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Blog Comments

  1. pmwas's Avatar
    Thanks!!! BTW - the world is a strange place sometimes... This fob I bought from you... it's actually contains two really scarce coins, namely 50 kopeck coin from 1890 and 25 kopeck coin from 1891. I used to collect Russian Empire coins a long long time ago, and such coins were somewhere in my dreams back then. Impossible to get when you're looking for one. So when I go to Cracov, I get an American watch. When I visit an American seller - I get a scarce Russian coin - funny how these goods make it to the other side of Planet Earth somehow

    OH, what have I done? Makes me miss my Russian coins so much !!!
    Updated 07-14-2017 at 04:06 PM by pmwas
  2. Dave Coatsworth's Avatar
    Looks good, Paul!
  3. kevin h's Avatar
    I have a fake e howard if you enjoyed this exercise ! nice work
  4. pmwas's Avatar
    Yes, that usually starts with getting one watch and at some point - it can't be stopped
  5. GeneJockey's Avatar
    "Is there anything you don't know about Elgin watches ?

    How to stop buying them. Just picked up a 5-digit Mat. Laflin movement yesterday, while still in the midst of a GM Wheeler in the 135XXX range. And it all started when I bought one Lord Elgin...
  6. pmwas's Avatar
    Is there anything you don't know about Elgin watches ?
    Thanks again!!!
  7. GeneJockey's Avatar
    That is an Elgin 'Ontario'.


    You're right - there are supposed to be gaskets between the crystal and the movement-holding frame, and another between the frame and the caseback.

    There's a mate to it in gold filled called the Panama.
  8. pmwas's Avatar
    Yes - it seems like only first run Raymond watches have such balance. Only now we don't know if a first run with 'normal' balance is definitely wrong, or if it's possible as well another early runs mystery here...

    it's also worth noticing the balance cock was milled for it's screw, also an early run feature...
  9. pmwas's Avatar
    Yes, for a 'modern' man the chain might be suprising...
    I think I've explained that in one of the previous posts, but that was se time ago...
    Verge escapement is very sensitive to mainspring power - speeds up even when you adjust hands forward. To minimize torque variations, a chain and fusee is used, so that a more wound, stronger mainspring has to pull the thin end, which is more difficult. Someone has compared this to continiously variable transmission in a car, a not bad comparisson I guess.
  10. langseth's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing. Being new to the watch world I was surprised to see a bicycle style chain used to wind the mainspring, I'm guessing. Just starting into pocket watches with 2 Waltham 18s an a 12s Illinois pocket watch with a broken lower balance pivot cap jewel that has me stumped. I was able to get 2 manual wind wrist watches working and keeping good time on my Timegrapher, just could be lucky so far. Lots of watches on eBay that aren't running, but I know I'm pushing my luck on the bay.
  11. GeneJockey's Avatar
    I followed up a little bit on the balance arms question. As best I can determine, the straight/curved arms with meantime screws on Grade 69 BWRs is a feature of the very first run. All the ones I can find on the internet (and see the arms) have serial numbers <1000. Ben Hutcherson's #1986, from the second run, has straight arms and no meantime screws. Apparently Elgin..., er, I mean NATIONAL went all out on the very first run!
  12. Bostonjoe's Avatar
    Fine old watch, congrats on getting her going again! It's great to see these old warhorses brought back to life.
  13. pmwas's Avatar
    My other (S/N 19xxx range) used to have the stop works, but that was later removed. So they used to apply stop works on top grades during the first years...
  14. GeneJockey's Avatar
    Beautiful! My BWR from a few years later (129194) has the barrel bottom machined for Geneva stop works, but doesn't have the 'maltese cross', nor is it drilled and tapped for the screw to hold it.
  15. GeneJockey's Avatar
    Excellent! Restoring a non-runner to life, especially one from before 1870, deserves congratulations!

    I've found myself increasingly drawn to these "pre-Elgin" Elgins. I started out with just one BW Raymond keywind. Next thing I knew, I'd bought a JT Ryerson. Then a WH Ferry movement, and a case to put it in. Now? I've got a GM Wheeler on the bench, waiting for me to fix the barrel hook on the mainspring and deal with its tendency to overbank.

    I love how simple the works are, and I really love being able to get them running accurately - or as accurately as a solid balance watch can run!
  16. pmwas's Avatar
    There are people who can beautifully repair such dials, but if one has a twin dial - I think it's good to replace. But it has to be identical, period correct. I ised white glossy enamel repair, but that turned yellow over time. So I found another way or mixing this enamel repair with transparent epoxy and I'll see how this turns out on my verge watch Of course my ways are far from professional, but looking on some earlier work, I'm getting better
    Updated 06-25-2017 at 04:45 AM by pmwas
  17. kinsler33's Avatar
    Very nice. It's a proud old watch. I'd probably have been a Philistine and polished the case to gleaming, so I admire your discipline.

    Isn't there a way to repair an enamel dial with some sort of miracle wax? I remember reading about that many years ago. Your solution seems best, though.

    M Kinsler
  18. GeneJockey's Avatar
    Another note on your particular 543 - it's from the first year of the Durapower era. Prior to the L-prefix watches, the dial carried only the Star logo. After L series, only the 'dp' logo. That year only, it got both.
  19. pmwas's Avatar
    I happen to have one of these LE (movement only, sadly). I admit the finish is similar (due to lack of damaskeening), butit seems more shiny than the 543. More 'glossy'. The 543 has a matte finish with mirror polished sides. Very nice, BTW (both of them )
  20. GeneJockey's Avatar
    The interesting thing about the finish - brushed bright nickel, rather than damaskeened, is that it reflects the finish used on the 12s 21j 450 Lord Elgin movement. While the 479, 452 G.M. Wheeler, and 451 Lord Elgin movements all had straight-line damaskeening, with mirror-polished/swirled ratchet wheel, the 450 has a brushed finish and the ratchet and crown wheels also brushed.

    I think it was supposed to be more refined, less ostentatious, since Elgin did fancy damaskeening on even their movements. Note that the Hulburd similarly has a satin finish.

    The 17j 542, introduced a the same time as the 543, initially had straight-line damaskeening, but within a year or so had s similar brushed finish to the 543.
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