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1 hour ago, AndyHull said:

It is stamped inside the lid with K14, so there is a chance that it might  have a 14K gold case.

I trust that you do have a lottery ticket for tonight? I thought the 9ct Rotary was a lucky find in a £6.50 job lot, but if that pocket watch does turn out to be a solid gold case too then......    well just WOW!!!!!

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I've not stripped the pocket watch down completely but I think the bushing is probably all right, however there is an issue with the mainspring barrel.

Either the barrel arbour is shot, or the spring is, as the thing doesn't take any tension. It feels locked solid. Initially I thought it was simply fully wound, and the reason for its inability to run for more than a few seconds was down to the hairspring.

However I have just un-jinked the hairspring and taken another quick look at things, and I discovered that I couldn't let the mainspring down.

I gently released the tension, and it moved about 1/8th of a turn then stopped, and it wouldn't wind. I then removed the winding gears, but it was still locked up, so it is time for a complete tear down. 

Since I will need to strip it down completely anyway, I'll take a look at the bushing and all of the jewels etc. then.

I also need to go through my stash and see if I have a suitable stem, or can adapt one of the ones I have. I'm fairly certain I don't have a suitable crown. Not that I have the time to do any of this tonight though. Perhaps over the weekend.

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I also took a quick look at the other Rotary in the bundle. This is a tiny ladies two hander, and other than a few minor signs of age, it seems to be running fine following a very quick clean.

I didn't do a full strip down, on this one either as I had a bunch of other household tasks to complete, and besides, I need to be "in the zone" with no other interruptions or distractions, to strip down and re-build anything this small.

Edited by AndyHull
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4 hours ago, Tudor said:

Silver?

Nine carat gold contains 9 / 24 = 37.5% gold by weight, the rest is varying amounts of silver, copper and other elements to give different colours. So the 375 stands for 9 carat, and the TB (Titre bas) mark defines it as an imported watch case (imported to Switzerland that is).

I can't quite make out the letter at X from the photo, but that letter tells you the assay office.

image.png.c44a4e7fc8548f24da79f0d88e73d7ca.png

 

So 375‰, i.e. 9 carat, gold

More details here- > http://www.silvercollection.it/DICTIONARYEUHALLMARKSWITZERLANDANCIENT.HTML
 

.. and here .. -> https://www.vintagewatchstraps.com/swisshallmarks.php#nine


Not quite enough to retire on, but a nice little find.

Edited by AndyHull
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Given that the entire 404 concept was your doing, I'm fairly certain you own the largest collection of 404 denizens, and now likely the single most valuable 404 score, I think you get the crown. And the scepter. And the blingy egg thing. I need to start paying closer attention to those listings with blurry photos!

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On 11/9/2020 at 5:22 PM, Tudor said:

Silver?

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More in that particular subject.

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I took a little time this evening to see what ails the little ornate pocket watch I mentioned the other day.

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Quite a lot it seems.

 

The hand setting spring for the crown/clutch arrangement was broken, the canon pinion appears to be welded in place, and as a result I can't extract the barrel to see why the mainspring wont take any tension.

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I set about the spring first, and that seems to be OK now.

I don't have the correct stem, but I have something close, and I'm going to dig through the rest of the junk pile at a later date to see if I have anything better. If not, I may set about trying to make one. (That way madness lies no doubt).

I also spent a little more time straitening and cleaning the hands, and while they are not perfect, they are now quite presentable.

So one step forward and two back so far. But... I re-examined the case, and it has a squirrel on it, which means that it was manufactured post 1880 and the K14 plus the squirrel means it is almost certainly 14K

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Quote

The second standard of gold recognised by the 1880 Swiss Act was 14 carat. This was a standard of gold that had been used on the continent for many years and was very popular. The Swiss legal decimal fineness standard for 14K was 583‰ as shown in the illustration of the marks, which was confirmed by the hallmark of a single squirrel.


Fourteen carat gold is not quite as straight forward to mark as a decimal number as 18 carat because the percentage is not a round number; 14 /24 works out to 0.5833... with the 33 recurring to infinity. The Swiss authorities rounded this down to 0.583‰ but some countries such as Germany rounded it up to 585‰. Given the high cost of gold, this seemingly small difference was significant.

In order to show that an item had passed assay at the higher 0.585‰ standard, Swiss bureaux de contrôle were authorised to hallmark cases marked the decimal figure 0,585 with two squirrels, one large and one small on opposite sides of the decimal fineness mark as shown in the image here.

Source -> here <-

So one squirrel rather than two, but I'm not complaining.

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I must admit I suspected it was, as an awful lot of effort has gone in to hand engraving the case.

Too much perhaps for a plated one.

Edited by AndyHull
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A quick question for the pocket watch experts -In a Maltese Cross or Geneva Stop Work (as seen on this watch), what is the likely cause of being able to wind a short distance, but then hitting a dead stop, as if the stop work has kicked in.

Is this more likely to be dirt, or a broken spring?

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11 hours ago, AndyHull said:

A quick question for the pocket watch experts -In a Maltese Cross or Geneva Stop Work (as seen on this watch), what is the likely cause of being able to wind a short distance, but then hitting a dead stop, as if the stop work has kicked in.

Is this more likely to be dirt, or a broken spring?

