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I have just basically finished cleaning and fixing a Fusee movement in a pocket watch, it also has a chime that I have never heard.  Been assembling and now am at the point where I need to put the bridge back on.  In this case as you can see in the pics the bridge is a complete disk covering the entire movement.  The problem is aligning the pivots to the bridge.  There are 6 pivots plus other stems to align and because it covers the entire movement I cant really see much.  In the pic I have taken out the wheels but you can see the holes 

Is there any advice out there on aligning bridges in a case like this.  Also note the train wheels come out of their holes so easily it is frustrating.    There are no jewels in this watch,

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks

bob

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Hi Bob,

I am pritty sure You don't know what it is...

This is about 200 years old verge quarter repeater. And, in hands of a newbie (sorry for that), guess it has little chance. Is this a complete watch (with case and dial)? If so, it will be pretty expencive, especially if in working condition.

Watches like this usually come to me to restore, as I am the one in my country that is able to do this. Usually they come with 2-3 broken pivots or which is worse - with missing wheels and other parts. So - if happens to break a pivot - please don't let the wheel get lost, but return it back to it's place, as it is much much easier to repivot the vheel than calculating and determining the sizes and parameters of the missing wheel.  There are no spare parts for such watches, as everyone of them has been made individually.

Now, don't try to assemble the movement before being sure that everything is OK with it and will be able to work. I mean, first leave tghe repeater parts aside and concentrate on the time part. The escapement itself has 3 inependent adjustments, and they has to be done and checked before assembling the movement. Then, only time part should be put in place and movement assembled without repeater part to check how the time part works, final fine adjustments to be done and reliability of the work confirmed for several days. Only then, the repeater train is to be put in place and repearer function adjusted and 'alived'.

So, now I am waiting to see video of the working movement as a normal verge watch.

Ask questions before doeing something that You are nor confident how it should be done!

 

 

Edited by nevenbekriev
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Thanks.  I did do some research before touching it.  I know this is a Fusee movement.  I understand the complexity and your recommendations.  I may be a newbee but thats how you learn.

The pivots on this watch were all excellent as were all the wheels, chain, etc.    So either I am very lucky or it was worked on in the past and parts replaced.  Unless its not as old as you believe.  I do believe that Fusee movement pocket watches were still used into the early 1920's.  

The only 2 things that were bad were the mainspring that slipping on the arbor (turned out for whatever reason it was just not tight on the arbor, so I was able to manipulate it slightly and tested it to full wind in the barrel alone several times by hand it was holding well but of course more testing later.  Also the repeater spring had a cracked hole end.  I was able to anneal the end and drill a new hole.  That is also holding well when wound by hand with a pin vise.

That said, I will ignore the repeater for now and focus on time execution.

I cant identify the make as it has been difficult to find the hallmark.  See photos. I do see what could be a Hallmark but its just 3 letters "PHS". From the Hallmark Index Book the only thing I can find is "Philipp Hass & Soehne" but it doesnt match the Hallmark lettering from the book.  Any idea if that is correct?

There are quite a few watchmaker marks left on the inside case and what could be a model 0101 and serial number but not sure if this all aligns to Philipp Hass & Soehne.

I do notice a strange thing.   You can see it in the picture of the top of the watch.  there is an adjuster for F-S.  But there is another location on the plate with a F-S grid that isnt used.IMG_5287.thumb.jpg.da4246aee2dc50e210e4118c3e0c8f73.jpg

The repeater internals are all together and thanks to my filming the disassembly are I believe correct.  But I will not do anything with that and concentrate on the timing.

One side note.  The balance wheel cover (not sure what this is actually called if it has a special name) has a jewel in the center that appears purely decorative since the balance pivot is not using a jewel.  It was half broken and someone put a piece of a mainspring under it and used super glue to hold it all together!   Before disassembly the balance spun smoothly with a puff of air.   Picture attached.  I have a Seitz jewel and cap that fits perfect and will change it to that.

Can you elaborate on the time adjustments you mention? 

Thanks again for any info and help

Bob

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Believe me, the watch is old, and has nothing to do with  Phillip Haas. The key word is not 'fusee', but 'fusee verge repeater', and the syle and the layout of the movement.

The pivots dont break because they are old, but when somebody doesn't work carefuly enough. So, please be careful. No parts will be replaced, unles somebody is able to make such parts. That's why the restoring of such watches is not simple task - the watchmaker must be able to make by himself every part needed. The stone on the balance bridge is real diamond (thow not so valuable) and is fully functional cap stone. The pieces of spring/steel under it is because it was broken or because the verge was repaired and got shorter, so the axial free play had to be normalized this way.

