Jump to content

Landeron 48 restoration project, attempt #2

Recommended Posts

I'm afraid that my electrode-plating projects have to wait a little as I just couldn't resist a second attempt on a Landeron 48.

This is what I just bought. According to the eBay sellers description it is a none runner, balance fine and functions do work. My plan is to describe and picture the journey I will have with this movement. Perhaps find a nice case and give it wrist time again ........ wouldn't that be something?? I still have the winding stem+crown of the first Landeron 48.

It will be my first chronograph if succeeded. Needless to say, I could use all the help I can get ! Kitchen sink and all the rest of it :)

Here are the first sellers pictures;

Landeron 48-1.jpeg


Landeron 48-3.jpeg

As from tomorrow I'll be standing on the corner of the street, awaiting the postman :)

Any first thoughts ?


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

@RyMoeller I visited your blog and I'm impressed about what you have achieved. My first Landeron 48 was for me a total write-off. This time I hope I have some more luck. Initially I was looking at a Poljot 3133, but after bouncing idea's backwards and forwards with forum member George Clarkson, I went for the Landeron 48 again. Not 100% sure if the movement looks as "pristine" as on the 2nd picture above, the seller posted namely also a darker, a bit un-sharp picture from the same angle;

Landron 48-2.jpeg

Reality may be a bit in between. Still, most "ingredients" seem to be present and even spring 8270, often bend, kinked or broken seems to be in good shape :)

Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 08.39.04.png

It's meant as my 60st birthday present. I could perhaps have chosen an "all singing & dancing", and more expensive, Landeron or a Poljot, but that would have been too easy and quite frankly, very boring. For me it's more about the hunt, not so the catch.

It would be nice if I could bring this one back alive and in "pristine" condition. That would be a nice birthday "marker". Hope that I can lean on as many experienced shoulder as possible!


Edited by Endeavor

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to see you "back" on the Landeron wagon! I will help you as much as I can, I have as you know some of these movements under my belt now and even managed (ahahaha) to get some back to working condition! (just joking...)

You will really love the sturdiness, reliability and simplicity of this movement, I guarantee you.

If the pictures show exactly what you will get (hopefully) the movement apparently is complete and in good shape. Let's wait till the postman arrives, though, to confirm this.

Looking forward to this project!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good news ....... the Landeron 48 arrived today !! In reality it was even better looking than on the pictures and the hands were less bend than I thought. All seems to be within my capabilities .......... I hope :jig: We'll see... ;)

Here my own pictures, but unfortunately, due to the artificial light, not a whole lot better than the sellers pictures......

1- front.jpg


The chronograph functions seem to work fine and, maybe my wishful thinking, the balance-wheel showed attempts to get back alive agian. However, upon further inspection the first Gremlin stuck his head out off the winding hole.


The winding-stem had broken off and the remaining part was stuck in the keyless works. Now, I was not able to check whether there was any tension left on the mainspring. This problem had to be solved first. All the hands came off easy..

3-hands removed.jpg

The dial screws are a bit hidden. The two arrows are pointing them out...

4-dial screws.jpg

I don't think the dial had ever been off, so carefully with a surgeon's knife. Take care of the little pinions !!

5-dial removal.jpg

All seems fine. I couldn't get the stem out, so had to remove the whole keyless work.

With everything removed, the Gremlin held tight and it was a struggle to get him out .....

7-broken winding stem.jpg

Here he is :) ...... red arrow........

8-broken piece.jpg

Installed an old winding stem (leftover of my first Landeron 48) and re-installed the keyless work. Time to check the main-spring tension.

9-winding stem installed.jpg

The click is a bit hidden, the following picture shows where it is hiding;

10-mainspring release.jpg

I didn't notice a lot of tension, if any. While working on the broken winding stem, I removed, as a precaution, the balance-assembly already. The pallet fork can now safely be removed.

11-Pallet removed.jpg

The disassembling of the chronograph went as per Ebauches S.A Landeron 48 pdf-file, which can be found here

Landeron 48.pdf

Also, this time I replaced all the screws after the removal of an item. I've seen this "trick" on a YT-video from forum member George Clarkson. There are many different screw-types and it does make sense to replace them immediately. See how that works for me ....... ?

The pushers had different length, the pusher with a longer stem at the bottom, the shorter stem at the top...

12-Pushers length.jpg

The runners 8020 and 8000 ...

13-runners 8020-8000.jpg

The Landeron stripped off its chronograph components, screws replaced. Next is the removal of the barrel-bridge and the wheel-train bridge.

14-chronograph stripped.jpg


15-wheel train.jpg

With all the wheels removed, except for the center wheel, the movement is flipped over. I don't have a fancy cannon-pinion puller, so I use brass tweezers and the main-plate as a base for the leverage. Thereafter off with the keyless works again.

16-keyless again.jpg

Main plate empty......... so far I haven't noticed any obvious broken parts. Slight surface rust on some screws.

17-main plate empty.jpg

Main spring winding-direction.

18-spring barrel.jpg

Not broken, but I ordered a new one which will replace this spring.

