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 95

This is an Elgin grade 95, 6 size, 7 jewels, made about 1892

Most cases for american watches have a male stem in the neck of the case. Most American watch movements have a square female winding arbor to match.

But a few movements, like Elgin convertibles, have a male winding arbor and take a case with a square hole in the stem. Such cases are quite rare.

This watch has such a case, but the movement is a conventional one. To make these work together some creative watchmaker has made a little adapter that is basically just a square length of steel.

This adapter fits into the square holes in both the movement's winding arbor, and the stem in the case.

This is what I call a creative repair. More here...
Here is a close up of the square hole in the winding arbor in the movement. This is the typical style of American watches.

It's worth noting here that vintage American movements and pocketwatch cases are essentially mix and match. Elgin, like other watch companies at that time, did not make pocketwatch cases. Strange as it may seem, customers bought movements are case separately at the retail level.

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