Yes, I will try to guide You thru what is needed to do in order to make all work. Please, show pictures of the other side of the plates, we need to se the condition of the crown wheel teeth, also of the repeater parts and levers, the chain...

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Yes in understand why pivots break. The center wheel pivot does not protrude past the plate so the piece of spring steel lays flat on top of the pivot hole and the stone which you can see was broken is on top of that but it was glued in.  Not very pretty.  

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Here are 2 photos.

Curious why would there be a second adjustment scale I circled in black? Its adjustment pivot is ground off on the back so I may have been the original or the plate was used for a different watch? 

One other question.  When you assemble these do you wind the chain fully around the Mainspring barrel before assembly or keep it fully around the fusee?

 

Thanks.

Bob

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The V-L scale and the square that can be turned is for adjustment of repeater speed. On the bottom of the square part is the hole of the last bearing of the repeater train, where only small pinion with no table sits. Turning of the square changes the distance between this pinion and the wheel that iti is meshed to. !!! decreasing the distance is possible beyond the point where the pointer leaves the scale and forcing in this direction will lead to breaking the pivots of the small pinion!!!

What I wanted to see is the teeth of the crown wheel. The crown wheel is seen, but it teeth are under the down side balance kock, so please make picture from another angle, that alows to see the teeth. Actually, the teeth are seen on the next picture and seem to be good.

The chain is placed on it's place AFTER assembling of the movement. It is easier to do it when the movement is assembled, but balance is not in it's place, so the train can move freely. Then, the barrel end (hook) of the chain is attached to the hole on te barrel. The barrel is rotated by wooden stick untill the chain is fully wound on the barrel. Then, the fusee end is atached to the fusee, some force is aplyed to the barrel in order to strain the chain and to let the train move untill the fusee gets to the position where the chain is strained and no more turning of the fusee is possible. Then, holding the barrel not to let the chain get loose,  the ratchet wheel is put on the square of the barrel arbor, the arbor is rotated in a manner that the spring is wound a little and will hold the cain strained, and the click is engaged with the ratchet wheel. Then, block the train and wind  the spring slowly (by the fusee arbor) and the same time observe if the chain goes correctly on the fusee channel. If needed, help the chain not to go out the channel, this is only when first winding. After that, release the train and let the spring unwind by train turning. !!!All train bearings must be oiled!!!

Edited by nevenbekriev
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We have differences here in terminology...

What You show last is the center wheel, also called 2nd wheel. Center  as it stays in the center, the minute hand is on it's arbor.

The Crown wheel is actually the escape wheel in verge escapement. It is shown with arrow in the pictureIMG_54402.thumb.jpg.be64f28a016b63d318781f5b16a9f93b.jpg.e8c8593d7ab6c2a6b108063e67930e2f.jpg

And what You seems to call central wheel, is actually the balance. The balance staff in this escapement is called 'VERGE' or in German 'SCHPINDEL'

By the way, I didn't see on You picts the small pinion that I talked about - the one on the end of repeater train that regulates the speed of repeater. Is it there?

Edited by nevenbekriev
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Yes.  I suffer from being a relative newbee to watch restoration (have been learning for the past 2 years and done several pocket watches but nothing like this) and a definitely a virgin to a "verge fusee" let alone a repeater.  Here is the crown wheel front and back and the last repeater pinion. I also added the fusee with chain.

Thank you Neven for all your help.  Your explanation on how to set the chain is excellent.  

Are there any books or papers on these watches? They are not discussed in any other books and I have most of them.

Thanks,

bob

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  • 2 weeks later...

I double checked everything (related to time only) ready to assemble (leaving out the repeater mechanics).

Neven you mention there are 3 adjustments on the escapement.  I do see several screws. Any info on these adjustments is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

bob

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On 1/18/2024 at 6:19 PM, bobolink said:

In the pic

I don't suppose you have pictures of the dial side without the dial? I'm just curious about what the whole watch looks like before it was disassembled but even the pieces would be interesting.

 

On 1/19/2024 at 2:35 PM, bobolink said:

I may be a newbee but thats how you learn.

interesting philosophy. Typically newbies are supposed to work and gain experience before jumping into something that's a little more complicated than what you normally find. 

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JohnR the face side is in the pic I posted on Jan 20. The face side contains most of the repeater mechanics. You can see the canon pinion.

As far as being a newbee. It’s all relative. Learn and do then do and learn worked fine for me for normal pocket watches like Omega,  Hamilton, etc. lots of material training etc. But this watch can break you because I haven’t found much in detailed material and Neven made clear some of the things I don’t know about this type of watch. So I’m asking for help here. 

