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  1. You guys are just awesome, as always! Thank you so much for the prompt, descriptive, and authoritative replies. I really appreciate it! Sometimes something that is seemingly so basic and obvious to the experienced is nevertheless a mystery to someone doing it for the first time. One thing I love about this forum is there are no stupid questions and no toxic replies. At least not that I have seen. Many if not most of the professional forums on the internet (e.g. database administration; my profession) have become a place where the blind lead the blind and are filled with toxic characters who are in it apparently for their own self-aggrandizement. Thank you all for making and keeping this forum a place that is aggravation-free. I sense a friendly, helpful group and I appreciate it. It's nice for a change. Loren Sorensen
  2. Folks, I'm a newbie working on my first pocket watch and I can't seem to find anything here in the forum or in Youtube videos that states/shows with authority which side of the train jewels gets oiled. This translates basically to: assembled or unassembled? Does the oil go on the "working" side of the jewel where the wheel shaft is inserted as you are assembling the train or do you wait until the train is fully assembled with the bridge in place and oil it from the "bottom", where you can see the tip of the wheel shaft poking through? Thanks!
  3. Just as a follow-up... a tiny tiny stiff brush, acetone, and a lot of patience did the trick. I did NOT soak anything. This was just spot cleaning where the old oils had turned to a hard, varnish-like finish. Thanks again for all you input.
  4. I'm new to this, so my "collection" is small. First the silver "Chronometre Jupiter" pocket watch I picked up while on vacation in Rome last month and about which I can find almost no information. This is currently disassembled and cleaned but waiting on additional tools and supplies to be oiled and reassembled. I have now officially spent more on tools than I did on the watch. Apparently a well known occupational hazard for watch enthusiasts. I have a circa 1960 Benrus wristwatch I acquired for its sentimental value. One nearly identical was my first, gifted to me by a beloved Uncle, when I was maybe 10-11 years old. Lastly (for now at least), another wristwatch having a Swiss hand-winding movement, identified as by Fontainemelon, which is reportedly working well. The movement is protected by an inner hinged cover which has an inscription, 'To Dick from Cecil, Xmas 1923'. Coming to me from the Worcestershire area of the UK. I can't help wondering who Dick and Cecil were that they made it through The Great War alive. Possibly too young or too old to fight. Hopefully a larger collection in the future but for now I'm enjoying my new hobby.
  5. Mine, a Prime computer at the community college I attended, all done with punch cards. A lot of work just to get the sum of all prime numbers between 1 and 100. :-)
  6. Thanks for the advice, Folks, and also the warning about the pallet jewels. I knew that but it never hurts to be reminded. This is not really a crisis. I'm sure everything would be fine with no further cleaning beyond what I've done already. I was just thinking as long as I have it apart if I could spruce it up a little more, why not. As always, I appreciate your input. Loren
  7. Indeed. That's the one. They were an unlikely pair, I must say. For both of them I admire the fact that it's not just about keeping time, but keeping time with elegance. Having said that, I knew their watches would be expensive but had no idea just how expensive. Yikes! :-)
  8. Sorry. I know this has been covered before, probably multiple times, but I can't find it. I have an old pocket watch I'm restoring. I have it all apart now, and it appears to me it has rarely if ever been thoroughly cleaned. There are areas where the old lubricants have turned to a hard finish, almost like varnish or lacquer. I have tried lighter fluid and alcohol, and it doesn't touch it. I'm wondering what the community would recommend that would dissolve it without damaging the pieces. Thanks!
  9. Thank you for the reply, Colditz. I appreciate the link. I actually watched a very interesting biography of his life, and the training of his apprentice, on TV last night. Fascinating genius. Maybe not the nicest person (arrogant, abrasive). But clearly the grand master of watchmakers. Imagine making those beautiful watches... EVERY single piece... with your own two hands. Unbelievable.
  10. Thank you, Everyone, for your helpful comments and advice to this beginner. I really appreciate it. Unfortunately, that screw refuses to budge, so in spite of warnings to the contrary, I took the advice of vinn3 and applied the tiniest drop of penetrating oil to it on the end of a toothpick. I will let that sit for a day and try it again. About choosing a different watch as my first project... I hear ya. I paid $120 USD for it in a tiny little shop in Naples, Italy. It runs... I would not have bought it otherwise... but later found that it gains 1-2 hours per day. So my thought process is this: It's pretty useless if it doesn't keep time, so it's pretty hard to make it any worse than it is. I'm not going to pay someone else hundreds of dollars to maybe fix it... where's the fun in that? So I can use it as a learning tool, and maybe... maybe... fix it myself. We'll see. I'm in no hurry so I will take my time, and apparently I have a world of knowledge and advice at my finger tips here. Thanks again for all the responses! Loren
  11. I am new to this hobby. Like... just-started-yesterday new... and right away I'm at a dead stop. I can't get the movement out of the case. My pocket watch I picked up while on vacation in Naples, Italy, last month. The face is marked "Chronometre Jupiter". I know literally nothing (but would like to) about its age, origin, or history. I am following what I saw/learned observing 20 or more YouTube videos about tearing down a watch. I took the front off. Turned it over and removed two screws holding it in the case. Pulled the winding stem out to the time set position. The movement comes out of the case, tightly, with difficulty, at an angle to the case, as shown in the YT videos. However at this point it all comes to a stop: The movement will not release from the winding stem, no matter how I turn the knob or pull on the movement. It won't let go. In every video I've watched, at this point, the movement literally FALLS out of the case. So I am wondering what to do next. Is it possible there is a screw buried somewhere internally that has to be removed first? Has anyone heard of such a thing? I don't want to pull on it any harder than I have for fear of seriously breaking something. Any thoughts on what might be the issue?
  12. I am a soon-to-be 70 year old computer programmer, retiring soon. Enjoyed my career immensely but I'm done. The millenials can have it now. Though I have never even taken the back off a watch before yesterday, I think I am fascinated by the same complexity and order present inside a watch that kept me interested in my programming career all these years. I have a newly acquired book to learn from (Maintaining and Repairing Mechanical Watches: A Practical Guide, Wiles, Mark W.) and a pocket watch (Chronometre Jupiter) I picked up while on vacation in a little shop in Naples, Italy, to start working on. Between these and the folks on this forum I hope to learn what makes this baby tick and how to improve the accuracy of the time it keeps (right now it gains a couple hours a day).
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