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Posts posted by saswatch88

  1. Thanks for the info [mention=5720]saswatch88[/mention]. Would you explain what you mean by this -- stretching out the small tube on the hand? 

    Forgive me if this is a stupid question; I'm a complete newbie, and basic tools and techniques are unfamiliar to me.
    I've ordered a Bergeon 30464 and a quality digital caliper, so I should be squared away for measurement.
    I will be buying a mishmash of old pocket watch hands, as they're the most cost-effective way of obtaining steel hands for bluing practice. I plan on measuring those hands to see whether I can find any matching sets that fit currently-available wristwatch movements, both in diameter and length. If it's possible to expand or contract a hand diameter using affordable tools, I'll be ecstatic.
    All the best,

    Bergeon makes sets of cutting broaches. They are 5 sets for different size ranges. They are expensive but cheap broaches dont work well. Look for a used vintage assortment. A hand holder is needed as well. The broaches will cut some of the metal off inside of the tube expanding it. Just be careful when using them I usually only do maybe one or two twists and rechecking fitment. You can very easily cut too much off.9ecc58eef379eecd18a34be6b4621d3e.jpg

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  2. Anything could be cleaned in an ultra sonic with correct solution, i have never cleaned glass crystals though unless i polished them and i want to remove rouge. Mainsprings should be uncoiled. I would assume the cleaner she is using for the jewelry would be specific for precious metals and stones and is not the best choice for a watch parts but will be good for cases and crystals. You should get your own solution which is fairly inexpensive. Naphtha from a hardware store for cleaning and 99% isopropyl alcohol for rinse can be hard to get, but 91% is just fine. Dont rinse pallets or balance wheels in the IPA. A quick dip and a quick dry with compressed air would suffice. You don’t want that shellac to come loose



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  3. it seems like the spring is way to weak....a spring with correct strength for the barrel should be sitting a lot closer to the barrel wall, and the bridal should have more curvature to it which also not helping with the situation, so i would get a pair of round shank beading pliers and curve the bridle a bit more then see if it slips.

  4. 17 minutes ago, rodabod said:

    I have to agree with JohnR in principal here. It's not typical for a movement (especially a quality movement like that) to encounter a terrible error like that. Escapements like these are designed to be isochronous to the extent that they should not vary considerably in rate with the amount of energy that is transferred into them, unless they are driven into banking. I exercise most days and I've never encountered any of my watches doing anything like that. Maybe I've been lucky.


    The movement is a much older eta, so it could very well need a cleaning, the hairspring could be sticking like NUCE said causing the dramatic increase in rate.

  5. 8 hours ago, VWatchie said:

    So, I have two questions:
    a) Why does my watch start to rush when I work out, swinging my arms, and
    b) Is there anything that can be done to fix it?

    A: because laws of physics do exist inside of a watch escapement. Vigorous movement will add force to the balance wheel, causing it to store more energy and run faster. The amount of energy stored will depend on the duration of the activity...and that will determine how long it takes for the additional force to be expensed and return back to normal rate.

    B: nothing you can do its the laws of physics at work.

  6. 11 hours ago, JohnR725 said:


    Mainspring ordering for American pocket watches then things get really interesting. All the measurements typically get used inches universally for the length. Width and strength either metric or Dennison or both. Depending upon whose system was used to package up the mainspring they will have different numbers versus the factory numbers. Then companies like Elgin  if you look up their part number  it will usually tell you the strength but  in inches..

    American pocket watches use Dennison measurements, other companies who make Mainspring like Samson for example will use both measurements on their packages

  7. Interestingly, those two seem to disagree... The first excerpted image states a width of 1.90mm, and the second says 10 Dennison. 
    I ordered:
    Metric Width: 1.9 mm, Metric Strength: 0.09 mm, Length in Inches: 12.5
    Dennison Width: 9, Dennison Strength: 12
    Note the 1.90mm width and the Dennison Width of 9... 
    Similarly, one states 0.095mm strength, the other 12 Dennison, and the spring I ordered is 0.09mm and also 12 Dennison... 
    Meanwhile, I can't find a chart showing direct correlation between Dennison and mm... What's up with this Dennison scale?
    They also disagree with Ranfft at 1.80 x 9.0 x 0.09 x 315mm...
    Regardless, pretty sure I got the right spring. When it shows up, I'll get the little guy back together and report back.
    Additionally, the J.Borel page is probably the first thing outside of Ranfft I've seen on this movement. Watchguy doesn't have anything for this movement either.