I had a look through my various books and a trawl round the internet.

MaltesCrossStopWork.thumb.jpg.a0bca3334a615bf8ea99309bc339dbd1.jpg


The way I understand the Maltese cross stop works is as follows.

When correctly positioned, the stop works will allow the barrel to be wound a complete revolution for each square cut out in the cross. In the case of the one in the diagram above that would mean that the cross allows four complete revolutions of the barrel before the stop works is impeded by the lack of a further cut out, assuming the barrel cam is turning counter clockwise and the cross therefore turning clockwise in this case.

If this is the correct, then the cross needs to be returned to the zero position if tension is let down on the main spring, otherwise, if the spring was previously fully wound, then the cross will immediately impede winding as the stop works would still be in the stop position.

In other words, there may be nothing wrong with the main spring, it may simply be the case that the tension had been let down at some stage before I received the watch, and therefore, with a little light lubrication and the correct re-positioning of the stop works, it may in fact be fully functional.
 

Does anybody know if my analysis is sound?

EDIT: I also noticed that most of the pictures I have posted of the case have a very white/silver appearance. This is due to the cold white of the light I use for inspection. The case is in fact a much warmer rose gold coloured. I'll see if I can get some good pictures in daylight once the watch is running.

Edited by AndyHull
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16 minutes ago, Tudor said:

I’d go with that theory. 
 

once it’s all apart you can assess the mainspring condition and that will either prove or disprove. But I think it’s a sound theory. 

Thanks. Hopefully that is all that is wrong. I'm trying to avoid wrestling with the canon pinion, but I may have to if I absolutely have to remove the barrel. If I can reposition the cross without removing the barrel, then I may be able to get it running without risking any further damage.

My replacement pin set works spring functions perfectly, so setting the hands now works well, and other than sourcing a crown and a ring for the winder it is almost complete. 

SimilarJWBenson.jpg.c971a31dad5401205a215004dbcac3d2.jpg


I spotted the slightly more ornate 18K version in the picture above on ebay with an almost identical winder gear setup which is attributed to J W Benson.

The mechanism in that one has  <H.W>  stamped on it (H.W in a diamond). It looks to be slightly more modern too, with a more elaborate balance. Most of the finish is identical to the one I have. The bridge layout differs, but the screws, springs and so forth have been finished in an identical manner, so I presume mine is a slightly lower specification, but from the same maker.

Does anyone know who HW might be?
 

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58 minutes ago, AndyHull said:

My replacement pin set works spring functions perfectly, so setting the hands now works well, and other than sourcing a crown and a ring for the winder it is almost complete. 

The more I look at my replacement spring, the more I wonder if my initial thoughts on how it originally looked may be wrong.

I wonder if I should have a short arm to the left, braced against the case and along arm to the right continuing all the way to the lever.

Sadly with nothing to compare it to, I'll probably never know. However the arrangement I came up with works, so given that this is the case, I may well just leave well enough alone.

 

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What is the issue with the cannon pinion? It should be able to be released without too much effort.

A drop or two of light oil will help loosen the coagulated lubricant, then it should come off. 

The Waltham I did recently came off without the oil trick, just using (old) tweezers...

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Another 1p watch.

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This time a "Beta" LCD Chronograph.

This is from the early era when LCD modules were made on a ceramic substrate. Later watches use more conventional thin FR4 fiberglass circuit boards, but this has the military style silver printed track ceramic substrate type of board.

There were quite a number of issues, including a corner of the substrate which had cracked off taking one of the tracks with it. You can buy conductive silver paint for this kind of repair, and a little superglue and some silver paint, and that was fixed.

The zebra strips were also filthy, the battery contacts covered with the usual assortment of alkaline metal salts caused by a leaking battery, and the case and glass were pretty beaten up and heavily scratched.

There was only about a couple of inches of the original strap with it too, so the one on it is a "new old stock" replacement.

All of the issues have been attended to (although I drew the line at re-plating the case), and now it is quite presentable, and seems to be running just fine.

Edited by AndyHull
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  • 2 weeks later...

This recently joined the club, and I posted about it when it arrived. It went back under the microscope this evening, having mysteriously stopped  dead.

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The culprit was a tiny fibre which had worked its way into the balance, causing it to be wildly out of beat.

Once removed everything was back to normal. I've included a mystery mechanism shot, since I couldn't actually identify what rather pedestrian pin lever is powering this one.

It is stamped [RE], One Jewel, Ingersoll YY, 1513 Swiss, none of which elicited anything useful from aunty Google.

I previously stated it had no jewels, but it apparently has one. It is also remarkably quiet for a pin lever. Often you can hear them from the other side of the room, but not this one. 

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Edited by AndyHull
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Landed a trio. Paid $0.99 for the two Hiltons, and the seller threw in the Benrus for free. Shipping was $15, which is my personal absolute limit for shipping, but I figure $0.33/watch makes up for it. Plus, they're all fully jeweled Swiss movements in stainless cases, and one was even ticking on arrival (with a wind). Another started ticking after I opened it up (must have shook something loose). The Benrus is DOA so far. It's open through crystal, and the movement looks decent enough. Didn't investigate at all, and just closed it back up though. Had to cook up some dinner before play time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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