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Elgin Adjustment Numbers

The following is a reproduction of a document used by Elgin in their internal records to describe how a grade of watch was to be adjusted. There is also a web page on the technical details of adjustments.




ADJUSTMENT AND REGULATION

NO. DIAL PENDANT POSITION COMPEN-
SATION
REGULATION
  Seconds Error in 24 Hours Seconds Error in 16 Hours Seconds Error in 24 Hours
1 Up Down Up Right Left 5 5 0 0 or 1 F
2 Up Down Up Right Left 5 5 1 0 or 1 F
3 Up Down Up Right Left 5 5 2 0 or 2 F
4 Up Down Up Right Left 5 5 3 0 or 2 F
5 Up Down Up Right Left 5 5 4 0 or 2 F
6 Up Down Up Right Left 5 5 5 0 or 2 F
7 Up Down Up Right Left 5 10 0 0 or 2 F
8 Up Down Up Right Left 5 10 1 0 or 2 F
9 Up Down Up Right Left 5 10 2 0 or 2 F
10 Up Down Up Right Left 5 10 3 0 or 2 F
11 Up Down Up Right Left 5 10 4 0 or 2 F
12 Up Down Up Right Left 5 10 5 0 or 2 F
13 Up Down Up - - 3 10 3 0 or 2 F
14 Up Down Up - - 3 10 4 0 or 2 F
15 Up Down Up - - 3 10 5 0 or 2 F
16 Up Down Up - - 3 12 5 0 or 2 F
17 Up Down Up - - 3 15 10 0 or 5 F
18 Up Down Up - - 3 15 10 5 F or S
19 Up Down Up - - 3 15 10 10 F or S
20 Up Down - - - 2 15 10 5 F or S
21 Up - Up - - 2 15 8 5 F or S
22 Up - Up - - 2 15 8 10 F or S
23 Up - Up - - 2 15 10 5 F or S
24 Up - Up - - 2 15 10 10 F or S
25 Up - Up - - - - - 5 F or S
26 Up - Up - - - - - 10 F or S
27 Up - Up - - - - - 15 F or S
28 Up - Up - - - - - 20 F or S
29 Up - Up - - - - - 25 F or S
30 Up - Up - - - - - 30 F or S
31 Up - Up - - - - - 40 F or S
32 Up - Up - - - - - 50 F or S
33 Up Down Up Right Left 5 10-3
15-2
3 0 or 2 F

January 1, 1909




Notes (not by Elgin):

  • For the regulation errors, I presume that "0 or 1 F" means that the watch can not run slow, but can run fast by 1 second. Similarly, "10 F or S" means that it can run between 10 seconds fast or slow over 24 hrs.

    No hint as to which position this rating is applied to, or if it must run at this rate in several positions, or if several positions are combined so that errors can cancel out.

  • The "compensation", I presume means temperature, but again, no indication of which positions.

  • Not all these adjustment numbers appear to be used. Most of the really high end RR watches (BWRaymond, Veritas, etc.) use number 10, I haven't seen any that are use lower numbers. Many of the 7j watches use number 32.

  • Adjustment number "34" has been seen in the "master records" for unadjusted wrist watches.


Kent Singer once posted a scan of the Hamilton Watch Company specification for the 950B watch. While it seems very unlikely that Elgin and Hamilton used the exact same criteria, they are probably fairly similar. So, the following table from Hamilton should give some insights about what the above table from Elgin might mean.

The Hamilton 950B specs were:

  • Compensation
    1. 06 seconds maximum variation between 95 deg and 40 deg F.
    2. 24 hours in each temperature.
    3. Dial up position.
  • Positions
    1. 24 hour run for each position before casing.
    2. 06 seconds maximum variation between dial up and dial down.
    3. 10 seconds maximum variation between dial up, dial down, 12 up.
    4. 13 seconds maximum variation between dial up, dial down, 12 up, 3 up, 9 up.
    5. 20 seconds maximum variation between dial up, dial down, 12 up, 3 up, 9 up, 6 up.
  • Rate
    1. Test 5 days for rate only in pendant up position.
    2. Maximum mean variation during consecutive number of days, 05 seconds.
    3. Regulate from 0 to +05 seconds.
  • TIMING LIMITS AFTER MOVEMENT IS CASED
    1. Test rate for 3 days in pendant up position.
    2. Maximum mean variation during consecutive number of days, 05 seconds.
    3. Regulate from 0 to +05 seconds.
    4. Regulator to be moved maximum of 1/2 division either side of center.

While I'm not an expert, I believe the information on this page is correct. Please send suggestions and corrections to the webmaster.
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