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Pocket Watch that I would now like some advice on


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Just found this one as well. It does not have a stunningly finished movement like other pocket watches that I have seen, on here mostly, but this is Australia. Is this worth picking up? This would be for me.

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/epping/antiques/silver-full-hunter-pocket-watch-1907-working/1284402868

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Hi Michael       Its a nice watch for sure but a tad expensive by english standards.  Some styles of pocket watch just have that appeal.  Probably OH would be best to advise he will have seen a few over his working years.

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Take this for what it's worth, but if it were me, I would grab it.  Keep in mind, I rather adore pocket watches.  I think if it only needs a good cleaning and fresh oil, you're getting a fair deal.  I agree with Watchweasol that we should see if OH will weigh in.  Here also is what I dug up about Rotherham's:

https://www.vintagewatchstraps.com/rotherham.php

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Quiz question for the more knowledgable than I.

How easy/difficult is it to remove small dents from a silver watch casing or would you leave it 'as is'?

Another ignorant question from the Aussie. 🤣

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2 hours ago, Michael1962 said:

How easy/difficult is it to remove small dents from a silver watch casing or would you leave it 'as is'?

Well, it's something you'd want to have practice with.  I've done auto body work in my younger days, and removing dents from metal and reforming the contours involved a bit of an understanding of how the metal would behave. And my shop teacher always instructed us to get as far as we could before resorting to something like Bondo or other dent fillers.  He said they could become a lazy man's crutch.  And I am both a nerd and a geek; I belong to a middle-ages reenactment group called the SCA.  I've had some experience shaping steel; dishing and planishing elbow and knee cops, and helm parts and such.  The principles involved are essentially the same.  So I already have made up little wooden bucks and forms that I use when straightening out cases.  And I have nylon heads for my hammer.  I've worked dents out of several cases.  It is very slow and careful work. 
I would read up on metal forming and practice on sheet brass (which is only slightly softer than most silver of the same thickness).  You could whack the brass with different things, then practice working out the dings and buffing out the marks.  There's no fast and easy way, that I know of.  Going slowly and carefully seems best.
Addendum: I'm sure this goes without saying but, once the movement is out of the case, if you can get the hinge pins out of the covers and disassemble the case completely, that often makes things easiest.  But be aware, I have had a case where the hinge did not want to come apart for love or money.  I had to think of ways around that.

Edited by KarlvonKoln
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Well I emailed the seller with an offer. Wait and see what he says.

A clock and maybe a watch in the same week! Is there a new world order or something?

Edited by Michael1962
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Another successful purchase. Would others on here give me some advice please?

Would you just transfer the money into the sellers account, or would you use something like PayPal?

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Well I worked out the payment and the watch has left Sydney on its way here.

What do I make the clip out of that is used for holding the dial side cover closed. Anybody that has read the ad will know that this clip is missing. I am not sure how that happens, but anyway.

What do I make the clip out of? Stainless or just plain steel?

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14 minutes ago, Michael1962 said:

What do I make the clip out of that is used for holding the dial side cover closed.

The term to search for is "Latch Spring".  (The one that pushes the cover open is the "Lift Spring").  On such hunter cases, they are often two ends of the same hemispherical spring.
~ IF your spring is broken, here is what you will need to do: you will need to withdraw the movement to examine the spring in the case, when the watch arrives, to determine if you have two separate springs or just one.  NOTE: they are often pinned into the case along the rim.  To remove the spring, you must remove the pin, and to remove the pin you will need stiff wire or rod of the same diameter or smaller to use as a sort of punch.
As to finding a replacement spring, that will be the hard part.  You can try Ofrie watch, or here: https://www.daveswatchparts.com/.  There are also people selling assortments in lots on Ebay and Etsy.  That was what I did, since I work on antiques rather often.  I have a bunch of springs now.  They were cheap.  I often find the size I need, or can use one that needs very little alteration.
~ IF a former owner was an oblivious or careless jerk, and used to snap the cover shut, to the point that the cover's lip is so worn down that the latch no  longer has enough metal to grip, then you have a much different problem.  If you wish to keep that case, the lip will need to be peened and stretched outward a bit.  I had to build a jig to help me do this.  The cover will need to be removed first, as well.  Alternately, re-casing is an option, but that has difficulties too.  You need the correct size (diameter) and correct thickness, and you must be prepared to alter the stem, and perhaps change crowns if yours is too big or small.  If it is a lever-set, you must be prepared to make adjustments to the lever slot in the case, and the one in the bezel.
You may find there are other watch sites which have vintage parts.  It never hurts to check around.  What you learn when you examine the watch will determine the path you take.

 

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5 minutes ago, Michael1962 said:

Thanks for the info. Here's hoping it is all solvable as I want to keep it for myself.

It will make for a pretty watch.  I am one who adores old pocket watches.  And I am always happiest when I meet others who are intent on saving good watches from becoming scrap.
I have nothing against the Steampunk aesthetic, and its fascination for using antique watch parts in that art, as *most of the time* such parts came from utterly destroyed movements.  But I do tend to take issue with some scrappers who have no problem with buying even those non-runners which require little to repair, and de-casing them and selling the case for its weight in silver or gold and then selling the movement for parts.  I try to rescue those whenever I find them first and can afford them.  Often, the only thing wrong with some of them is a broken staff pivot - the most common malady.  And I address that with my staking set and a new staff.

