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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Elgin Grade 70, Dial Repair

Here are several images of the secondary serial number stamps on all the major parts of this watch, in place they can't be seen when the watch is assembled.
Elgin used a prefix on these stamps for the first digits. In this case, the 'W' is a stand in for '45'.

This is a Swiss-style, tangential pallet. This design is still used in mechanical watches today.
This watch is lever-set. It is not set by snapping out the crown. Instead a lever is pulled out from under the dial to engage setting. This image shows the lever extended.
This image shows the setting lever retracted - winding mode. Note how the circular part in the middle has moved.

The dial has an old, and pretty sloppy, repair.
The damage to the dial is pretty bad, but the repair could be better.
Here is the dial after my repair. Not perfect, but better. There isn't really a way to truly repair enamel dials, but some damage can be hidden.

Find more examples here.
This is a closer view of the center setting/winding parts. The inside gear in a wheel with teeth on the inside and the outside. This design is rather clever, but it has a flaw. There is often, on an old watch, not enough tension to hold that inner wheel engaged to the cannon pinion in the center. Setting tends to slip. I have a hard time getting these to work well.

Elgin didn't use this design for long.
This watch is an Elgin grade 70, 18 size, 15 jewels, made about 1892.

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