Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi all, 

I’m currently troubleshooting an A Lange Sohne. Balance stops in dial up position. 
 

I’m considering a staff replacement. But before I go that route, I’d like opinions on the removability of the hairspring. Is this hairspring removable? Easily removable? I cannot tell if this is like the modern ETA balances that make removal particularly difficult. 
 

Parts are near impossible to source. Sourcing a balance complete? Is impossible. Sourcing a balance staff? I’ll have to buy one close enough from Best Fit. 
 

Thanks! 

IMG_7727.jpeg

IMG_7728.jpeg

Edited by mzinski
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Have you check the pivots  ?  short pivot ?   perhaps a worn jewel hole?

If it comes to restaffing,  I suppose you best try to mount this  balance complete on lathe and drill out material from the staff. As your liable to throw something out of poise if you try to punch it out.

These Greiner collets are said to be suitable when you are to dynamicaly poise, can't afford the slightest disfiguration.

Rgds

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Nucejoe said:

 Have you check the pivots  ?  short pivot ?   perhaps a worn jewel hole?

If it comes to restaffing,  I suppose you best try to mount this  balance complete on lathe and drill out material from the staff. As your liable to throw something out of poise if you try to punch it out.

These Greiner collets are said to be suitable when you are to dynamicaly poise, can't afford the slightest disfiguration.

Rgds

Thanks! 

Here's the interesting analysis so far:

- The balance has a fair bit of end shake, much more than I'd like to see

- When I swap the upper/lower cap and insetting to lower/upper, it runs dial up (instead of dial down)

- The only measurable difference between upper/lower cap jewels and insetting is the insetting. The upper is thicker than lower. 

- I do not observe cap jewel or insetting damage

- I do not observe pivot damage or inequality 

I am going to purchase an insetting of the same dims as the lower insetting (since that's the one that runs). I'll see if that's the culprit. 

Next, I'll take a closer look at the staff. I'm glad to hear the collet allows for the hairspring to be removed easily. While I typically do punch out staffs, I'll take your advice and try cutting out with my lathe. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, mzinski said:

Thanks! 

Here's the interesting analysis so far:

- The balance has a fair bit of end shake, much more than I'd like to see

- When I swap the upper/lower cap and insetting to lower/upper, it runs dial up (instead of dial down)

- The only measurable difference between upper/lower cap jewels and insetting is the insetting. The upper is thicker than lower. 

- I do not observe cap jewel or insetting damage

- I do not observe pivot damage or inequality 

I am going to purchase an insetting of the same dims as the lower insetting (since that's the one that runs). I'll see if that's the culprit. 

Next, I'll take a closer look at the staff. I'm glad to hear the collet allows for the hairspring to be removed easily. While I typically do punch out staffs, I'll take your advice and try cutting out with my lathe. 

 

Does swapping the end stones raise the staff's position ? I would expect the endshake to remain the same. Upper and lower caps and chatons were not necessarily in the correct setting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Check that the cap jewels are sitting in the jewel setting fully. I once had a watch with this problem and found that when I swapped the cap jewels, the culprit jewel sat lower in the setting, thus reducing the endshake.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From your analysis, it sounds like you are on the right track, looking to replace the thicker of the two jewel settings. That will reduce your overall endshake and prevent the pivot taper entering the hole. I suspect that will solve your problem, and you are unlikely to need to dismantle the balance.

 

If you do need to remove the hairspring, the collet levers off like a conventional one:

https://www.watchrepairtalk.com/topic/18380-does-hairspring-on-eta-2789-just-lever-off/

 

What movement is it?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, mzinski said:

I am going to purchase an insetting of the same dims as the lower insetting (since that's the one that runs). I'll see if that's the culprit. 

 Before purchasing ,   there is a test to furthure diagnose .

Flip the thin end stone over  to face its dome side to the pivot , this often  sufficiantly raise the pivot shoulder, then it should run in both FD  &  FU positions.

I think the issue your facing 🧐   is  pivot shoulder rubs on hole of the housing. 

I'll try my at most  to avoid restaffing,  you would loose the near perfect poise of A lange sohne. 

Good luck 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi there,

Before doeing anything to the balance, measure the lenght of the staff (from pivot tip to pivot tip). Compare it with the data for the caliber, or with the lenght of the staff You intend to replace the existing one with. This will tell You what is wtrong and if it has anything to do with the sataff or no.

