Greetings folks. I've been working on watches as a hobby for about 20 years now. I started out on pocket watches and have never cleaned a clock. In fact, I had a great cleaning machine, with the big jars, and a few other clock tools, that I gave away to an aspiring clock guy over at the Tascione site. But I digress...
Nearly 20 years ago I bought a Hamilton model 21 ship's chronometer. It's an early one, pre 400 serial number, and is a thing of beauty, as these generally are. Back when I got it, I had a professional service it for me. It was done well, but wasn't cheap. $400-500, IIRC. I used to display it in my living room and run it occasionally just to hear the escapement and marvel it its accuracy. From about 2009 to 2014 it sat in my storage unit, waiting for new digs. In 2014 I wound it up and it took off running. I let it run down and then put it away for a couple of years. When I pulled it out, I discovered that it had a broken balance pivot. While originally I thought someone had knocked it over and wasn't copping to it, but now, after inspecting the upper pivot's wear, I don't think that's the case.
After botching the first staff I got trying to replace the hub, I set it aside again for the past couple of years. The way I broke the staff was I overestimated how deep the hollowness went in my hollow punch that I was using to tap it on. It bottomed out in the punch and destroyed the pivot.
Now that I'm finally over that disappointment, I decided to give it another go. I bought a staff that already had the hub installed. I may have to polish the lower pivot, as it doesn't seem to want to set in the hole jewel properly. I'm in the process of verifying all of this. I had to tear down the chronometer at least to the point where I could check to see if the broken part of the pivot was impeding the staff from setting properly. The hole jewel is clear.
I'm doing the best I can to do it right, and get it running again. I won't be running it, but want it running just in case I should decide to sell it. Otherwise the value drops quite a bit. Since I have it completely torn down now, I might as well clean and oil it. Does anyone have a hot tip on the best cleaning solutions for cleaning these chronometers? I'd like to use something that will cross over and work for my cleaning of watches as well. I have both an ultrasonic and the small L&R mechanical. I have one more fresh batch of cleaner and rinse, petroleum, no-water, formula. Should I use that, or make, or get, something new? Any tips for oil and grease types to get me by? Any suggestions are appreciated.
I do have the Manual for the movement.
I know that this is risky business, my working on this chrono, but I just can't afford to spend another $500 to get it running. Plus, I heard that if you're going to run these, you've got to spend this $500 or so to service them every few years. That is not going to happen. Feedback, suggestions, warnings, tips, etc., are all welcome. Many thanks. Cheers.
Hello - I have Tag Heuer F1 Chronograph ca1212-ro, which I've had for many, many years. Recently I noticed a pusher "cap" had come off and was lost, I have sourced an new pusher, and have removed the movement but am at a loss for how to remove the pusher from the case??? The new pusher is not threaded so I'm assuming the old one is not either - assuming the pusher I was sold is correct. Are the pushers a o-ring press fit, are they "glued" in, how are they removed and reinstalled? Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks - Nick
It would just be a video of me poking and prodding for hours I'm afraid. But the basic procedure for me is, move the index right next to the stud holder, and rotate stud so that the hairspring at this point is centered in the index. Then I move the index little by little away from the stud. If at any point as I'm advancing the index I see the hairspring start to deviate from the center of the pins I back the index up and either tighten or widen the curve, checking the curvature by moving the index over the problem spot after every manipulation. I keep doing this until I get to the dog leg and now I have a perfectly formed end curve. Next is to just fiddle with the two bends at the dog leg to get the collet to center on the jewel. Also check constantly that the collet isn't sticking to the cock by tapping on the cock whenever you are checking your work to make sure the hairspring is in its fully relaxed state.
I don't have any special techniques really. It's basically just time and patience. Feel free to ask though if you want me to be a little more specific about anything.
Now that this project has been completed, I hope that some of you might be inspired to pick up a scroll saw and try out this craft. Its not hard, just tedious and repetitive but you can make some beautiful pieces of art and there are all kinds of patterns out there for everything one could imagine. This clock is not difficult at all, there are clocks that take guys months or even years to make. Cherry tree toys has the most awesome patterns I've come across and Berry basket has some simple yet beautiful stuff, in fact this clock is from a pattern by Cherry tree toys.