#4 size watch key not a #4 size watch key ???

Magnum Wheel Man

Registered User
Jan 25, 2012
198
0
0
southern MN
Country
didn't really know where to post this, since the key in question came from G.B., & my Watch is American...

I recently was shopping for a key to fit my old key wind Elgin watch... on my "set" of keys, the #4 key fit, as it was supposed to ( my set of keys was purchased off E-bay, & came from G.B. )... so I reciently bought 2 old keys that also came from G.B. one had a big "4" molded into it... when the keys arrived, I knew without even trying it, that it was too small, after trying, my fears were correct, & the key was too small...

would they have molded in numbers into keys that were not the size for some reason ?? did sizes change over time ?? was there no standardization of the keys ??

these are the keys in question... I just wanted something older than my new key out of my set to attach to a chain...

sorry... can't get pics to upload right now... guess I should have read the red bulletin at the top of the page.:confused:
 

paulabc

Registered User
Sep 28, 2009
79
6
8
I have found that old english watch key sizes are both variable and unrelated to modern watch key sizes, and you just have to try them out. I buy old keys that interest me, and if they happen to fit one of my watches then that is a bonus. Paul
 

DaveyG

Registered User
Mar 21, 2005
2,500
130
63
73
North Wales, UK
Country
I think that most of the modern watch keys that are readily available here in the UK are actually made in India, whether the sizes of these correspond to the much more expensive Swiss made keys (Burgeon) I don't know. It has always seemed to me that the old English key sizing system is a reverse of the modern (or is it continental Europe?) numbering method but I can't substantiate that thought because there are many things which affect the 'sizing' of the old keys, mainly wear on the key itself, but wear of the winding square as well. I have a card of 'new old stock' English keys still sewn to the card on which they were delivered to the retailer, the keys are not numbered and are all slightly different sizes. Many really old English watches have the handmade winding square tapered so that a variety of key sizes will work and the key size used is determined by the hand set square.

It is a case, as Paulabc says, of trial and error.
 

jfl

Registered User
NAWCC Member
May 1, 2006
85
0
6
It is my experience that English watch keys are numbered backwards from American thus the differrences in size. JFL
 
Our 2021 National Meeting in Hampton Roads Virginia
Topic related ad experiment
Know Your NAWCC Forums Rules!
RULES & GUIDELINES

Find member

Forum statistics

Threads
160,739
Messages
1,394,852
Members
82,828
Latest member
iandb
Encyclopedia Pages
1,099
Total wiki contributions
2,778
Last edit
Beat Setting 101 by Tom McIntyre