familyguy

Refurbished watch from India

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Received my practise watch the other day, a Mumbai special from Ebay, the watch looks pretty decent clean shiny and at first glance could well be described as new. The dial is an obvious repaint but does look quite decent, a working mechanical watch,  swiss movement  with a new band for around $16 delivered - I have no complaints.

 A quick wind and away it went, I don't have a dedicated timing machine  but I do have TG and Watchoscope on my laptop, a quick test showed a rate of about +75 seconds/day, a beat error of approx 2.5ms the amplitude varied from 140 to 190 deg (not sure why). This is about what I expected so no surprises here. Came back to it after diner and found it had stopped, checking the winder it felt as it was still fairly well wound, I gave it a few more turns and away it went, after taking off the back I let down the main spring and found it had been just about fully wound. I gave it few  turns and it came to life only to stop after a few minutes, I found it needed to be almost fully wound to keep going, no matter, it is a practise watch and will be a challenge for me to see if I can (a) strip clean and reassemble without screwing it up and (b) find the cause of it needing to be fully wound to continue running.

Had some trouble getting the movement out of the case, the plastic spacer holding the movement central came out with no problems but releasing the winding stem I found it could not be removed as the tube it passed through was too small to allow it through, as I never intend to wear this and my primary concern is working on the movement I decided to pull the tube from the case so I could free the stem, a few moments with long nosed pliers had the stem and tube out - it was tight though and reasonably thick, I had a good hold on it and did not crush it. Although it is possible to strip a movement without the stem in place every thing I have seen/read says put the stem back once the movement is out of the case.

With the movement out I gave the case a bit of a look and the plastic crystal just fell out in my hands when I tried to wipe a finger print from the inside. I had hoped the band would be real leather - maybe it is I can't tell, it does have FRACOMINA embossed on it - this is the name of an online fashion store. If I decide to reassemble it to a fully working watch I'll have to either source a new tube or make one - looks pretty small but do-able.The movement is now sitting on my home brew holder 20171111_093155.thumb.jpg.4e7ad498a7bad171703d18b8486a2fca.jpg20171111_093138.thumb.jpg.b581fc005bc8f276857fb3481ead17fc.jpg20171111_093146.thumb.jpg.cee0173233c6d4bbb706e2e695f69b3a.jpg20171111_093155.thumb.jpg.4e7ad498a7bad171703d18b8486a2fca.jpg20171111_100932.thumb.jpg.4554e82e8497e866b3728a9b7c22789b.jpgand hopefully I'll have time later today to do my first strip and reassemble.

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Have you identified the movement? Could just be it needs a good clean, but you may find worse. If this is your first experience then be prepared for a bumpy ride... I have seen some interesting things in cheap watches that have been repaired in India (and elsewhere for that matter).

You can buy selections of case tubes from Cousins, and if the crystal just fell out it is probably the wrong size so you may want to change that if all goes well.

 

 

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I have the movement apart and my noob eyes can see nothing obviously wrong, the movement is a FHF 969 N (stamped under the balance wheel), I've managed to file away the stem tube enough to separate it from the stem (which remains unharmed), I'll try  to turn up a replacement first on my 12x24 bench lathe - not ideal for watchmaking I know. The tube is  small at 1/10"  long and  0.075"  in diam but not impossibly small, I have turned things this size before with out issues and if I fail there is always Cousins.

I have tried to get the crystal (plastic) back in by hand but it only goes partially in at an angle do I need one of those claw type tools or a crystal press ?

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As long as the crystal does not have a metal ring inside it then you need the claw type to compress it to fit.

The Anchor Indian brand is quite reasonably priced, not as good as Bergon, but good enough

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Thanks for the info about the type of tool needed probably I will eventually need both.

I've assembled the movement and am getting to the pointy and am finding the top bridge a bit difficult to get on - there are 3 pivots that need to line up in their respective jewels, I can get 2 out of 3 but so far lining up all 3 at once has eluded me, I have assembled it with just the bridge and then with only one gear at a time to see which ones are the most difficult to line up and it seems to be the pallet wheel/gear. I've watched a youtube video and it looks so easy (unless the all of the cursing has been edited out), I do have fortunately an excess of patience and I think I'm going to need it all.

