Making the Elgin Grade 315

The Elgin grade 315 watch is a 15 jewel, 12 size pocketwatch. This one is serial number 28563994, made in 1925. Including the "peacock" style dial and a 14k white gold Elgin Giant case. This size watch was extremely popular in the 1920s and into the 1930s, even as wristwatches began to catch on. Elgin made an awful lot of these sized watches in various grades, right up into the 1960s.

Let's take it apart...

The case is is good condition. It's engraved with the initials "MSG" on the back.

This is an unusual swing-out case. It has two hings, one opening the front and one allowing the movement to swing out of the back. The 12 size watches from this era are almost always in three part cases, threaded front and back. Swing out cases are more commonly found on older and larger watches.

Two case screws hold the movement.

Here the hands and dial are removed showing the keyless works. The minute wheel has been set off to the side. All these various parts get removed for cleaning.

The movement from the top showing the micro-regulator and exposed main and rachet wheels.

Here's a detail of of the escapement area, the balance bridge and balance being removed.

here the pallet fork and its bridge have been removed.

Here's the pallet fork itself. This watch has a swiss style lever escapement which was already the type used almost exclusively by this time. This is the core or the basic design of virtually all machanical watches today.

The geometry of the escapement, including the angles of the faces of the pallet stones and the teeth of the escape wheel and the depth and degree of motion of the fork represent and astounding coincidence of geometry. It's exact mechanics are quite complex. The "ticking" of a watch is actually composed of the sound of 6 to 8 different impacts in each cycle of the ecsapement.

The parts in a watch like this were made to tolerances of a very few 1/1000s of an inch.

And continuing, the exposed wheels, and the various upper bridges are removed.

Here is the lower plate with only the winding arbor, sleeve and clutch, along with the third, forth and escape wheels in place.

This grade watch breaks down to about 50 parts, counting about 18 screws.

* Back to the Elgin Virtual Museum
* More About Elgin Watches
The Elgin National Watch Company and other information
* Elgin watches restored, cleaned and serviced
Regarding the care and cleaning of pocketwatches
* Elgin watch mini-FAQ
Frequently asked questions

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