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I'm trying to restore my father-in-laws Hamilton Thin o Matic with caliber 626 (based on Bruen 1820). I've also purchased a donar movement for parts since my father-in-law's watch was missing the auotmatic works.

I've never seen the problem I'm having but am hoping that someone on the forum can point me in the right direction. In both cases (the donor movement and the project watch), when I reassemble the train and insert the pallet fork and apply a little wind, the train 'races' (unwinds) because the pallet fork is not holding the escape wheel? The pallet fork just bouces back and force until the mainspring lets up. Is it possible to somehow have the train of wheels to run in reverse? It supply picture but it happens so fast I can't seem to capture it and I am also terrified the jewels on the pallet fork will break if I keep doing this. Since it is happening on both movements I'm pretty confident it is something I did during reassembly but everything looks like it should so out of ideas.

thanks in advance

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I think I foud problem--had a wheel inserted upside down. Didn't know you can do that,,,,testing now.


Wow, that was a hard lesson--I actually had a wheel upside down and the train was running in reverse (hence the pallet arbor wasn't sticking). Could have been an expensive mistake but now I know and hopefully someone else can avoid this.

Edited by Levine98
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49 minutes ago, RichardHarris123 said:

I'm glad you've resolved the issue but I'm confused.  Which wheel was upside down and how could the wheel train run backwards? 

Third wheel was upside down. I don’t know if it the whole train was running backwards (not sure how that could be), but I watched the direction of the escape wheel and it was definitely going in reverse, which is why the pallet fork  jewel was not catch and the whole pallet fork was chattering

of course I’m the guy who put a wheel upside down in two movements, so I would take anything I say with a grain of salt 😉 

41 minutes ago, Nucejoe said:


Perhaps mainspring is fitted in wrong direction.

That was the first thing I checked actually, since it appear the train was seated properly and spinning freely.

It was only after checking a restoration blog someone had posted several years ago on this movement that I noticed I had seated the third wheel upside down. It didn’t dawn on me to even check this since I didn’t think this was possible to do..

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the reason I asked about a microscope is that it has issues. I was in a classroom  teaching watch repair and one of the students put the fourth wheel and upside down and couldn't figure out what the problem was. So then I took pictures of the classroom and gave a lecture on how to sit at their watch bench. The problem was he was sitting up way too high looking straight down. Often times people with their microscopes are looking straight down if you're looking straight down you can't see which you need to see in watch repair it's why watchmakers sit so they can look into the watch it allows you to see things better than looking straight down. ideally would like to position the microscope so that you could look in at an angle as it lets you see things better.

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