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Problem with balance staff

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Hi everybody.

I’m still trundling along and have another problem.  I was working on the dial side of the watch and when I turned back to the other side I managed to dismantle the balance staff.  I removed the hairspring, but I now have to relocate the mobile stud holder and the regulator.  I now have a microscope and it looks to me as though they are friction fit, with the stud holder having a groove for the regulator.  I haven’t been able to find anything to confirm this though.  And I really like the movement and don’t want to muck it up.  The one I’m working on is an Int 7526, but I can see a similar set up on the AS/ST 1940 that I have.  Please help if you can… Regards, J. ( sorry, no photos - I’m still not set up for it).

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If what you are saying is, the hairspring just fell off the staff, it does not have the correct friction fit.  If that is true and all else is well, the collet needs to be tightened (not an easy task without the tool and if you don't do it right, even with the tool, you can break the collet).  The impulse jewel needs to be in-between the pallet fork (while the pallet fork is in-between the banking pins) at the same time as the stud is under the anchor hole.  A flat spot on the stud is certainly one of the possibilities.

If that is not what happened, pictures would definitely help.

Sorry if I didn't help.


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This didn't occur to me before, but… attached is a photo of the image from the (digital) microscope.

These are the parts I have to get back together.  The stud holder is upside down to show the groove I referred to.  Can this be done with only very basic tools?



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You really need a jeweling tool to get that back together. Not saying it isn't possible without, but would be unlikely and very difficult. If those popped off from mishandling and the hairspring and balance were installed, I imagine the hairspring will need some work to get it true again.


The regulator arm snaps into the stud holder, and the Incabloc setting holds it all together on the cock. You will need to press out the Inca setting, get the regulator together and place it on the cock, then press the setting back in in the middle of it.

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11 hours ago, nickelsilver said:

The regulator arm snaps into the stud holder, and the Incabloc setting holds it all together on the cock. You will need to press out the Inca setting, get the regulator together and place it on the cock, then press the setting back in in the middle of it.

I agree with your concerns about the hairspring but are you sure the setting needs to come out?  The setting seems to have a generously beveled top edge.  If they popped off they should pop back on.  With the gaps of the stud carrier and regulator clocked as physically close to each other as possible, (I would think) one could hold the stud carrier and regulator (as an assembly) parallel and concentric enough to press them over the jewel setting (or possibly one leg at a time).  If this proves difficult, I'm envisioing a plastic soda straw (being made of a lubricant) with a slit in the side (so it can accommodate the smaller diameters) sitting over the jewel and inside of the stud carrier.  Trim the straw lengthwise so it does not overlap while around the jewel setting (it might be to thick if it overlaps).  Then just push them together.  Hopefully neither the stud carrier nor regulator get sprung oversize and the straw can be safely withdrawn.  It would protect everything from scratching.  This is very similar to the way valve stem seals are installed in a variety of motors.

*Not something I have tried on watches and would recommend it on a scrap movement first (unless it's your last resort).*

Willing to try this myself but I don't have a scrap movement to use.


Edited by Shane
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I guess it's sorta like a BMX bike. When I rode them (35 years ago), every now and then you'd derail the chain. If you had the rear wheel set up so chain tension was right, i.e. derailing was rare, getting the chain back on without loosening the rear wheel was pretty hard, and might damage things. So you'd loosen the wheel, slide it forward and get the chain on retension and go.


Like I said, it's might not be impossible to get it back on without pressing out the setting, but it won't be easy. Or it might be. But I really doubt it, and doubt even a skilled watchmaker could do it without either leaving marks somewhere or hurting something. It's like pressing in a champagne cork- right tool, easy, no tools, really not easy.


If I had to put this back together without any special tools, I'd use tweezers and use the sides to try to slip the assembly down-and-around.

Edited by nickelsilver
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2 hours ago, nickelsilver said:

(35 years ago)

Yeah, I remember being more active 35 years ago too.  Depending on what we're talking about it either feels like yesterday or a lifetime ago.

I just ordered a pile of junk Seiko movements from India.  If they ever come in I'll try taking the balance apart and seeing if I can get it back together.  The way some of the movements look I'd say that a 16oz ballpeen might be the right tool for the job but I will try to refrain.  I'll keep you all posted.

Great to get your input Nickelsilver.

You all have a good day.


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/25/2022 at 7:42 AM, nickelsilver said:

You really need a jeweling tool to get that back together.

Yeah I would definitely recommend pulling the setting and reassembling it by pushing the setting back into the balance cock from above the regulator and stud carrier.  I purchased a few junk movements from Mumbai for attempting this.  I selected this unidentified movement from the lot since it was already missing the complete balance, most of the day/date parts and automatic work.  I also needed to straighten the balance cock and stud carrier before starting.


The regulator and stud carrier both popped off easily enough but putting them back on was a bit more fiddly then I anticipated.  I first tried using a plastic sleeve to push it over.  That just crushed and didn't work.  I think if I had turned a solid but tapered pin having a pocket in the big end to fit over the jewel setting, it might have worked much better.  Realistically, how much time would that have taken to make?

I finally wound the two parts around the setting like installing piston rings but I needed to put such downward pressure while encouraging the regulator around the rim of the jewel setting that I snapped the head off the balance cock's retaining screw (it's lieing just off to the right hand side of the next picture).  I'm sure with practice, I could find a way around these problems but...


To make a long story short,  just pull out the jewel setting like Nickelsilver previously suggested.

I hope everyone is having a good day.


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