I'm trying to repair this one for an old Viet Nam marine buddy, who said it hasn't run since the day his grampa gave it to him just before he deployed. What I found was that the upper pivot of the balance staff was gone along with the balance cock upper hole jewel was cracked and chipped. I was able to secure a NOS balance, staff and hairspring assembled, and lucky enough that all the jewels and fits were good. I added a new white alloy mainspring for the heck of it, cleaned and lubed everything. Assembled it and put some power to the mainspring to check it all over to find what I thought was excessive endplay. I took the balance back down and under the microscope to find it looks like the staff upper pivot(or the staff OAL) isn't long enough to fit, or reach into the upper jewel when assembled. Is that possible? is the hairspring collet not staked to the shoulder? (I haven't gotten that far).
1) should I mic the staff overall length and try and find a longer one?
2) I see there are stake marks between the balance cock and base plate seemingly to raise it up or for binding issues. should I blend those down flush?
3) should I attempt to find a different balance/bridge/hairspring assy. and replace the whole thing?
it wants to run that's for sure and does intermittently, which, after all the work, is encouraging to me. I'm soooo close. Can I fix this?
I've been a member over a year now and have only made one post. I thought it might be worthwhile to share a text string between my 31 year old daughter Christen who is newly interested in watches, and myself to enlighten newcomers on the evolution of watches. She texted me from work at the County Clerk's office this morning and the following discussion ensued:
Christen: Hey Dad, check this out:
I wanna talk about that when we get the chance
Christen: listening to David Hume's philosophy
Dad: Slow day?
Christen: Just transferring images into cases. Pretty boring. But I can pay closer attention to the podcast.
I looked up the watchmaker argument because the Podcaster mentioned that the argument was used during David Hume's time
Christen: I've known about it, but it's the first time I've really dug further than the statement by itself
Evolution supposedly gave the argument less sway and I don't understand how
Dad: That's simple. Evolution proved and explained that all living creatures were created by a multitude of incredible accidents accumulating over millions of years. Therefore, the same is true for watches. In ancient times, when the first rudimentary watches crawled out of the sea, they were quite simple. Consisting of nothing more than a circular base with a single vertical staff that cast a shadow on the circular base. While technically "watches," they were blind in the beginning. Having no numbers by which other, still non-existing creatures, could tell the time. As naturally occurring accidents accumulated, numbers began to appear. These numbers too were rudimentary at first and only existed in the form of Roman numerals. While useful to early man, he had yet to invent Roman numerals and therefore, could barely tell time in the beginning. This caused untold confusion, with cavemen and the like suffering frustration due to missed appointments with business associates and grouchy children due to irregular bedtimes.
Through a process of natural selection, Roman numerals were finally nudged out by the more accurate and therefore more fit and able to survive, balance spring watch. These watches, by virtue of their ability to work even in the dark, eventually made the "solar" style watch practically extinct. It being relegated to English gardens and museum entrances. A mere vestige of its ancient beginnings.
By the 1970s, a new rock had evolved that became known as "quartz" and it had, through amazing coincidence, affixed itself to the already existing metal watch case. Over time, the quartz "rock" assumed a certain shape allowing it to replace the balance spring as a source of constant vibration. However, without complex wires and coils, and what later became known as a "battery," it remained useless. In time, thanks to the wonder of Evolution, these difficulties were all overcome by inevitable accidents. The sudden appearance of actual working quartz watches nearly wiped out the clumsy and inaccurate by comparison mechanical spring watches from the face of the earth.
Christen: This is fabulous. Watches and their beginnings should be on the discovery Channel. Very educational
Christen: Keep your watch evolution explanation handy. It'll be great to look back on lol
Dad: Alas, there was found in "man," a rather useless and unnecessary trait known as sentimentality. This trait has no known ability to promote the evolution of the species. In fact, it could be argued that it has slowed its advancement. Nevertheless, it has for the time stalled the inevitable decline and certain demise of the mechanical watch. Weak and inferior men and women the world over are struggling to keep the horribly inaccurate spring watch relevant, even spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for a watch that is less accurate than a $10 quartz watch easily found huddled together at a local Walmart store.