Do You know the history of the watch? May be someone tryed to repair it, replaced parts and so on?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, nevenbekriev said:

May be someone tryed to repair it, replaced parts and so on?

 All indicators point to the above, previous watch destroyer probably lost one end stone and replaced it with a thin one, this casts doubt on whether A lange & sohne sells parts to individuals or can one be sourced at all. 

Like to see how you resize  thicker end stone, all I can do is to get the sand paper out.

TIA

Rgds 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Nucejoe said:

 All indicators point to the above, previous watch destroyer probably lost one end stone and replaced it with a thin one, this casts doubt on whether A lange & sohne sells parts to individuals or can one be sourced at all. 

Like to see how you resize  thicker end stone, all I can do is to get the sand paper out.

TIA

Rgds 

See, the thicker endstone will lead to bigger force in the shock device spring, as it will be more bent than normally. The thinner - vice versa - will lead to smaller force, and even in some cases to no force at all and free play, which is not acceptable. But, if the spring apyes some force and the setting is pressed to the bottom of the shock device, then the thickness of the end stone will make no difference on the axial free play of the balance. Well, this is true if the diameter of the stone is correct - it must be not bigger than the 'nest' in the setting so it will go in, and it must be not to small so not to sink and touch the hole stone.

I guess the problem really is replaced setting with one that is similar, but higher.

Putting the enstone upside down will make free play smaller, as the rounded surface of the stone will go closer to the hole stone. May be Topic starter will be able to solve His problem this way. This is not so good probably in terms of oil retention, but yet will be some decision if it will ensure normal  axial free play and amplitude.

Edited by nevenbekriev
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, nevenbekriev said:

Putting the enstone upside down will make free play smaller, as the rounded surface of the stone will go closer to the hole stone. May be Topic starter will be able to solve His problem this way. This is not so good probably in terms of oil retention, but yet will be some decision if it will ensure normal  axial free play and amplitude.

Thank you neven, I agree with ALL you said. 

 A problem with putting the end stone upside down is that  lubricants  migrate from top of the dome easier, but lets be happy and hopeful that epilame treatment helps  keep the lubricant where put. Another problem is the top of the dome might come in full contact with jewel hole leaving zero chance for pivot's axial play thus pivots  jump out of the hole in the event of a shock, so I stopped ( long ago) recommending this approach to members as a permanant solution .

 I am pretty sure that OP  ( Original Poster ) mzinski,   will come back with news of success. but is it really a success? I think not. 

By thicker stone I was thinking deeper sink of the end stone's flat side, into the setting , not higher dome.

This being a high end watch, I go with the best repair or not go at all.

Rgds 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, Nucejoe said:

A problem with putting the end stone upside down is that  lubricants  migrate from top of the dome easier, but lets be happy and hopeful that epilame

Hey Joe. I've seen in books where this is how the caps of old were placed dome to flat, suggesting that the capillary action between the two surfaces was greater . I'll have to dig the book out, it was either decarle or fried.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/21/2024 at 1:08 AM, Klassiker said:

From your analysis, it sounds like you are on the right track, looking to replace the thicker of the two jewel settings. That will reduce your overall endshake and prevent the pivot taper entering the hole. I suspect that will solve your problem, and you are unlikely to need to dismantle the balance.

 

If you do need to remove the hairspring, the collet levers off like a conventional one:

https://www.watchrepairtalk.com/topic/18380-does-hairspring-on-eta-2789-just-lever-off/

 

What movement is it?

Thank you! 

I work on a lot of old Rolexes. Their hairsprings are easy to lever off. I haven't had to restaff a newer balance but heard some of the new ETA's have hairspring collets that don't really allow for lever removal. Was worried that was the case with this style collet (if I need to restaff). 

This is a caliber L 911.4 by A Lange Sohne. Came to me from a friend who won it at Christie's auction. Arrived to him not running with a broken stem. I had to turn a new stem since parts are not available. 

L1002727.JPG

L1002728.JPG

L1002730.JPG

L1002731.JPG

On 1/21/2024 at 5:34 AM, nevenbekriev said:

Hi there,

Before doeing anything to the balance, measure the lenght of the staff (from pivot tip to pivot tip). Compare it with the data for the caliber, or with the lenght of the staff You intend to replace the existing one with. This will tell You what is wtrong and if it has anything to do with the sataff or no.

