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Posts posted by Bill3

  1. I am working on an Eterna wristwatch and accidentally unscrewed the bolt that holds the setting lever in place.  I have been struggling for about three weeks now to reinstall the setting lever.  I would REALLY appreciate any and all help.  The problem can be divided into two parts.

    1.  How to orient the setting lever into the proper position.

    2.  How to hold the setting lever in that position while I turn the movement to the point that I can get to the screw with a screwdriver.  
    I have tried using Rodico, but that failed miserably and left me with hours of work removing shreds of Rodico.  

    I have attached two pictures, one without the setting lever and the other with the setting lever in place (perhaps not oriented properly).

    The screwdriver points to the place where the setting lever goes.

    As stated above all help will be deeply appreciated.







  2. I am sure that you are right, making a new balance staff is the "technically perfect" way to do this repair.  However, that is beyond my modest ability.  I have a lathe and do easy  things like repivot a clock spindal, but I have never made a balance staff.  I am leaning towards the super glue solution.  

    Thanks to all who have participated in this discussion.

    Bill H. 

  3. This is an update on my missing roller jewel.  I had already looked for the roller jewel in the rinse solution, but looked for the first time on the drying rack.  AND THERE IT WAS!  It was still mounted in the roller table.  See the picture below.  Now I have two new problems; how to make the roller table to stay on and how to orient it so that it interacts with the pallet fork in the appropriate manner.

    Many thanks to all who have responded to my plea for help.  Every response was helpful.

    Bill H.




  4. I am working on an Elgin pocket watch grade 312.  It was an estate sale purchase and was not running when purchased.  I assumed that it was not running because it was very dirty and thought cleaning would solve all the problems.  I completely disassembled it and ran it through an ultrasound cleaner and rinse. It came out bright and shiny and when I started to reassemble for the first time I saw that there was NO roller jewel!  
    So, what now? Can the roller jewel be replaced by a person with very modest ability?  I am including two pictures of the balance and roller plate.  I do not see any sign of where it was attached.  
    Thanks in advance for any guidance.  
    Bill H.



    • Confused 1
  5. I have a nice looking 17 jewel, Swiss made Wittnauer watch.  After opening it I found that the balance wheel wobbles.  It appears that one pivot on the balance wheel staff is broken.  

    My question is, can I buy parts to repair this? If so, where?  Do you suggest that I try to buy a balance staff, or a “balance wheel complete”?

    Is it likely that an amateur with a few basic tools can repair this watch? 

    Thank you in advance.


  6. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to get this clock to run?  It is a Chelsea ship’s clock.  When I got it it would not run, but I attributed that to the fact that it was dirty and had old black oil around the pivots.  I carefully cleaned the movement and cleaned the balance wheel separately in naphtha.  It reassembled without problems and was oiled,but would not run. If I “add power” to the movement it will run.  

    I looked at the mainsprings while it was dissembled and they looked clean and intact.  

    I have included pictures of both sides of the clock and a picture from the side showing the wheel (the one pointed out by the screwdriver) that I can push on to make it run.  

    Thanks in advance for any help with this vexing problem.




  7. Yes, I understand the diagram.

    I have been doing minor things (cleaning, lubing, buffing the crystal) to watches for about 20 years. About two years ago I started to take them completely apart, instead of the partial disassembly I do for cleaning and putting them together again.  Since that surge of interest I have done about 10 - 12 minor repairs e. g. replace a mainspring, replace a stem etc.  I have never replaced a jewel.  I am a hobbyist, I have NO formal training. The last person on this city who would work on mechanical watches died about five years ago, so I am on my own.  

    Thanks for your interest, 


  8. I am still trying to get the Illinois pocket watch to work.  Because the trouble centers around the balance wheel and hair spring, I have removed them and done a closer examination.  When out of the watch the hair spring is flat (all in one plane), but the plane of the hair spring is not parallel to the balance wheel.  I have included a couple of pictures.  If anyone has suggestions, they are welcome.




  9. Thank you for your interest.  No, the balance wheel does not oscillate back and forth.  I had to move it manually back and forth to make the escape wheel rotate.  

