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Waltham service


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I'll be starting on the Waltham pocket watch this weekend.
You've already advised me that I can't wind the mainspring via the ratchet wheel and helped me with oiling.

This is my first pocket watch and I'm more used to the more modern movements. I would appreciate if you could let me know what to watch out for, what to be careful with etc. Stuff that differs from wrist watches.

Couple of questions:

Do I need to unscrew the jewels from the bridges? I will have to remove the jewel from the balance to clean it properly but I'm not certain about the other jewels. I presume that It will be straight forward putting them back?

Is the crown wheel screw reverse threaded?

Detaching the crown, is there a chance I may strip the tread on the stem?

Pictures of the jewels and the movement are below.

 

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P3311030.JPG

P3311094.JPG

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47 minutes ago, PeterS said:

I'll be starting on the Waltham pocket watch this weekend.
You've already advised me that I can't wind the mainspring via the ratchet wheel and helped me with oiling.

This is my first pocket watch and I'm more used to the more modern movements. I would appreciate if you could let me know what to watch out for, what to be careful with etc. Stuff that differs from wrist watches.

Couple of questions:

Do I need to unscrew the jewels from the bridges? I will have to remove the jewel from the balance to clean it properly but I'm not certain about the other jewels. I presume that It will be straight forward putting them back?

Is the crown wheel screw reverse threaded?

Detaching the crown, is there a chance I may strip the tread on the stem?

Pictures of the jewels and the movement are below.

 

P3311014.JPG

P3311030.JPG

P3311094.JPG

I have over 400 videos on watch cleaning and other topics. They should help as I talk my way through each one.

 

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For this watch, you wouldn't remove the jewel settings secured by screws. They can be removed, but they weren't intended to be routinely removed. Think of them like friction-fit plate jewels in an modern ETA 2824, only held with screws. As you noted, the balance jewels would be removed.

I believe the crown wheel screw on those old Walthams is reverse threaded.

You don't need to remove the watch crown from the watch stem. When you unscrew the 2 dial screws, the movement can be removed from the dial side. (You might need to pull the crown to the setting position.) In nearly all cases, the crown and stem stay in the case.

I'm not positive but just in case... (1) the balance staff is probably friction fit, not riveted, and (2) the mainspring barrel might be a "safety barrel" (much like a motor barrel, with an arbor, a lower barrel cup with a hook, and a cap with a riveted hub). If the barrel looks unlike what you usually see in modern watches, it's probably that.

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14 hours ago, WellAdjusted said:

For this watch, you wouldn't remove the jewel settings secured by screws. They can be removed, but they weren't intended to be routinely removed. Think of them like friction-fit plate jewels in an modern ETA 2824, only held with screws. As you noted, the balance jewels would be removed.

I believe the crown wheel screw on those old Walthams is reverse threaded.

You don't need to remove the watch crown from the watch stem. When you unscrew the 2 dial screws, the movement can be removed from the dial side. (You might need to pull the crown to the setting position.) In nearly all cases, the crown and stem stay in the case.

I'm not positive but just in case... (1) the balance staff is probably friction fit, not riveted, and (2) the mainspring barrel might be a "safety barrel" (much like a motor barrel, with an arbor, a lower barrel cup with a hook, and a cap with a riveted hub). If the barrel looks unlike what you usually see in modern watches, it's probably that.

Thank you for the tips, much appreciated.
I'd like to remove the crown and stem if possible to give everything a good clean in the ultrasonic.

 

14 hours ago, jdrichard said:

I have over 400 videos on watch cleaning and other topics. They should help as I talk my way through each one.

 

I have spent several evenings watching your videos recently, they are excellent. You're pretty good with a deck of cards too ?

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The movement is almost disassembled.

I've not opened the barrel as yet. Picture below shows how I found it.

The keyless is still in place, I'm not certain how it works yet. Could something spring out? And what about the little screw on its own?
With a modern movement there would be a stem you can push and pull, how does pull work here without the stem?
I didn't manage to get hold of bench keys but 1.4mm screwdriver fits well.

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P4041161.JPG

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Oh this Waltham is a beautiful mechanism; they carefully considered this.  You may note a tiny, long, sliding bar - running parallel to the stem/clutch wheel assembly.  Pull that outward and you should be able to wind, or let down mainspring tension along with holding back the ratchet. Isn't that the coolest way of facilitating de-cased operation? 

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12 hours ago, KarlvonKoln said:

Oh this Waltham is a beautiful mechanism; they carefully considered this.  You may note a tiny, long, sliding bar - running parallel to the stem/clutch wheel assembly.  Pull that outward and you should be able to wind, or let down mainspring tension along with holding back the ratchet. Isn't that the coolest way of facilitating de-cased operation? 