Do You know the history of the watch? May be someone tryed to repair it, replaced parts and so on?

I don't know the history. I don't see watchmaker marks in the case back. As you can see from my reply above, the watch is pretty dirty and uncared for. 

If I opt to consider a staff replacement, I'll measure the staff. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find technical data on the movement, L 911.4. If you've got a source or can direct me to it, it'd be greatly appreciated! 

On 1/22/2024 at 2:06 AM, Nucejoe said:

Thank you neven, I agree with ALL you said. 

 A problem with putting the end stone upside down is that  lubricants  migrate from top of the dome easier, but lets be happy and hopeful that epilame treatment helps  keep the lubricant where put. Another problem is the top of the dome might come in full contact with jewel hole leaving zero chance for pivot's axial play thus pivots  jump out of the hole in the event of a shock, so I stopped ( long ago) recommending this approach to members as a permanant solution .

 I am pretty sure that OP  ( Original Poster ) mzinski,   will come back with news of success. but is it really a success? I think not. 

By thicker stone I was thinking deeper sink of the end stone's flat side, into the setting , not higher dome.

This being a high end watch, I go with the best repair or not go at all.

Rgds 

 

100% want to repair correctly. 

I have replaced the upper balance insetting...

and...

...

It runs dial up! But it's running a little sluggish. I'm pleased it's a step in the right direction but will continue to troubleshoot. I may replace cap jewel, now, as well. Doesn't appear damaged but replacement will at least rule it out. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/22/2024 at 2:28 PM, Neverenoughwatches said:

Hey Joe. I've seen in books where this is how the caps of old were placed dome to flat, suggesting that the capillary action between the two surfaces was greater . I'll have to dig the book out, it was either decarle or fried.

Hey matey,  The correct answer be nice to know.

On 1/22/2024 at 1:36 PM, Nucejoe said:

I am pretty sure that OP  ( Original Poster ) mzinski,   will come back with news of success. but is it really a success? I think not. 

Hi Mzinski,  what end shake you got with cap stone upside down?  and what amplitude? 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, Nucejoe said:

Hey matey,  The correct answer be nice to know.

Hi Mzinski,  what end shake you got with cap stone upside down?  and what amplitude? 

 

 

I haven't tried flipping cap jewel upside down. I replaced the insetting. I can try flipping cap jewel but I don't think it sits in the insetting very nicely. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, mzinski said:

I haven't tried flipping cap jewel upside down. I replaced the insetting. I can try flipping cap jewel but I don't think it sits in the insetting very nicely. 

So,  this doen't reduce the end shake and a pivot might  be on the verge of jumping out jewel hole, perhaps upper and lower insettings were swapped before it gets on your bench.

 If your sure nothing is rubbing , you might want to move the setting on mainplate as thats another possible fault to check, an easy test for that is to shim the cock so to lower the cock setting. 

 You want to eliminate positional variation due to excessive end shake, then if you see positional variations it can mainly be blamed on unpoised oscilator. In case this oscilator has its original poise , I try bestest to avoid restaffing. 

Do you suspect bent pivot? 

Rgds

 

Edited by Nucejoe
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, mzinski said:

I have replaced the upper balance insetting...

and...

...

It runs dial up! But it's running a little sluggish.

Check you still have some endshake. Also check for contamination of the jewels, fibres fouling the pivots, hairspring etc. Other than that, I don't know what to suggest. You seem to know what you are doing, so I'm sure you'll get there on your own.

You have to wonder about the history. Who would treat such a valuable watch so badly and let the wrong parts be fitted etc.? Is there any other sign of someone working on this before you? Scratches, damaged screw-heads, fingerprints? It's very unusual to see one of these in the hands of a hobbyist. You will not be able to get spare part or service information. All official servicing is done exclusively in Glashuette, as far as I'm aware.

Good luck, you're a braver man than me. Good to see you wearing finger cots by the way. German silver doesn't like to be touched.

Some more thoughts.

When you say sluggish, what exactly do you mean? Do you have the same "sluggishness" DU and DD, or only DD? What happens if you swap the settings?  Do you have timegrapher so you can post some traces?

