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As1012 Service - "little Watch, Big Trouble"

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Hi fellow watch friends, back again with another service for ya :)


This one is a woman's bracelet watch that were popular 20-30 years ago ... your Mum probably had/has one of these.




Now when I say this movement is small, I mean it's small ... I don't think I used a driver over 0.8mm on it.  And being small doesn't mean they are more difficult, but you need good optics to make working on them enjoyable.


...yes, that's my thumb!




I've worked on a few of these now, and they commonly are held in the Caseback as seen below.  So be careful when removing them so as you don't damage the Dial or Hands.




Once I had removed the movement from the Caseback, I saw my very first indication that this job wasn't going to be a quick service.

Notice that Ratchet Screw?




Here's a close-up of it.




I see this way too much servicing watches, and it's become my pet hate.  King Kong has worked on it before me, and has tighten every screw up to 50 foot/pound ... Arrghhh!!  :growl:

Needless to say, when it came to removing nearly all the screws, it was a battle; but the battle was lost with the Ratchet Screw and I was unable to undo it (even after applying some heat) and it seared off ... so 1x Barrel Abor and 1x Ratchet Screw to be ordered.

My mentor and trainer is a 78 year old master watch maker, and the VERY first thing he impressed on me is not to over tighten screws.  "We are not torqueing down head bolts on a V8, these threads are less an a millimeter across ... use a light touch son.", is what he told me.

I'm sure some old hands here can also add their words on wisdom on this matter.


Ok, end of rant :P  Back to the service...


Firstly, I removed the Hands and Dial, and as per normal with this style of watch, there was moisture ingress.  These types of watches aren't very well sealed from the elements (no Caseback Seal, no Stem Seal), so you'll nearly always encounter some rust removal in the servicing.  This looked fairly light corrosion, and I was hoping it hadn't gone further into the movement.




Here's one of the reasons this watch stopped.  Heavy corrosion around the lower Barrel Arbor pivot.




Next, as always, I removed any tension from the Mainspring, and removed the Balance and Pallets.




Next I removed the Ratchet (shearing the screw in the process), Crown Wheel, and then removed the Barrel Bridge.

As you can see, very old, dry, and dirty grease.




Main Plate looked in good shape, which saves a LOT of work ... if this thing is covered in rust you've got your work cut out for you.




Pulled the Cannon Pinion, and happily it wasn't ceased, but also is still a good fiction fit.




Here's a reference photo of the Gear Train setup once the Bridge is removed.  Again all looks good and no damage to any of the pivots or jewels.




Stem, Clutch, and Setting wheel are filthy and typical of a non-sealed movement of this age.




On to the Keyless Work, and unfortunately rust had gotten in here too.




The Yoke Spring was the worst of it, but with a little time and effort, it cleaned up fine.




Setting Lever needed a little work too :unsure:




So the parts are in the cleaner, having a bath for the first time in 20+ years.  And I've emailed the good people at Old Swiss Watch to get a new Arbor and Ratchet Screw.

I'll have the assembly post up as soon as the parts arrive, and get this little movement tickin like new!


Thanks for reading my post, and I hope this helps and was informative. :)

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Hi Lawson,


Wow, good eyes, good pictures, excellent strip down! What else can I say? My friend, you are doing super! This is so complete, I love it. Thank you for posting and sharing!





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You certainly have a big wee problem with all the rusty bits. I serviced a cocktail watch a couple of months ago and it certainly test your dexterity. I've no doubt that you will do a great job!

I'm looking forward to to seeing further progress and illustrations.

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Thanks for all the kind words guys :)  This movement has been a fun project.


So, today I received the replacement parts from Sudarson at Old Swiss Watches, and as normal his service is outstanding!  Right parts, right price every time!




And they always come neatly packaged in a water resistant envelope, and in tiny plastic parts containers ... soooo cute!




So to recap, the Ratchet Screw snapped off in the arbor, and needed to be replaced. 

NOTICE:  On the AS1012 both the Ratchet Wheel and the Crown Wheel are LEFT HANDED THREADS!!

I have never seen this before, and the screw top is not marked with any indication it's left-hand threaded ... BE WARNED.

So the damage was caused by silly old me :P

Even though it was broken I put the movement back together before ordering any parts to make sure everything else was working well ... so things needed to be disassembled again.




After making sure there was no tension left in the Mainspring, I removed the Balance and Fork.  This is an important step, because you could easily damage the Pallet Stones when removing/refitting the Mainspring.




Off with the Ratchet Wheel and Crown Wheel.




Off with the Mainspring Bridge, and out with the Old Mainspring.




Ready for rebuild




As a complete Mainspring was purchased, I inspected both of them and replaced the one that looked the best ... with the new Arbor.

Then it was just a simple matter of putting everything else back in place :)




All back together, and functioning wonderfully ... ticking away nicely for the first time in many decades.




On with the Dial and Hands, ready to be fitting back in it's movement holder.




NOW comes the issue :notfair: How on earth do I adjust this thing?!?!

It's too small for the timegrapher .. even when you put it in sideways!!

This photo may look like it's being held by the clamp; but it's not, this movement is just shy of the minimum clamping length.  So the timegrapher can't get a good reading




Can I just put a wedge in there, and still be sure of getting an accurate reading?  Advise from one and all would be most welcome.

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Hi Lawson,


I'm not sure since I haven't done that size of watches yet, but I believe that the only thing that really matters is to have the crown contacting the mic. Therefore, a piece of some material between the other side of the clamp and the movement might work. Just a guess and hoping I'm not too far off the truth...


Hope it works,





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Good News Everybody!


The watch is adjusted and running happily.

It's not going to be a certified chronometer; but that's not the point of this watch, it's purely a fashion item.




Only one problem though ... I can't wind it!! :(  My **BLEEP** fingers are too big!!

I had to wind the Ratchet Wheel with my screwdriver to power her up :P







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Yep, it is either a very big hand or a very tiny watch! :)


Is the lady wearing loupes instead of glasses....OK I can go on with the jokes but I bet you have heard them all! :)


It is an amazingly difficult job and a well done one, what you did, Lawson. Certainly a combination of dexterity and good sight+optics. Congratulations on a super job!





Edited by bobm12

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Only one problem though ... I can't wind it!! :(  My **BLEEP** fingers are too big!!

I had to wind the Ratchet Wheel with my screwdriver to power her up :P


You may find these useful to have for the future. Bergeon watch winders - brilliant little gadgets, especially if you have to wind up twenty watches on test every morning :)


Bergeon 30409A & 30409B



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