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Moving forward with tinkering with watches

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Always had a fetish for the intricacy of a mechanical watch movement as a child. The oscillating balance wheel always amazed me.  My dad recently handed his 1965 Bulova Space View over to me. I knew enough not to tinker with that. That got sent to Rob Berkavicius Thailand for service, great job good price. Then he handed me his award watch from Allstate. That is a mid 70' s automatic with a Racine movement. This is the watch I will eventually disassemble, lubricate, and repair if necessary.

To get going purchased three mid 70's Timex's local FB market place. The first (1605002477) i resuscitated a M24 movement by removing the movement out of the back of the case and did some palpitations of the balance wheel to no avail. Then did some reading on the non-serviceable Timex design, watch smith nightmare, and did a dunk into my lacquer solvent  and went upstairs to lubricate. Still no beating from the balance wheel. Then used my CRC with lubricant and doused it a couple times and low and behold it came back to life. Felt like a heart surgeon watching the balance wheel oscillate.

Next patients was a 1975 Marlin day date watch (26850 02775) with the M27 movement. This one I assumed was fully wound and tried palpitating the balance wheel to no avail. This one had deep tooling marks in the end plate so it had been apart already. The mounting tangs on the dial face were all missing. Observed some tooling mark on the escape wheel and started to understand that the energy for the escape wheel comes from the wound mainspring.  Decided to bite the bullet on this one and disassemble. Should have solvent washed before hand but that wont happen again. Took a lot of close up images to help get it back together. But realized after splitting the end plates that the escape wheel and pallet tumbled around. I was aghast looking at the carnage and wondering how the hell this was ever going to go back together. Inspected the escape wheel damage and noted the damage did not extend to the opposite side of the ring, all teeth were present so it was ruled out as the culprit. I focused in on this small fragment stuck in the gear teeth of the mainspring cylinder and came to realize it was one of the missing dial face tangs that was not allowing the mainspring energy to feed the gear train. I did successfully get that watch back together and it is keeping good time. I will be attaching a couple dial face tangs using .010" brass shim and epoxy this weekend. The crystal has a 3/16" crack in it and needs polishing. When I went to determine availability of replacement crystal I am starting to think there is no duplicate of the OEM crystal configuration?  Looking at Esslinger they didnt seem to have or indicate that this crystal would be a direct replacement for this watch?

I purchased last night a Electro Vise crystal removal tool from Ebay. To get the crystal off without a remover we slit a piece of tube with a machined ID to fit the crystal using a hose clamp I was bale to compress the tube to get the crystal out of the case. 

Purchased 5 more Timex's off of Ebay last week they have been delivered. There is a 1964 Marlin and a 1965 Automatic in there. Happy about getting a couple of earlier ones. Any advice on how to remove the centrifugal weight wheel on the automatic? I took the back off of this morning. Will wait for my crystal removal tool to pull the crystal so I can get the movement out for inspection.

Edited by rfitts46
correct spelling
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  • rfitts46 changed the title to Moving forward with tinkering with watches
  • 5 weeks later...

I have already taken a M27 apart. Not easy getting it back together but I did. 

I worked on the M24 the subject of this thread before the M27. 

This one I have not separated the end plates. Watch runs beautiful but it is fast. Approx 5-10 minutes in 24 hr period. 

Might remove the balance wheel for the second time to clean the hair spring.

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