Jump to content
  • 0

1920s Waltham w/ broken stem split collet


Hi experts,

I have a Waltham wristwatch from the 1920s. The movement is a 1907 grade 361, and it's basically functionally OK except for the stem. The little split collet that goes into the case and is supposed to keep the stem in place is broken, so my stem keeps popping out into the set position, or just popping out of the movement and case if I try to wind it. Does anybody know anything at all about sourcing a replacement collet, about putting together some kind of a workaround that allows the watch to function, or maybe anything about fabricating a functional replacement? Thanks a LOT in advance...

Link to post
Share on other sites

9 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

Are you basically talking about the rounded tip/end of the stem ?

Not sure how much luck you'll have finding a replacement but you can get a stem made by someone on a lathe or, hypothetically have the tip laser welded to the stem but I imagine that that might be complicated because the parts are very small but it's doable.

Have you tried eBay and the various watch part online shops ?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I'll post a photo tomorrow (night time here!) when I have time to take it apart, but I'm *pretty* sure that we're talking about different parts here. This is not a part of the stem, it's just a little piece of metal that goes around the stem and holds it in place so it doesn't pop out of the case. It's literally in the case, not in the movement. 

I'm new to watches, but this is a system for holding the stem in place that I haven't seen on any of the few modern watches I've poked around inside. 

I've looked on ebay, but unless I'm searching with the wrong term, all I can find are junk watches that *might* if I'm lucky have the replacement piece. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

the little split collet is what allows the stem (on a stem set p0cket watch) to snap in and out.    I don't know of any one making them on  a lathe. it would need to be tempered and designed to work with the stem shape.  I have been lucky enough to find the pair on parts watches.   good luck, let us know how the problem was solved.      vin

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Isn't that called a case tube or something ?

Some are screw in while others are press fit. This might be easy to find, you just have to get the dimensions right. A watchmaker should sort this one out.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I've never seen a press fit one either.

Apparently some of the smaller sleeves are hard to find now, I made a small one for a friend in the U.S. a couple of years ago and it was a pain to get it right. Way easier to make a normal winding stem.

But there are stocks of these things out there, do some digging.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
18 hours ago, oldhippy said:

I think this is the part he is talking about. Its the stem adjuster that screws in side the case that the stem fits into.



  yes,  a collet and a depth "adjuster".    it must be spring steel or the collet fingers will break off.    I put an "o-ring" on top of this in an effort to keep water out.  vin

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By PaulnKC
      WRT Members,
      I have a 50's/60's era Waltham men's wristwatch that needs some help.
      It's in amazing (as-new) condition, but while wearing the other day, it stopped - even though there should have been plenty of power in the mainspring.
      Disassembling for investigation quickly revealed the trouble. The screw-head from the ratchet wheel screw had broken off and found its way in to the train wheels and locked everything up.
      There appears to be no other damage - thankfully. But now I want to fix the movement. My preference would be to find a barrel arbor and screw - or better yet a complete going barrel assembly new with ratchet wheel screw.
      I am search eBay now - but thought I'd check with you guys to see if anyone knew of a good source for such parts. I haven't found any yet.
      NOTE: This movement is Swiss made, 7 jewels, marking on the base plate look like Unitas 1690/02
      Any info/help is greatly appreciated.
      Kind Regards,
    • By FiddlerBob
      Hi All
      I've an 11 jewel 1879 Waltham pocket watch with very old and pitted jewels, particularly 4th and escape wheel. They've caused a bit of uneven wear on the pivots so I'm getting wavey traces on the timegrapher. I've polished the pivots and this has improved the situation a fair bit, but would really like to replace the old jewels.
      Now, as they are held in chatons, is there any way of purchasing replacement jewels complete in the chatons? I had assumed since Waltham made bajillions of watches that spares for the jewels in chatons would be simple to find, but I'm buggered if I can! 
      Am just I going to have to try and put replacement jewels in the existing chatons? 
      I'm just a hobbyist, but am a bit of a perfectionist so would like to get the watch running as well as I can. She's a lovely heavy size 18. 
      Next watch I'm on to is an accutron space view... A bit of a different beast! 
      Cheers in advance guys.
    • By Dave84
      Hi Everyone 
      I hope you are all well. 
      It has been 12 months or so since I last logged in, and shamefully about the same since I pulled out my box of old watches. I was browsing the 'Bay' as always and really liked the look of this Waltham Traveler. I picked it up for less than £10 and would like to use it as my first restoration project. I have undertaken minor repairs in the past but nothing like this, I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew. 
      I need to find a key to see if it winds & runs, repair/service it and source the hands and a case, which is uncharted territory for me and I'm not sure how easily they are sized / sourced.
      Any help, advice or pointers that you guys may be useful to me will be greatly received
      Many thanks in advance 

    • By Jesma
      My first post so please forgive any faux pas.
      I bought this wonderfully old rugged looking clock at a salvation army today. I have looked all afternoon trying to find out what exactly I bought and sadly I haven't found much info. There seems to be the possibility that it was in some kind of military vehicle, everything I've found says that a watch maker/repair expert and not a clock maker is who would know about the inner workings, and I came across a picture linked to this forum that had a similar looking clock. So here I am hoping that I stumbled upon the minds who will tell me all the things!
      Waltham Watch Co.                                                   8 day clock.                                                         found the serial #, chart says made in 1929.         I wound it and it's keeping time.

    • By happydude
      Hi everyone. I'm brand new to watch repair, but I'm starting to really get into it as a hobby. I'm a 30something American living in Taiwan. Right now I'm really interested in old Walthams from the 1920s and 1930s, and old Hamiltons from the 40s and 50s. I have a few real-life friends who do repairs for one of the big Swiss companies, so they're mostly to blame for me getting into this. I normally don't join forums, but talking to experienced people seems like the best way for me to solve some essential challenges, and hopefully to learn. 
  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Happy to report, one is on the way. Getting new toys is part of the fun😊
    • Option 2 is tricky, but doable using silicone grease and a small flat screwdriver with dull tip & tweezers. You may even use some electric tape between o-ring and the blade while pushing the o-ring to prevent damaging it. You may also search here for a new waterproof crown: https://www.cousinsuk.com/category/waterproof-watch-crowns I wish you luck and hope you will work something out. I am going to spend less time on this forum as I need to concentrate on some interesting and time-consuming current projects with vintage watches (jewels replacement, new balance staffs, etc). TIME for a break :-).
    • After a little research...made by Patek Philippe for Tiffany.  It is in beautiful condition.  I recall my dad having great respect for Patek Philippe.  I think they are credited with make the most complex mechanical watch of all time.
    • Same as the lume, it'll suspend in the gap. Although since you're repainting anyway, what about a different lume colour there? I think they have lume that looks black in daylight . Not as bright as regular but still, nice touch
  • Create New...