Thank you, I get it now!
It's the sliding bar that confused me, I didn't realise it was there to test the mechanism, I thought it was part of the working mechanism.

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Some have a little lever at the edge of the dial-side base plate which, once the movement is taken out of the case, will be released to project outward, placing the movement in "set" mode.  The clever and beautiful way these levers and linkages operate is one of the most captivating things about these old mechanical watches, for me anyway. 

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2 hours ago, KarlvonKoln said:

Some have a little lever at the edge of the dial-side base plate which, once the movement is taken out of the case, will be released to project outward, placing the movement in "set" mode.  The clever and beautiful way these levers and linkages operate is one of the most captivating things about these old mechanical watches, for me anyway. 

They are beautiful movements, the decoration, finishing, Breguet overcoil...

The barrel is also new to me. I initially thought the lid wasn't closed properly but that's not the case. From what I can see the arbour is fitted in after the mainspring and the lid are put in place? I presume removing the lid will be similar to removing a crank from a mainspring winder? Or perhaps hold the arbour with a pin vice, twist clockwise to disengage the hook from the hole in the spring and lift?

P4051243.JPG

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If this was their jeweled barrel things get more complicated. This looks like the non-jeweled type. You should be able to pull the arbor out and carefully separate the two pieces. I'm attaching a picture the fund will come is getting the mainspring back in again. As you normally have to modify the end sooner actually hook into the protruding part in the barrel.

5 hours ago, PeterS said:

I presume removing the lid will be similar to removing a crank from a mainspring winder?

Yes basically the same procedure

Waltham non-jeweled barrel assembly.JPG

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Thank you John. Yes this is the non-jewelled one.
I'll take it apart tomorrow and I'll see what the end of the spring looks like. I'm keeping my fingers crossed the 2227 spring will be the right one.

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I took apart. I think it was slipping because the inner coil has been stretched, it's certainly much larger than the inner coil on the replacement mainspring.
I took pictures of the end of the mainspring. I didn't take the 2227 replacement out yet, I'm not sure what the end is going to look like.

 

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There is a "tongue" riveted to the end of your original mainspring (which would catch the hook on the inner surface of the barrel) and that tongue has cracked in two.  That is one cause for mainspring slipping. 

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Interesting your mainspring that's in there is not the correct one but yet it seems to work? You're supposed to have a hole on the end of the mainspring at it has to be shaped to very specific way or is not going to catch. The new ones are typically just a hole.

What have a link and another picture showing what the end of the spring is supposed to look like.

 

 

 

waltham hole end.JPG

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How about that?  Yeah, being a Waltham, it is more likely to have a hole than a tongue.  I was about to wonder how they got that spring to work before, but we don't know if they did.  Now I'm not surprised that the tongue broke off.

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On 3/31/2021 at 8:03 PM, PeterS said:

I'll be starting on the Waltham pocket watch this weekend.
You've already advised me that I can't wind the mainspring via the ratchet wheel and helped me with oiling.

This is my first pocket watch and I'm more used to the more modern movements. I would appreciate if you could let me know what to watch out for, what to be careful with etc. Stuff that differs from wrist watches.

Couple of questions:

Do I need to unscrew the jewels from the bridges? I will have to remove the jewel from the balance to clean it properly but I'm not certain about the other jewels. I presume that It will be straight forward putting them back?

Is the crown wheel screw reverse threaded?

Detaching the crown, is there a chance I may strip the tread on the stem?

Pictures of the jewels and the movement are below.

 

P3311014.JPG

P3311030.JPG

P3311094.JPG

crown wheel screw not reverse threaded on walthams, Elgins yes.

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Thank you guys, you are awesome!

That's right, the crown wheel wasn't reverse threaded. I was being very cautious when I was unscrewing it.

It did work with that spring but it was very temperamental and it couldn't be fully wound.
I took the new spring out and from what you say it looks like that this is the right one?

Now I don't know how I'll get it in the barrel. My understanding is that the end shouldn't go all the way in the mainspring winder drum, it should be sticking out roughly half an inch, hooked on the hook in the  barrel drum (the shell to be precise) and then inserted in the barrel. I would most likely need drum no. 12 to give me the room for it, maybe no. 13 but I wouldn't be so sure I'd have enough of room. However, even the largest winder no. 15, the diameter of the arbour is too small so the set of 17 winders is no good for this job.

 

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P4071778.JPG

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P4071762.JPG

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Working on pocket watches as often as I do, I picked up a K&D set (for a song too!) and have gotten much more use out of it than I expected.  Its dimensions were laid out for the pocket watches of the era.  So it works great for them.  If you plan to work on that many such watches,  you may wish to look for a similar set.

