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!

Waltham Colonial Premier

This is a later watch, Waltham Colonial, 1924 model. These are pretty refined designed made with "modern" machinery. They are noticeably "tighter" in tolerance than earlier watches.
Winding/setting mechanisms on many Walthams have a "shipper". There are two levers, a spring, and a round clamp. This design works well and sees low wear, but it does have a lot more parts than an Elgin (for example) design and takes a bit more time to assemble. Beginning watchmakers are not real fond of these because the spring has to be installed with great care, or it will easily fly to the other side of the room never to be seen again.

The click spring on this type of Waltham watch is another easy to lose part. The key to handling small parts though is really less than half practice. The dressing of the tip and inside faces of the tweezers is critical. Good tweezers are adjusted and resurfaced fairly frequently. In this work learning to do that is just as important as learning how a watch functions.

The Waltham Colonial R model is a no-frills watch, but they have a good reputation for reliability. These were made in then late '30s and into the '40s. This is the 17 jewel type.

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