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Pallet fork replacement for pocket watch


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Well¬†as a newbie to watch repair, I have already made my first mistake ūüėě

I was given scrap pocket watch (cal.534) that I am attempting to repair. Its main problem was a deformed hairspring which I managed to sort out fairly well with the helpf of Mark's video but I had also removed the pallet fork a couple of times. Unfortunately, on the second removal it seems I'd levered it out rather than lifted it straight out and the end part of the pallet staff has broken off and is left in the jewel. 

I know it it possible to replace the staff if you have the right tools (I don't have them) but is it possible to get replacement pallet forks for this calibre from anywhere? If not, what are my options?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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If are going to keep track of the number of mistakes you're making watch repair isn't the place you want to be. So your second mistake is you expect us to read your mind? It's a pocket watch and its caliber 534 I don't suppose it was made by a company with a name that we might recognize? Because otherwise trying to find parts for 534 could be challenging without that information.

10 minutes ago, Bonzer said:

pallet staff has broken off and is left in the jewel. 

I know it it possible to replace the staff if you have the right tools

A lot of this depends upon the particular pocket watch. In modern Swiss watches replacing the pallet fork staff is usually relatively simple if you have the right tools it's friction in. I don't think I know of any pallet forks that the staff is riveted in like it is in a  balance wheel. Then some of them they actually screw in.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, JohnR725 said:

So your second mistake is you expect us to read your mind?

Hi, sorry I should have been more specific - it's a Winegarten's Railway Regulator

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Okay my mistake fortunately I don't keep track of them anymore. Picture would be nice because what exactly is a Winegarten's Railway Regulator? I know I will Google it And that was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be sort of? I'm attaching an image so everyone knows what we're talking about.

Yes by the way images always helpful

In the field of watch making people who make watches the definition of making is an interesting phrase. There are companies who make movements and sell them to people who claim to make watches. They make watches by buying movements dials they might make their own dials and cases but they usually by the movement. Some companies might make the entire watch. As a guess this company didn't actually make the movement but I could be wrong..

My demonstrating the eBay reference I found the watch as action to have the papers from the watch company who probably did not make the movement.

A lot of times were Swiss movements the maker will put an insignia and the actual number the movement under the balance wheel which I can't see in the image. Then sometimes is found on the backside covered by the dial. Other times were going to have to do what's called the fingerprint system this is we need a good picture of the setting parts on the backside. The diameter the movement we can go to a book and look it up and see if we can figure out who actually made this watch.

Then in the meantime it be nice if you get a picture of the pallet fork also so we can see what that looks like.

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Winegarten-039-s-Railway-Regulator-c-1920s-Presentation-case-amp-Papers-Swiss-Made-/224244722132

 

 

 

Cal 534.JPG

 

Edited by JohnR725
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It would help to see the backside of the movement but as a guess it's related to what I have at the link below. Which indicates that the manufacturer is Cortebert.

Then finding a tech sheet might be challenging. I thought cousins had one but it still helpful but unfortunately it's not a parts list.

 

 

http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?10&ranfft&0&2uswk&Cortebert_532

 

7171_Cortebert Calibres 530 532 542 526 534 540 548.pdf

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Thanks for your research, yes it looks like the Cortebert movement.

I have attached some photos of the pallet fork and the movement itself.

P.s. The pictures have highlighted the need to purchase a set of brass tweezers! (Mistake no.2 - Ok, I'll stop counting now)

Pallet fork 2.jpg

Pallet fork 1.jpg

Winegarten movement.jpg

Edited by Bonzer
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Thanks for looking that up.

As a newbie, I'm not sure how part/calibre references work so forgive me for this question if the answer is blindingly obvious to everyone else:
Would a pallet fork made for one member of this family (as listed on http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?10&ranfft&0&2uswk&Cortebert_532) also be the same for another member of that family? In other words can I safely order one of the pallet forks listed in your link and know it would fit my watch?

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4 hours ago, Bonzer said:

Would a pallet fork made for one member of this family (as listed on http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?10&ranfft&0&2uswk&Cortebert_532) also be the same for another member of that family? In other words can I safely order one of the pallet forks listed in your link and know it would fit my watch?

