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Elgin pocket watch


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Hi

i found this watch in second hand shop and would like to repair it. The hands are moving but not able to open the case. Also the watch is not working. If anyone knows how to open it please let me know. 
 

I am new to this and collecting vintage watches

 

Raj

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There is usually a cavity somewhere on the seam, where you can insert a utility knife into to cack the back open. If not insert a safety razor into the seam work it around the case to widen the gap, then use a knife blade to crack open.

Two seams are visible in third picture, to remove  back and the bezel.

Good luck

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12 minutes ago, Nucejoe said:

There is usually a cavity somewhere on the seam, where you can insert a utility knife into to cack the back open.

Before you try cracking the back open with the knife method try unscrewing first. Because if you insert the knife method on a screw back and get the thing cross threaded you're in big trouble. Usually if it's a pop off back there will be some sort of indication of where the knife goes. Occasionally overenthusiastic people will attempt to pry a screw back off and you will have Markings which look like the back should pop off but it doesn't.

Then if casually you can't unscrew it there are tools to help you with that because sometimes he gets screwed on really tight.

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As John R725 said dont rush in,   check very carefully the case seams and try un screwing first of all using a sticky ball. Dont assume its a pry off case unless there are pry points.

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4 minutes ago, Gmraj said:

I checked throughly and there’s no indication of where the knife goes. It seems it is tightly closed

That's because the front screws off and the back screws off leaving the middle which is holding the watch. Just hold onto the middle and attempt the screw the back or the front off a lot of times they are on really tight.

22 minutes ago, watchweasol said:

sticky ball.

Then the sticky ball works really well and there's a few other things that can be used August have to find pictures the other ones if you're still having problems. But sticky ball does work really well for grabbing the back. Sometimes it works on the front you have to be careful that the crystal doesn't decide to come out.

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As mentioned before, it's a screw back and front.  I've been known to use this flat rubber thing that was made for opening jars.  Grips well, leaves no marks, works like a charm. 

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A really nice website for American pocket watches once you have a serial number is found at the link below. Also nice with Elgin watches the parts list is available there. I don't suppose you can get another picture of the movement preferably the angle? It may just be a lighting issue but I'm not seeing the hairspring for the balance wheel? I can see the stud it still there somebody rotated the regulator all the way to one extreme is interesting?. They hairspring may be hiding under the balance bridge but it's I'm not seeing it?

 

 

https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/search/result/elgin/9785822

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10 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

It may just be a lighting issue but I'm not seeing the hairspring for the balance wheel? 

*uses his best car mechanic voice* : "Well there's yer problem".

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1 hour ago, KarlvonKoln said:

"Well there's yer problem".

Yes that is a problem but unlike when I try to point out that swapping hairsprings is a bad idea and it typically falls on deaf ears on this group this is an American pocket watch. Providing nothing else is wrong and if the hairspring truly is missing it's not like it fell out all by itself which then makes other things suspicious that they could be bad. But providing it's the only thing that's gone missing in this watch it can be replaced. American pocket watches were some of a few watches that hairsprings are available as a separate component. Although finding one and the associated timing screws to bring it in to time will be an interesting challenge but not impossible.

Then it's a shame it wasn't a 16 size? 16 size is a much better watch to start playing with 18 size has some interesting challenges but still a watch somebody can still taken apart with caution and before the original poster does so I will explain some cautions before taking it apart to avoid unpleasant surprises and damage.

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Dr ranfft shows 18 size HS to have come both in flat and berguet.

Will you show a side view close up of the balance?

I suppose you can go by serial No as well to find out the hairspring type. 

Building the complete balance on these is challanging. 

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21 minutes ago, Nucejoe said:

Dr ranfft shows 18 size HS to have come both in flat and berguet.

Will you show a side view close up of the balance?

I suppose you can go by serial No as well to find out the hairspring type.

If you look at the link of the pocketwatch database for the serial number and you go to the parts list you can go to Springs and I snipped out an image. So we have an Elgin part number and a strength as an added bonus you click on the part number and you get this link

https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/search/result/elgin/9785822/parts/catalog/X791/250

Fortunately it looks like that particular hairspring goes in a lot of different watches. That's the good news the bad news is we still have to find one and you're going to have to play with the screws to bring it in to time. When I get a chance I'll go look at my Elgin parts catalog and see what it says about the hairspring if there's any other additional information.

Then that is assuming that it just needs a hairspring and that it doesn't have a broken balance staff more than likely it's going to need a main spraying and if you're lucky that's all that's going to be wrong with. I don't like when parts are missing like any parts it suggests other things could be missing were not even right. As one of the cautions of buying off of eBay it might look nice and pretty in the picture but in real life that doesn't always agree with the pictures. On the other hand the watch that I bought that wasn't quite what should be scrapped for parts because I really needed one of the parts off the watch so it worked out at the end.

 

 

elgin hs.JPG

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Cool!  So it looks like this could be nowhere near impossible.  I was thinking that, being an Elgin from that time period, there could still be quite a number left, meaning several with a similar balance and hairspring.  There was a time when America was cranking out a boatload of these makes.  Good news.

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10 minutes ago, KarlvonKoln said:

Cool!  So it looks like this could be nowhere near impossible.  I was thinking that, being an Elgin from that time period, there could still be quite a number left, meaning several with a similar balance and hairspring.

With Elgin being one of the biggest watch companies on the planet at least for a while they did make a lot of components and watches so their spare parts out there you just have to give it some time. Although changing the balance wheel complete from another watch is sometimes problematic. There was variations the balance staff pivots had variations then the escapement was set up for the balance wheel currently in the watch. Although we will hope that's the original balance wheel and somebody just didn't swap that. Fortunately most of the time on American balance wheels the serial number has been inscribed. So even though it's on a parts list it's interchangeable like the balance wheel I would try not to change that but the hairspring is another matter.

Then why were waiting for the original posting person to come back tell us what's going on in the world I'm attached some more Images of the hairspring and the timing screws that would need possibly. Then looking at all the usual sources I didn't see any hairsprings but that just means you have to have patience and wait on eBay one will show up sooner or later or a scrap watch it could Get a hairspring from. 

 

elgintim scr 2.JPG

elgin time scr.JPG

elgin hs info.JPG

elgin hs 791 b.JPG

elgin 791  hs.JPG

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