- Jul 20, 2018
Nice Elgin with Winding Indicator.I like these RR watches with wind indicators, but I guess it was just a gimcrack that had its day in the sun and then was retired by watch manufacturers. The wind indicator never figured into guidelines issued by the railroads, did it?
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The idea of the WI was, that if properly zeroed & the watch was re-wound daily around the same time, then the mainspring's power curve could be taken advantage of in its flattest range. That would result in better time-keeping.
But since Railroad Grade watches absent the WI feature met the 30 sec./wk. standard, with trainmen already paying extra for a standard watch, they weren't inclined to pay even more on top of that for the WI feature as well. The additional precision wasn't worth it to them, is my understanding. A plain standard watch was already plenty expensive enough for most trainmen to buy. Of course there were always trainmen who desired "all the bells & whistles", but I suspect that most WI's were acquired by better paid railroad personnel (supervisory/managerial levels) as well as by "civilians" who just liked watches (like me!).
I vaguely recall seeing some RR guidelines which mentioned watches with the WI feature in passing. As far as I'm aware the inspectors accepted WI's but no line ever mandated that feature. Other members here are far more knowledgeable in that regard & I'd certainly appreciate hearing from them.