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SparkyLB

New Mainspring

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At Mark's behest I purchased my first new movement, the ETA/Unitas 6497-1 and disassembled, cleaned, lubricated and reassembled.  I did not remove the mainspring from the barrel, being, "new old stock."  With an inability to leave well enough alone, I opened the barrel, carefully removed the arbor, and using a small folded section of tissue paper, lubricated the spring from end to end.  I had at it with my one and only K&D 123 winder, and as I rewound the mainspring, found it to be less than half as large as necessary.  In my stupidity (I only had to hold up the barrel of the winder to the vacant barrel to observe I was out of luck), I mangled my "new" mainspring. 

I received a new mainspring today, in its disk with one colored side.  Does one lubricate a newly-purchased mainspring, if in a hermetically sealed foil and plastic pouch?  A search didn't provide an answer.  I imagine it can be installed without any special attention, but I'm asking anyway, as you folks are always very helpful and generous with your knowledge.   

What do you do?

Edited by SparkyLB

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How did you mangle the spring? Did you do it when you removed it from the barrel?

i never oil mainsprings especially new white alloys if anything I clean them if they have any emulsion on them, and this is good practice for springs going into an automatic. The only time I use lube is on blue alloy springs on old pocket watches to prevent corrosion. I know mark explains to use a very thin layer of oil but I think this is a matter of preference. I never really dealt with a used one because naturally if I remove a spring it gets replaced it’s basically a rule I have and good one I think. White alloy springs never come out of the barrel without warping. I use KD adjustable they inject the winded spring into the barrel perfect. I like them better than the ridiculously expensive Bergeon set. 

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If the mainspring is genuinely new, then the lubrication from the factory will be fine, but if the mainspring is sold as NOS or new old stock, or similar, especially if the spring is not hermetically sealed in its packaging, then I would be tempted to clean and oil it anyway.

I have a bunch of such mainsprings from various random ebay auctions of junk lots, and they vary from pristine to tarry (and in at least one batch, actually rusty). If sealed, and sold as new, then it should be good to go. Otherwise, I would inspect it carefully, and if in any doubt, clean and oil it as you would with a mianspring being serviced.

Edited by AndyHull

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6 hours ago, SparkyLB said:

I received a new mainspring today, in its disk with one colored side.  Does one lubricate a newly-purchased mainspring, if in a hermetically sealed foil and plastic pouch?

No, all Generale Ressorts springs come pre-lubricated. However, note that when you service your first automatic movement, you will have to lubricate the inside rim of the barrel with some braking grease, but that's a different story. Other than that, just do it exactly like Mark explains and video illustrates in his watch repair lessons "C2.4.5 ASSEMBLE THE GOING BARREL".

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Thank you, VWatchie.  Yes, I was aware that an automatic mechanical movement's main spring needs to slip to avoid over-winding.  9501 or Molykote DX, I think.  He refers to it as a "braking grease," if memory serves. 

I was not aware of Generale Ressorts, but I know who they are now.  I purchased my mainspring, movement specific, from Clarke.  I dont know much about the company, but read that they are supposed to be quite satisfactory. 

So new mainsprings come ready for installation.  Colored side of disk up.  Thank you again.

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1 hour ago, SparkyLB said:

So new mainsprings come ready for installation.  Colored side of disk up.

Indeed! :thumbsu:

A good braking grease would be Moebius 8217. I think many professionals would prefer Kluber P125 but it's silly expensive. You also have Moebius Glissalube B 8212 for aluminum barrels and Moebius Glissalube A 8213 for brass barrels. There are plenty of threads here on WRT discussing the topic of lubricating barrels for automatic movements.

You would definitely not want to use Moebius 9501 or Molykote DX, as these would make the mainspring bridle slip way too soon.

Edited by VWatchie

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Thanks again, VWatchie.  I think I understand now.  9501 and Molykote DX are for high friction areas.  The inside of the barrel is certainly high friction for automatics; but we're not trying to mitigate friction as much as we're trying to allow the main spring freedom to slide so it doesn't score or foul the internal wall of the barrel.  Yes?

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3 hours ago, SparkyLB said:

Thanks again, VWatchie.  I think I understand now.  9501 and Molykote DX are for high friction areas.  The inside of the barrel is certainly high friction for automatics; but we're not trying to mitigate friction as much as we're trying to allow the main spring freedom to slide so it doesn't score or foul the internal wall of the barrel.  Yes?

It should only slip to prevent overwinding, otherwise sliding and slipping of the mainspring in the barrel of an automatic will result in very low amplitude and poor running conditions or may not run at all. This why I never oil an automatic MS, even the slightest bit of oil drops the amplitude a clean dry spring with kluber on barrel wall yield 280+ without fail. For me at least can’t speak for others and not going to say my method is the answer. I would say a dry lube is best for a MS if anything. And as most say a lot of new mainsprings come with dry lube ready to be installed.

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10 hours ago, SparkyLB said:

The inside of the barrel is certainly high friction for automatics; but we're not trying to mitigate friction as much as we're trying to allow the main spring freedom to slide so it doesn't score or foul the internal wall of the barrel.

Haven't you considered searching this forum for the many discussions on the same subject? Here below a coupe of results for "braking grease"

 

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10 hours ago, SparkyLB said:

9501 and Molykote DX are for high friction areas. 

Correct! Basically metal rubbing against metal like for example between the yoke and the yoke spring.

 

6 hours ago, saswatch88 said:

It should only slip to prevent overwinding

Indeed! That's the main purpose of the braking grease (and being protective).

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