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What can be done inside the barrel to increase amplitude


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Eyup everyone hope you are all well. My plan this week was to revisit my very first watch repair a Sekonda ( Raketa 2609 ha ), this was my beloved grandfather's watch. Extremely sentimental to me, i never really knew him as he passed away when i was only five and have no real recollection of him. My mother tells me he was a lovely man and  said she used to refer to her father in-law as an old sheep lol. For some reason i remember as a 5 year old kid seeing inside this watch and staring at the little jewels and for a long time i thought were actual ruby jewels. The watch then disappeared from my life until i found it again in my father's flat 3 years ago when he passed away, a very long story but i had not spoken to him for 10 years. So anyway this watch is probably the sole reason for me taking up watch repair but since have discovered my other grandfather's brother was a watch and clock repairer ( bizarre coincidence ). Aquiring the watch i wanted to have it fixed and wear it, not a single repairer locally would touch it and with the faults it had and considering its age told me it could not be repaired. 🤔 i thought, when someone tells me something can't be done, I then become determined to do it. And how wrong they were. With little knowledge ( actually non whatsoever ) and no tools i decided to be a # have a go hero #. Ordered myself a 20 quid tool set and a magnifying lamp. It was in rough shape the stem was rusted in solid glass cracked and needing spares ( one donor winging its way to me ). 3  evenings into the repair and clean i had more or less identified the problem, a broken escape wheel pivot, possibly from me. Evening 4 and the watch sprung into life when i reinstalled the balance , i will never forget that moment as long as i live, I cried like a baby. The next day the watch was up and running and on my wrist. Great i thought I'm bloody fantastic.  3 weeks later it came to a grinding halt. Not investigating for another 3 weeks i then discovered it had developed pretty bad rust contamination due to a poor clean and crappy oils. I set about removing  the rust and invested in some Rustin's rust remover ( please please please never ever use this stuff on a watch movement ). The escape wheel had some surface rust so i decided to soak it in the rust remover for a few hours. 6 hours later there was no escape wheel to be seen just a black foaming blob where i had left it. I was completely gutted, it has been in safe keeping ever since until now. This precious belonging of mine is now due the best repair and service i can achieve.  All cleaned and shiney ready to be reassembled and oiled. So finally to my question 😅, looking inside the barrel there was no wear as such but did have a kind of foggy frictioned surface to it. So i decided to polish it up, the fog lifted and after 15 mins with autosol and brasso it now has a lovely mirror polished surface, will be doing inside the lid as well. Would this have any effect on amplitude, the mainspring having less friction in the barrel. I do realise that the mainspring should hopefully be free floating ( but not necessarily).providing it is flat. 

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2 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

The escape wheel had some surface rust so i decided to soak it in the rust remover for a few hours.

If you put train wheels or any wheels with fine pivots in rust remover, it can cause pitting on the pivots, or a layer of iron phosphate to grow on the pivot surface. Both aren’t good for amplitude, and you may have to polish them/burnish them to give a good smooth surface.

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4 hours ago, ifibrin said:

If you put train wheels or any wheels with fine pivots in rust remover, it can cause pitting on the pivots, or a layer of iron phosphate to grow on the pivot surface. Both aren’t good for amplitude, and you may have to polish them/burnish them to give a good smooth surface.

Thanks ifibrin. I learnt my lesson long ago not to use rust remover on anything delicate. The best watch maker in the world would have had a problem polishing the pivot on this escape wheel 🤣

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Hi  IMO the beast way to increase amplitude other than replacing the spring is a clean barrel and lubricated spring. Polishing the inside of the barrel wont do any harm along with a dab of grease. A good clean of the train wheels bridges etc as they transfer the power to the balance.  good luck it sounds like a special watch and worth taking care of for sentimental reasons          cheers

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