G’day all, Here’s my little collection of watches. Some are complete, some are not
Some years ago, with saved up birthday and Christmas money, i bought an 1877, key wind, American Watch Co. Full Hunter; Stirling silver English case (that’s a few years older than the workings), engraved balance cock and 9ct gold balance wheel. This is my everyday watch, when it’s not too hot to wear a waistcoat
A Swiss Acurex, 17 jewels, bought for a few dollars from an Op Shop (Ozzie version of a Thrift Store). This has seen service for when the above mentioned temperatures arrive. Unreliable now, so probably needs a service. Not worth paying for one, so will wait until my knowledge and skills are high enough.
A Smiths pocket watch, pin lever, some of the wheels are just stamped out. Bought it a couple of years ago figuring that it might be a, non precious, watch to learn on. Plastic lens was all scuffed. 40mins of sanding and polishing cream fixed that. Balance wheel was sloppy as all else, and my dad said that one of the balance pivots was probably a screw. The one up under the dial was, so I fine tuned it. Within a week it had come loose again, so I put a dot of Lock Tight on the thread, re-fine tuned it, and left the dial off in case of recurrence (the dial’s only held on with bent tabs). Sits on my desk in a wire stand as my desk clock.
Recently my Wife and I found a little shop in a nearby town that has the remains of retired watchmaker’s stock, both working watches and parts ones.
I’ve been raiding his $5 tub. So far I have two fusee works, both missing the balance wheel and pallets, and a couple of other bits on each.
One is by John Anderton of Huddersfield (found him on a list and he had his shop there in the 1820’s), and the other one is R. Cunningham of Liverpool, with an older style of regulator. No dials. Hope to tinker, and make parts and dials for them over time, but even if I can’t get them going, just having watch works that were made 200 years ago, and at $5 each I love hand work and engraving.
The next 4 watches and works, also from the $5 tub, started ticking when given a gentle rock. In fact the first one, the workings of a Lombard Vernon & Co. pocket watch, that were sitting in a zip lock bag, started ticking away when I turned the bag over.
I haven’t been able to find anything so far on the ‘net about them, and the main brass chassis, with the regular ‘works in it, has a white metal 1/2 plate on top with a collection of damaged springs and cams on it. Wondering whether it was a chimer or something. Missing winding stem (and anyway it’s grotty so running it is probably a bad idea in it’s present state). Quite a few jewels.
The Odd Ball watch of the lot: A wind up ‘digital’ pocket watch! I had not seen this sort of thing before (though have now looked them up on the ‘net and seen some Very expensive versions, mostly wrist watches. ‘Liga’ brand, Swiss made. Pin lever. Ticked when rocked in the shop, but wouldn’t wind (no resistance or click). Thought it might be a broken mainspring, but $5 what’s to lose In the car I popped off the back with a screwdriver to find the clickspring rattling around loose. Found where it was supposed to be, fitted it, and, hey presto, winds and runs under certain circumstances. Have largely cleaned it, including the grotty celluloid window, and hope to get it going properly soon. A nice watch to learn on as it doesn’t have as many wheels as a conventional hands watch. Love watching the hour wheel flick over (a pip at the ’30’ position on the Minute dial engages a star wheel under the Hour disk). Have, since the photo, put the front watch case on my lathe and finished it with a fine grit, leaving a nice, subtle, radial polish.
Heuer stop watch. Will run for a few seconds at a time. Very clean inside. No winder or crystal. Missing movement restraining screws (what’s the official name for those?)
Generic Swiss made watch. The hour hand was bent around the minute hand, and once dis-entangled the watch spontaneously ran for a 1/4 Hour. Hour hand didn’t survive No winder, but apart from that, a new crystal and making an hour hand, it may be a goer without much work.
Marathon over. Hope you enjoyed it.