Edited by Klassiker
More thoughts
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mizinski,

In order to be able to help, we will need more information, than You give us.

On 1/21/2024 at 7:37 AM, mzinski said:

- When I swap the upper/lower cap and insetting to lower/upper, it runs dial up (instead of dial down)

- The only measurable difference between upper/lower cap jewels and insetting is the insetting. The upper is thicker than lower. 

 

When You did that swap, was the amplitude normal in DU position? Is there difference between amplitudes when You cnange the upper setting with the new one? And, what hapeened with the axial free play - is it normal now?

So far, we know nothing about amplitude - is/was it normal in any position?

We don't know if the new setting is the right one for the caliber. I wouldn't worry about that, but I will need to know if it lays prefect in the incablok, is the axial free play correct and if the internal diam of the new hole jevel is correct for the pivot.  If the hole is narrow, a little burhishing of the pivot will solve the problem. Furdher more, if the axial free play is still big, I would need to know if there is enough clearence between the staff shoulder above the hairspring collet seat and  the bottom of the incablok in DU position.

And, I am sorry if it is under You level, but are You sure that the pivot and pivot head is normal, and the hairspring is not rubbing on the bridge in DU position only?

I will advice to dissassemble all and leave only the balance with it's cock on the plate. This will ease the observations needed to understand what is not correct, also doeing the free oscillation test. This test will show is the problem with the balance solved, without need to assemble and test the whole movement

 

Edited by nevenbekriev
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Amplitude, Dial Down, jewels and insettings in the home locations, 267. I haven't gone through with rate and error adjustment but they're within reason - gaining 4s/d and 0.9 BE. 

When I replaced the insetting with a new one I mentioned it would run dial up but sluggish. This is compared to it not running DU at all. Sluggish? Less than 100 amplitude. End shake decreases with this. 

When I swap the jewels and insettings, upper to lower and lower to upper, it runs DU but the amplitude is only 150 and wildly erratic rate. It does not run DD. End shake increases. 

Last test, jewels and insettings returned to their home locations, upper cap jewel flipped upsidedown. It runs DU and DD with 260's amplitude and gaining rate, moderate BE. End shake decreases. 

Hairspring is true, level, centered, and concentric. 

Pivots do not appear bent under 10x. 

@Nucejoe I'd like to flip the cap jewel back into normal position. Given that "fix" works, where do I look for the culprit? Does this now suggest worn pivot? Something else? 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, mzinski said:

 

@Nucejoe I'd like to flip the cap jewel back into normal position. Given that "fix" works, where do I look for the culprit? Does this now suggest worn pivot? Something else? 

Yes it indicates a worn pivot. 

Best to try to lengthen this pivot, cuz with restaffing  you risk loosing the fine poise  already there .

There are alternative bodge approaches to go about fixing it , however, not recommended for such fine piece.

Good  luck pal.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, mzinski said:

Amplitude, Dial Down, jewels and insettings in the home locations, 267. I haven't gone through with rate and error adjustment but they're within reason - gaining 4s/d and 0.9 BE. 

When I replaced the insetting with a new one I mentioned it would run dial up but sluggish. This is compared to it not running DU at all. Sluggish? Less than 100 amplitude. End shake decreases with this. 

When I swap the jewels and insettings, upper to lower and lower to upper, it runs DU but the amplitude is only 150 and wildly erratic rate. It does not run DD. End shake increases. 

Last test, jewels and insettings returned to their home locations, upper cap jewel flipped upsidedown. It runs DU and DD with 260's amplitude and gaining rate, moderate BE. End shake decreases. 

Hairspring is true, level, centered, and concentric. 

Pivots do not appear bent under 10x. 

@Nucejoe I'd like to flip the cap jewel back into normal position. Given that "fix" works, where do I look for the culprit? Does this now suggest worn pivot? Something else? 

 

It sounds like the problem is very much in the area of the upper cap jewel. That slight raise of the balance when the cap is flipped could be releasing the upper pivot shoulder rubbing on the hole jewel in du or the lower pivot might be almost leaving its jewel hole. Can we have a good clear close up of the pivots.

