Greetings folks. I've been working on watches as a hobby for about 20 years now. I started out on pocket watches and have never cleaned a clock. In fact, I had a great cleaning machine, with the big jars, and a few other clock tools, that I gave away to an aspiring clock guy over at the Tascione site. But I digress...
Nearly 20 years ago I bought a Hamilton model 21 ship's chronometer. It's an early one, pre 400 serial number, and is a thing of beauty, as these generally are. Back when I got it, I had a professional service it for me. It was done well, but wasn't cheap. $400-500, IIRC. I used to display it in my living room and run it occasionally just to hear the escapement and marvel it its accuracy. From about 2009 to 2014 it sat in my storage unit, waiting for new digs. In 2014 I wound it up and it took off running. I let it run down and then put it away for a couple of years. When I pulled it out, I discovered that it had a broken balance pivot. While originally I thought someone had knocked it over and wasn't copping to it, but now, after inspecting the upper pivot's wear, I don't think that's the case.
After botching the first staff I got trying to replace the hub, I set it aside again for the past couple of years. The way I broke the staff was I overestimated how deep the hollowness went in my hollow punch that I was using to tap it on. It bottomed out in the punch and destroyed the pivot.
Now that I'm finally over that disappointment, I decided to give it another go. I bought a staff that already had the hub installed. I may have to polish the lower pivot, as it doesn't seem to want to set in the hole jewel properly. I'm in the process of verifying all of this. I had to tear down the chronometer at least to the point where I could check to see if the broken part of the pivot was impeding the staff from setting properly. The hole jewel is clear.
I'm doing the best I can to do it right, and get it running again. I won't be running it, but want it running just in case I should decide to sell it. Otherwise the value drops quite a bit. Since I have it completely torn down now, I might as well clean and oil it. Does anyone have a hot tip on the best cleaning solutions for cleaning these chronometers? I'd like to use something that will cross over and work for my cleaning of watches as well. I have both an ultrasonic and the small L&R mechanical. I have one more fresh batch of cleaner and rinse, petroleum, no-water, formula. Should I use that, or make, or get, something new? Any tips for oil and grease types to get me by? Any suggestions are appreciated.
I do have the Manual for the movement.
I know that this is risky business, my working on this chrono, but I just can't afford to spend another $500 to get it running. Plus, I heard that if you're going to run these, you've got to spend this $500 or so to service them every few years. That is not going to happen. Feedback, suggestions, warnings, tips, etc., are all welcome. Many thanks. Cheers.
Strange I have two Fema clock movements to repair, both with broken mainsprings and one with a broken click spring, can you please tell me, are the click springs readily available???has anyone bought one, if so where from?
Photo attached of good click spring, this is the type that I need..
Hope you are all well..
Hmmm, kind of!
But........ It shows great potential as a hobbyist alternative, with some tweaking.
After a back and forth with @Andyhull on another thread it got me to thinking perhaps it's not as useless as my initial annoyance led me to think, (I broke a mainspring trying it but to be fair the spring had been previously abused and the tool wasn't ideally sized allowing the coils to jump and tangle).
I had a bit of a resize with sanding stick and scalpel and tried again and it's certainly got promise, I need to tweak the file to suit specific barrels but it's a simple quick 3 part print using barely any filament.
Obviously not anywhere near as good as the proper bergeon winder but definitely cheaper for the hobbyist, (even if you haven't already got a printer and had to buy one first).
Here's a video of it if anyone is interested, comments and ideas are welcome.
I have a Rotary Monza I am fixing up. I disassembled the barrel and removed and cleaned the mainspring. I secured a copy of the parts list and it shows that as well as the mainspring, there is also a Brake Spring (part 775 on the picture). What is it, and do I really need it? Certainly Cousins does not sell it. I googled AS 1902 brake spring and ONE result came up of a Russian watch forum discussing this item. Apparently it is thicker than a normal spring and it seems to have some sort of bent over feature on it. Can I just make one using the old mainspring? If so, how long should it be? Is it really necessary?
ROTARY Monza AS 1902.pdf
Recently replaced the mainspring in a vintage watch (a Westfield 7j). Cleaned and lubricated watch. Worked fine for several days. Now I have a problem in which it stops before the mainspring is fully unwound--power reserve appears to be less than 24 hrs, but I haven't done a precise check. Just noticed this morning that it was stopped at about 0530. Prior to this the watch had good power reserve and the mainspring fully unwound--power reserve over 30 hrs. What kinds of things might cause this?
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I use 3 and 4 jaw chucks, large and small on a "compound lathe". how does a " bezel - chuck" grab a crystol? with a 4 jaw, you invert the jaws and grab the inside so you can cut the outer diameter. do they make chucks for jewelers lathes? vin
Today, we have a big chunk of 1973 in the form of a Timex Viscount automatic day/date. This repair fought me every step of the way. It arrived with the winder connected to fresh air, and needed a complete strip down to get everything back in order. The day detent spring was misaligned, the date wheel was misaligned, the winder weight was loose, the thing was filthy both inside and out, and even getting the back off initially was problematic. I probably spent a good half hour simply trying to figure out why the day wheel refused to co-operate before I noticed the spring wasn't actually doing anything when the disk was re-fitted, due to the spring being in the wrong orientation. I suspect it got a good hard knock at some stage, which dislodged a bunch of stuff, possibly due to the frustration of the previous owner, as a result of the day wheel not turning. Everything is now all back in order, the hands are correctly aligned, the day and date kick over correctly at midnight. It is ticking away with that characteristic Timex chonk-chonk-chonk and winding nicely. I'm not sure it is going to stay on the hair puller band, I may swap it to something a little more comfortable, as I don't particularly enjoy the bald arm patches look, and my Nordic neanderthal genes mean that my arms are particularly furry. This is what it looked like when it arrived. I'll keep it on for today, and regulate it tomorrow once everything has settled down from the surgery, but it is keeping pretty good time so far. The crystal polished up well, but I still need to give the case back a quick whizz with the polishing pad to get rid of some apprentice marks, probably due to some previous owner's attempts to open the thing.
It's, of course, a counterfeit, and not even that well made. Below how a genuine similar one looks like, from Chrono24. As suggested you should open it not just for curiosity but to check if there is water ingress or battery leaking.