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DavidMasters

Proper Way To Install Balance Complete.

Question

I have never taken classes or any formal Watchmaking training, but have been at it a very long time. However, today as I was installing a Balance as I've done many times before I realized that I had no set way of doing so and don't know if there is a proper procedure.

I seat the wheel and then twist the movement about 90° and the seat the balance cock(bridge). Is there a specific direction to rotate movement while installing the bridge? Should I coil or uncoil hairspring when twisting, or does to matter?

Regards,

David

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The way I was taught (by trained watchmakers, but I myself am not qualified) was in line with what you are describing. In detail;

1. set the pallet fork against the left-hand banking pin. This ensures that the impulse jewel enters the fork.

2. introduce the balance assembly with the balance cock at least 90 degrees anticlockwise of its final position

3. seat the lower balance pivot without disturbing the pallet fork

4. rotate the balance cock clockwise (or the movement anticlockwise, whilst holding the cock still) into its final position, and rest gently on top of the balance wheel

5. locate the upper pivot in the jewel. The balance begins to swing

6. Drop the screw in. Hold the cock steady with a piece of pegwood or a toothpick and slowly tighten the screw.

7. If the balance stops swinging, immediately back off the screw.

I guess you could also reverse the directions described in steps 1 to 4. At no stage are you coiling or uncoiling the hairspring.

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This is how I was taught. Movement in movement holder. Add a tiny amount of power.  Balance complete attached to balance cock. Balance cock held by tweezers, You need to get the impulse pin between the pallet forks, lower the cock in your tweezers between the forks. If you miss rotate the movement holder around until the impulse pin is between the forks, depending which side the pin is to the fork will depend which way you rotate.  Make sure the balance is home before you tighten up the screw.  

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If stripped down to mainplate, I instal the balance back on. Check and do all the work, namely end shake, free balance wheel movement, level  the hairspring, make sure I get concentric coil, balance wheel to come to rest at the right angular position( impulse in beat) etc. I will then remove and proceed. 

I do all such repairs and work before cleaning. 

Observation you list sounds good to me.

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6 hours ago, Klassiker said:

The way I was taught (by trained watchmakers, but I myself am not qualified) was in line with what you are describing. In detail;

1. set the pallet fork against the left-hand banking pin. This ensures that the impulse jewel enters the fork.

2. introduce the balance assembly with the balance cock at least 90 degrees anticlockwise of its final position

3. seat the lower balance pivot without disturbing the pallet fork

4. rotate the balance cock clockwise (or the movement anticlockwise, whilst holding the cock still) into its final position, and rest gently on top of the balance wheel

5. locate the upper pivot in the jewel. The balance begins to swing

6. Drop the screw in. Hold the cock steady with a piece of pegwood or a toothpick and slowly tighten the screw.

7. If the balance stops swinging, immediately back off the screw.

I guess you could also reverse the directions described in steps 1 to 4. At no stage are you coiling or uncoiling the hairspring.

This is my process, although I've never looked to ensure pallet fork is to the left. Thanks for the detailed answer; it will make me better in the future.

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Always putting the fork in one direction would mean awkward installation for some movements. On a 7750 it would be installed with the cock over the movement and rotated outwards if the pallet is set to the left for example.  More intuitive way to do this without having to remember which direction to twist things for different movements would be to just flick the fork towards the inside if the movement and present the balance with cock pointed away from movement, then rotate it inward into position and fasten.

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