Edited by Neverenoughwatches
Removed a senior moment comment 🤣
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Observation on this post

Just so interesting

Not that I could do the level of work that you are all talking about, it is very interesting none the less.  It is as a result of these types of discussion posts that allows us learners an understanding of the use of the relevant tools needed, and applications how to use them.

Together with the observations and comments of the members, because no one criticises or ridicules, just offers information, all we learners have is great learning opportunity. 

Thank you to all

Edited by rossjackson01
More information
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, mzinski said:

Amplitude, Dial Down, jewels and insettings in the home locations, 267. I haven't gone through with rate and error adjustment but they're within reason - gaining 4s/d and 0.9 BE. 

When I replaced the insetting with a new one I mentioned it would run dial up but sluggish. This is compared to it not running DU at all. Sluggish? Less than 100 amplitude. End shake decreases with this. 

When I swap the jewels and insettings, upper to lower and lower to upper, it runs DU but the amplitude is only 150 and wildly erratic rate. It does not run DD. End shake increases. 

Last test, jewels and insettings returned to their home locations, upper cap jewel flipped upsidedown. It runs DU and DD with 260's amplitude and gaining rate, moderate BE. End shake decreases. 

Hairspring is true, level, centered, and concentric. 

Pivots do not appear bent under 10x. 

@Nucejoe I'd like to flip the cap jewel back into normal position. Given that "fix" works, where do I look for the culprit? Does this now suggest worn pivot? Something else? 

 

We still need to know is the axial free play normal in any combination of settings/enstone position. I will not be so amused if the free play will be normal when both enstones are put upside down...

Well, the fact  that when dial side endstone put rouned side to the pivot makes the balance work correctly, only means that the pivot is short for this setting, nothing more. I mean, it is not proven that the pivot is worn. The pivot may be OK, but the setting may be not original. Then, the balance itself may be replaced. Or, someone may have worked on the pivot and then rounding it's head for some reason... For sure will tell, that if a pivot is worn in a manner that it has got that shorter, it's head will not be rounded as it should, but will be flat and even riveted. Furder more, no reason to expect this exactly pivot to be worn. Such wear of pivot one can meet in a pocket watch which has worked 40 years on the table or nightstand lying dial up, but in the hairspring side pivot.

So, what we really need is good pictures of the pivots. When using smartphone camera, search for macro mode and find out how to lock the focus (e.g. press the area of the image and hold untill locked padlock symbol appears) and then find the distance from camera to pivot where the image of the pivot is on focus.

Edited by nevenbekriev
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, rossjackson01 said:

Observation on this post

Just so interesting

Not that I could do the level of work that you are all talking about, it is very interesting none the less.  It is as a result of these types of discussion posts that allows us learners an understanding of the use of the relevant tools needed, and applications how to use them.

Together with the observations and comments of the members, because no one criticises or ridicules, just offers information, all we learners have is great learning opportunity. 

Thank you to all

Dont down play your knowledge or level of skill Ross, besides people on here who do you know that can do what you do ? Your contributions on this forum are huge and just as valid as anyone's. 

1 hour ago, nevenbekriev said:

We still need to know is the axial free play normal in any combination of settings/enstone position. I will not be so amused if the free play will be normal when both enstones are put upside down...

Well, the fact  that when dial side endstone put rouned side to the pivot makes the balance work correctly, only means that the pivot is short for this setting, nothing more. I mean, it is not proven that the pivot is worn. The pivot may be OK, but the setting may be not original. Then, the balance itself may be replaced. Or, someone may have worked on the pivot and then rounding it's head for some reason... For sure will tell, that if a pivot is worn in a manner that it has got that shorter, it's head will not be rounded as it should, but will be flat and even riveted. Furder more, no reason to expect this exactly pivot to be worn. Such wear of pivot one can meet in a pocket watch which has worked 40 years on the table or nightstand lying dial up, but in the hairspring side pivot.

So, what we really need is good pictures of the pivots. When using smartphone camera, search for macro mode and find out how to lock the focus (e.g. press the area of the image and hold untill locked padlock symbol appears) and then find the distance from camera to pivot where the image of the pivot is on focus.

If all is original it really does sound like a worn down upper pivot. Thats the first thing i would be looking at to eliminate it from the list of causes. If its not obviously worn then to varify from inside the watch if the pivot cone is riding on the jewel or the opposite pivot is almost free.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



×
×
  • Create New...