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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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Rockford Transitional Model 2

Here are a few "before" images taken while disassembling this watch.

This watch did wind and tick. These images show why it is critical to get a watch cleaned before running it however. This grim contains grit and dirt that will wear away and moving parts and cause serious damage in short order.


The watch is a Rockford Watch Company Model 2. It is 18 size and 15 jewels, made about 1879.

The movement is lever and stem set, what's called a "transitional" design. These are fairly rare.

This movement feature the older English style escapement with the pallet pivoting on a tangent to the escape wheel, rather than the Swiss style used on later watches.

Again, more like an English design, the outer end of the hairspring is held by an arm screwed to the top plate, rather than a stud held by the balance cock. Thus the balance assembly is put in place first, before the balance cock and the upper pivot. many makes of early American watches did this, at first.


The case stem has a square hole, as does the winding arbor in the movement. To match the two, an adapter has been made that fits into both.




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