Jump to content
  • 0

Reforming a hairspring curve - Breguet Overcurve HS


I am correcting a deformed hairspring and need to set the curve for the regulator pins.  De Carle mentions using curve-forming tweezers, which I cannot yet find.  What are the alternate practices for forming this curved portion of the over curve?




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 0
Save your money, the tweezers in the hswalsh link is of little use. OH did a very good job finding this tool, but it is the smallest of the set, too small for gents- or pocketwatches. I suppose it is the remains of a long sold stock.
My old Bergeon catalog shows them, but they were no more available when the catalog was issued.
Yes, I don't think they've been made for some time and any offered as new were/are remains of old stock.

There was a time even in the 70s as mechanical watches were heading toward supposed extinction that women churned out piecework of vibrated springs matched to balances from home. They'd have a Greiner Spiromatic and some killer tweezers and do this stuff at a speed and precision that's unbelievable. I'm almost sure the lady I met at Parmigiani from the post above was one of these workers, pulled in from semiretirement.

There's no demand for such tools now and there's enough on the used market to satisfy the collectors and occasional users. My set has been updated numerous times in the last 20 years as I found better examples to replace the ones I had, selling off the lesser pieces. Being in Switzerland we're a bit spoiled as you stumble upon this stuff at random flea markets. I found a selection of screw slotting files a few months back, really fine ones they don't make anymore, for two bucks a piece, new old stock.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

OK, here are the bad boys. The curving ones I have go from 00 to 5, the lifting ones from 00 to 4. The example hairspring would be about right for a deck watch- very big, and the largest of both sets worked well. You can see in the 4th pic that the end of the lifting tweezers can be adjusted for the thickness of the spring (red circle) and how far it pushes (screw in blue circle). I just did a simple overcoil, there are many shapes, here the goal was to get the curve to follow one of the spirals more or less imagining in our imaginary watch that would be where the regulator lies.

IMG_0019 (Large).JPG

IMG_0020 (Large).JPG

IMG_0021 (Large).JPG

IMG_0023 (Large).JPG

IMG_0024 (Large).JPG

IMG_0025 (Large).JPG

IMG_0026 (Large).JPG

IMG_0027 (Large).JPG

IMG_0028 (Large).JPG

IMG_0029 (Large).JPG

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
On 8/18/2019 at 8:58 AM, nickelsilver said:

Those are for raising the overcoil, the curved ones for forming its curve. There are about 8 different sizes of each.


33 minutes ago, oldhippy said:

Here is a link for the Breguet Hairspring Tweezers, Dumont

Worth to remind once again that as Master nickelsilver nicely explained, the 00 size available from  Cousins UK, is the smallest of all were once available, and is good for the tiniest hairspring only.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By Nost
      Hi again all,
      since there are some really knowledgeable people here I hope you can impart some wisdom regarding repairing a bent hair spring. after getting this old movement working again with the help of this group (new mainspring), I need a little more advice.
      after hooking this beaut up to  watch-a-scope it shows low amplitude and very erratic trace. I can see the hairspring is bent and need to start here in addressing the issue.
      What tools are needed (not willing to spend £50 on hairspring levers at the moment)? I have basic tools  (enough to service a movement), but what are the essentials for working on a hairspring? i.e for removing from a balance safely what tweezers types/sizes are recommended for correction etc.
      Also, is there an easy way to identify and obtain replacement hairsprings? I assume they are very interchangeable as it would not have been easy to make new hairsprings for every watch model.
    • By tmilligan
      Question for those who work on Vintage Timex watches:
      I've restored several Timex pieces from the late '60s to the late '70s.  The technique I learned (from Internet posts and tutorials) say to simply loosen the dial-side balance pivot by unscrewing it 1/2 turn prior to cleaning the entire movement in an ultrasonic cleaner.  This method contradicts the official Timex service manuals, which state that the balance should be removed, cleaned separately and reinstalled.  Thus preventing the hairspring form being damaged in the ultrasonic cleaner.
      My experience is this: 
      Leaving the balance in place (slightly loosened) is much easier and will work on the standard movements used in the '70s (M24/25, M32/33, M104, etc.) Attempting the same method on movements from the '50s and '60s (M22, M29, etc) will result in a kinked hairspring that is damn near impossible to un-kink.  So my question is this:
      What do you experienced Timex restoration experts recommend?  Leave the balance/hairspring in the movement for cleaning, or take it out to soak in a separate jar?
      Is the potential for hairspring damage greater when removing/reinstalling the balance - in comparison to leaving it in place?
      I've messed up a couple of vintage movements that I really wish I hadn't.   I don't want to make those mistakes again.
      Thanks for any insights!
    • By deni2s
      Can you please help me find Zenith Cal. 10 1/2 N.S.I. breguet hairspring for vintage 1937 watch? Or a suitable replacement? There is nothing on fleabay. Thanks!
    • By marcoskaiser
      Dear all,
      I recently had the pleasure of finding a damaged hairspring needing care. My first! It’s an inexpensive orient watch, gaining 20 minutes a day. I am taking Mark’s fault finding course, and have other inexpensive hairsprings to practise with. I also got some vintage tools I’d love to use. Until now for me levellers were only the Oliver Cromwell people, but ebay never ceases to surprise...
      I could pass the first stages of correcting the coil, with two tweezers. But could not find a use for the vintage tools. Could you help me to figure it out? 
      Picture 1 is the bent hairspring 
      picture 2 and 3 the box of tas levellers
      picture 4 is the hairspring suffering under my tweezers now
      picture 5 shows the tip of the tools
      picture 6: from De Carle. Would this be the purpose of the levellers? The overcoil? 

    • By canthus
      Is there a 'golden rule' relating to relocating a hairspring onto a balance staff with regards to getting zero beat error after it has been removed for attention.  I usually take pics or use marker pen but sometime forget!
  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Hello, how does this setup work so far. I have just ordered the parts I hope i will have the parts to try in a month or two. Thank you... this was a great thread. 
    • Funny because I’m on my patio smoking a 5 cent cigar sorting out parts. Perfect combo. 
    • This ETA 811 based Titus has me beaten, at least for the time being. I suspect it will be a "long term project", where long might turn out to be infinite.  The thing will now run, having been previously locked up solid with grunge, and the after effects of some other ham-fisted individual pulling it apart and not quite putting it all back together correctly. It needs a balance, since the HS is mangled, the jewel is missing and both pivots are gone.. and so is the stud. Whether I am willing to spring for £20 or so for that, given the over all condition of the rest of it, I don't know. It also needs hands.. all three of them (I may have a suitable hour and minute, but not the second), and a crystal, and the lead solder holding on one of the lugs removed and replaced with silver solder, and a dial you can actually read, which isn't full of dents, that would be nice too.  If I put in all that work, it would be quite an attractive watch, but is it worth the time and expense I wonder.  
    • They do turn up in some interesting watches, this for example according to the seller has a BG 866 variant. .. and I must confess that if one of those turned up in need of parts, I  too would be tempted to perform a partial brain transplant with the poor old Ackro De Luxe as the victim.
  • Create New...