20210202_205207.jpg

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4 hours ago, KarlvonKoln said:

Working on pocket watches as often as I do, I picked up a K&D set

I'm attaching another image of basically the same thing. Typically you'll see them in the boxes but not always sometimes they come in other containers.

I'm also showing an image of the handle. You'll notice to separate protruding pins which allow you to hold different size mainsprings. Also because the round pins you can wind the mainspring in either direction which is required when doing 18 size pocket watches as their mainsprings go in backwards.

mainspring winder handle pocket watch.JPG

main spring Winder pocket watch.JPG

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Oooooo, you got the one with the nice wooden drum-shaped box!

And the handle adjusts inward and outward to keep the barrel covered no matter which size of the shaft you're using.  The learning curve with them is pretty short.  You get used to them fairly quickly and it's easy to handle springs properly then, and keep them protected and straight.

Edited by KarlvonKoln
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While I'm waiting for the pocket watch mainspring winder, I started inspecting the movement.
There are some issues, none of them are drastic. All of them could of course do with sorting out but lack of tools, such as a jewelling tool, pallet alignment tool etc. does not allow me to do as much work on it as I would like. There are also some unusual things, such as the canon pinion.

This is what I've found, pictures below:

Case lift spring broken
Some rust on the ratchet wheel, a very small amount of rust on the balance wheel
Canon pinion has a U shaped cut
Shape of the centre wheel arbour
Hour wheel has a couple of very slightly bent teeth
Small chip on the entry pallet jewel
Unusual guard pin
Impulse pin is not straight
Possibly stripped thread on the screw that holds the cap balance jewel on the mainplate, the length of the two screws is different, there is a slight bite towards the end but I don't want to push it.
One jewel chipped but not near the hole
Struggling to remove the capped jewel on the balance cock, do I have to remove the balance?
The balance spring is between the index pins but not a great deal


 

 

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As a reminder you're working on a old pocket watch they did things differently back then.

16 minutes ago, PeterS said:

Canon pinion has a U shaped cut
Shape of the centre wheel arbour

Both of these are fine there the way they're supposed to be providing they actually work. What you find with pocket watches is there the first watches lots of variations many times to get around patents. Other times it's because they were still learning how to do things.

16 minutes ago, PeterS said:

Unusual guard pin

It's a single roller guard pen made by waltham unfortunately this is the way they are supposed to Look.

16 minutes ago, PeterS said:

Impulse pin is not straight

Notice something else about your roller jewel? All the stones in your watch our natural but this one looks like a modern jewel? Usually that's problematic on single roller watches because they need to be a long? In any case this functions correctly but it is a newer item somebody's replace the original.

 

19 minutes ago, PeterS said:

Possibly stripped thread on the screw that holds the cap balance jewel on the mainplate, the length of the two screws is different, there is a slight bite towards the end but I don't want to push it.
One jewel chipped but not near the hole
Struggling to remove the capped jewel on the balance cock, do I have to remove the balance?

A classic problem for the screws are they strip. At one time they made replacement screws that were slightly oversize. Worst-case you can try to close the hole a little bit to see if the screw will work.

Another common problem is you noticed which isn't really a problem somebody stripped the screw and they put a different one in as long as it holds and doesn't interfere with anything it's fine.

Then ideally the balance jewels should friction in and you require a jewel pushing tool to push them out. They actually made a tool for this but you can also use a modern jewel link tool depending upon how tightly there pushed in. If they're not in tight to have the possibility of like the whole jewels they will move around that is very very undesirable.

Then did you notice your banking pins are movable? What's the chance after 100 years there's still where there supposed to be?

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Most of the issues are minor. They annoy me but I'm aware that this is 100+ years old watch and majority of the pictures are 9mm across the screen.

I noticed the moveable banking pins, I guess someone adjusted them when the impulse pin was replaced. I also noticed they they are not the same, look at the top of them. In the same picture, you can see the two screws behind, which I suspect one is partially stripped, one is longer than the other.

The stripped thread is not really an issue, it catches towards the end. It's all secure when in place, nothing is moving. It's the fact that I know about it.

The impulse pin, I'd like to straighten it but it works just fine and I will need to practice on a scrap movement first, this watch is not mine.

The chipped jewel, it's completely out of the way and it's not causing any issues. Again, it's knowing that it's there.

I think everyone who likes watch repair needs a healthy amount of OCD but not taking it too far.
I'm really enjoying this project. It's not going to be perfect but it's going to be better than it was.

I hope you are all enjoying the focus stacked macro shots. They always show stuff you'd rather not see and know about.

Thank you all very much for following this thread and helping me with this project.

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A quick update.

The thread has not been stripped. I guess someone lost the screw and only had a smaller one, it works.

Some rust on the hands.

 

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