    You definitely ordered the correct mean spring. I always go by ranfft whenever or wherever i can. It is common to see springs with same height and length but different strengths for same caliber movement. A spring for 7 jewel will be stronger than a spring for 15 jewel, and 15 jewel stronger than 17 jewel, if the particular movement caliber is offered in different grades. I have never heard of a main spring with different heights. Height 10 vs height 9 could mean a world of difference in some barrels but none in others so it could be possible.

    You can find a conversion chart on the net. Its all based on region when it comes to movements and parts. Iam usa so i always go by dennison.

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  8. I've heard that the current ones don't work with smaller canon pinions, which is a shame. I have a couple of the same tool made by K&D which were probably 20 years old when I got them 20 years ago, and work with the smallest canon pinions you can imagine (like LeCoultre 101 small). I would suggest looking for some vintage ones.

    I had an extra one i just sold on the bay for $62 they can be pricey for the very reason you mentioned. I was lucky to get one at bid for $27. But its worth every penny even at $60-$70. All you need is one for any type of movement and it will last you forever. Sometimes if you search vintage watchmakers Tool lot on ebay you can get one as a part of a lot for about the same price for one by itself. Then just sell the other tools

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  9. Thanks guys.
    From what you're saying I'm guessing that there isn't a tool or Presto tool specifically made for cannon pinions smaller than 1mm.
    Pin vice sounds good. I came across pin tongs with slide locking. I like the idea of the slide and hopefully they would have a good grip.
    I'll wait for a few days before I order them in case anyone knows of a specific tool or perhaps a collet that would fit the Bergeon cannon pinion remover.

    Yes there is a tool that will fit see pictures 4d8adb20073e8ec929938eb9b1aa4b76.jpg

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  10. OK! Long day out in the canyon with a pickaxe, shovel, and pry bar slingin' dirt and rocks, and I'm beat... Muscle fatigue is bad for steady hands...

    I unscrewed the hairspring stud screw, and the stud is really stuck in there... I could not get it out, and didn't want to risk damage to the hairspring. I was able to sight the impulse jewel between the banking pins, and it's clearly off to one side. I was not able to see any marks on the balance staff though, and I figure I'm going to leave it alone for now. There will be future opportunities with much more significant beat error with which to acquire this skill.

    I measured out the mainspring, and we have a winner! 1.75mm X 0.11mm X ~265mm

    GR5499 works out to 1.90 x .095 x 320 x 10 (what's the 10? Standard hook end?)

    ranfft has 1.80 x 9.0 x 0.09 x 315mm (what's the deal with two middle numbers?) 

    GR5231 looks like another viable option at 1.8 X 9.0 X 280 X 8 (what's the 8?) for a slightly decreased power reserve, but closer overall

    So, the mainspring that came with the watch is between 3 and 5 strengths too strong, it's 1-3 sizes too narrow, and 50-55mm short. All manner of wrong.

    you want to get exactly what is on ranfft. Especially the height and length. That is very important since the main spring cannot take up more than half of the radius inside the barrel and if the height is too high you won’t be able to close the barrel lid Or have very high friction and rubbing which will give you very low amplitude. Strength You should get the exact number but if it’s .05 off then I think you will be OK but you really should get the exact spring and I’m sure you can find it somewhere.


    Ranfft uses metric sizes height x strength x length

    1.8mm height the 9.0 is height size in dennison measurement. The .09 is strength which is a 12 in dennison and length is 315mm which is about 12 1/2” dennison size.


