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Found 20 results

  1. My very first efforts were on an Elgin grade 313 (of which I had two built 22 years apart). In keeping with the Elgin brand I also picked up an Elgin grade 409 which was a smaller sized ladies pendant watch. Like the 313, I only purchased the movement which had a dial and three hands. When the time came to start working on this, I realized I needed another bench key and I discovered that the balance didn't move when hit with an air jet from my rocket blower, so I ordered a second movement. When It arrived it was from the same year (1914) and I also discovered that these had a sleeve around the main plate and bridge portion of the movement. It turned out that the balance staff from the first movement (17521914) had a broken top pivot. Originally I thought that I'd just take the balance complete from the second movement (17353621) and drop it into ...914 however @diveboy suggested that collectors would frown on a balance from one movement in another so I decided to work on ...621. While Elgin manufactured 21,000 of these I never expected the one that I worked on would ever end up in anyone else's hands but I kept the balance with the right main plate. Here's the front and back of ...621 I washed everything and began my reassembly. I had taken the balance apart to clean the upper jewel and had a bit of a time getting the setting re-seated. The two tiny screws kept me on my knees looking through the carpet as they didn't seem to want to stay put. Finally I got the upper jewel back in place. Oddly enough the balance cock of ...621 was pretty plain compared with the balance cock from ...914 Everything was going great and I had everything back together and only needed to finish assembling the balance to the cock. That's when it all went to hell. I was tightening the screw holding the stud in the balance cock when the balance complete zipped off into never-never land and the hair spring became twisted through the split in the balance wheel. On the right is the balance from ...621 with the good balance staff. On the left is the balance wheel and hair spring from ...914. If you look closely you can just make out the broken pivot on the left and the good pivot on the right. Unfortunately I need the spring from the left on the wheel and staff on the right. At this point I'm closing the books on the 409 Elgin. I know that some of you would be able to take the spring from ...914 and repair the balance of ...621 but that is clearly beyond my capabilities. At least I've become somewhat proficient at researching movements even if my physical skills are sorely lacking. I struggle with being able to see. I find that I'm always either putting glasses on or off, switching to my magnifying visor or the microscope. I probably ought to pick up a Barlow for the microscope that would allow me to actually work comfortably under the scope. In any event, I still have 2 Buren Grand Prix movements (one that I started on but ran into a broken setting lever, so I picked up a second) as well as a small Omega (that I don't really want to touch until I've gotten one running). So, that's where I'm at.
  2. I spent the afternoon yesterday working on the grade 409 Elgin. I disassembled it, washed all the parts and began reassembly. It's good that I have two of these movements because (as always) I lost a few screws along the way. This is a photo of one of the kind of screws that I lost. It is sitting on the graduated surface of a 6" Starrett rule. The thick lines represent the marks on the rule and they are 0.0156" apart (or 0.39mm for the rest of you - I don't have a metric rule, I have a metric dial caliper). The point is that the screw is really (really) small. It looks like a piece of black pepper. Explain to me how/why my stainless/non-magnetic tweezers seem to be magnetically attracted to these screws? By the way, two of these hold the upper balance jewel setting into the balance cock.
  3. I use the term "restoration" lightly. I did a full service, cleaned the case in an ultrasonic, and replaced the crystal. When I got the watch, it wasn't running, and now it is, so I'll take what I can get.
  4. Hello! I've been having trouble with an Elgin 554 movement but am eager to wear the watch so I attempted to swap the movement with another strong running 554. However the trouble 554 and the strong running 554 are for different dial types (trouble 554 is for a flat dial, running 554 is for a curved dial). I assumed that I would be able to just swap the cannon pinions and hour gears, however I found that the center wheel pivot was a slightly different diameter. The curved dial cannon pinion was much too lose on the other center wheel pivot and the flat dial cannon pinion was much too tight on the curved dial center wheel pivot. I was surprised that the pivots would be slightly different diameters for the same (554) movement, BUT I'm also very new to this and wanted to ask two questions: 1) will also swapping the center wheel between movements fix this problem? And 2) is this a common issue I'll find when trying to source parts from other movements of the same caliber? (Apologies if any of my terminology is wrong) Thank you for any help!