19-main spring.jpg

Tonight the main-plate and bridges are soaking in Zippo lighter fluid. Tomorrow cleaning and inspection of parts and jewels......

So far so good .........


Edited by Endeavor

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonderful pictures of the teardown.  Hopefully the broken stem is the only gremlin you'll find in this watch.  The movement appears to be in very good repair and the dial is exquisite.  :thumbsu:

There's a puller you can purchase for removing those friction fit chronograph wheels.  I'm thinking it would probably be a good investment for anyone who works on chronographs often...  I'll have to look into that.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

@RyMoeller In this case it was only the "wheel over 4th wheel", which I removed using two manual hands-levers. It came nice and straight. There is another intersting booklet explaining the dangers when removing/replacing parts, you can download it here; Chronograph Watch Course V3.pdf

Curious how the tool looks like and the cost........

Cheers; Roland.

Edited by Endeavor

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Endeavor said:

@RyMoeller In this case it was only the "wheel over 4th wheel", which I removed using two manual hands-levers. It came nice and straight. There is another intersting booklet explaining the dangers when removing/replacing parts, you can download it here; Chronograph Watch Course V3.pdf

Curious how the tool looks like and the cost........

Cheers; Roland.

Ah yes, the Esembl-O-Graf.  I have the complete collection in hardback and I use them on just about every chronograph repair.

Deviating a bit off topic... I did a little internet research a while back on William O. Smith Sr. who put together the Esembl-O-Graf collection for his watchmaking school, the Western Pennsylvania Horological Institute (I was interested in the American connection since there seem to be no examples of actual US made chronographs). Unfortunately the watchmaker school is no longer around but it looks like watchmaking still runs in the family.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

@RyMoeller Interesting article. Good that she is keeping the ship afloat :thumbsu:

Not so much on the Landeron to report. Today I went ahead to inspect and clean the parts. All the jewels seemed fine. There was however some (minor) surface rust on the metal parts (the sprockets) of the wheels. The wheels from the wheel-train and the runners. The copper alloy parts were fine. Carefully rubbing with a fiberglass brush and it went off. I think this movement has been "off-duty" for a long, long time.16-Cleaning parts.jpg

Some chronograph levers and springs were slightly magnetized, so I decided to de-magnetize every single part.

The balance pivots are in tact. The pivot rotating in the balance-bridge jewel has a slight wear-groove. Most likely because the bridge jewel is the hardest to oil. We will see how that shows up on the timegrapher. The pallet fork pivots and jewels are in great condition.

While waiting on the new main-spring, I will turn my attention to the dial and hands. It may be a few days, perhaps a week, before there is more to report, as the main-spring was bought in the US on the 20th of January. Post services aren't anymore what they used to be; the speed is inversely proportional to the postage price......

Stay tuned ...... ;)

Edited by Endeavor

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally, the new main-spring has arrived. It took 26 days from NY in the States to Denmark ....... It's original Landeron, nice blue and supposedly unbreakable .....

To the left the old spring, the new are in their protective-barrel (I ordered 2x, but received 3x :) )


The new spring was quite keen to get out of its barrel, so be aware. The following picture shows why it was so keen, top right is the old spring, below the new "eager"-spring;


Hand-wound the new spring in the Landeron barrel, nice blue shiny, oiled and ready to go;


With the main-plate cleaned, and the balance-jewel already oiled, time to start assembling. First the main-spring barrel and wheel-train;


Followed by the first combined bridge No:118, Be aware of the long pivot of the fourth wheel, which has to find its jewel-hole first before the bridge can be further lowered.


Before the barrel and train-wheel bridge (No:106) could go on, the click (No:425) and crown wheel had to be oiled;



Before assembling the barrel and train wheel bridge (106), one has to install the ratchet wheel, which than ends up underneath the bridge;


It get a bit tricky installing the bridge, as not only center wheel (206) and third-wheel (210) have to find their hole & jewel respectively, but also the click has to engage in the ratchet wheel. Before tightening the screws, ensure the train is running smoothly and the click is clicking.


Time to oil the tips of the pallet-fork (710). This time I treated myself with a new extra fine Bergeon oiler, it has 2 new spare tips inside the handle;


Assembled the pallet-fork;


Since it is a bit hard to wind tension in the mainspring, I flipped the plate over and installed the key-less works;



Put some tension in the spring and tested the pallet-fork, all looked very promising. I went ahead with installing the balance assembly, but noticed that the hair-spring wasn't happy at all. It was twisted (touching the balance wheel), out of center and had a kink . No way this was going to run. Disassembled the balance wheel and as you can see, it isn't happy;


Current status is that the kink has been removed, but this hairspring needs much more attention;


The plan forward is to lift the hair-spring off the balance staff and start repairing it. This will be my first serious hair-spring disablement and repair......... not sure whether I should feel happy :thumbsu: or sick :sick:. Either way, it will be a nice learning opportunity

I found the next two video's, one from Mark and the second is a broader tutorial. I have to study both and proceed ........ If you look at the first picture of Mark's video, that's exactly how my hair-spring looks like .... :(

I hope I'll be back (I've to ask Arnold, I'm sure he has some advice ;) )





This coming week I have some other things to attend. Hopefully to be continued in due time ........



