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.
I honestly just wanted to know how much it would cost me to fix my meylan stopwatch no. 214 if I were to send it to meylan to fix. I feel i should because on the inside the bezel case said to. And if I choose to send it to meylan then do i just send it or can I set up something online because on meylan's website I can't find anything about repairs or my stopwatch in particular. If you can help with some answers I would greatly appreciate it.
Good evening everyone. I am new to this forum and i can see we have some outstanding experts on the site.
brand new to watch repair and looking to get some advice. I purchased an Omega seamaster quarts 1342 watch (not currently working and not tested) as it was a bargain and understand that 329 is the equivalent of the original mercury battery used when the watch was manufactured?
I am hoping the battery change will mean it is functional but in the event it does not work, how easy/costly is it to repair. (I’ve heard parts can turn this bargain into a money pit)
would anyone in this community willing to have a go at fixing it after i try battery change?
paid service of course.
any help advice would be much appreciated
I am relatively new to this hobby. I am an electronics engineer by profession in Los Angeles. I have been designated as the go to person for replacing watch batteries and fixing vintage & modern electronic gadgets for almost my entire life. Recent past, my father told me in casual conversation that his watch was running slow. I didn't know until later on that it was an automatic movement, which got me down this slippery slope. Since then I have downloaded time grapher apps, bought a dedicated chinese time grapher, purchased a set of tools that would rival Marks workshop...lol. I tend to do that, get hooked and immerse myself in things that interest me. I am an amateur radio operator, machinist, wood worker, photographer...on and on. I have learned a lot about a lot of things and have been successful in using that knowledge which keeps me motivated.
I fix and restore old film cameras and have a collection of prized fully functional 40's through 1981 SLR cameras. I got so good at it, I had a steady stream of people willing to pay me whatever I wanted to get their vintage/classic cameras re-sealed, cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. I no longer add to my collection since getting married....lol. But always keep an eye out for a rare find. Before the above, I was into machining. I have a full machining table stop workshop. 14" lathe, 24" 3-in-one lathe/mill,/drill, belt sander, grind/polisher, assortment of dremels and many other goodies. I also learned to MIG weld. I built up a dune buggy single axle carrier trailer for my brother-in-law to drag behind his truck (still in service 7 years later). That was a learning experience. I watched lots of videos and talked to professional welders. Ended up doing exercises of all kinds of welds and cutting them open to see the depth of penetration to learn how to dial in my machine for various thicknesses.
I have many other interests that I have embraced and learned by doing, going to spare you the rest LOL....I am passionate about learning.
My current projects:
1). Refinishing the cabinet and restoring the electronics on a 1930 Philco Model 77 low boy radio.
2). Refinishing and restoring an old library cart. My wife and I have plans for this, maybe a mobile bar LOL...
3). Making a kitchen knife set for my wife. I know, easier to buy, but for me it's all about the journey. I made my first Santoku and she uses it a lot. Bought metal blanks, shaped and grinded it (via printed template from pictures) into what looks like a pretty good knife that holds its edge well.
4). Restoring a 1980 Star Wars themed alarm clock. I have the old record player mechanism working. The Bradley wind up clock is running slow even when the external speed adjustment is maxed out at the ++ mark. That should be a learning experience.
5). Assembled an ETA 2824-2 movement watching Mark's and other videos on youtube. It is in a beautiful watch now (for my dad's birthday) that I built from German and Swiss part sources. I ran into the problem where the stem would not fit back in the mechanism while fitting a new stem/crown to the case. Thanks Mark for the detailed video on how to fix that, took me about 1 hour of trying various things before I figured it out. Watch works wonderfully, in beat in 5 positions and my worst is +3 seconds per day, stem up. Dial up it bounces between +1 and 0.
I will ask a lot of question so please bear with me, this is all still new to me :)
Hello dear watch repairers.
I am working on a Bifora 910 manual wind movement.
The movement was cleaned and oiled yesterday and I have been testing the performance.
I noticed that when the watch is fully wound, the amplitude reaches somewhere above 300 and rate gets super high.
However after about 5 minutes, both amplitude and rate plunge to a very low state.
I thought mainspring was the reason so I took the barrel out, cleaned the mainspring and applied 8200 oil again only to get the similar result.
What do you think is the problem and what can be done??
I am always thankful for your help.
this is when fully wound
After 5 minutes
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Thats a poser, what I had fitted to the bench at on time was a four in line which used halogen bulbs the same thing uses LEDs now and fitting that up with some 2by1 and made colapsible so that it folds up. the multiple light array should go some way to removing the shadows as the lights strike at different angles, if it has a decent base a G clamp will fix it to the table/bench, food for thought.
Yes, something like that might do the job. In many ways similar to the goose neck lamp I’m looking at. If only I knew what I need. The light in the picture I posted is very good (not the small one), it’s the fact that it is slightly in front of me hence the shadows. I can move it right above what I’m working on, but again, there will be shadows elsewhere because my hand and head will get in the way. I’m starting to think that a floor lamp next or close to me will be the best solution, casting the light from opposite direction. A head torch would be perfect but I don’t want to sit there with it on for hours. When I look at Mark’s oiling videos (jewels) it’s so clear, yes it’s a lot more magnified than my 12x loupe but there are no dark areas.