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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.

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!

Know Your Watch Parts

Here are a few images showing the commonly used names of some parts of mechanical pocketwatches that can be seen from the outside.

This first one shows the back of an 18 size Elgin movement. The balance wheel and regulator are prominent, but everything else is covered up on this style of watch.

This is an open-face watch case. The glass covering the dial and hands is the crystal.
On this style of movement, more parts can be seen from the back.
The balance assembly, or balance complete, is made up of the balance wheel, the staff, the hairspring and (underneath) the roller table, which is on the other side.
This is the train of a watch, from the barrel to the escape wheel. Not all watches have the same train parts, but the majority do, although the exact layout can vary.
The escapement consists of the escape wheel and pallet.


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