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!

Job Number 170039

Here is an Example of Elgin's grade 291, 16 size, 7 jewels, made about 1923.
This watch just got a routine service. No problems!

Job Number 170038

These first three are "before" images. There's a odd collection of old grease under the balance cock, and the dial side is pretty dirty. Inside, the train looks good - low wear and tear.

These two photos detail the lever setting mechanism (after cleaning all the parts).

Early versions of this winding arbor could be possibly assembled and installed both upside down and backwards. They improved it to make the part only go one way.
This is one area of a watch that really takes a beating in use; the ratchet wheel, click and click spring. On this one these parts look almost pristine.

See the whole album for this project here:

Find other horological Collections here:

This is the older English style tangential pallet. This design was mostly phased out in favor of the Swiss style perpendicular design (still used today) by the 1880s or so.

The watch is Elgin's grade 309, 18 size, 7 jewels, made about 1907.

Job Number 170036

Here's a couple of "before" images of a typical Elgin 12 size movement. Loads of old grease in there... There also something really strange in one of these photos. Anyone know what?

This is what's wrong with that first image.

An actual Elgin clutch is the upper left part. The lower left is a mystery part found in this watch.

It's probably not fair to think very many people would spot this. Having done a thousand of them, I could probably disassemble a 12 size Elgin with my eyes closed though. This weird substitute part stuck out immediately.

The watch is an Elgin grade 315, 12 size, 15 jewels, made about 1925.
I have to be extra careful with this dial - no cleaning. I have seen this type of hand painted Catholic symbolism before a handful of times on watches from around this era. Same design...
See the whole album for this project here:

Find more horological Collections here:

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

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