Watchmaking Tools, Tips and Artifacts of Note

Here we see a selection of interesting watchmakers tools and other items. Some of these are antiques (the artifacts), some are just of general interest (the tools) and some are things I've found to be handy in the shop (the tips).

This first item is a promotional tool, probably given as a premium by the watch manufacturer. It is also very handy. The tool fits over the finger and provides a steel tip which can be used to hold things down or otherwise hold things that are small, or that shouldn't be touched by bare fingers. Perhaps the old methods are not always better, but they are always interesting.

I believe the original purpose of this tools is in letting down mainstrings, allowing the click to be held back with the same hand as is holding the movement. The tool is marked "Illinois Watch Company".

Not long ago at a garage sale I found a large box of what seemed to be samples from a manufacturer of some sort. There were thick tile of exotic wood and stone of many different colors and patterns. I bought three or four and find them quite useful in the shop whenever a hard, flat, clean and smooth surface is needed.

These look like something one might find in a kitchen but perhaps missing their bottoms. Actually, the two at the left are antiques from a 100 year old shop with a connection to my family. They are made to cover watch works in progress and parts, to keep dust out. And here's a tip - on the right is a wine glass with it's base broken off. It does this job nicely.

I bought this at a hardware store. It fits over the ear and has a bright LED light on a flexible stem. It's meant to light things further in front of the wearer, but it can be adjusted to point inward to close up work providing a nice spot of extra bright light. Although flexible, the stem with the light is not very long, I wish it was longer. For me, it just barely works out. It's marked "Nebo".

Here's a gem. This belonged to my Grandfather. It's a large scale, plastic model of a balance staff including a number of interchangable pivots and balance hole and cap jewels. It is intended as an aid in showing a custumer what is wrong with their watch.

The interchangable pivots include a bent one, one worn to a tapper, a broken one, etc. The jewels likewise include holes and caps worn in all the various common ways.

More? There's a few more items over at the Elgin Time watch blog.
* Take a look at this crown chuck

* 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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