You can always fantasize about this. Then throw money at the problem and find out whether it actually fits or not or do some research and get hopelessly confused. Then totally ignore the research and just Ask the question again and the answer is probably no it will not fit.

Let's look at the above message by watchweasol. He gives you a link and the same PDF that I give you. His link is to and I think you should click on the link and go there and look at it. You need to get experience in doing this. His link is for the CORT 536. The material systems usually shorten the name of the company typically three digits not 4 like this which leads to confusion later in the discussion. In any case you go the link you get the list of parts. Then you can click on each of the part names and get the cross reference. You'll notice that there is a pallet fork and there's a pallet fork arbor separate. In case you don't go there I snipped out the images below. But we run into a problem I don't see the 534 In either of the cross reference lists?

This is where it's time to fall back and look at the PDF and figure out what's really going on? Plus going to the  Beginning of the website and looking up 534 which is listed with no parts? But this gives us an answer it's really a base caliber of 526. Some watches have base calibers they start with the basic watch add a calendar perhaps day date etc. then the parts listing for each of those watches would only list the difference and send you back to the base Caliber. This means were looking for a pallet fork for a 526.

Then I'm giving you the link for the 526 below but that presents a problem? The problem is the pallet fork arbor is listed the same pallet fork arbor this listed at the above link but there is no pallet fork?

This is where I usually do additional research with bestfit. Down below I have a link where you can buy the PDF it's well worth buying. Then they do have a website version no pictures and that sauce a  fee and I snipped out images of all of that.

Physical bestfit book is a wonderful book to have anyone that has it should thumb through it from time to time because are so much stuff in there you tend to forget all the wonderful stuff. But the basic of the book is you can look up your calibers and get some basic parts. You can also use the fingerprint system. Suppose you don't know which watch you have then you need the physical size and the setting parts. This makes up the fingerprint system I snipped out the section of the book which should correspond your watch. That's where the PDF that both of us attached up above notice it has the setting parts it's basically one page to help you identify that this indeed is your watch.

Then the online bestfit system gets confusing. This is because normally to use this you need to have three letters that corresponds the abbreviation of the caliber you have. I have a cheat sheet for that that lists them out unfortunately your manufacturer is not listed? The site that we got all the part numbers from listed as four letters. Whereas I'm supposed to three. So what I did was to take the part numbers of the pallet fork  and separate arbor and look up the cross reference which I'm attaching also. Then I find out that they're using a three digit code that also corresponds to another watch which is really weird. But the most part 534 does not exist in their if it does it has some other numbers associated with it. There are no pallet forks for the 534 or the 526 exactly what both cross references show.

The arbor though does cross reference it indicates that it should work. You'll notice when you look at the arbor cross reference across references to lots of watches because this is basically a generic component. Unfortunately you need tools to put it in that you probably don't have.

Then yes it is conceivable that one of those pallet forks might actually work in your watch and may be? One of the problems for people knew in watch repair is the assumption that all the parts lists service manuals etc. exist and they do not. Sometimes there's lots of information for various watches and other times like this is almost nothing. So basically we don't know but based on what we have it doesn't look like it cross-references.

Base caliber reference

http://cgi.julesborel.com/cgi-bin/matcgi2?ref=CORT_526

Bestfit book source

https://mccawcompany.com/product/bestfit-encyclopedia-books-111-111a-digital-download-pdf-version/

Cross reference website

http://cgi.julesborel.com/

cort pallet fork.JPG

cort 534.JPG

cort pallet fork arbor.JPG

cort bf 19l.JPG

bestfit pallet fork with Arbor.JPG

best fit pallet fork arbor.JPG

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Wow, thanks for walking me through that!

Previously, I had followed all the links that you and Watchweasol had provided and I was getting extremely confused by it all.

One of the most useful things I learned from your post is that watches have a base calibre. I have now obtained the bestfit guide now and I'm working out how to use that.

