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Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Tell Tale Watch

Folks, the Elgin pocket watch pictured above has been sitting in a small jewelry box for at least 6 years, if not more. The glass cover is missing, as is the minute hand. I have never attempted to wind it, and considering its condition, never bothered to open the back cover.
Yesterday, I spent time going through some more "stuff" when I opened the jewelry box and briefly perused its contents. I picked up the watch, looked at the front & back for a few seconds, and just as I was about to put it back...it began ticking. For those that have old watches like this, you know that in a quiet setting, you can hear them from several feet away.
As most older Elgin watches have serial numbers, I opened the back and found serial # 11135411, went to the Elgin website, and discovered this particular timepiece was manufactured in 1905.
Based upon a recent conversation with a local ( Kingston, PA ) jeweler about the practices of old-time watchmakers and repair specialists, I checked the inside of the back case and found, clearly inscribed in letters large enough to read without a magnifying glass:
E. C. Williams

So, this watch belonged to my great-grandfather, Edward Charles Williams, and was (guessing) given to him in 1908 when he was 28 years old. He passed away in 1961. It's been sitting in a box in my garage cabinets for close to six years - unattended - and when I held it in my hands yesterday...it began ticking.

I guess I should mention that I had already arranged to take the other old pocket watches I have to an 80+ year-old watch repairman on Monday. I had not planned to take this watch.

My plans have changed.

As I sit here and proofread this post, my great-grandfather's ~107 year old pocket watch  - unwound for over 6 years - is still ticking.

The Tell Tale Watch from Don Williams on Vimeo.

Have a good weekend. Ignore any ticking noises coming from strange places. 

Then again...

1 comment:

  1. Nice story...I found a old tin that belong to my Gramma Jenkins with some interesting jewelry of her time..I so wish the younger girls could appreciate it as I have no granddaughters to pass it down and neither does my Uncles kids.