    So metric = 1.8 x .09 x 315

    Dennison = 9 x 12 x 12 1/2


    The 8 at the end of the one GR I believe is the barrel size. I don’t worry about that since you already have the exact measurements of the spring that should be in the Barrel.



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  11. Certainly no harm in looking at banking pins and pallet jewels, but I would change other things first.
    As a relative novice I am always conscious of limited time (and budget) and the need to focus on the low risk / high return actions first. If the pallet jewels are out of position, I would buy a replacement and swap it before trying to reset the stones.

    I agree as a novice I would do the same thing I would just find a donor movement and replace parts as needed. In this particular case he may not be able to find a suitable donor. Eventually he’s going to have to learn either way because for example I work a lot on Waltham Elgin movements and sometimes I get a movement that is a very high grade and I can’t use parts from a lower grade so I am left with no choice but to deal with what I have in front of me and I’m sure the OP will find himself in similar situations in the future. But he should definitely still try to diagnose the problem at least then if you can find a replacement part then great. But the point is just diagnosed the problem. Diagnosing is where the experience comes from Sexting with a solution comes later

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  12. I have been doing a simple hand wash with naptha and some tooth picks as it seems many of the people starting out do. I can't find any evidence of debris, and these were relatively clean movements to begin with. I haven't ventured into oils yet. From what I gather online, they should run decently clean without oil, provided I put them together correctly. Of course I wouldn't start wearing them until I get the oils in there.  Thanks for your detailed explanation of placing the balance assembly. It is not a far fetched idea that at some point earlier on I ever slightly bent the balance staff. I've been messing with these movements since I first started taking apart watches and my hands were not nearly as gentle as they are now.  I'll have to try and find some donors.


    Wow! Your not oiling them?! That’s your issue. Believe it or not by cleaning it and not oiling it it’s better off the way it was before. Ok a dry watch can run....but it will NOT run well and it will surely wear down pivots and pinions quicker than you can imagine. You can do a soap water with brush rinse than a naptha soak for about 12 hours. Then a 91% isopropyl alcohol bath for about 5 min. You can get The alcohol at any pharmacy. Do not put the balance or the pallet in the alcohol. But you really do need to get yourself some oil do not buy the cheap stuff I would say the cheapest that you could buy that would be”OK” to use is moebius 8000, Its about $10. a $4 oiler small and one medium.....for future you start of with synthetics moebius 9010 for high friction areas, moebius HP 1300 for low friction and molykote grease for high torque areas and keyless works total for these 3 will be about $70 shipped from esslinger. These oils will last you a very very long time. Some say these have a shelflife but since they are synthetic they will last much longer. I know some people that are still using Elgin 56 synthetics from the 1950s. If you don’t start oiling your movements you are always going to have problems Even if you handled the balance correctly.

    Do not use toothpicks use pegwood


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  13. 5 minutes ago, Klassiker said:

    I agree. The methods suggested to correct the beat error are all high-risk for a non-expert, especially without the correct tools. I would leave it alone for the time being and concentrate on measures to reduce amplitude, and maybe coincidentally help with other problems you are seeing (poor isochronism, uneven traces)

    It is high risk but we should encourage him to learn how to work on the escapement. It’s risky I know I have been there I was always so nervous to mess with balance or escapement but I finally got tired of not doing things right and I got the tools and learned. Many more running movements in my drawers now. 

  14. 1 hour ago, spectre6000 said:

    Oh. Interesting thought. 


    The movement shows up on ranfft as being 17 jewels, and no doubt later (I'm assuming later...) versions were. Mine is only 16 jewels. Mayhap that's part of the problem. It's only one jewel, and in about the lowest impact location it can be, but it's not nothing.

    Prior to service, I put it on the timegrapher, but didn't pay that close attention. It was running only in a binary sense (1/0 or True/False; no quality dimension implied). I think amplitude was on the order of 180°, rate was way off, but I don't recall how far or in what direction. 

