If there is one American watch maker that deserves the term "iconic" attached to its name it is arguably Elgin. This great company made over 50 million pocket and wristwatches during the 100 years it was in business. Elgin never made the finest American watches nor the worst ones either. It delivered a solid product from its B. W. Raymond railroad models to its 7 jewel entry level pieces.
And if there was ever a "typical" Elgin movement it was this 16S Grade 313. Elgin made 524,000 of the Grade 313s between 1903 and 1935 - serving countless happy Elgin owners over a 32 year period and longer. The 16S size 3/4 plate model was made in various jewel configurations and this one has 15 - a very nice watch in 1910. It's in a lovely gold filled half hunter case with a hinged back and dust cover. Looking at the dial you can see the modern branding emerging for Elgin - no more "Elgin National Watch Company" or Art Nouveau script lettering - just "Elgin." Arabic numerals and a minute dial printed in red complete the picture.
This is one of the real prizes in my collection thanks to its well preserved case and excellent performance. When I purchased it about 10 years ago, my friend the watchmaker told me he could make it run OK but to be like new it really should have a new pallet assembly.
"Well is that easy to get?"
"No I don't think so. I have a fine looking Waltham RR grade here I don't think I can fix. The owner hasn't been able to source a new pallet either and he's been looking for a donor watch for months."
So I was tasked with finding a tiny pallet fork:
  • for a watch that was 94 years old.
  • for a model that hadn't been made in 70 years.
  • from a company that had been out of business for 40 years and probably hadn't made the part in 60 years.

Not exactly like getting a replacement part for your 2824-2 auto. However two things helped me:
  • The Internet. I was able to find an online watch parts supply company that still had a list of Elgin parts.
  • The middle class movement. The fact that Elgin made so may of these 16S Grade 313s meant they made a ton of replacement parts. The pallet assembly was a simple single roller type used in many of Elgin's 16S movements. Unlike the Waltham RR watch which had a sophisticated double roller pallet lever, my Elgin was almost pathetically commonplace.

To make a long story short, I got the pallet assembly, my watchmaker fitted it, and the watch looks and runs like new today. The company I got the pallet fork from is no longer in business so I take it very easy winding and running this ancient Elgin.