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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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...
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