    I will definitely investigate what I have before I order anything. If it's to the spec I have (from ranfft, which is the only place I've seen anything remotely technical about the movement online), then I'll have to adjust. If it's not, then I have a spec to work with.

    I dont think 1 jewel will make the amp go up that high but it is possible. The strength difference would prob be .01 greater so if your original MS is too spec then maybe try going .01 less in strength, again this is a band aid solution, if it is one at all....personally i would check the escapement. It is a good learning experience...i use to have tons of issues with balance and escapement then i purchased Fried’s book “the watch escapement” which is very good at learning how to diagnose issues and remedy them, some of the practices are old school but the overall principles remain the same...i also purchased the tools needed, staking set, roller removers, collet removers, tuning fork, shellac, pallet warmer, etc. One thing i have not done yet is adjust HS length and vibrate them....it really is tedious work that keeps you tight in the shoulders, i just cant do it but, hairsprings can always be measured purchased, although quite difficult but math is easier than sitting their sweating trying to attach a stud to the HS.

    but either way now that i can identify escapement issues i see past repairs done poorly in these older movements more often than not....banking pins and pallet jewels being number 1 on the list....the movement has screw type banking pins so they will be easy to adjust, get a very strong magnifier or loupe like 5-10x and observe the drop and lock. The escape tooth needs to travel about 2/3rds of the way across the surface of the pallet jewel, tooth short escapement will lock to far and overbanking will occur. It doesn’t seem to have done this before but a through cleaning and possible over-oiling or not using correct oils could have caused it, or if you cleaned the pallet in alcohol the pallet jewels could have moved out of position.

  15. 5 hours ago, spectre6000 said:

    If there's a method within my current means to address the beat error, I'd love to hear it. If I can make it 0mS, that'd be great. I think at 3.8mS, it's within spec and reason (I'm guessing that's in the neighborhood of 5mS, but that's not based on much and I'm happy to be corrected) for what this watch is, so it's not my primary concern. Definitely all ears though. I'm here to learn.

    The primary concern is the rebanking issue.

    Yes you would remove HS collect for beat error but the high amplitude and knocking must be addressed first. You would have the remove the HS collet but there is a tool called a “tuning fork” which can be used to rotate the collet without removal. Vintage ones can be found on eBay I have one i can post a pic when i get back to my office.....as far white alloy springs go YES they are matched but they just deliver force more consistently for a longer period of time opposed to blue steel as far as how weak you should go its just a guess.....again 80 year old movement some one could have used wrong MS at some point.....what were the readings prior to you cleaning and reassembling? Some times people will use a mainspring used for a 7 jewel on a 15 or 17 jewel....not sure how this caliber was configured but i have seen it a lot in the Elgin’s  and Waltham’s.

  16. 1 hour ago, spectre6000 said:

    Before I serviced it (if that's the right word for what I've done to this point), it was a classic "needs service" movement. It kinda ran for a short while and stopped. I didn't write it down, but amplitude was maybe something like 180°, and rate was way off. 

    The balance stud is not adjustable on this watch. I expect that adjusting it means rotating the collet on the balance staff slightly. I don't have a set of hand levers that small, nor do I have anything with which to get it back on the balance staff.

    Not bandaid:

    Whether or not replacing a hairspring is possible is beside the point, because it's also not the problem and just another bandaid. The rebanking issue seems to be a problem primarily at full wind. This watch has an old style, coiled main spring, and that rebank suggests that it's delivering more force per impulse than the balance will suffer. 340° amplitude is way more than is necessary. I don't know the service history of this watch at all, but it's had 80 years to accumulate error. Another mainspring consideration is the rate difference between full wind and half wind as observed. Looking at the first two timegrapher images I posted, the first half wind state image shows an error rate of +2S/d, while the second full wind state shows +34S/d. That's 32S/d deviation in isochronism. That's poor. A modern S-shaped mainspring in a modern alloy exists as it does to flatten the isochronsim curve. If I replace the existing coil-shaped mainspring with an s-shaped mainspring, I solve (or at least mitigate) that problem. The other part of that solution, however, needs to address the strength of the mainspring. The alloys are different, and so is the spring constant of a given thickness of spring. I know the s-shaped springs flatten the curve, but I don't know if they shift it. If anyone can point me at how to translate between the two, I guess I need to order a crystal as well, so I might as well get a new mainspring.