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3 hours ago, bobolink said:

JohnR the face side is in the pic I posted on Jan 20. The face side contains most of the repeater mechanics. You can see the canon pinion.

my bad I just hadn't seen it yet and yes seeing it I now understand now why it's a repeater I was just looking at the gear train and pondering whether was a repeater alarm watch. The reason I want to see the repeater part is there is some information out there on repeater watches. Just like there might be a probably some information out there on verge watches.

3 hours ago, bobolink said:

newbee.

the only reason I even commented on your philosophy was that most people if they grasp it's a repeater and that's modern watchmakers or anything will usually run away from a repeater as it adds a heck of a lot a complication to a watch.

 

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I didn't have much time this days...

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1 is for adjustment the crown wheel position.

2 i sfor adjustment of the depht of the escapement.

3 is for adjustment of crown wheel axial free play, after 1 and 2 adjustments are done.

The screw 2 can only move the rear bearing of the crown wheel back from the verge, thus reducing the depth. Increasing the depth is by unscrewing 2 and then pushing the bearing to the verge

Here is a graph that represents the adjusment of 1 and 2.

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When moving the crown wheel relative to the verge by 1 There will be areas where turning the crown wheel will make the verge oscillate (the triangels), and areas where the verge will block the wheel and the escapement will not work. The blue line represents the minimal depth - under it the crown wheel teeth will not rich the flags of the verge and crown wheel will rotate free without making the verge oscillate.  The closer is the crown wheel position adjustment to the orange central line, the more deeper is possible to mesh the crown wheel to the verge and still escapement capable to work. The idea of adjustment of 1 is to find the position where maximal depth is possible. Then 2 is adjusted almost to maximal depth and a little back, to ensure reliable work. The black dot on the graph represents the best adjustment of 1 and 2.

If all is perfect - the flags of the verge are equal and the angle between the vege and crown wheel axes is 90 degr., then the correct adjustment will be when this axes are in one plain. In real life, the best escapement adjustment is close to this, but may differ and needs to be found in experimental way.

Onse 1 adjusted when manufactured, a mark is placed to make further works easier. But, if the verge for example is replaced, this mark is no more that relevant, just as ball park may be used to find the best adjustment close to it.

3 is to be adjusted after 1 and 2 are done, in order to make the axial free play of crown wheel minimal

 

 

Edited by nevenbekriev
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Thank you so much Neven.  Excellent explanation that I can follow.

One thing I found when I put the fugee and barrel in and installed the chain and attempted a small wind to get the chain on.  Fugee was partially slipping.  I opened it and found the click had chipped and winding attempted many times to cause bad wear on the ratchet teeth. So I remember your words in your first pots "there are no spare parts".   All I am looking to do is just get it running, not a full restoration.   I may be able to get the ratchet to a running state with some gentle filing and can look to make the click.

Thank you!

Bob

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Sorry to see that. Actually, will not advice to touch the ratchet wheel. You can work on the click only and it will be possible to solve the problem by bending it a little in a manner that it's tip gets lifted above the surface of the table Thus, it will be able to catch the part of the teeth that is not damaged The tip of the click is smashed, but it is soft and will be possible to form it right onse it is lifted. Lifting must be done without damaging the rivet of the click, so no force to be aplied to this joint. Put sctewdriver tip under the tip of the click to get it lifted as much as free play alows and then press the midle part of the click, this will bend it in needed way. The table should stay on flat hard surface.

Edited by nevenbekriev
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Neven I followed your advice and was able to bend the click enough to have a positive effect.  I holds much better. Not 100% but I think I know when to not push my luck.  There are a few teath on the ratchet that are worse than others and  still cause it to slip if you push it.   I am doing it by hand and not sure yet how the strength of the mainspring will play against it now.  But it feels like there is enougn hold to get it wound. 

Thanks

Bob

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I understand, no guts no glory.  I went a bit further with the click but it is as far as a can go.  I bent the click spring to apply a bit more pressure.  The way the click was damaged on the top, and the ratchet on the bottom (when in place) really prevents me from reshaping it without losing too much material.   See the drawing I attached.  Given this I cant sharpen the click any further without shortening it.

It is still skipping on some the most damaged teeth even with all the adjustments.

I have no alternative if I go too far and break it.  I can probably make a new click with lathe and file.  I have the lathe but not the mechanics necessary for gear making.   But there is even risk for me to remove any of these pieces.     

So I will have to leave it unless someone knows where I can get these 2 parts removed, made, and installed.  I now it is terrible, but risk is too high for me 😞

 

 

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