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I have done more reading etc and have found that sometimes the front cover of a Hunter is closed by just snapping it shut which can wear out the cover so that even if the spring is present, the cover won’t stay closed. I hope that is not the case. If it is, I am trying to think how to remedy it?

 Find a silversmith?

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10 hours ago, Michael1962 said:

I have done more reading etc and have found that sometimes the front cover of a Hunter is closed by just snapping it shut which can wear out the cover so that even if the spring is present, the cover won’t stay closed. I hope that is not the case. If it is, I am trying to think how to remedy it?

 Find a silversmith?

Two ways, I found (and often, both of these ways combined):
1- Address the cover's lip, where the latch engages, which can be stretched outward again.  Carefully, and not too far.  Smooth-jaw pliers with a mirror-polish on the jaw surface can do some of that.  I made a special brass jig which has a sort of "tongue" which reaches below the case lip inside the case cover, and allows me to lightly peen the lip with my hammer (using a hard plastic head screwed onto it).  That way is very time consuming.
2- Address the spring's latch slot in the case .  The slot in the case, in which the latch-part of the spring rests, only allows the latch to spring-outward so far, then stops it.  As you may notice, in the case of a worn lip, if the latch could only come outward just a little bit more (sometimes only .2 mm) it could once again grip the cover's lip.  So by filing the trough of the slot a little deeper, you allow that latch to project a little further, in order to catch the lip that has been worn down.  But beware: however much you file that slot - is also how much you must file the shoulder of the stem that pushes the latch spring from within, so that the crown is still at the correct height and the stem itself can still wind and set properly at the correct depth.

It is best if you do a bit of both methods.  And very gradually.  Test the working now and then.  Don't do too much at once.

Edited by KarlvonKoln
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So it didn't get here yet. According to the tracking app, it will be next week.

On top of the work to fix the catch that holds the front cover closed, I am fairly sure that the watch will need a full service.

Am I leading myself down the path of having to buy the gear to do watches as well as set myself up to do clocks? i.e. screwdrivers (I would be looking to get just the ones I need versus a set of 9 or 10. Oils goes without saying. Timegrapher?

I have some tweezers which I got for the Hettich that I am working on. They are surprisingly good. I may even get a second set.

This looks like I may well have to enrol in either Mark's course or get myself sorted out with the BHI course. The BHI course though will drive me to having to get a lathe and I presume a mill for some of the modules. As well as travel to the UK for some exams. What I don't know is if I can get away with one lathe or would I have to invest in a watchmakers lathe as well?

I think I need to sell my sportscar quick smart.

Why didn't someone warn me about the rabbit hole? (holes)

Edited by Michael1962
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If you really adore timepieces the way we do, you won't regret becoming more involved.  They really are little marvels, aren't they?  "Tape measures for the intangible" I call them.  And few other occupations get to have such aesthetic tools.  Have you seen an old Jacot lathe?  There's just something very pretty about their arrangement and shape.  My own is just friggin' gorgeous.  And it's almost like new (really got lucky finding it).  
And having a very pretty old watch to work on - that's just the best.  Enjoy!  Learn!  If this is your cup of tea, you'll know.  It will start coming more easily to you as you go along.

 

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I will admit to having seen some really nice watches on here. The pickings in Australia are very slim. The prices here are a fair bit higher then the UK as well. Tools? I haven't seen many on the usual places in Australia at all.

I will admit to being quite conflicted about what to do.

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So I picked up the clocks today and then drove home.

I get home and on the stairs is a pacage for me from Sydney. 

Yep, the pocket watch which the tracking said would be here mid next week got here today.

Happy bunny and more pics tomorrow in the relevant topics. 🐇

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Ok. So in the look at it that I have had since it got here, the hands can be moved ok when holding the pin. The mainspring is fully wound, but no ticking. The balance does rotate when moved and the watch ticks for about 10 seconds and then stops. Servicing I think will rectify that. The case is in pretty good nick. The front cover is not worn where it engages the catch to close, just the catch will not operate via the crown. Movement looks really clean. Screws on the balance side are blued and slots aren't mangled in them. My daughter picked up a faint mark in the dial that looks like it may progress into a crack at some time, but it isn't at the moment.

Definitely need to get some hand lifting tools for when I go to work on it. The small second hand is so close to the dial that I definitely ned to right gear to get it off. How do the sizes of hand lifting tools work out? If it says 5mm, is that the measurement across the width of the blade? The gap between the second hand and the dial face is so small, the hand lifting tools must be incredibly fine at their tips.

The hoop is a bit loose so I will be picking peoples brains as to how to tighten that. I need to start looking for a sterling silver fob chain for it.

Apart from that, the watch has now been confiscated by the wife as I told her I was getting it as a Christmas present for myself and that all the kids could chip in.

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Something I've encountered before in other watches reminded me to ask this.
You wrote "The small second hand is so close to the dial that I definitely need to right gear to get it off."  And earlier you wrote "The balance does rotate when moved and the watch ticks for about 10 seconds and then stops."  I have encountered watches with sub-seconds hands that were rammed on so tightly that they inhibited the watch's ability to run somewhat.  See how the watch behaves after you've raised the seconds hand to just above the dial.  A tiny bit of clearance may make a difference.  (You'll still need to clean it anyway, of course, but I wonder if it could run after getting some clearance with that hand.)

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