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PaulnKC

Vintage Waltham parts / repair...

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WRT Members,

I have a 50's/60's era Waltham men's wristwatch that needs some help.

It's in amazing (as-new) condition, but while wearing the other day, it stopped - even though there should have been plenty of power in the mainspring.

Disassembling for investigation quickly revealed the trouble. The screw-head from the ratchet wheel screw had broken off and found its way in to the train wheels and locked everything up.

There appears to be no other damage - thankfully. But now I want to fix the movement. My preference would be to find a barrel arbor and screw - or better yet a complete going barrel assembly new with ratchet wheel screw.

I am search eBay now - but thought I'd check with you guys to see if anyone knew of a good source for such parts. I haven't found any yet.

NOTE: This movement is Swiss made, 7 jewels, marking on the base plate look like Unitas 1690/02

Any info/help is greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards,

-Paul

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Correction - I think the base movement is an "AS 1690/02" (A Schild).

I am a relative novice - so, misinterpreted the logo/mark - is very similar to the old Unitas logo/mark. 

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If you're certain on the AS then it probably actually says 1690/92.

You could certainly pick up second-hand parts or a donor on ebay as you've intimated (e.g. https://www.ebay.com/itm/M22-Mens-Vintage-Waltham-AS-1690-92-movement/322426600684). For a lot of vintage watches getting hold of new parts however is difficult. Fortunately for your specific movement spares seem pretty readily available ... certainly if I look at my main supplier (UK based Cousins) they can provide lots of parts for the AS 1690. A new barrel arbor is £5.96 and screws (in a pack of three) are the same price. Tax and postage have to be figured in but that gives a ballpark for you. 

I note you're in the US so you could try a supplier closer to home - the resource page https://www.watchrepairtalk.com/links/watch-clock-repair-suppliers/united-states/ gives main ones for starters.

IMPORTANT: I note you mention that your movement is a 7 jewel variety but according to ranfft (http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?10&ranfft&0&2uswk&AS_1690) the 1690/92 should have 15 or 17 jewels. This isn't to say that a 7 jewel variety doesn't exist but given doubt on your original ID I thought it worth a mention. If in doubt post some pics here so folk can confirm.

Edited by WatchMaker

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15 minutes ago, WatchMaker said:

If you're certain on the AS then it probably actually says 1690/92.

You could certainly pick up second-hand parts or a donor on ebay as you've intimated (e.g. https://www.ebay.com/itm/M22-Mens-Vintage-Waltham-AS-1690-92-movement/322426600684). For a lot of vintage watches getting hold of new parts however is difficult. Fortunately for your specific movement spares seem pretty readily available ... certainly if I look at my main supplier (UK based Cousins) they can provide lots of parts for the AS 1690. A new barrel arbor is £5.96 and screws (in a pack of three) are the same price. Tax and postage have to be figured in but that gives a ballpark for you. 

I note you're in the US so you could try a supplier closer to home - the resource page https://www.watchrepairtalk.com/links/watch-clock-repair-suppliers/united-states/ gives main ones for starters.

IMPORTANT: I note you mention that your movement is a 7 jewel variety but according to ranfft (http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?10&ranfft&0&2uswk&AS_1690) the 1690/92 should have 15 or 17 jewels. This isn't to say that a 7 jewel variety doesn't exist but given doubt on your original ID I thought it worth a mention. If in doubt post some pics here so folk can confirm.

WatchMaker - thanks SO much for taking the time to post and all of the info!

I immediately purchased the movement in your first link. That movement is it! If you look at the reverse side image - you will see that it says "seven 7 jewels" on the train wheel bridge. Maybe Waltham was cutting corners reducing the number of jewels on the parts they supplied to the movement.

 

I also found that Otto Frei has new (old stock?) A Shild 1790 movements which look like could be a new 17-jewel replacement. Do you happen to know if the 1790 is a likely drop-in replacement?

Again, many thanks!

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That's great. I didn't actually look super closely at the item I'd found but good to confirm that there are 7 jewel varieties as it was an anomaly I'd picked up between your movement and ranfft's information.

