Instructions for Setting an Elgin Watch

Written by megan mattingly-arthur
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Instructions for Setting an Elgin Watch
It's simple to set your Elgin wrist or pocket watch. (watch image by Karol Grzegorek from

Founded in 1864 in Elgin, Ill., the Elgin National Watch Company produced high-quality pocket and wrist watches until the company went out of business in 1968. Elgin made its watches using standardised, interchangeable pieces and a mechanised process that was quite advanced for its time. As a result, many of these fine timepieces are still in circulation today. If you're the lucky owner of an Elgin wrist watch or stem set pocket watch, you can set the time and have your watch back on your wrist or in your pocket in under five minutes. For best results, wind your hand-wound or automatic movement watches before setting the time by turning the crown of your watch clockwise approximately 20 full revolutions.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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    Elgin Wrist Watches

  1. 1

    Locate the crown on your Elgin wrist watch and pull it out to the second position so that you can set the time.

  2. 2

    Turn the crown counterclockwise to move the watch hands to the desired time.

  3. 3

    Push the watch crown all the way back in to complete the setting process.

    Elgin Stem Set Pocket Watches

  1. 1

    Pull out the stem on the top of your Elgin pocket watch.

  2. 2

    Rotate the crown clockwise to move the hands to the correct time.

  3. 3

    Push the stem back into the pocket watch to complete the setting.

Tips and warnings

  • It is not necessary to wind Elgin quartz watches before setting the time.
  • Always rotate the crown of your Elgin watch slowly to avoid damaging the watch's mechanisms.
  • Most jewellers recommend that antique lever set Elgin pocket watches be set by a professional. The process requires special tools and may be too difficult for someone with no antique watch repair experience to complete.

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