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.

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Elgin Grade 453

The balance cock on this movement has the complete serial number on the underside.

This is the mainspring barrel from this 16 size Elgin Veritas model, a high grade railroad watch. The motor barrel, as opposed to the going barrel we usually see, has the arbor in the middle fixed to the teeth around the outside. These are also called safety barrels. They isolate the rest of the train from a reverse jolt if the mainspring breaks. This design also reduces friction allowing a more powerful spring to be used, which improves accuracy over a day's run.

This is Elgin's railroad grade 453, 16 size, 23 jewel Veritas model, made about 1923 This watch is one of the highest quality timepieces of its era and represents some of the best technology available at that time.

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