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Lubricate the Mainspring or not?


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A stupid question but lately I heard some people said you can leave the mainspring clean and dry. Just set it back to the barrel it will function just fine.

The reason for that is when it's wind-up the spring wont touch each other (I doubt that) so no fiction and thus no need to lubricate the mainspring.

Any opinion? 

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The coils rub as the watch runs. Modern new springs are coated with a teflon type coating and don't need lubrication. If they've been cleaned  then they should be lightly greased, usually before installing, but we were also shown in school to put 5 little drops of heavy oil on the coiled spring in the barrel and 3 to five in the open space in the barrel; this wicks into the coils.

 

What you want to avoid is contaminating the braking grease on the barrel wall with a regular lubricant when woking on an automatic watch.

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2 minutes ago, nickelsilver said:

The coils rub as the watch runs. Modern new springs are coated with a teflon type coating and don't need lubrication. If they've been cleaned  then they should be lightly greased, usually before installing, but we were also shown in school to put 5 little drops of heavy oil on the coiled spring in the barrel and 3 to five in the open space in the barrel; this wicks into the coils.

 

What you want to avoid is contaminating the braking grease on the barrel wall with a regular lubricant when woking on an automatic watch.

Thank you. How to determine if the Mainspring is coated?

But anyway if it's an old mainspring then it's better to clean and lubricate it with some oil right?

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8 minutes ago, EatPeach said:

Thank you. How to determine if the Mainspring is coated?

But anyway if it's an old mainspring then it's better to clean and lubricate it with some oil right?

Right. Moebius 8200 is a good option.

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48 minutes ago, EatPeach said:

Thank you. How to determine if the Mainspring is coated?

Not all mainsprings are coated some of them supposedly because of the alloy they don't need Teflon or anything. But you still caught with the same problem basically it's invisible.

If you clean the mainspring and it had an invisible lubrication it now does not.

49 minutes ago, EatPeach said:

But anyway if it's an old mainspring then it's better to clean and lubricate it with some oil right?

The problem with invisible lubrication is you don't know it's there. Which means if you clean it you remove it but since you don't know if it's there or not that doesn't matter. If the mainspring has old oils are greases they definitely have to come off because they will be sticky. if you have a nice clean mainspring it should be lubricated with something. Just don't get carried away with putting too much on otherwise it leaks out of the barrel.

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. I Think the problem was succinctly explained by both posts, like all lubrication it opens up a dark hole. There are those who do , those that don't , those that will and those that wont.   Two very good explanations.

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So, clean and lubricate with a thin layer of 8200

Interesting to see that @nickelsilver said that he was "shown in school to put 5 little drops of heavy oil on the coiled spring in the barrel and 3 to five in the open space in the barrel;". 

I did wonder about that - some do and some don't !

 

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I've serviced a couple of Seiko automatics recently - and as I don't have the Seiko lubricants, I was looking up what others were using. I was surprised to find people using 8200 on the barrel walls and not breaking grease.

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53 minutes ago, mikepilk said:

I was surprised to find people using 8200 on the barrel walls and not breaking grease.

It's the problem with so many things the lack of knowledge of what people are supposed to be doing. I suppose technically all lubrication's are breaking lubrication's. That's because they have surface tension but typically we don't think of oil and standard grease as a braking force. This means that using 8200 totally sucks is a breaking grease. But obviously some people don't pay attention to that.

On 1/20/2021 at 11:02 AM, nickelsilver said:

we were also shown in school to put 5 little drops of heavy oil on the coiled spring in the barrel and 3 to five in the open space in the barrel; this wicks into the coils.

The modern schools are now using 9501 for the grease on the mainsprings. Which is interesting because they try to follow the modern techniques and the modern techniques are not to lubricate the mainspring. Omega has a guide for recycling mainspring barrels And mainspring. they remove the mainspring and gently wipe it with a lint free cloth before reinserting and of course they put breaking grease In the barrel.

 

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1 hour ago, mikepilk said:

I've serviced a couple of Seiko automatics recently - and as I don't have the Seiko lubricants, I was looking up what others were using. I was surprised to find people using 8200 on the barrel walls and not breaking grease.

That would've been a mistake. Who did that? Let them know to use breaking grease instead on the barrel wall for automatic movements.

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