  5. Hello all! I've been having issues with an Elgin 554 movement, it's one of the military issue ones from wwii. I received the watch in run/stop condition and did a full teardown/cleaning/oiling. The watch will sometimes run for a couple hours to a couple days before getting "stuck". There's an actual tension where something is getting out of line and can be felt when gently trying to adjust the hands (the hands are not stuck on each other, it's an internal issue). I've tried opening it up and adjusting it probably 5 times but nothing seems to do the trick. Has anyone else had a similar issue? I've tried tightening down the bridge that holds down the setting gears (don't know the exact name of that but it's circled in blue). I've tried removing those gears and trying to re-install the canon pinion multiple times (I think that the canon pinion may be slipping out of true and that's the issue?) It's hard to tell exactly what it is though. I've also tried pinching it a bit tighter so that it's a tighter fit over the center wheel pivot I've also tried putting in one to two dial washers in case the hour wheel (I think thats what it's called) is popping out of whack. I'm really at a loss as to what could be the issue/how to fix it. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  6. Hello and calling all military experts .Yesterday I picked up a few kilo of pocket watch parts and other bits and pieces of vintage horology timepieces .In amongst the assortment was this Australian issued pocket watch.I have a question about the markings on the back . I know about the Elgin side of things ,this has the grade 594 movement gold colored and dated to 1943 .However I have done lots of trolling on the net and cannot find what the marking beside the serial number underneath the first D is . If one of you highly knowledgeable collectors could tell me anything about this watch and is it worth restoring .I need to replace the broken balance staff, but thats all .I can source original hands for this model . What do you know please share.
  7. I'm trying to release the tension in the mainspring on an Elgin grade 144 pocket watch and unlike my grade 291, this one has a hidden click and the main barrel is tucked underneath a plate. I've looked online and found a single forum post stating I need to push a pin or very small object into a hole underneath the main barrel (which there is one) while simultaneously holding the stem in place to stop it from unwinding all at once. The problem is, I've got a single screwdriver that fits in this pinhole and after poking around in a few directions, it doesn't seem to be releasing the click. I don't know if this is the right hole (it is the only one) that I'm putting it in, if it's supposed to be on a specific angle at insertion, a certain depth, etc. I've attached photos of the side of the movement and a diagram of what I am doing. For what its worth, its a lever set.
  8. I am new to watch repair, but have successfully repaired, cleaned and oiled several pocket watches. This picture is from an Elgin pocket watch that I am currently working on. The piece indicated by the arrow, obviously assists in toggling between winding and setting via the clutch pinion but, as you can see, there is no screw in the hub to hold it in place. However, in the bridge, above the piece indicated, is a small screw in a threaded through-hole that is not retaining any other pieces and, at first glance, appeared to be doing nothing. I assume it is there to somehow retain the piece shown, and possibly adjust the resistance/tension of that piece. I've haven't seen one like this yet. What exactly is the mystery screw supposed to be doing, and how do I adjust it to do so?
  9. A vintage Elgin 15/0, Gr 559. I took it down, cleaned and lubricated it and it is gaining 15 minutes/24 hours. I have looked at the HS, it appears to be perfect, clean, flat, not magnetized (de-magged the movement X 3 already), and in position between the regulator pins. Not hung on the center wheel. Correct mainspring, and balance is not knocking. I do not remember amplitude, but IIRC, it was above 22 which is O.K. by me with the movement. Please give me some ideas as to how to correct this. It doesn't seem like there are enough timing washers in the world to slow this down! Thanks, RMD
  10. Early 60's Elgin 10K Shockmaster. I suppose one of their attempts at water proofing a watch (see the crystal and gasket in the second picture). The question is how to get the crown off (Its wobbly when pulled out to the set position and I am certain it contains a gasket) so I can remove the movement? Dis-assemble the keyless works in place so I can grab the stem and unscrew the crown?? Thanks.
  11. Elgin 712/713 shock spring. Does anyone know the name of this particular type of shock spring? Thanks, RMD
  12. Ideas on where to find a suitable assortment of studs? Cousins has round and square, but Elgin uses a wedge shaped stud. File my own? Thanks, RMD
  13. I'm looking for a replacement mainspring for an old Elgin movement. CousinsUK seems to me to have the best "look-up" feature UNLESS your search comes up empty. The original spring is 0.1MM X 1.25 MM X roughly 270MM in length. this of course turns up nothing. What variable do you start with that is least injurious to the movement and accuracy when you must locate a substitute mainspring. I understand that heaight and length are rather fixed variables. Can I go up slightly in strength without too much badness happening? Thanks, RMD
  14. Well here's my second call for help in as many days! Today I'm disassembling an Elgin size 18 pocket watch from circa 1904. The movement is a grade 307 and it is wound tight as as a drum but does not run. The balance moves freely so I know that's not the problem but before I can disassemble the movement and check out its constituent parts I need to relieve the tension from the mainspring... and I can't figure out how to let it down. Since the answer is probably right in front of my I'll add the disclaimer that this is my first American pocket watch repair. I've attached some pictures which might illustrate the problem. Thanks in advance for your input!
