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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The movement is a great example of one of Elgin's Veritas models.
These are among the best watches of their time.
Find more examples here.
There's a lot of extra finish work on this movement.
This movement has all the bells and whistles, including a motor barrel. One of the three upper screws for the barrel has been replaced with this one that has the incorrect thread and also the head is beveled on the underside. These screws are really small and I suspect watchmakers lose them. I has seen them missing or replaced many times on these watches. I replaced this screw with a correct one.
More about the motor barrel here.
Here is an image showing the setting lever mechanism on the dial side.
Here the lever is pulled out causing the clutch to slide in toward the middle of the movement where it engages with the setting wheels.
It would be nice to put these two images in one post but the "classic" Google+ interface can't do that anymore, while the new interface can not create this post as a link the the album.
motor barrel) has an unjeweled bezel that sits just like in the jeweled version of this assembly.
safety pinion". The center wheel pinion is threaded on, rather that riveted. If the mainspring breaks and the mainspring barrel flies in the opposite of normal direction, it rapidly unscrews this pinion which in just a few turns lowers enough to disengage from the barrel. When it does, the train "down stream" is then isolated and saved from potential damage.
Note that the stem on this case is not adjustable.
This setup makes cases mostly interchangeable, but to work the stem sometimes has to go further inward, or less inward when snapped in. Cases provide a way to adjust the sleeve in and out so the motion of the stem adjusts to the particular watch.
Here we have a problem. This case is not adjustable, not at all! The sleeve, usually threaded, just sits on a cutout inside the neck of the case. It's position is fixed.
The watch is just going to have to live with the slight engagement issue.
Aside: Swiss style *positive setting" mechanisms, such as modern wristwatches have, avoid this problem by making the snapping mechanism a function of the watch movement. Cases are not as interchangeable, but no adjustment is needed either.
This watch is an Elgin grade 221, 16 size, 15 jewels, made about 1902.
This is the balance wheel with the single roller and the hairspring removed. It's a little hard to see but the hub in the center is blued steel. This signifies, on these Walthams, that this is a friction staff. It should not be cut off in the lathe. The hub is actually part of the balance wheel, not the staff at all. The old staff is to be pushed out in the staking tool.
The balance wheel gets push on to the new staff. It's critical to have the right sized stacks for this job to avoid distorting the balance wheel, or worse. It is also pretty snug, so it's important to go slow.
This is the balance wheel, broken staff removed, the hairspring, roller table, and the replacement staff. The replacement part has a tiny bit of rust. It will just take a minute to clean it up in the lathe. Quick polish is all it needs...
motor barrel, or safety barrel.
Also, all these polished surfaces are easily damaged with scratches and tool marks. Their condition in a vintage watch says a lot about the skills of the watchmakers that have serviced the movement over its life.
More about the motor barrel here.
Find out more about Lord Elgin watches here.
See the complete album for this project here:
This is a 23 jewel, 16 size Lord Elgin grade 351, made about 1907.
- Elgin Grade 214
- Job Number 170015
- Elgin Grade 221
- Waltham 1894 Model
- Job Number 170014
- Railroad Time Service Officials Meet
- Elgin Grade 453
- Job Number 170012
- Alarm Clock Restrictions Revoked
- Reduction In Tariffs Ruinous To American Industry
- Platinum Still Restricted
- Import of Swiss Watches
- Railroad Watches Released
- Watchmakers Sweep Floors
- Job Number 170004
- Job Number 170010
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