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adamb11

New doing first restoration

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I am experienced with automotive restoration and other handy things. I have always loved old mid century watches and have a few.  So it is now time to learn about restoration.  I purchased some inexpensive new mechanical movements off of ebay and some basic (high end) tools, four Horotec screwdrivers, simple magnification glasses, tweezers.  I wanted to practice developing some technique by taking apart and putting back together these Cheap new movements.  I have some technique and feel now.  I also made a setup where I video my disassembly and then play it backwards as assembly instructions if needed.  So I purchased my first watch to restore.  It's a 1950's Pierce Chrono double pusher. It's the 134 movement.

So looking for tips...

My plan is:

1) Disassemble (and video)

Well actually that's all I have in my plan.  How should I clean the Parts?  Chemical?  Go to a Jeweler and have them ultrasonic?

Thanks,

Adam

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Ok this movement is highly complex and it is not recommended for the novice, but then again when i started my first movement was a Seiko 6139 chrono and the watch is still running in my box but i had a couple donor parts movements. So if your going to undergo this endeavor you should try and get a parts movement which may be hard to find and also check out the link below. As far as cleaning goes an ultrasonic is not generally needed to do a good cleaning. Some distilled water with detergent nylon brushes and peg wood will suffice, you can rinse in 99% alcohol but make sure you DO NOT use alcohol on the pallet and balance wheel. You can get a decent ultrasonic for under $100 harbor freight has a nice one for $60 if you are in the USA. In that case you can use naphtha or Ronsonol lighter fluid. You can also do a naphtha soak prior to hand cleaning as well in order to attack dried up old oils.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pierce-Cal-134-Chronograph-How-to-PDF-Book/372688650391?hash=item56c5f98097:g:R2YAAOSwRSddASsX

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10 hours ago, adamb11 said:

How should I clean the Parts?  Chemical?  Go to a Jeweler and have them ultrasonic?

We have many, many topics dedicated to cleaning parts. For example, check the  the pinned one below:

However I recommend that you use petroleum ether (refined naphta) of laboratory grade, it's cheaply and easily available online and specialized stores. I do not recommend that you use lighter fluid, as it's made to burn, not to clean, it contains perfumes and other additives that do not belong to watch repairing.You can buy an U/C cleaner very cheaply, but consider that is not mandatory at all, watches were perfectly serviced even before it was widely available.

2 hours ago, Nucejoe said:

No doubt Chrono is complex, not recommended for novice.
A pocket watch or manual wind wristwatch would be suitable.

We should consider that the OP has practiced already on Chinese mov't, and that is certainly a starting point. What we don't know how well they run, since he mention he has "high-end" tools but not a timegrapher, in hardware or software form. I mention that since I think it's an important benchmark to pass before moving up the scale of complexity.

Anyway my first and foremost tips to beginner is: when in presence (even just suspected) of springs of any type, work within a clear plastic bag.

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Only Ronsonol lighter fluid no longer has chemicals like benzene and lactane in it, only difference between it and VM&P Naphtha is boiling point and vapor pressure. You can also use mineral spirits they are the same class of chemical. They are solvents that work well attacking grease and oil.

Might I add having a can of compressed air is great for drying the parts quickly after a solvent cleaning, you dont want to let the parts air dry.

Edited by saswatch88

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Thanks for all the awesome info.  I already love this forum.  I ordered a $60 ultrasonic cleaner.  By higher end tools I mean pro screwdrivers with ball bearings in the cap, extra bits, etc.  So I won't be chewing up screw heads.  I don't have a timegrapher.  What is the software form?  Is that a suitable option or am I better off with a physical one?

Thanks for all the references.  I'll go through each one carefully.  I'll keep you updated as I go through the process.  And I promise I will stop and ask questions if I am not sure of something instead of pushing through.

One question I have from my experience so far is this

" Is there a special technique for putting a plate on that has three or four jewels on it? "  It's difficult to get all the gears lined up.  I can eventually do it but I bet someone has some good tips.

Thanks,

Adam

 

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3 hours ago, adamb11 said:

Thanks for all the awesome info.  I already love this forum.  I ordered a $60 ultrasonic cleaner.  By higher end tools I mean pro screwdrivers with ball bearings in the cap, extra bits, etc.  So I won't be chewing up screw heads.  I don't have a timegrapher.  What is the software form?  Is that a suitable option or am I better off with a physical one?

Thanks for all the references.  I'll go through each one carefully.  I'll keep you updated as I go through the process.  And I promise I will stop and ask questions if I am not sure of something instead of pushing through.

One question I have from my experience so far is this

" Is there a special technique for putting a plate on that has three or four jewels on it? "  It's difficult to get all the gears lined up.  I can eventually do it but I bet someone has some good tips.

Thanks,

Adam

 

Hey first of all never be afraid to ask questions even if they seem redundant, you may get the occasional "there are many other threads on this topic" from certain members but I would say 99% of the users on this forum compared to other forums will genuinely still want to help, including me.

