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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.

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Elgin Grade 311

I'm am not sure what happened here but this balance assembly has some issues. The upper pivot is bent. The lower one might be intact, but the double roller is not all the way seated so we can't see the pivot. The roller table is at an angle too. Odd... The hairspring looks tilted as well but not as much. Maybe the whole staff is bent? Also the balance itself is way out of flat, as the uneven arms show.





 This is the replacement staff.

The mainspring is also shot. Here it is, all distorted, and the replacement.
A great many mainspring problems are cause simply by springs being wound into barrels using fingers instead of the proper tool. I see it all the time.

The end of the pallet bridge has been ground down to avoid rubbing on the bottom of the balance wheel.

The real problem is that the balance wheel was not true, or maybe a replacement staff was the wrong part.

Here's a rule for watchmaking: existing parts should never be altered to make replacements work.


Here's another rule: never do anything that can not be undone.


This watch is a grade 311, 12 size, 7 jewels, made about 1915.


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