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Hi everyone.

I have a watch with a rather badly bent balance spring. While this was a cheap watch for practice it's actually quite a nice movement so I would like to get it running if possible. What are my options? 

A complete balance assembly isn't available anywhere and a NOS movement I found is 20x the price and would also feel a little bit like cheating. So I was wondering whether replacing the balance spring with one from a similar movement is something that's possible, given matching BPH and balance wheel size. Is this an idea that could be worth trying or is this in no way similar to eg. a mainspring and pretty much unique for each movement.

 

I did attempt to get the spring back in shape but it was bent both horizontally and vertically. This was my first attempt at manipulating a hairspring and while I improved it a little bit at first I was not able to fix the horizontal alignment and it's now in a much worse state after that last picture.

IMG_2166.thumb.jpeg.95040b3d4670165bb7e74ddbfb202328.jpegIMG_2168.thumb.jpeg.e415e5fad750d6462f1440958e3f2df4.jpeg

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Hi and welcome to the forum.  as I see it you have several options, a continue and practise on the one you have   b a balance complete c look for a doner watch on ebay.  If you are lucky you will find on with a good balance or second best with a good balance spring.  fitting random springs does not work and for a beginner is a no go.  What is the make and caliber of the watch you have , If you are really lucky a member may have one and is able to help.    Look under the balance wheel for the logo and number on on the plates can be on either.

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The movement is a marvin cal. 150, which I couldn't find on ranfft, what I had in mind as a replacement was an eta 2412 which are easy to obtain even if it didn't work out. Sounds like I'll have to wait for a part to show up however. Either way I'll definitely continue trying to get this spring back into shape when I have time for another afternoon of patience.

Out of curiosity. So the rate and size of the balance wheel doesn't determine enough properties of the spring for it to require a similar diameter or is it the size that the collet should be and the location of the stud that would cause problems?

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1 hour ago, djordan said:

The movement is a marvin cal. 150, which I couldn't find on ranfft, what I had in mind as a replacement was an eta 2412 which are easy to obtain even if it didn't work out. Sounds like I'll have to wait for a part to show up however. Either way I'll definitely continue trying to get this spring back into shape when I have time for another afternoon of patience.

Out of curiosity. So the rate and size of the balance wheel doesn't determine enough properties of the spring for it to require a similar diameter or is it the size that the collet should be and the location of the stud that would cause problems?

Eyup matey. The hs needs to be matched to the balance wheel, size and weight of the balance wheel are just a couple of the factors involved to determine a hs of the correct torque Collet size also, yes you could repin the hs to the old collet, very tricky for a beginner. Hs material also to match the original hs, once finding an appropriate hs it would want vibrating to the correct bph and then timed to suit and adjusted to the balance wheel. Most of this is related to a new raw hs uncolleted if you could get one. The absolute best and cheapest way as WW mentioned would be to find a donor movement of the same make and calibre with a good balance assembly or at the very least a half decent hs. 

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Thanks for the information, so swapping parts of the balance assembly is only useful if a pivot is broken and you don't have to skill or tools to fix the balance staff? I figured there was a reason why fixing the spring or replacing the balance entirely is what's usually done. Attempting to detach the collet from the spring sounds like a great way to end up with even more practice springs 😀.

Both the cal.160 and cal.140 don't look similar to me except for the name on some of the parts, this movement has a shockspring for one. Part of the reason why this idea came to mind is that I'm wondering if this is perhaps just a special version of a more common movement.

IMG_2170.thumb.jpeg.034d2ab716703fff938d863a257498aa.jpegIMG_2171.thumb.jpeg.3183e59a2da93c200e7487b4cbade69b.jpeg

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14 minutes ago, djordan said:

Attempting to detach the collet from the spring sounds like a great way to end up with even more practice springs 😀.

Also good for reducing you head follicle count. 😄

17 minutes ago, djordan said:

Thanks for the information, so swapping parts of the balance assembly is only useful if a pivot is broken and you don't have to skill or tools to fix the balance staff? I figured there was a reason why fixing the spring or replacing the balance entirely is what's usually done. Attempting to detach the collet from the spring sounds like a great way to end up with even more practice springs 😀.

Both the cal.160 and cal.140 don't look similar to me except for the name on some of the parts, this movement has a shockspring for one. Part of the reason why this idea came to mind is that I'm wondering if this is perhaps just a special version of a more common movement.

IMG_2170.thumb.jpeg.034d2ab716703fff938d863a257498aa.jpegIMG_2171.thumb.jpeg.3183e59a2da93c200e7487b4cbade69b.jpeg

I found a few working and non working donors on ebay. Between 40 and 80 notes.

