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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!

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Elgin Grade 291


These winding/setting parts are typical of a wide range of Elgin designs, in many sizes.
These are those same parts in place in the main plate.


This is the replacement staff, and the old one with the broken pivots still attached to the balance wheel.
The ratchet wheel on this movement is totally functional, but has had its decorative finish ground away. I see this quite a bit. I have no idea why someone would do that.
This watch is an Elgin grade 291, 16 size, 7 jewels, made about 1925.  
When a hunter movement is put in an open-face case, the stem falls at the 3:00, to the right when hold 12:00 up. Sometimes that combination is called a "side winder."



When an open-face movement is in a hunter case, it looks like this, with the 12:00 at the stem and the font cover hinge opposite at the 6:00. This combination is not as common.

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