So with no reference to a pallet fork part number, I'm left with perhaps trying a pallet fork from another member of that family (I note that there is one from a Cortebert 536 on Ebay) and if it doesn't work, I know that the pallet arbour on that assembly probably will work....if I can remove and place it on the original fork.

Thanks very much for taking the time to guide me through that it such a detailed way - I've learned a lot from it.

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Just an update to this (for any future searchers), I took a gamble and ordered a pallet fork for a 536 Cortebert movement and it was exactly the same as the original and fitted perfectly in the 534 movement. So, a good result.

Everything was fine......until I made yet another rookie mistake - I removed the pallet bridge to look at something else but the watch was under power - disaster!! Because the balance wheel was not installed, the tension from the escape wheel fired the pallet fork out the movement and caused the exact same damage as before - a broken pivot on the pallet arbor¬†ūüė≠¬†Back to square one.

Learning watch repair lessons the hard way is expensive

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14 hours ago, Bonzer said:

Just an update to this (for any future searchers), I took a gamble and ordered a pallet fork for a 536 Cortebert movement and it was exactly the same as the original and fitted perfectly in the 534 movement. So, a good result.

Everything was fine......until I made yet another rookie mistake - I removed the pallet bridge to look at something else but the watch was under power - disaster!! Because the balance wheel was not installed, the tension from the escape wheel fired the pallet fork out the movement and caused the exact same damage as before - a broken pivot on the pallet arbor¬†ūüė≠¬†Back to square one.

Learning watch repair lessons the hard way is expensive

The lesson from that must be to let the power off before doing any kind of work. It is just a good habit to get into until you know exactly what you can get away with.

You wouldn't work want to adjust the timing or fan belts on a car while the engine was running unless you know the whys and wherefores! Careful is always better.

But, as I've been told many times, you can't read experience from a book. Sometimes a good (usually expensive) lesson is learned from a disaster.

Edited by Flagstaff
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15 hours ago, Bonzer said:

Just an update to this (for any future searchers), I took a gamble and ordered a pallet fork for a 536 Cortebert movement and it was exactly the same as the original and fitted perfectly in the 534 movement. So, a good result.

Everything was fine......until I made yet another rookie mistake - I removed the pallet bridge to look at something else but the watch was under power - disaster!! Because the balance wheel was not installed, the tension from the escape wheel fired the pallet fork out the movement and caused the exact same damage as before - a broken pivot on the pallet arbor¬†ūüė≠¬†Back to square one.

Learning watch repair lessons the hard way is expensive

Please do not work on anything electronic that is plugged in to the mains.  Might not end well.

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19 hours ago, Bonzer said:

Learning watch repair lessons the hard way is expensive

 

5 hours ago, Flagstaff said:

But, as I've been told many times, you can't read experience from a book. Sometimes a good (usually expensive) lesson is learned from a disaster.

This is why I no longer discouraged people starting on Rolex watches or family heirloom watches or any of the other things people like the start on. Because it seems to be really hard to convince people that may be watch repair isn't as easy as they think. So disasters are definitely good things in watch repair the more expensive the better. Having your family forever Never forgiving you for destroying great-grandfathers watch or breaking your Rolex seems to be a good lesson. Although the last person with a Rolex did succeed.

4 hours ago, LittleWatchShop said:

Please do not work on anything electronic that is plugged in to the mains.  Might not end well.

That's the purpose of these lessons don't discourage people from doing this. Without painful lessons and killing off a few people how would the world ever learn?

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Well I happen to have a watch that I do really like and that I want to service, but I'm not touching it until I've got a fair few repairs/teardowns/reassembly of junk watches under my belt - so I think it is very sensible advice. I also have an Omega Speedmaster that I'll never ever EVER attempt to repair/service myself because that was my dad's watch and it is a lovely piece and I want it to stay that way.

7 hours ago, Flagstaff said:

But, as I've been told many times, you can't read experience from a book. Sometimes a good (usually expensive) lesson is learned from a disaster.

Although it's been annoying having these problems, I have learned a lot from the mistakes I've already made and I dare say I'll probably be unlikely to make those particular mistakes again. Other mistakes though? I've got a long road to travel yet.....

Edited by Bonzer
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