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mikepilk

Oiling pallet pivots - would you ?

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No I wouldn't, but according to Citizen you should.

Rebuilding a Citizen cal 5204, and as there are so many bits (springs, springs, springs !) I downloaded the service manual.

In both the 'General Oiling' section, and the specific movement section, they recommend a touch of oil on the pallet pivots.

Do any other movements recommend this?

I've only done this to curb excessive amplitude.

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I don't see a problem with oiling the pivots. if you lose a little amplitude, Is it a bad thing? I think there are two ways of looking a watch maintenance . While not being 100% mutually exclusive you can service a watch with longevity in mind or performance.just like any other mechanical device. Great amplitude  looks nice , but it also, I think could contribute to faster wear. The more one surface moves against another, everything else being equal the more friction and wear and possibly greater fatigue on the hairspring.  so if oiling these pivots reduces rotation, Is it a bad thing? 

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Horological lubrication is quite a fascinating subject. Unlike some things in watch repair that haven’t really changed in the last hundred years horological lubrication seems to always be changing. As this particular discussion demonstrates lubrication of the pallet fork pivots sometimes they do sometimes they don’t. Then the choice of lubrication’s typical responses look at the tech sheet. But the various watch companies typically all have differing recommendations and those recommendations almost always have changed with time.  Then there is the missing information such as surface treatment and other stuff. Or the assumption whoever’s reading a technical guide is a professional watchmaker that knows what they’re doing. Of course we all have our personal choices and thoughts on the subject which very likely could all be different.

The original title of this discussion was lubrication of the pivots the pallet fork that generally is an easy subject in that it’s usually frowned upon at least by the Swiss. Oiling of the rest of the escapement can get quite interesting. This is where time is an interesting thing or when the technical sheets came into existence. For an example of this I pulled out a couple of older Swiss technical guides and the earlier one is recommending 9020 for the pallet stones. A couple years later they switch to 941. Then I don’t remember how many years before 9415 comes into existence but it will show up eventually. Then when it does its typically for the higher frequency watches as it stays in place better. But with time even on lower frequency of 18,000 BPH watches you’ll see either or recommendation. Currently everyone seems to going just to 9415.

So did you think this was confusing at all? Did you wonder what I meant by missing information other than surface treatment? Omega’s an interesting company over the years they’ve had technical information separate from their normal technical guides. Working instruction number 40 is quite interesting for instance it’s on lubrication and I’ve attached the PDF to this message. I think you'll find starting on page 13 quite interesting..

 

 

CousinsUK.com Omega 8645_WI_40_rules for lubrication.pdf

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We discussed this recently, but it is interesting to see in that PDF.

Page 5 Paragrah 3 - Handling of lubricants.

1. Write down the date of receipt of the new lubricants.
2. Change the lubricants every six years.

Now I guess that makes sense, based on the idea of servicing the watch every 5 years. If the shelf life of lubricants is generalized as 5 years, then they will need to be replaced every 5 to 6 years. I guess this will be more a sort of half life than an instantly goes bad at 6 years. As experience tells us, some watches manage to limp along with no change of lubrication for considerably more than 6 years, but best practice suggests that lubricant performance starts to take a hit after 5 years or more.

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14 hours ago, AndyHull said:

We discussed this recently, but it is interesting to see in that PDF.

Page 5 Paragrah 3 - Handling of lubricants.

1. Write down the date of receipt of the new lubricants.
2. Change the lubricants every six years.

Now I guess that makes sense, based on the idea of servicing the watch every 5 years. If the shelf life of lubricants is generalized as 5 years, then they will need to be replaced every 5 to 6 years. I guess this will be more a sort of half life than an instantly goes bad at 6 years. As experience tells us, some watches manage to limp along with no change of lubrication for considerably more than 6 years, but best practice suggests that lubricant performance starts to take a hit after 5 years or more.

I just received some Moebius 8213 Grease from a 'large UK supplier'. On the label it says 'Exp 12/2017'.

I haven't used 8213 before, and I know it's a solid grease, but this seems to have set !

It is more like wax, it won't flow at all.

 

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9415 is an interesting lubrication? It's grease like so it stays in place except on impact where it becomes a very fluid extremely slippery. But if you're trying to get maximum amplitude you have to be careful not to apply too much or you will lose amplitude.
 

I used to use moebius 8000 and could not believe the difference 9145 made. It is expensive but invaluable. I put just a tiny tiny dot on the exit face only and then let it run for 10 mins to equally distribute onto the escape wheel teeth


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I currently do not have the technology required to check to that degree..... but wish I did! It is interesting to see just how very little lubricant is required on the pallet face.

 

 

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