    I did not dissambled the watch completely.  I took the balance and cock out, but did not take the pallet fork out.  The pallet fork moved after I wound the watch a little, but it did not "snap" back and forth.  The movement was sluggish.


  10. Once again I am asking for help.  I cleaned an Illinois pocket watch.  It was running well, but had a lot of lint and other debris inside.  I cleaned the balance wheel and hair spring without taking the hair spring off.  Cleaning was done in lighter fluid in an ultrasound machine.  The movement was cleaned in an ultrasound machine using watch cleaning fluid followed by two rinse soakes.  Everything went back together well.  When the balance cock and hair spring were placed the spring was not parallel to the plate.  None of my manipulation could make it so.  If the balance wheel is manually the escape wheel moves normally, but the watch will not run.  When not in the watch the hair spring is parallel to the balance wheel.  

    I have included pictures.  The one from the side was meant to show the h.s, but is hard to see. 

    Thanks in advance for your help. 



  11. Well, all the answers were good advise.  The sleeve turned out to be a remnant of the crown that had broken off.  I gripped the stem and turned it off with a pin vise.  So far things were going well, but the stem was so short that when in the case the stem did not reach the threads of the crown.  I attempted to remove the stem and planned to first put on the crown, then push the stem in.  During the attempted stem removal, it broke.  So I am back to step one.  I am unsure where to look for a stem, but I plan a web search.

    Thanks to all who gave such good advise.  



  12. This may be an in appropriate question because it concerns a Quartz watch.  I personally do not own a Quartz watch and have never worked on one.  A friend collects golf memorabilia and came across this watch.  It has some collectible value and is a few years old. It appears to be a substantial watch and is very different than the cheap Chinese watches that I see so often.  This is a watch that was given to those who purchased high priced tickets to the Augusta Masters Golf Tournament.  (Yes I live in Augusta, GA and there are a lot of Master's souvenirs floating around).  

    The problem is that the crown is missing.  I thought that the stem might be missing also, but when I opened the case the stem was present.  As you can see in the pictures, the stem ends in a "sleeve" which appears to be made of brass.  There is a hole in the end of the sleeve.  I probed the hole with a tiny wire to the best of my ability and believe that there are no threads in the hole.  

    Now the question.  Is it possible to replace the crown on such a watch?  Where can I acquire a crown?  How can I determine what size crown is needed?  I need to add here that there is no manufacturer's mark on the watch, or at least if there is one I have not found it yet.  Does a stem extension fit into the end of the existing stem?  

    Any and all help or comments will be appreciated.  

    Bill in Augusta, Georgia






  13. This is a follow up comment on my earlier question about my watch that was running fast.  I had many great answers, most directed toward the hairspring.  As suggested, I demagnitized the watch and all the tools to be used in the repair.  Then I removed the balance wheel, hairspring, and the plate holding the mechanism in the watch and soaked them in Naptha overnight.  Then I reassembled the watch, wound it and let it run for 24 hours.  A dramatic change had occurred.  It gained, not three hours, but three minutes!  

    Thanks to all who gave me such good advise and helped put this watch back in service.

    Bill in Augusta, Georgia, USA



    • Like 2
  14. What a great forum!!  I asked a question yesterday and already have 10 helpful answers.   I am working on cleaning the hairspring again, inspecting it, demagnetising the watch, and trying to figure out why the first loop of the hairspring looks as if it is stuck to the next loop.  

    Thanks everyone who responded.  I will post again as soon as I have finished this work, reassembled, and let it run long enough to see if the problem is resolved.  

    Thanks again,



  15. I would be most grateful for some help with a watch that I have been working on.  The watch is an Elgin wrist watch, serial number C453730, that I bought in a not running condition.  It has 17 jewels and all the original parts are there.  I cleaned and lubed the watch and when reassembled, IT RAN!  My success was short lived, however, because it gained about three hours per day.  I moved the adjustment lever located over the hairspring, all the way toward the "S" but that made no difference whatever.  One positive aspect is that the watch is consistent in it's time gain, always three hours a day.  I have included a picture.  Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance.


    Augusta, Georgia, USA


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