3 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Also good for reducing you head follicle count. 😄

I found a few working and non working donors on ebay. Between 40 and 80 notes.

As a minimum a colleted matching h/s will serve you. Repinning the stud if necessary is not so much of a task as doing the collet.

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On 10/25/2022 at 4:16 AM, djordan said:

I did attempt to get the spring back in shape but it was bent both horizontally and vertically. This was my first attempt at manipulating a hairspring and while I improved it a little bit at first I was not able to fix the horizontal alignment and it's now in a much worse state after that last picture.

How are you manipulating the hairspring? It will be easier if you remove the hairspring+collet from the balance wheel for hairspring manipulation.

I also checked the Jules Borel, and the Marvin 150 does not appear to share a balance wheel (with hairspring) with any other movements.

79B03AC3-05E7-4C47-AFAD-EA8D02F99F03.jpeg

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On 10/25/2022 at 6:32 PM, Neverenoughwatches said:

Also good for reducing you head follicle count. 😄

I found a few working and non working donors on ebay. Between 40 and 80 notes.

As a minimum a colleted matching h/s will serve you. Repinning the stud if necessary is not so much of a task as doing the collet.

Yeah, there are some around but this isn't to wear or something so I would rather keep that money in the tools budget for now.

On 10/27/2022 at 5:14 AM, ifibrin said:

How are you manipulating the hairspring? It will be easier if you remove the hairspring+collet from the balance wheel for hairspring manipulation.

I also checked the Jules Borel, and the Marvin 150 does not appear to share a balance wheel (with hairspring) with any other movements.

79B03AC3-05E7-4C47-AFAD-EA8D02F99F03.jpeg

Initially I started with the balance wheel on some rodico, but once I tried to get flatten it I did separate the spring from the blaance (was easier than I expected). I also found a reference to 721/2125 while looking around, is that what you would use to identify whether the balance assembly is be similar enough to be interchangeable?

 

Short update on the spring itself, after some more time it's still not entirely flat and and in shape yet but when reassembled the balance at least wants to run now. I think a proper pair of no. 6 or 7 tweezers might get me there, I'm currently using a single tweaser in combination with an oiler which doesn't seem ideal for the flattening operation.

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5 hours ago, djordan said:

I also found a reference to 721/2125 while looking around, is that what you would use to identify whether the balance assembly is be similar enough to be interchangeable

The numbers are only useful in conjunction with the movement number: they do not correspond to only one kind of specific part from a specific movement.

The database picture I showed you shows that there is no other movement that shares a balance wheel or hairspring with your movement.

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10 hours ago, djordan said:

I also found a reference to 721/2125 while looking around, is that what you would use to identify whether the balance assembly is be similar enough to be interchangeable?

the way the number breaks down is 721 refers to a balance wheel. they use numbers instead of names because they usually put these on the package the package doesn't have a lot of room to spell out balance complete so they just typically use numbers. So 721 says that the balance wheel and the second number that tells you which balance wheel.

if you go to the bestfit website you can enter the number it to get a cross reference to see what cross references to and it only cost references to MAR 150. Which is exactly what it says up above there is no other cross reference.

 

On 10/25/2022 at 9:15 AM, djordan said:

Thanks for the information, so swapping parts of the balance assembly is only useful if a pivot is broken and you don't have to skill or tools to fix the balance staff? I figured there was a reason why fixing the spring or replacing the balance entirely is what's usually done. Attempting to detach the collet from the spring sounds like a great way to end up with even more practice springs

there are certain unfortunate realities in watch repair. first re-asking the same question over and over slightly worded differently unfortunately is not going to change the outcome for you.

I could explain a whole bunch of paragraphs it excruciating detail but the simplistic is a balance wheel and its flat hairspring always go together. The balance staff can be replaced the roller table could be replaced but they hairspring that came with the balance wheel has to stay with balance wheel.

For instance suppose you are in the factory you grab two identical watches off the assembly line and you swap the hairspring you will have timing issues. How much of an issue depends upon how precise everything was manufactured.

So unfortunately you cannot find a hairspring visually looks the same and have it work because there's some other complications that will happen worst-case you have a watch that wouldn't even run at all to it would definitely have running issues and of course timing issues

fortunately we have eBay. You can set up a active search for the watch and sooner or later if you're lucky one will show up. And yes we all understand we've all had a bad hairspring day or two.

then in the old days I'm attaching and advertisements they used to be people that would help you out and as you can see that was quite a bargain price. I don't even think that would cover the shipping costs today. In a case the used to be people who could make a new hairspring for you as far as I know they no longer exist.

Your best thing is to find another watch and steal the balance complete.

hairspring vibrating service a thing of the past.JPG

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