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!
The case is damaged. It was hinged, but the hinge is broken. The back still snaps in place securely anyway.
My grandfather made this during his time at the school in the 1930s.
The crown threads onto the stem, and the crown in this case was totally stripped. Oddly, the crown did not just fall off, but the threads could not tighten, so it never really turned the stem. There wasn't actually a problem with the mainspring, or the movement generally. Even the stem is fine, it's just the crown.
I found a similar crown as a replacement.
There was one more issues though. The watch snapped too easily into setting mode. The fingers of the sleeve in the neck of the case grip the stem too weakly. Unfortunately, the top of the sleeve has been so hopelessly mangled that I don't think I can get it out without destroying it completely. At first I left it the way it was rather than risk damage to the inside of the neck of the case.
It wound fine, with a little inward pressure on the crown. I think a prior "repair" mangled the top of the sleeve trying to screw it in deeper, so the watch would go more securely into winding mode.
The stem, or winding arbor, (part of the case, in the neck) just did not stick into the watch movement far enough, with the crown snapped in, to quite secure the watch in winding mode. Many watches are like this. A slight inward pressure on the crown while winding did the job. It was minor in this instance... But it should be better.
Normally, one would adjust the sleeve so that the stem as a whole sits a little further down in the neck of the case. But like I said the sleeve in this watch is hopelessly chewed up. It's a mess in there. That's a shame because the case over all is in great shape. I didn't even want to try to remove and replace the sleeve because I was afraid the threads in the neck of the case were too messed up too, and a new sleeve wouldn't secure.
This is a fine example of Elgin's grade 349, 18 size, 21 jewels, made about 1908.
This one is engraved "No 349" as many of these are, not not all. It is also found labeled Father Time.
This is Elgin's grade 428, 6/0 size, 15 jewels, made about 1919.
- ▼ March (11)
- ► 2016 (465)
- ► 2015 (452)
- ► 2014 (291)
- ► 2013 (281)
- ► 2012 (406)
- ► 2011 (135)
- ► 2010 (75)
- ► 2009 (96)
- ► 2008 (25)