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Wittnauer watch timing


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Hello,

I have a vintage Wittnauer automatic that is running fast.  I took it to my watch guy but he said it wasn’t worth fixing as it had sentimental value only. It’s only a few minutes fast per day so I’m wondering if there is anything I could do, given limited knowledge and tools.

Thoughts?

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 A few minutes fast is usually due issue with the hairspring, dirty, magnetised, any issue that shortenes the working length of  hairspring. 

Auto bridge must be taken out to remove cock- balance assembly, then there is a good chance cleaning hairspring would suffice. 

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Without removing any components there are a few things you could try. The first is to adjust the timing using the adjustment arm (see picture below), you need to make very very small adjustments and be careful as the very fine (hair spring) below the arm which is very easily damaged if you slip - think brain surgery style changes and caution!

These changes are usually made using a timegrapher machine, but can be done without one by making incremental changes and then synchronizing the watch with your phone clock and then compare where it is after several hours or a day until you finally home in on the correct setting, a long process, but you should get there in the end.

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Often a fast running watch is often symptomatic of magnetism, so you can also, in addition to the above, see if you can get your watch demagnetized - unfortunately this is done using a specific device, but you don't even need to take the back off the watch and takes literally seconds. Your watchmaker should have one of these devices and shouldn't charge to do this, or charge less than the equivalent of a battery change at most.

For the sake of completeness, if the watch is in need of a service, the above steps may only buy you time as the watch performance will eventually begin to suffer again. Looking at the pictures, the watch movement doesn't look too bad, so you may be able to squeeze a few years out of it... but its impossible to be sure by just looking at pictures.

Let us know how you get on 🙂

 

Edited by Waggy
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  • 3 weeks later...

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