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Some pics - I know forum members like pics.

Still have not managed to get the bridge on, main concern is breaking the pivots. I put the bridge back without any of the gears just to gauge the amount of pressure needed to seat it - not much, I did notice though it needs to be put on squarely, then assembled with only the two larger gears, took about 20 seconds, I noticed that the jewels are opaque and I can see the pivots moving around through the jewels. It is the circled gear that is causing me headaches. Not about to give up though.

A pic also of the stem with the remains of the tube next to it.

issue.JPG

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Serviced similar movement recently (ST 96N), also from India :) 

My procedure is like this. Put the gears in their hole jewels in the mainplate. Place the bridge over them and add the screws and turn them half way in. Just to hold the bridge so that it wont fall off but it is moving freely up and down. Then hold the movement by hand (finger coats) and look at it from the edge from the balance direction with the loupe. Hold it to a good light. Now You can see what arbor is not upright. Usually i am using brass tweezers, thin toothpick (sometimes to thick) or thin brass wire in a pin vice to align the gears. The bridge usually will simply fall in his place if everything is aligned .... in case of some good movements. If it is not falling in place then i am just keeping my finger over it (dont push, just hold there), then align the gears, check them that both pivots are in their holes (push on the center wheel to check if they are spinning properly), now You can push on the bridge until it is in place. Have not broken one pivot yet. :)

 

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After nearly 2 hrs straight I finally managed to get the bridge on with all of gears correctly in place, a slight push on the mainspring barrel has the gears spinning. Just to prove it was not a fluke (I wish) I removed the bridge and had another go - back to square one and having the same problems. I'll give it a rest come back to it tomorrow. On the positive side I didn't break or bend any of the gear spindles, they are small I measured one 0.2mm or 8 thou in the old system.

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Finally had success !  With no gears in place I noticed that the  bridge does not just drop on but needs a slight push - it is ever so slightly tight on one of the locating posts and tends to stay in a partially located position. When trying to locate the gear pivots in the jewel hole if I release pressure on the bridge to allow the gear to be nudged into position, the bridge stays put and jambs the gear so it can't be moved I then have to lever the bridge up just a fraction to allow the gear to be nudged. It is now ticking away amplitude looks to be on the low side - I don't have any lubricants at present and did not oil any thing during re-assembly, thanks to all those that replied.

 

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Congratulations on getting it solved, bridges which are tight on their post present a unique challenge as they need to go down square and you may have problems getting everything lined up.

Here are some suggestion to help next time round.

One thing you can do on this movement is to install the barrel and its bridge later, ie after you've gotten the train wheels in place. Mainsprings used to be a common ''consumable' item and the barrel can usually be removed/installed without disturbing the other parts.

The escape wheel (the one you have problems with) is usually the last to get in place. I usually get the other wheels in then with some light pressure on the bridge with one finger I use a fine and clean oiler to apply pressure on the stem of the escape wheel. You will notice that the escape wheel has a 'tilt' when only one pivot is located, applying some pressure on the stem of the wheel in the direction opposite to the 'tilt' will usually get it located. Without removing pressure from the bridge, install one of the bridge screws, checking that the wheels still spin properly as you tighten the screw in stages. Now install the second bridge screw. The reason that you need to keep pressure on the bridge is that it sometimes sticks to your finger (even when using finger cots) and may lift slightly as you remove the finger.

Anilv

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Thanks to all for the tips,  I did end up removing the barrel and it's bridge as it gave slightly better access to the gears to jiggle them into position I should have realised at the beginning of the assembly phase when I tested the bridge to see how it fitted and found it needed a very slight push to get it seat home fully. Once my oils arrive I'll strip it down again and this time go through the process of lubricating it, I'll also take a good look at the bridge to see if there are any burrs - I've noticed that the hole for the tight locating post has had the word PARTS stamped very close to it, I doubt that this was done in the factory from new, possibly the movement was sold as part of a job lot to the Indian shop making these watches and the PARTS stamping was used as an identifer, there is a possibility that the stamping has distorted the bridge around the hole .

20171118_130751.jpg

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