Home / Analysis / Elgin 18-Size Balance Wheel Comparison: Model 5 vs. Model 8 (“Veritas Model”)

Elgin 18-Size Balance Wheel Comparison: Model 5 vs. Model 8 (“Veritas Model”)


When the new “Veritas Model” was introduced in 1901, the Elgin National Watch Company boasted about the “extra heavy balance wheel” driven by a mainspring one-third wider and fifty-percent longer than other watches of the same size.

So, how much heavier is the balance wheel of the “Veritas Model” compared to the balance wheel fitted on older 18-Size models offered by the company? A weight comparison between the Grade 166 (Model 5) and the Grade 239 (Model 8) reveals that the balance wheel from the Veritas Model is approximately 27.4% heavier than the Model 5 generation. The entirety of the balance, hairspring, staff, and roller weighs in at 0.79 grams.

Pictured: [Left] Balance Wheel from Elgin No. 166 – 18-Size, Model 5, 17 Jewels, c.1896, Serial No. 6480247 and [Right] Balance Wheel from Elgin No. 239 Veritas – 18-Size, Model 8, 21 Jewels, c.1902, Serial No. 9348026

While each balance is characterized by a slightly different weight, this comparison exhibits the significant difference, requiring a more powerful mainspring. The extra mass results in a balance that is less susceptible to the vibrations frequently encountered during railroad service.

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