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!

There are some large images on some posts, so that might impact your load times, bit I think you will find it worth the wait. Thanks for visiting!

Elgin Grade 316

Here are a couple photos taken before cleaning. There's a lot of machine oil in the setting mechanism. And it has seeped in all over the jewels too.

It takes some extra work to get rid of the machine oil, but these winding/setting parts cleaned up well in the end. The watch needs a replacement balance jewel too.
To clean up the balance pivot, a tiny amount of oil stone powder is mixed with an even smaller amount of fine oil to create a paste.
A piece of pegwood shaped with flat facets is charged with the paste and worked over the pivot using the lathe.

The pivot is refinished with specially shaped Arkansas stone, bell metal and steel, in stages depending on the need.
One of these photos shows a balance pivot jewel with the hole badly enlarged and uneven from wear. The other image is the replacement, having a nice even hole almost too small to make out.

The watch is a grade 316 Elgin, 18 size, 15 jewels, made about 1908

Post a Comment

Click "Older Posts" just above for more, or use the archive links right here.

Blog Archive