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AS 554 from 1930


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I recently pick up this uncased  movement for cheap because I was hoping to salvage a plate screw from what looked to be a parts donor. However turns out all the parts were there and other than damage on the sub seconds pinion and some toning, this is a pretty nice and solid movement. The TR in the shield was first registered in 1927 and presumably used by A. Schild until they switched to the AS inside the shield in 1937. Also interesting is that the Seeland Watch Co. Became Invicta in 1937 as well.  Does anyone have any other history about A. Schild or Seeland they want to share? I think a short soak in E Zest might restore the bridge, plates and cocks to thier former shine, but the toning is weirdly (for a movement) nice. I also dabble in numismatics and like toned coins as well so maybe that has something to do with it.

Enough jabbering and on to the pictures!DSCN57192.thumb.JPG.dce51af92e14581f185ee9e1c514e796.JPGDSCN57172.thumb.JPG.8494148c58a84ef2a0087ec08d69d6f4.JPG20240212_1625483.thumb.jpg.06d05c9343448447b700a1ccb35855b9.jpg20240212_162830.thumb.jpg.ca047296f56aa762107e7efa2edda404.jpg20240212_1628302.jpg.7ae79a3322f9f4214060f9e30edc992c.jpg

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And by solid I mean thick bridges and pocket watch type screws with fine pitched threads in a 12 ligne plate size.20240212_2200462.thumb.jpg.f9bd8a27b85b533ce09d570b7f48c52e.jpg

Edited by Razz
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  • 2 months later...
On 2/13/2024 at 4:36 AM, Razz said:

I recently pick up this uncased  movement for cheap because I was hoping to salvage a plate screw from what looked to be a parts donor. However turns out all the parts were there and other than damage on the sub seconds pinion and some toning, this is a pretty nice and solid movement. The TR in the shield was first registered in 1927 and presumably used by A. Schild until they switched to the AS inside the shield in 1937. Also interesting is that the Seeland Watch Co. Became Invicta in 1937 as well.  Does anyone have any other history about A. Schild or Seeland they want to share? I think a short soak in E Zest might restore the bridge, plates and cocks to thier former shine, but the toning is weirdly (for a movement) nice. I also dabble in numismatics and like toned coins as well so maybe that has something to do with it.

Enough jabbering and on to the pictures!DSCN57192.thumb.JPG.dce51af92e14581f185ee9e1c514e796.JPGDSCN57172.thumb.JPG.8494148c58a84ef2a0087ec08d69d6f4.JPG20240212_1625483.thumb.jpg.06d05c9343448447b700a1ccb35855b9.jpg20240212_162830.thumb.jpg.ca047296f56aa762107e7efa2edda404.jpg20240212_1628302.jpg.7ae79a3322f9f4214060f9e30edc992c.jpg

20240212_162548~2.jpg

And by solid I mean thick bridges and pocket watch type screws with fine pitched threads in a 12 ligne plate size.20240212_2200462.thumb.jpg.f9bd8a27b85b533ce09d570b7f48c52e.jpg

I certainly do Razz. Ive just started work on this AS554, interestingly enough it had a paper dial made from a postcard , look at the brand name on the dial, very curious. 

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20240502_222019.jpg

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On 5/3/2024 at 6:02 AM, Neverenoughwatches said:

I certainly do Razz. Ive just started work on this AS554, interestingly enough it had a paper dial made from a postcard , look at the brand name on the dial, very curious. 

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20240502_222011.jpg

20240502_222019.jpg

Is it me or does anyone else think this staff looks a bit wonky ?

20240505_201132.jpg

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19 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Is it me or does anyone else think this staff looks a bit wonky ?

Has it been properly cleaned? If so, yes, it looks a bit funny.

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9 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

No thats straight out of the watch as i found it the balance wheel is almost as bad. I've never seen so much material removed.

Perhaps it is a practice movement. Generally, it isn't easy to assess the status of parts without properly cleaning them. What can appear as some deformation could in fact be something that doesn't belong in the movement. In this case though, I would guess that the staff is indeed deformed.

