Jump to content
  • 0

small caliber movements balance handling


Question

I work a lot on small caliber (ladies watch size) movements but still have mishaps with the balance hairspring.  These hairsprings are very fragile and easily bent and removing/replacing the balance assembly seems to be my problem.  I would like any comments on the risks of deforming the hairspring by allowing the wheel to dangle during handling.  I would also like to know if the position of the regulator arm/pins has any effect re risk of deforming the spring, should it be close to the stud or as far a possible from the stud, I normally leave it where I find it so the timing is close to what it was before dis-assembly.  Any advice on techniques etc will be much appreciated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

5 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0
3 minutes ago, canthus said:

 I would like any comments on the risks of deforming the hairspring by allowing the wheel to dangle during handling.

I remember a thread where people were proudly shown their balance tacks, where (contrary to any common sense) they kept the hairspring in a deformed state not just for the time needed to remove or install, but for much longer. When I objected about that I was told that it was necessary to "see things"; which ones exactly, I wasn't told. I quietly kept using wide tips tweezers to handle cock and balance together, that hasn't ever failed me.

3 minutes ago, canthus said:

I would also like to know if the position of the regulator arm/pins has any effect re risk of deforming the spring, should it be close to the stud or as far a possible from the stud, I normally leave it where I find it so the timing is close to what it was before dis-assembly.  Any advice on techniques etc will be much appreciated.

The good practice is to place the regulator in the middle position before removing  it. And the end stud arm -which isn't marked-, to minimize beat error before taking apart the mov't.
That is because before refitting the balance you will inspect the mainspring to be concentric. In case it needs some correction the regulator has to be in the middle, so any outer coil reforming will be more smother and more natural so to speak.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
12 hours ago, canthus said:

I work a lot on small caliber (ladies watch size) movements but still have mishaps with the balance hairspring.  These hairsprings are very fragile and easily bent and removing/replacing the balance assembly seems to be my problem.  I would like any comments on the risks of deforming the hairspring by allowing the wheel to dangle during handling.  I would also like to know if the position of the regulator arm/pins has any effect re risk of deforming the spring, should it be close to the stud or as far a possible from the stud, I normally leave it where I find it so the timing is close to what it was before dis-assembly.  Any advice on techniques etc will be much appreciated.

It is poor practice to suspend the balance for longer than necessary. Once removed I always store in a separate container. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
13 hours ago, jdm said:

I quietly kept using wide tips tweezers to handle cock and balance together, that hasn't ever failed me.

I must add that I do the above only with balance jewel removed, so that the upper pinion doesn't risk to be bent. And when isn't practical I briefly suspend the balance, moving slowly and carefully.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Echoing the above, that is what I do as it seems the most practical and sensible thing, I see quite a few people on Youtube etc who leave the balance hanging on a tack for the duration of the disassembly and reassembly of a movement and personally figure that the best resting position for a spring is in it's natural use state, i.e. flat and concentric.
I remove as carefully as possible and where I'm able, holding both gently together, most importantly, where the balance has to be angled to fit underneath the train wheels I try to move it out of the way of those obstructions before lifting and once clear the whole assembly is inverted so that it sits resting on the cock jewel or hole if the jewel has been removed for cleaning.
I use a tack for such things as manipulating the collet on a non adjustable stud holder to set in beat and only for as long as necessary.
That said, people with much more skill and experience have said that it's perfectly acceptable to use a tack to store the balance during movement work so I don't know for certain but I work with what I feel comfortable with and try to minimise the risk of damage such as stretching and deformation.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Thanks for all your responses/advice.  I have been freeing the balance cock from the plate then freeing balance wheel from the escapement then gently removing altogether with tweezers. I then tun it over for safe keeping. So generally following what has been suggested.  I have not been removing the balance jewel, which is sometimes fixed so cannot be removed at this stage, so will try this next time.  My tweezers are pointed so I may try and modify an old pair to be more specifically suited for this job, i.e. with wider/flatter jaws.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites


  • Similar Content

    • By Colditz
      I have purchased a GUB09207211 hairspring from Cousins watch parts and I am not sure how to attached it to the anchor on the balance cock. Is there a tool I should use or is there a method that I can employ. Any help is appreciated Thanks.
       

    • By mineglobus03
      Hi everyone, I have some problems with a manual winding watch. It needs some work but I would try to do it myself. The watch appears fully wound but it doesn't work. Which is the problem? Thank you in advance
      Alessandro
    • By rduckwor
      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?
      Thanks,
       
      RMD
    • 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!
        -Todd
       
  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • I'm a dentist. And I've never had much success polishing watch crystals with toothpaste.  The best polishing hack I've found was using those foam nail buffs that the ladies use. There are some sets that come with 3 grades of abrasives. Use the coarsest one first, then move the intermediate when all the deep scratches are gone. Finally use the finest grit to get a shine. As a last step, you can use a tiny smidgen of Polywatch to really bring out the shine.
    • Hi Watchmakers is correct,  If you are in the states places to look are Jules Borel,  Esslingers,  Otto Frei and I am sure there will be others. If you are just starting out the attached publication is worth a read. 1033305402_TZIllustratedGlossary(1).pdf
    • I'll add this to the mix. Sometimes fixing the watch isn't the goal... The movement may be fewer dollars, but if the goal is to fix THAT movement, or to learn how to replace a butchered balance, then the movement is wasted money because it makes zero traction toward the actual goal. I'm not at all advocating one over the other, but it's an argument worth making.
    • oldhippy, for that counter weight movement as per your instructions i made the pendulum + 12" minute hand (0.8mm brass) which is keeping perfect time for last 4 days. Now, i am arranging for steel sheet (1mm) and will try 18-20-24 inches hands! 
    • oldhippy, ok- noted.  since this one is single fusee with different design- it will be good for my collection. thanks for your valuable info.  
×
×
  • Create New...