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Folkvisor

Solar Pocket Watch

Question

I have a Solar pocket watch with the seconds at 6:00 that needs a new balance staff.

I cannot figure out how to take the movement out. I removed the case screws and the stem and thought it would just drop out but no such luck.

It appears that the main plate is larger than the back of the watch which seems to be the only removable part.

There must be a way to get it out but I can't see it. Please let me know if you have had experience with this type of watch.

Thank you

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I don't know this specific brand but I have worked on a few where the movement comes out of the front and some don't have a very obvious case separation ring like the back does with an indentation.

Does it have a decorated or plain but slightly raised ring between the crystal and middle of the case body?

I have an old one in my drawer upstairs which may be similar that I can snap a photo of if it might help you?

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9 minutes ago, m1ks said:

I don't know this specific brand but I have worked on a few where the movement comes out of the front and some don't have a very obvious case separation ring like the back does with an indentation.

Does it have a decorated or plain but slightly raised ring between the crystal and middle of the case body?

I have an old one in my drawer upstairs which may be similar that I can snap a photo of if it might help you?

It does have slightly raised and decorated ring. There must be a separation somewhere but I can’t seem to find it but there has to be one.

Does it separate at the raised ring?

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Apologies I didn't get back sooner.

I'm assuming there's no obvious hinge or lip for a case back tool.

I'd suggest first trying to unscrew it, rubber gloves can be handy here for grip.

I'll get a pic of the one I have when I get home from work, while not exactly the same it might give an idea.

Logic says if it won't fall out of the back it has to come out of the front.

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19 hours ago, m1ks said:

I don't know this specific brand but I have worked on a few where the movement comes out of the front and some don't have a very obvious case separation ring like the back does with an indentation.

Does it have a decorated or plain but slightly raised ring between the crystal and middle of the case body?

I have an old one in my drawer upstairs which may be similar that I can snap a photo of if it might help you?

It does have slightly raised and decorated ring. There must be a separation somewhere but I can’t seem to find it but there has to be one.

Does it separate at the raised ring?

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48 minutes ago, Folkvisor said:

I got the front off. I used a very little penetrating oil on the rim and it came off quite easily.

Thank you for pointing that out to me.

Now to see if I can do something to make it work better.

Great news. I was curious because, although that's typical there are always oddities out there.

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I’m one of those ‘oddities out there’...LOL

It needs a good cleaning and a new balance staff. I’m thinking it got dropped once too often. I hope I can get a balance for it; it’s a very well made time machine.

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1 hour ago, Folkvisor said:

The balance staff was damaged, bent and broken pivots. I bought one on eBay. Hopefully it will be as good as new soon.

Fingers crossed it's a good one for you.

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The ratchet wheel screw is extremely tight. I can't remove it. I tried to loosen it a bit by putting on a little pallet jewel oil and letting it seep in under the head of the screw. Hopefully it will loosen it a bit but I am not certain it will penetrate far enough.

I don't want to force it so much I break the screw.

Any ideas?

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46 minutes ago, Folkvisor said:

The ratchet wheel screw is extremely tight. I can't remove it. I tried to loosen it a bit by putting on a little pallet jewel oil and letting it seep in under the head of the screw. Hopefully it will loosen it a bit but I am not certain it will penetrate far enough.

I don't want to force it so much I break the screw.

Any ideas?

I'm not sure other than perhaps try a little diesel or plus gas, (you can buy it in tins so you can just put a drop on).

Highly unlikely being the ratchet wheel but have you tried to see if it's a left hand thread?

Go cautiously though. You don't want to strip it.

If it were me I'd use something like a hairdryer to apply heat locally to the screw head and ratchet wheel then plus gas or if you can get a little easily, diesel, it creeps very well on seized bolts and was a commonly used penetrating oil when I worked as a mechanic.

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58 minutes ago, m1ks said:

I'm not sure other than perhaps try a little diesel or plus gas, (you can buy it in tins so you can just put a drop on).

Highly unlikely being the ratchet wheel but have you tried to see if it's a left hand thread?

Go cautiously though. You don't want to strip it.

If it were me I'd use something like a hairdryer to apply heat locally to the screw head and ratchet wheel then plus gas or if you can get a little easily, diesel, it creeps very well on seized bolts and was a commonly used penetrating oil when I worked as a mechanic.

The crown wheel was loosened by turning it cw but the ratchet screw should be a regular thread...I think...

I’ll see if I can get a little diesel fuel. I’ll try the heat thing too.

Thank you for the suggestions.

I promise not to use WD40...

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21 hours ago, Folkvisor said:

Would naphtha work?

The answer to that is a definite perhaps. Haha.

Drop a bit on and see, it can't hurt it after all. It de greases well enough.

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Now the hard part.

Any idea of problems replacing the balance staff?

I've watched videos on this and all I've really learned is that it isn't an easy thing to do.

One suggestion was to use a lathe but I haven't no lathe - just a staking tool.

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That one unfortunately is way out of my skill set.

Beyond using a staking set to drive out and press in a pinion, (which I've had very minimal experience of) I have no further idea.

I imagine if fine tolerance adjustment was required then a lathe would be necessary.

I believe Mark covers replacing pinions with a staking set in one of his videos though.

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