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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South Bend Grade 429

This one is a South Bend pocketwatch, 12 size, 19 jewels, grade 429, made about 1922.

This South Bend is a "bridged" movement. The train bridges are 2 pieces designed to appear to be four. It allows more of the works to be viewed when assembled.

This ratchet wheel had a broken tooth. I had to locate and order a replacement. I am rarely stumped for a vintage Elgin part, I almost always have what I need on hand. But other makes, not so much.

Many antique watch parts are getting much harder to find, very quickly. I didn't have too much trouble finding one of these though.

 Here are a couple views of the winding/setting mechanism.
This is the movement in winding mode (stem clicked in). The clutch is at the right. In setting mode, it is moved over to the left to engage the gears to move the hands.
The dial is a painted metal type. Any attempt to clean it with more than a gentle, soft brush would take the markings off. The label "South Bend" is almost not visible as it is from dirt and wear - and possibly earlier attempts to clean it.

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