As to your question on whether a 1790 could drop in the main thing here will be what ligne size movement you have in your watch as AS produced a 10.5 ligne variety (approx 23.7mm) which is the 1690 and 1790 and a 11.5 ligne variety (approx 26mm) which is the 1692 and 1792.

If you're looking on Otto Frei at a 1790 then this is the smaller variety which means in turn you should check you currently have the smaller 1690.

Note that even if you did think that getting a 'new' 1790 is worth it then this unit should still have a service as it's likely been sitting on a shelf for ages i.e. oil will have deteriorated etc. With that in mind tackling your original movement with a service may be more satisfying!

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On 10/13/2019 at 4:37 AM, WatchMaker said:

That's great. I didn't actually look super closely at the item I'd found but good to confirm that there are 7 jewel varieties as it was an anomaly I'd picked up between your movement and ranfft's information.

As to your question on whether a 1790 could drop in the main thing here will be what ligne size movement you have in your watch as AS produced a 10.5 ligne variety (approx 23.7mm) which is the 1690 and 1790 and a 11.5 ligne variety (approx 26mm) which is the 1692 and 1792.

If you're looking on Otto Frei at a 1790 then this is the smaller variety which means in turn you should check you currently have the smaller 1690.

Note that even if you did think that getting a 'new' 1790 is worth it then this unit should still have a service as it's likely been sitting on a shelf for ages i.e. oil will have deteriorated etc. With that in mind tackling your original movement with a service may be more satisfying!

Watchmaker - Again - many thanks!

 

I think I should be well covered for parts to get this resolved.

 

There is a little more to the story - which you may enjoy. The watch who's ratchet wheel screw broke - is an almost identical copy of a watch that means a lot to me (sentimentally). I found it on eBay in NOS condition and purchased it so that I would have a spare part of everything for the watch.

 

The new one was so beautiful that I decided to wear it (some) - since there is no sentimental attachment to the new one. But it does remind me of the watch near and dear to me. Which, by the way is also in mostly excellent condition for a watch of it's age.

 

I should  post pictures of the two so that you can see them. The one I recently purchased is completely amazing. It came in the original box, with tags and the original strap. Not unworn, but almost. She's a beauty - and so is the one I have had for decades.

 

-Paul

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Always nice to have the story behind a watch. Amazing you found one that's almost 'as new' and is original too (i.e. not messed with).

Good luck with the fixing and you will now have other spare parts to keep both watches on the road for a long time to come! :) 

Certainly feel free to show them off when you get a chance with some pics!

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8 hours ago, WatchMaker said:

Always nice to have the story behind a watch. Amazing you found one that's almost 'as new' and is original too (i.e. not messed with).

Good luck with the fixing and you will now have other spare parts to keep both watches on the road for a long time to come! :) 

Certainly feel free to show them off when you get a chance with some pics!

Thanks so much for everything.

I will definitely post a couple of pics after I get the "newer one" sorted.

-Paul

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On 10/15/2019 at 12:01 PM, PaulnKC said:

Thanks so much for everything.

I will definitely post a couple of pics after I get the "newer one" sorted.

-Paul

I ended up taking the barrel and ratchet-wheel screw from the "parts movement" that you found on eBay. I also purchased that NOS 1790, but the movements in these watches are the larger 1692. Still gives me a complete unused movement for parts.

Attaching some images - not sure how this is going to be formatted in the post (perhaps should have inserted using links).

But in the order that I think they will be in:

1) The newer movement fully serviced with the new barrel and ratchet-wheel screw.

2) A look at the dial before remounting in to the case.

3) Look from the rear - all mounted with the back off.

4) From the rear - with the back on.

5) The parts removed (barrel assembly complete with broken off screw head).

6) The two watches side by side.

7) My great uncle's watch from the rear with the original strap mounted (this strap came on the one I just acquired).

8) My great uncle's watch from the top in the correct original box (also came with the watch I recently acquired).

PA191909.jpg

PA191910.jpg

PA191913.jpg

PA191915.jpg

PA191916.jpg

PA191917.jpg

PA191918.jpg

PA191919.jpg

PA191920.jpg

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