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

After watching the video's I commenced operation "hair-spring".

I couldn't get the hair-spring off the balance staff (the collet was too close so I couldn't get the hands levers underneath). It had to be done in situ. I managed to get the spring back in a horizontal plain, pretty concentric and made a proper end-curve for the regulator.


Next is to test the hairspring alignment to the regulator path (see 2nd video).  To see if the roller jewel is in beat, i.e. in the center of the banking pins, I have to disassembly the watch partly and install the balance assembly. Make adjustments to the spring collet if required ........ but that will be for another day ...... this was enough adrenaline :nurse: for today.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

@RyMoeller Thank you ;)

I still have that small wear groove in the top, or technically speaking in the bottom of the balance staff pivot ....that is if the pivot(s) survives the whole ordeal. A staking set is on my wish list, but I'm currently facing lack of money and not enough bonus point by my wife .......... :huh:

Perhaps this little groove is of no influence, we have to see that on the timegrapher......... lets hope we get to that stage ;) 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The "proper end-curve" I made turned out to be a bit too ambitious. When mounting the stud, the spring was pushed over. After an hour fiddling I managed to get the spring in center with the stud mounted. Stripped the watch back, far enough to get a good few of the banking pins. Installed the balance assembly;


The roller was spot on in center of the banking-pins. When moving the regulator, also aided by the roughness of the hair-spring, one can see the beat-error changing slightly. After the above picture I adjusted the hairspring-curve slightly and reduced the offset further.

Re-assembled the bridge, pallet fork and as soon as I placed the balance assembly ....... it sprang to life :jig:


The above picture is taken with a 0.5sec exposure, hence you can't see the balance wheel screws. The hairspring seems reasonable in the center. It may need some more fine tweaking, but that will be after the timegrapher readings. Next week more ......

Edited by Endeavor

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm ........  :cool:

Would this movement be past its "best before date" ? Of course, these measurements are taken just after it came back alive, but still ........

Any remarks or suggestions?

Note; the WOS picked up some interference again, causing the "off-line" dots. Also I didn't adjust the lifting angle.

Dial Down;


Dial Up;


Crown Down;


Crown Up;




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Watchtime I'm learning with the same speed as I go along with this movement. That's the reason I started this movement and most of it is completely new to me or for sure stretching my boundaries / comfort zone .....

However whether this watch is going to see daylight again? Not so sure ......have to wait what the experts say about the graphs above....... Currently I'm not too impressed about its performance and perhaps it just stays a "trainer".......

Edited by Endeavor

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Hand in the air and waving wildly.....The NH36/4R36 movements ("A" suffix means Day & Date) hacks and winds whereas the  7S26 does neither.  I have wondered if they were interchangeable.  I have one untouched 4R36A couple of years old that is a daily driver keeping within a couple seconds since last weeks setting. There seems to be some disparity about the stems.  Most 7S26 watches have the 4 o'clock stem and 4R36 is at 3.  I have seen recent offerings with a stem at 3 o'clock which do not hack/wind.  Any clarification would be welcome.
    • its more the skill to be fair, ive seen people in the watch world make pieces with make shift tools. that was the mistake a few years ago i made, spent a load of money on tools, but was lacking the skill.   However... stunning piece of kit you have there, 
    • You have a milling attachment and a dividing plate, that's the base for making wheels and pinions. Hopefully the dividing plate has divisions that correspond to the parts you want to make. You will need basic (well, advanced) hand and bench tools any pro watchmaker would have. You will have to source cutters for your gear making. It is possible to make them but you would really need more complex equipment like a profile projector to do a decent job. You could layout the holes using the cross slide and milling attachment. Essentially you would have what the fellow at Adventures in Watchmaking blog has and he has gotten quite far in his project. It's taken him years but he's doing it. Some basic CAD software would be really helpful, as well as the Swiss NIHS norms book for designing your gearing.   Couple of observations- the cross slide doesn't appear to have a graduated thimble on one axis, and the other (and the one on the milling attachment) are quite small. It appears to be set up "German style", that is, the headstock is to be used on the right. See the cross slide. You can't just flip the top slide around usually. And, on some of these old German machines the slide screws are 0.75mm pitch, so it can get a little nuts keeping track of where you are. AND- they are sometimes left-hand threaded, to the motion to advance is reversed from 99.9% of all other lathes. All that said it is still useful stuff. A friend of mine had an old Lorch with left-handed 0.75mm screws on the slide and he made up large graduated discs with pointers mounted near the cranks to make it a little user friendly. I tried it a couple of times but years of normal-sense screws wouldn't allow my brain to wrap around the reversed-ness.
    • Many pushers are held in by a tiny circlip, so you could be right.
    • As oldhippy says its a very complete lathe, but that is not all you need. You would still need a staking tool, jewelling tool and many other small tools and a lot of skill.