Dont waste time or money on software, get a timegrapher 1000 it can be had for about $150 and it works surprisingly well. Just note it will only be the most accurate with complete and utter silence. As far as as setting a bridge goes it takes practice, when i first started it would take me hours and several attempts to get it right, sometimes resulting in bent or broken pivots, know i can almost lay it right on with perfection. just note to never put any excess pressure on the bridge. Gently resting your finger helps to keep bridge in place but i recommend trying to do it without doing this because when you are new you tend to tense up and you can unwillingly put too much pressure on the bridge. Sometimes you can lay it right on top and just jiggle it a bit to get one or two of the wheels in. Then checking them by moving the wheels up and down (do note Spin them until all wheels are set), and by doing this it will allow the teeth of the wheel to set in the pinion of the next wheel thus lining up the pivot of the next wheel in the train. I do this with movement at eye level. Under 10x+ magnification looking from the top you can actually see the pivots in their respective jewels. Slight manipulation with a pair of tweezers can also be used to set the wheels, but dont actually grab the wheel with the tweezers just gently movie the pinion until the pivot seats. Having all the wheels lined up before laying the bridge down also helps with this. Check the pivots from the top make sure they are all in and bridge is laying flat on the main plate. If all pivots are in then use light finger pressure while placing screws in, before screwing move the center wheels make sure all wheels are spinning freely, do not take finger pressure off the bridge yet you want to screw each screw in, if its 3 screws then start with the outside screws first. DO NOT screw the screws down all the way, just until you feel light resistance. Checks the wheels spinning again while still keeping finger pressure. Now you want to turn each screw a half turn one by one then check the free spin again, at this point you can remove your finger from the bridge. NEVER screw down a plate or bridge without having finger pressure it can result in bent or broken pivots.

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what's advised for a simple movement holder?  I have created a cushion and have a small plastic clamp but would like something better.  I see in-exspensive ones on Amazon for $10.  Worth it or is it a waste?

Thanks

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On 1/27/2020 at 1:56 PM, adamb11 said:

what's advised for a simple movement holder?  I have created a cushion and have a small plastic clamp but would like something better.  I see in-exspensive ones on Amazon for $10.  Worth it or is it a waste?

Thanks

Its worth it for average use but again it will not help if you are working with movements with center seconds, esp ones that dont have a jewel bridge and just use a spring.

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I have the case open on the Pierce Chrono.  The movement is not ready to come out even though I have removed the stem.  It will spin around but when I go to lift it to has some freedom but is held in place.  I would say that it feels like the dial is restrained.  It’s not hitting the push buttons.  Ideas?

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6 minutes ago, adamb11 said:

I have the case open on the Pierce Chrono.  The movement is not ready to come out even though I have removed the stem.  It will spin around but when I go to lift it to has some freedom but is held in place.  I would say that it feels like the dial is restrained.  It’s not hitting the push buttons.  Ideas?

Please post pictures front and back to confirm it's a front loader, something that very often gets beginners stalled.

BTW I agree with the comment above, you are taking a risk starting with the complexity of a chrono. It is for good reasons that is recommended to develop first dexterity on something simpler and of less value. 

Edited by jdm

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1 hour ago, adamb11 said:

I have more images of internals from my microscope if you need to see internals if that is helpful.  Is it a front loader?

Just a full front picture would have been enough. When the dial is wider than the mov'n then yes, it is. You can search the forum for the many, many topics about that. 

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Under close examination that ridge doesn't look like a parting line.  Sure it come apart there?    If I decide to go teh crystal pull route what is the easiest/cheapest way?

Edited by adamb11

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I have a few of these (although not one with the screw down case back) and they are all front loaders where the movement is held in by the case bezel.  The mainplate has a step which makes the front of it a larger diameter than the back.  Yours looks like it has a little space around the movement in the case, but I would still expect it to come out of the front.

The crystal will be attached to the bezel, not the mid-case, so just removing the crystal won’t help you, and will expose the hands and dial to potential damage if you slip with that knife whilst removing the bezel. I would expect that you will likely want a crystal lift either way to fit a new crystal, unless the one you have is in good condition.

I can’t see clearly from the photo’s you've posted, but the split line for the front bezel may be just above the stem hole.

You will need a movement holder to work on this movement. Otherwise you will risk damaging the extended pivots that the hands attach to. I have a plastic Bergeon one which cost about £20, but I think it was worth it.

The Ranfft page you are looking for is this one http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?10&ranfft&a&2uswk&Pierce_134. You should also read this one https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/pierce-chronograph-no-trouble-clutch-disc-1006197.html - I have successfully made clutch washers this way and have read about others doing it too.

Before you strip it apart, what do you know about the performance? Does it run, does it keep time? Does the chrono start, stop and reset? I always put a running movement on a timegrapher before disassembly to see what I’ve  got. I have the Weishi timegrapher 1900, but also had good success with a free pc based tool https://tg.ciovil.li

Your watch is pretty old and these do suffer from wear of the barrel arbor holes, broken chrono runner springs and the pallet cocks are very thin at the jewel end and usually difficult to lift up straight. Parts are hard to come by and expensive. Don’t let that put you off though!

 

 

 

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