    The bandaid option is to reduce the amount of force that makes it from the spring to the balance. I don't know by how much, because who knows how far it would go past rebank given the chance. The simplest method, that probably also brings it back to its original service recommendation (I never did find a service sheet for this movement), and oil the balance pivots. I think I'd probably do the most easily accessible one first (easiest to undo should I need to), then the more difficult one. Then clean and change pivot oiling from 9010 to 9104 down the line toward the balance. Alternatively, 9104 on the balance pivots themselves would probably do the same, but I feel like the degradation will have an effect far sooner and more noticeably in the location....

    These are designed and managed by power delivered from a blue alloy spring which will not deliver force as consistent as an alloy spring because it takes shape of a coil rather quickly and a white alloy does not. This is part of the reason why knocking is common in these older movements.....normally you get the exact size and strength but in your case your best bandaid option is a weaker alloy spring since we wont be changing the hairspring.....at this point regulating the watch is not going to help you much but after looking up this movement it does seem to have an ad adjustment lever on the balance cock. Turning the HS collet will just adjust the position of the impulse jewel, the length of the HS is where the adjustment should be made.

  17. 8 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

    If it was an American pocket watch typically you could get a new hairspring and then you can play with timing screws and bring it into time if that was the problem with this watch. Or somebody could learn how to vibrated new hairspring but if that's not the problem I was just trying to figure out why you wanted to change the hairspring.

    One of the problems with this question is it's a misleading question. Rather than saying my Watch is doing this what ideas Do you have instead it's a suggestion of I have a problem and I think this is the problem and it becomes misleading hard to answer a question like this if it's a question at all.

    rather than replacing the hairspring what about a balance complete? This is an older watch the balance staff pivots are probably getting worn and replacing the staff would be an option if you're having timing issues but if you can't fix the beat then you probably can't change the staff so the balance complete might be an solution if you could find one.

    Then what tools do you perceive your missing that's preventing you from adjusting the beat and perhaps we can suggest alternatives?

    Little background history what was the watch doing before you serviced it and did you change the mainspring were clean the mainspring?


    If balance was changed i would get a new HS as well but in most cases isn’t the answer alone.....yes i do believe they come complete. They also come complete for the American watches as too but hard to find. If he doesn’t have the tools to regulate (which iam sure the OP does and just doesn’t know it) then iam sure he would not have a staking set with correct K&D 50/51 staff remover to remove and fit a new balance staff

  18. 9 hours ago, spectre6000 said:

    What made me think sticking is that it was slightly magnetized before I started, and the hair spring was a bit sticky due to old/spoiled cleaning solution. I demagnetized it, but thought there could still be a hint of polar alignment left causing problems. I also cleaned it again with fresh cleaning solution, but thought there could still be some residual (whatever was making it sticky in the first place). 

    I think the over banking idea rings pretty well. There's less friction on the pivots in the DU/DD positions, so it makes sense there would be extra rotation in those positions. I don't know how to confirm it yet though...

    Sticking or magnetized hairspring would yield a much lower amp than 336. And your watch would run very fast. Which it is but with high amplitude aka (knocking) however on the verticals positions it will be lower just because of gravity and increased friction. 

    this is an older movement so it could be that at some point someone made adjustments to the banking pins and did not adjust the depth of the pallet jewels. You need to check your drop and lock in the escapement and make adjustments there. A new hairspring could be the answer bust most often is not. There other ways to fix this but they are not recommended but would just be putting a band aid on it so iam not going to make those suggestions.

    Older movements can be a pain to diagnose because gold knows ho many people had their hands on it the last 80 years not mention those that had no clue what they were doing......

    Also did you put a new mainspring in it?

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