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5 hours ago, VWatchie said:

Perhaps it is a practice movement. Generally, it isn't easy to assess the status of parts without properly cleaning them. What can appear as some deformation could in fact be something that doesn't belong in the movement. In this case though, I would guess that the staff is indeed deformed.

I usually just give everything a good brush down first to remove debris, i like to do any repairs first it saves a lot of time having to re-clean . Not sure about a practice piece maybe? it has so many what look like old poor repairs.

5 hours ago, RichardHarris123 said:

It will be interesting to see how it runs. 

Up to now,  broken setting lever, set mainspring, two cracked plate jewels, chipped pallet fork cock jewel,  chipped pallet stones, rusty hairspring, heavily modified balance wheel,and deformed staff. The jewels are rubbed in and the staff just snapped taking the roller off.

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So all that glitters is not gold when it comes to buying from ebay ( in fact very very rarely) i bought this as554 a few months ago. It was it's dial that attracted me to the joblot, which turned out to be printed on a postcard, that was the first red flag. During disassembly many faults were discovered as listed above,  but i was prepared to soldier on and see what i could achieve. I managed to make a setting lever for it which was a great learning experience and also correctly shape and de rust the hairspring.  Turning my attention to the balance assembly i have hit a road block. The staff broke when removing the roller but that wasn't so much of an issue as it was quite deformed anyway.  I also had several AS554 staffs that I could replace it with, problem is they dont measure up the same. I thought i had identified the movement correctly but what i think has happened is some heavy modification has taken place to make an incorrect staff fit. A nos staff is a slack fit on the balance wheel, the roller and the collet. The balance wheel has also been filed to within an inch of its life. I'm starting to doubt my identification of the movement either that or someone has converted the movement into a pure nugget of trash. Bit disappointed as i managed to get the train to spin lovely and put a good few hours into the setting lever. A balance complete might be the only option if one is available but you know when you are just wasting money. My thoughts are to make and modify something else to fit and work if that is possible, any ideas anyone ? 

Screenshot_20240507-103930_eBay.jpg

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2 hours ago, RichardHarris123 said:

I would cut my losses, keep it for parts. Buying a balance complete would be a Sunk cost fallacy. 

You're right Rich, throwing money at something that is practically worthless. I've had i happen a few times, its  disappointing, but a lesson learned in checking everything out before you put in too much effort. I'm still tempted to look through a load of balances and wheels i have to see whats doable with the genuine staffs, I'm thinking the  wheel that it came with is not genuine, it's had it weight completely hacked down. 

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Hi Rich, the main problem with the balance is if the roller is from this movement. Did Yoy try if the balance interacted correctly with the lever? You can use suitable (by size) balance/hairspring couple from You pile of balances, but the roller must be for this lever (original for the calibre). Not that making roller is impossible, but it is easier to have one.

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1 hour ago, nevenbekriev said:

Hi Rich, the main problem with the balance is if the roller is from this movement. Did Yoy try if the balance interacted correctly with the lever? You can use suitable (by size) balance/hairspring couple from You pile of balances, but the roller must be for this lever (original for the calibre). Not that making roller is impossible, but it is easier to have one.

Hi Nev . No i didn't try this balance in the movement as it didn't run and the deformed staff broke when i removed the roller. Problem is what i think is the correct staff for this movement, the hub seat, roller and collet profiles are all too small for those parts of the assembly. The movement listed on Ranfft's site is correct my movement and the nos staffs i have match the ronda measurements. I can only assume that the wheel , roller and collet openings have all been broached to make them fit an oversized staff, both staff pivots had also been modified. 

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2 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Hi Nev . No i didn't try this balance in the movement as it didn't run and the deformed staff broke when i removed the roller. Problem is what i think is the correct staff for this movement, the hub seat, roller and collet profiles are all too small for those parts of the assembly. The movement listed on Ranfft's site is correct my movement and the nos staffs i have match the ronda measurements. I can only assume that the wheel , roller and collet openings have all been broached to make them fit an oversized staff, both staff pivots had also been modified. 

Determined that the nos staffs are the correct length for the movement by fitting the just the staff and i should be able to find a wheel and hairspring to fit. Problem is the roller hole is too large. 

