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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.

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Elgin Grade 241


Here is "the train" of the movement. From the lower left on around, we have the mainspring barrel (providing power), the center wheel (minute hand), the 3rd wheel, the 4th wheel (second hand), and the escape wheel (which allows power to "escape" only in short "ticks").
The train bridge is, in reality, one piece. There are three actually separate screws to complete the illusion.
The secondary serial number stamps on parts of this movement, such as here under the balance cock, are prefixed with a 3/4 circle symbol for the millions.

Elgin made one version or another of these so-called "bridged" movements over many years. There are several grades of movements with this design.

See the production history here.


This is the most common style of pocketwatch case. It has a middle ring-like body, that holds the watch, a back and a front bezel. On this case both the front and back are threaded to the body.

The railroad style dial and highly prized by collectors.

This watch is an Elgin grade 241, 16 size, 17 jewels, made about 1903.

Here are a few other examples for Elgin three fingered bridge movements.



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