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Hi everyone, I would like to thank Mark for the warm welcome and Darren who intoduced me to this very educational site. I am new to watches, that is I have worn one but never understood the mechanics. I have recently retired from the Quarrying industry, mobile plant repair and maintenance, so I have stripped, repaired and maintained engines, transmissions etc but watching Mark strip the rolex for servicing was truly mesmorising. I have yet to watch the next video.(Game of thrones will have to take a back seat) I have bought a few nice working antique pocket watches, Omega, Waltham, Longines, Roamer and a 1955 Smiths empire in a miners pocket case ( I remember seeing the blasting team at work in the 60's with very similar types of watch) and also a Lacorda 15 that isn't working. Will enjoy watching the videos and possibly get some tips from other members. My wrist watch is a Rotary, nothing special. Best regards. Gareth

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Thanks Will, I am very impressed with your site and you have a fantastic collection. The website is a credit to you. I haven't opened up all your watches for info but looked at the Lord Elgin Clubman, what does Grade 680 mean? The Roamer popular looks a nice watch, I have ordered a Roamer pocket watch, hope to get it soon. Have you also a collection of pocket watches?

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Welcome Gareth,

 

this is a nice forum where you will find lots of helpful people in your watch repair journey. If I may, I recommend to start with a simple mechanical movement and if possible something that already works so you know if you are doing the right thing. That is, you check before you start and check again after you finish and see if the watch is at least the same! Popular movements are ETA 6498, ETA 6497, ETA 2801 and family and some FHF like the 96 or 196 I guess. Don't try smaller than ligne 11 1/2 for starters since they become too small and may not be ideal during your learning curve...which includes handling of the parts with tweezers and the rest.

 

Cheers,

 

Bob

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A warm welcome to the forum Gareth.

An engine and transmissions man; a watch is basically five gear wheels and a regulator, so you'll get to grips with that soon enough. Attaining the very fine touch may when working on them take a little longer, but you'll get there! :)

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Thanks Will, I am very impressed with your site and you have a fantastic collection. The website is a credit to you. I haven't opened up all your watches for info but looked at the Lord Elgin Clubman, what does Grade 680 mean? The Roamer popular looks a nice watch, I have ordered a Roamer pocket watch, hope to get it soon. Have you also a collection of pocket watches?

 

Hi Gareth - glad you like the watches. The American watches - prior to their being incorporated into, or merged with Swiss manufacturers - used grades as opposed to the more common Swiss calibres. I do have a small collection of pocket watches. It was larger, but I now concentrate solely on American Railroad Grade watches - which are not cheap - so I've cut down quite a bit.

 

The great thing about wrist watches - and I came to them after pocket watches - is the huge variety of different movements and dials and styles, plus the wide range of prices and availability. And they're more easily wearable than pocket watches - though I do pop my weskits on from time to time and flaunt!

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Hi Will, my second watch I bought is an Admiral gold filled open face pocket watch, it is a lovely looking watch in good working condition. I haven't a clue about it's history, do you think it may be Naval.It was advertised as made in Canada and has a 3/4 plate movement 7 jewel's.

Can I ask about spares for watches, in particular the main spring. If you find you have a broken one, I wouldn't imagine that it had a part number so could you fit one from an old movement if it looked like the right size?

Gareth

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Hello Gareth and welcome to the amazing world of micro mechanics,  the scale is somewhat different from plant machinery!   As Geo said  developing the light touch required for watches takes time and practice,  heck if it was easy everyone would be doing it.  Some scrap watches from the Bay or boot sales would be good to practice on,  there is a wealth of information on this forum to get you started.

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Gareth, the minimum jewelling for US military pocket watches was 7 jewels, so it may well be naval. If its was a WW2 naval watch, then there would certainly be either Canadian or US Ordnance markings on the rear of the case. If there's a maker's name and serial number on the movement - and the movement is American - then you might find its grade and data on it here:

 

https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/

 

which deals with well-known, quality American brands like Elgin, Waltham. etc. Many American movements were housed in cases made in Canada, so it can be confusing at times! If you can post a picture of the dial and the movement, I might be able to help further.

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Forgot to mention, by the way, that I'll be up in Castleton for a few days in mid-May. Not a million miles from Buxton. If you're interested, I could bring some of American pocket watches to show you...

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Castleton is a beautiful place, the caverns, Mam Tor (the shivering mountain),

it can get very busy especially at weekends, but Buxton is the same. Love to meet up as it's not very far away. Are you in a caravan/motorhome?

Is Castleton a place you have visited before? I have done a few walks along the ridge from Mam Tor.

I have attached some pics of the admiral watch, hope they have come out as I am not that good with computers

Regards, Gareth

post-873-0-69745200-1428428291_thumb.png

post-873-0-02830800-1428428307_thumb.png

post-873-0-48007100-1428428324_thumb.png

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That's a nice looking watch - decent Swiss movement and a case made in Canada. Looks turn of the century to me - we imported movements and cases from Switzerland and North America at that time, to case up and sell in shops, so it could have been made up and sold in England. Two adjustments and a nice finish to the plates.

 

I'm actually staying at a B&B in Castleton (which I've visited briefly twice before) for 3 nights - and Mam Tor is on my list of places to visit. I stayed in Buxton for two separate nights last year, breaking up a long holiday journey to Alnwick in Northumberland - and I have friends I might visit in Congleton on the way home.

 

I'll PM you with dates - let me know if any of them are convenient.

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That's a good looking movement Gareth, seems very clean. It somehow evokes a probably much modern Unitas 6498 by the order and shape of the ratchet wheel and bridges in general. Not shock protected though so carefulness in handling is advised here. I would say it may even be a good watch to start the hobby, provided it is not of irreplaceable value to you!

 

Cheers,

 

Bob

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Thanks for that Bob, how can you tell it isn't shock protected. I have just received a new Rotary skeleton automatic watch for my birthday. Lovely watch and I can see the movement working. It is only recently that I have had an interest in watches, my watch for the last 10-15 years has been a £15 Casio. It was an everday work watch and got covered in oil/grease dust and slurry, still kept working, bril. I still have it and a Sunday/best watch which is a Tissot titanium watch. My interest began when the company I worked for part of the AngloAmerican group gave me some money to buy a retirement gift, so I bought a 1910 17K gold hunter watch. 1910 is the year the Quarry first started. As I have been in engineering all my working life I needed to know how it worked and sort of became hooked and thought I wouldn't mind having a go at taking one apart and servicing/repairing it. I am not stripping the retirement gift, I have ordered a few movements for repair to start me off.

Take care, Gareth

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The balance jewel in a modern'ish watch would have the usual lyre-shaped Incabloc spring (or an equivalent) to hold it in place and protect it from shock. Pre-Incabloc watches didn't have this form of shock protection, so need to be handled more carefully.

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That's right Gareth, just as Will said! Still, in my mind, old watches, regardless of shock protection, were more carefully put together and show a most superior workmanship than newer watches in general. That's what the modern automation does for you! :) 

 

Cheers,

 

Bob

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I finally received some old movements to practice on, did okay until the cannon pinion, it seemed to be in a recess and the £6.80 pinion remover feet wouldn't fit under the pinion. I have read that brass nosed pliers can be used but can't find where to get a set apart from USA. Bergeon have a pinion remover that has a wooden handle about £50-60,but I don't know how it works or if it is suitable for pocket watch pinions. Have you any advice?

Thanks Gareth

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