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Come on chaps i need some ideas, i have the right staff for the movement, i can probably make up another hairspring and balance wheel with some effort involved, which might not run time accurate but i can deal with that. What I'm really stuck with is an oversized roller hole to fit onto the staff. I cant make a roller, so i have to make this one fit, which is looking like a fastening in repair with adhesive.  Getting the staff in centrally is going to be difficult, I'm guessing the space around the staff is about 50 microns. My other option is to track down a different staff with a better roller fitting profile but match profile sizes elsewhere,  or another correct roller, I'm sure this one has been broached out. It may not even be the correct roller, the staff sits really low inside it. I could just rodico the roller on and then test to see how it interacts with the fork.

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Shame. I have a balance complete from an AS 922 you helped me identify! However it looks like the staff is 9 hundredths of a mm too short. You're welcome to it though if you think you could botch something together from the parts to get yours running. I believe yours is a 12 ligne? The 922 is only a 10.5 so there may not be anything usable, but like I say, you're welcome to it if you want it.

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3 hours ago, Chief said:

Shame. I have a balance complete from an AS 922 you helped me identify! However it looks like the staff is 9 hundredths of a mm too short. You're welcome to it though if you think you could botch something together from the parts to get yours running. I believe yours is a 12 ligne? The 922 is only a 10.5 so there may not be anything usable, but like I say, you're welcome to it if you want it.

Very kind of you chief, the problem is the roller table and knowing if it will interact with the fork. Another roller for this calibre is what i probably need the most. It will have to sit for now while I'm away on holiday for a week. Its an interesting little piece with the cardboard dial which i still haven't got to the bottom of yet. Curious as the OP said his 554 was marked Invicta and this made up dial is also branded Invicta.

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Posted (edited)

Maybe we can make a trade...I originally got this for a part that did not work out, but don't have a case or the minute or seconds hand, or dial. But the movement rums so the balance is good!

Edited by Razz
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6 minutes ago, Razz said:

Maybe we can make a trade...I originally got this for a part that did not work out, but don't have a case or the minute or seconds hand, or dial. But the movement rums so the balance is good!

Not sure what i can trade you razz ? My aim is to cobble something together, i relish a challenge, worse case is a roller needed but I'd like to make what i have work if possible. I figure improvising teaches me much more than swapping out complete units. Anything specific you are needing fella i do have a large stock of staffs and stems some balances various donors, bits and pieces of allsorts, but no trade needed to help out a fellow watch bud if i have something useful to you.

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Posted (edited)

Let me check around as well, I have this EB 8800 that I can't get the Canon pinion to work right. The timegrapher has the watch running well just the hands don't move..

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4 hours ago, Razz said:

Let me check around as well, I have this EB 8800 that I can't get the Canon pinion to work right. The timegrapher has the watch running well just the hands don't move..

Those are found in lots of cheap brand divers Razz. How does the time setting feel on it ?

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Actually kind of rough, maybe munute wheel pinion problems? Is the 2.73mm canion oinion which seems rarer and not availble on Cousins UK. The seconds hand works and suprising nice amplitude but don't know the lift angle and BE this one says 17 j but is a pin pallet as well. Cap jewels on the escape and drive train pivots. Interestingly in has both water proof and shock resistant on the caseback and dial. Puts this around 1969 or '70?DSCN58362.thumb.JPG.4cb8d81d7a2a236641bf8c1e603ac89e.JPGDSCN58422.thumb.JPG.c00dbab8048bb2c6bf67d0ffc8f62d28.JPG

The double bezel that works independently is cool has the pi symbol on each. Wonder if it can be used like a slide rule ir something...

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On 5/7/2024 at 7:29 PM, nevenbekriev said:

Did Yoy try if the balance interacted correctly with the lever?

I'm not sure what kind of movement this is, but I'm curious to know if you're using the word "lever" as a synonym for "pallet fork"?

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7 minutes ago, VWatchie said:

I'm not sure what kind of movement this is, but I'm curious to know if you're using the word "lever" as a synonym for "pallet fork"?

The pallet fork should really be called a lever, English lever, Swiss lever etc but most people including myself call it a pallet fork.

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