visiting!

Elgin Grade 80

Here is an Elgin grade 80, 18 size, 15 jewels, lever setting. It's an early watch, made about 1885.

Here are the various stamps on the underside of the top plate, including the secondary serial number stamps.

These earlier Elgin designs have an interesting setting mechanism under the dial. In setting mode, a ring shaped gear with teeth on both the inside and the outside moves over and engages the cannon pinion to turn the hands.
This is an interesting idea, but it is problematic. Since the cannon pinion is driven from the opposite side as that ring is being driven, the spring that holds the ring inward has to be of exactly the right strength or the gearing inside skips. In my experience, most of these watches do not set smoothly without quite a bit of tinkering with the setting spring.

This is an H.H. Taylor edition. It also includes an early, for Elgin, micro-regulator.

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