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Just disassembled and reassembled my first watch


ColinC

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After watching lots of YouTube videos I thought I would give this a try myself.

I bought myself some tools and a bunch of cheap vintage watches in working condition off eBay and decided to start on what I think was the easiest.

An Everite watch with an AS 1130 movement.

My first aim was just to take it apart and reassemble - No cleaning or lubrication.  I also skipped opening the main spring barrel or taking the cap jewels out of their incabloc settings.

The watch is back together - it worked OK (didn't test accuracy but it ran for at least an hour) before I started but now if you give the balance wheel a puff of air it goes for a few seconds and then stops. It moves the pallet fork and the second hand advances but there is obviously too much resistance somewhere in there.

Is this to be expected since I didn't clean or lubricate?  Or is there another common reason?

The train of wheels all seemed to move nicely before I put the pallet fork back in and with a little wind I could poke that pallet fork back and forth and watch the escape wheel move 1 tooth at time.

All in all I am quite pleased that I managed to do it all without snapping, scratching or losing anything

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Welcome to the forum, Colin. It seems that you got the movement back together without snapping any pivots or losing any parts. That's a good first result! Probably you still have some dirt in the balance pivot jewels, or you inadvertently twisted the hairspring. Good luck finding the fault!

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Hello and welcome to the forum,  there are several possibilities already mentioned dirt etc.  take out the fork and re fit the balance and give it a puff or a light brush to start it moving , should run for a while on its own if free and also check out the spring coils for being stuck together or out of flat.

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So the story continues....
I disassembled and reassembled the watch again - It may be my imagination but this 2nd time the train wheels seemed to spin more freely.  But this time I had even more trouble with getting the balance to swing. I even had a go at oiling the cap jewels - another first that went well
I believe I must have stretched or knocked the hairspring  so I removed the spring from the balance wheel - using my hand removal levers and gently had a go at teasing it flat again.  It looked pretty good and I remounted it using hand press tool. All seemed good until I tried to put the stud back in and I discovered I had mounted it upside down.

My 2nd attempt at using using the hand removal levers to remove the spring did not go as well and I destroyed the spring 😞

I have learned a lot from these first few days.

I see cheap balance wheels available online for some movements ($2.5 aliexpress?)  - but can only find balance wheels that cost more than I paid for the watch for an AS 1130 one.


Looks like I need to find a movement to practice taking the balance in and out of that I can get an inexhaustible supply of cheap balance wheels for.... Any recommendations?

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Failure is always going to be your best teacher. Most of my biggest learning curves is when something goes wrong, so destroying a hairspring is something you will do. Good for you to try and remove it and replace again!

The bigger the movement the better to practice with. A Molnija 3602 is a great watch to start on and is practically indestructible. I use it for taster days for students. Or the ETA 6497 clone, called an ST36, or ST3600, which can be bought for about £40 on eBay or from Cousinsuk.com

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If you were me...

I would consider going ahead and spend a reasonable level of money on parts the watch needs. To me, sourcing parts correctly is another skill/knowledge we need to learn in this hobby. It doesn't matter if the parts cost more than the watch in my opinion. Reaching the finish line with a working watch is both the goal and an attitude boost. Chalk the parts cost up to "tuition".

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2 hours ago, ColinC said:

So the story continues....
I disassembled and reassembled the watch again - It may be my imagination but this 2nd time the train wheels seemed to spin more freely.  But this time I had even more trouble with getting the balance to swing. I even had a go at oiling the cap jewels - another first that went well
I believe I must have stretched or knocked the hairspring  so I removed the spring from the balance wheel - using my hand removal levers and gently had a go at teasing it flat again.  It looked pretty good and I remounted it using hand press tool. All seemed good until I tried to put the stud back in and I discovered I had mounted it upside down.

My 2nd attempt at using using the hand removal levers to remove the spring did not go as well and I destroyed the spring 😞

I have learned a lot from these first few days.

I see cheap balance wheels available online for some movements ($2.5 aliexpress?)  - but can only find balance wheels that cost more than I paid for the watch for an AS 1130 one.


Looks like I need to find a movement to practice taking the balance in and out of that I can get an inexhaustible supply of cheap balance wheels for.... Any recommendations?

What you using for visual ? 

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23 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

What you using for visual ? 

I have a Bergeon 2.5 loupe with a holder - but found I prefer the headband type magnifier which has replaceable lenses from 1.2x to 3.5x as I can see depth better with both eyes.

I did struggle at first even finding the impulse jewel on the escape wheel - it was clear and much smaller than I expected.  But after some time with the headband on I could clearly see it and wondered why I struggled at first.

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8 minutes ago, ColinC said:

I have a Bergeon 2.5 loupe with a holder - but found I prefer the headband type magnifier which has replaceable lenses from 1.2x to 3.5x as I can see depth better with both eyes.

I did struggle at first even finding the impulse jewel on the escape wheel - it was clear and much smaller than I expected.  But after some time with the headband on I could clearly see it and wondered why I struggled at first.

I'm sure your eyes become accustomed to what you are using after a while. When i started i remember using a large magnifying glass after an hour everything seemed bigger. Hairspring work requires more magnification, x10 on a scope is standard for me to know where I'm at with manipulation. Damage limitation is much improved at that level. Tbh i think you did really well with the magnification you were working with .

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37 minutes ago, Vinito said:

If you were me...

I would consider going ahead and spend a reasonable level of money on parts the watch needs. To me, sourcing parts correctly is another skill/knowledge we need to learn in this hobby. It doesn't matter if the parts cost more than the watch in my opinion. Reaching the finish line with a working watch is both the goal and an attitude boost. Chalk the parts cost up to "tuition".

I did start going down the rabbit hole of looking for a spare balance wheel / hairspring....  And while it would be nice to own and maybe even wear the watch I first learned on, I only bought the watch as something to learn on and it has done that job well.

I have also considered buying myself an ST36 along with a case, dial and hands (or I saw a complete watch on aliexpress with the same setup that was recommended was a good learning tool)

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Just ordered myself on of these...
https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256804645547778.html?spm=a2g0o.store_pc_groupList.8148356.23.36c26db9zYK5nU&pdp_npi=2%40dis!USD!US %24129.00!US %2464.50!!!!!%402103231116757042323666940e13d3!12000030653046348!sh&gatewayAdapt=glo2usa&_randl_shipto=US

With what looks like a proper screw on the crown wheel - which I have heard is prevents slippage of the winder which happens on some other ST36 models?

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