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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Hampden Molly Stark

This is a 3/0 size Hampden "Molly Stark" movement, series II, in need of a new mainspring.

This watch was made about 1902.

This is a "bridged" movement, and like others some of the fingers are actually one part.

This is a common design for hunting watch cases. The movement goes in from the front, and is held by two case screws at the back. The screws go into the movement at the outer edge such that the heads of the screws overlap the edge of the case to hold it. The case includes an inner dust cover at the back. The bezel snaps on the front. These pieces are all thin and fragile.

This case is also a type that will only work with lever or key setting movements though. The stem does not snap in and out. It goes into the neck of the case after the movement is in place, and a tiny screw in the neck is then turned in. The screw blocks a shoulder on the stem and keeps it in. The crown can be turned, but otherwise does not move.

Molly Stark (1737 - 1814) was the wife of American Revolutionary War general John Stark. Hampden Watch Company also made a larger General Stark movement, which seem to be slightly less common today.

See more examples, and more about the Hampden company, here:

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