No sooner did nature introduce the incredibly accurate quartz watch than the even more precise and complicated "Cell-phone" appear. This marvel of evolution displays the time plus many other amazing complications by virtue of a vast network of connectivity worldwide through the air. It has been argued that it could be thought of as a single organism rather than many millions of evolved individual organisms.
It is yet to be seen if the quartz watch, which has only recently appeared on the long fascinating road that is accidental evolution, will hold the same sentimental value as the mechanical watch. It has been conjectured that due to environmental pressures brought on by the cellphone, that a third species may evolve from the mechanical and quartz watches. In fact, there has been discovered recently, a new species that has been categorized by scientists by the Latin name, Seiko Quartz Spring Drive. This amazing newcomer, while having the inferior balance spring anatomy, has clearly evolved from the quartz species and has internal and external features of both.
Your tax dollars at work, Folks.
todd here, been away for some time due to recovery from a bad injury.
i am a reasonably skilled hobbyist, not a watchmaker.
currently i am working on a Hampden model 307 that is in near mint condition but won't wind.
i have the movement disassembled and everything looks good.
when i test the motion of the clutch assembly, and clutch lever with a bench key with the top plate off everything works properly.
however, when i reassemble the watch the clutch lever will not move the clutch into the winding position.
i am at a loss here.
something is obviously binding but i can't find it.
any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
i am attaching a pic of the clutch from my microscope that shows it is in good condition.
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Hello to all! My name is Mircea and I am thrilled to be a member of the WRT, as I already used many of your advices in my newly discovered hobby, repairing watches! I do know what means watchmaking, but I just started a few months ago in repairing timepieces, so watchmaking is a long way to come yet... I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and I do make my living in a completely different field, ie health services... But I always liked to know how things work and how can they can be repaired, if needed. While a year ago I only had one watch, now I own severals, mainly vintage and of Russian origin. The first watch that I put together was a DIY watch bought from Taiwan in a mail order kit, with a NH35 movement and a very nice diver case, dial and hands. I enjoyed it that much that I started to look on the Internet about various topics on watches and watchmaking, started to seek watchmakers in my area and found one that supplied me with a few broken watches to play with. Well, that was the beginning , changing quartz movements in a few watches and finally dismantling and reassembling a few mechanical ones. With a lot of advice from the internet, and especially WRT (THANK YOU ALL FOR THAT), I succeded in repairing with very good results two mechanical watches, a Cardinal Russian with a 2609HA movement and an Altantic Worldmaster Swiss with a UN 6300N movement. I am proud to have them working at less than +/- 2s/day precision, good amplitude and very low beat error, and they became a valued part of my watch collection for good. Much more to come... Well, time is limited so please be patient with me, as I do not know a lot yet, but I am eager to learn and as pasionate as everyone here! Thank you in advance! See you around in the forum!
Thank you for the link hippy. My concern at this point is how to hold the balance in the lathe. Chucks like on a lathe or a pin vise are good at holding simple cylindrical objects, like drill bits or a cylinder of whatever you're about to cut into. But a balance is a complex surface and I'm having trouble envisioning how exactly it would fit into the lathe chuck.
I am guessing this is akin to tuning a piano and is an acquired skill. One thing I saw on a 7750 I worked on was the finger was up high up on the gear. Not all of the finger face was touching the gear. I thought it was bent and I was thinking about bending it down. I decided to leave it alone as it was working. Matt
Bulova Seaking Automatic from 1975 I believe. Just restored and serviced this for my next door neighbour. It's 'on test' for the next day. He told me he got it for his tenth wedding anniversary and has been in a drawer for 25 years or so. Going to give it back to him tomorrow evening. I hope he will be pleased to wear it again.
Normally you would hold one side of the balance staff in the chuck in your lathe while sharpening the other side with an Arkansas stone . This is the type I used and it's what you need. https://www.hswalsh.com/product/arkansas-stone-type-triangular-size-92mm-x-10mm-ta75