  15. I have just received a package that consisted of a tin full of parts for an old watch. It was not clear from the original picture what was in the tin but I took a punt and got it for £13.45 The Watch turned out to be an Elgin 761, 27Jewels Movement, USA ADJD as is inscribed on the movement. Case is 10k rolled gold plate, inscribed inside: Cased and timed by Elgin National Watch Company, Watch Star case Company 4444, T626793. The movement and case are dirty and the dial is scuffed having been kicking around in the tin uncovered - thoughtless. However I may have a little gem after all and it will go in the project queue. This is the additional stuff I found in the tin. The balance is moving freely, there seems to be some of the keyless workings missing including the stem and crown of course. I managed to find some info that may be of use to others as well The Elgin Grade 760.doc If anyone can impart some knowledge on this movement shown in Ranfft as circa 1960, I would be interested and gratefull but for the moment I have decided to sort it out. I have a feeling this may be costly but looking into the tin pulled my heartstrings and it is crying out to be fixed and treasured. The document above should help me work out what is missing. Cheers, Vic
  16. Okay, for those who notice nitty little details (as I think most watchmakers do) I am aware that the hands need to be corrected. My only excuse was that when I got around to putting on the hands it was towards the end of the day and I just wanted to case the thing and see how well it kept time. Haven't had the time to go back to it. Anyway, I titled this entry the way I did because it indicates something I love and the reason I entered watchmaking. For I found this watch in an old box (of old remnants thrown in free with some things I bought at a trade fair), lens-less, dirty (inside and out) with a broken mainspring. I replaced the lens and mainspring, gave the movement a good cleaning and did as much restoration of the dial as I could do with the primitive methods at my disposal; dial restoration being an art requiring far more time to master than I've so far put into the craft, but someday I hope to get better at it. As I said, the watch was in sorry condition and I felt sorry for it; as one might feel towards a waif on the streets, I decided to take it in some months ago as a practice piece. I mean, it literally had "cobwebs" in the movement; some kind of moldy stuff which I've seen in a lot of long--neglected timepieces. I put it through the cleaning machine and was pleased to see how it had brightened up and its quality began to show through--like a chronographical David Copperfield or Pip. I removed the remaining dirt with pegwood (Peggotty!) and Rodico and carefully oiled it. I was gleeful when, after final placement of the balance, the piece started to tick like a newborn baby come into the world. I, the parent, felt jubilant and, so far I haven't been disappointed as it is keeping good time, living up to expectations. I wear it regularly and someday maybe I'll come across a stray strap--lurking even now in some forgotten recess--that will do it justice. The watch is a 17j Elgin, with a gold plated case, as you can see. I haven't taken the time to look up the movement to see when it was made, but my guess is pre-WWII (any thoughts?). Would this have been a ladies watch? It's a bit bigger than most at that time. An unusual feature is the sub-seconds dial at 9 o'clock as opposed to 6 or 3. I may return to it someday when I am more skilled but it's still a joy to own.
  17. I bought this off eBay listed as "Needs repaired", thinking I would attempt to fix it up. Can anyone point me in the right direction, or maybe let me know if the seller meant to say "for spare parts"?
  18. I'm a total newbie when it comes to repairs. I've been collecting and carrying pocket watches for decades, but am now getting to the point that I have to do my own servicing in order to afford the hobby. I have an 18s Elgin grade 73, model 5 that needs a balance staff. I tried to look up what I needed, but there are so many variations on the balance staff that I have no idea what I actually need. How do I figure out which balance staff I need?
  19. I have just bought this on eBay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-1917-Elgin-Pocket-Watch-Beautiful-Octagon-12S-Case-Not-Running-/331529042187?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d30abb90b&nma=true&si=steVwbb4TuJ0zQh2WWiGY4LpEJ4%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557) as a project for myself. I have never tried to disassemble a watch before, because the interest to watches is a new hobby. About this PW I bought, the mainspring is working because i managed to release it, and re-wind it. The hairspring is also working (i think), because I tried to move the balance-wheel and it is doing 3-4 movements until it stops. Also the crystal is bad I think, and needs to be replaced. So; is this a project that is manageable by a newbie? What equipment do I need? Is i.e. this good enough as a starter-kit? http://www.amazon.com/Premium-Watch-Repair-Reusable-Aluminum/dp/B00CZDBXU6/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1430563002&sr=8-12&keywords=watch+repair+kit When it comes to lubricating, I saw another posting about that, but when it comes to cleaning the mechanics - what is the recommendation? What else do I need to think early about, to have ready? Where do I find crystals for this watch? -Tore
  20. I seem to have developed an affinity for pocket watches and I found this video by Fran Blanche, she has some really interesting electronics tear downs and articles, if you're into that sort of thing, and now I find she's into pocket watches. I think its the embellishment on the insides of the pocket watch that catch my eye. Nothing in depth, beginners level, which is probably why I like it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMQdXAZm044#t=556
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