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AndyHull

Revisiting an old hobby

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Another specimen in need of some unobtanium to get it going.

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The old Beaver is bereft of a balance staff. It was also in some disarray when it arrived. The second hand was off, there is a big gouge in the face, the balance fork and escape wheel were lying loose, and of course one of the balance staff pivots was missing, so despite my efforts putting it all back in order, it would go, if only it had a balance (or indeed a balance staff, at a pinch).

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I'll keep an eye out for one, but I don't hold out much hope.

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Oh well, you win some, you loose some.

Time to give the old beaver a bit of a scrub and a polish now. Stop sniggering in the back row there... :lol:

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Two fails on the trot. :wacko:

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This time, a 2609HA based 19 Jewel Sekonda.

If you don't mind opening it up every time you need to set the time, then I guess it is not as complete of a fail as the Beaver.

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I started by stabilizing the dial finish with a very light wash of thinned PVA, since it was flaking off, and there was no way I could remove the dial and hands without doing this.

Once this had dried and set up I popped off the dial and hands to see if I could figure out why the thing was reluctant to set.

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Other than the missing teeth on that gear, the thing is fine (if a little rough around the edges), so I guess I have another almost complete  spare movement with a good balance.

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20 hours ago, AndyHull said:

Another specimen in need of some unobtanium to get it going.

RIMG0473.thumb.JPG.43e874b1a01cd607b2e814d1e90817b9.JPG

 

The old Beaver is bereft of a balance staff. It was also in some disarray when it arrived. The second hand was off, there is a big gouge in the face, the balance fork and escape wheel were lying loose, and of course one of the balance staff pivots was missing, so despite my efforts putting it all back in order, it would go, if only it had a balance (or indeed a balance staff, at a pinch).

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I'll keep an eye out for one, but I don't hold out much hope.

RIMG0471.thumb.JPG.9f88da8a3c31b8910deeef50089608dc.JPG

Oh well, you win some, you loose some.

Time to give the old beaver a bit of a scrub and a polish now. Stop sniggering in the back row there... :lol:

Hi,   caliber?   

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5 hours ago, Nucejoe said:

Hi,   caliber?   

Good question. I thought I had some dial side pictures, but it seems not. I'll take some tomorrow. The caliber number is on there, but I can't remember what it is.

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Another of those De Coven "Patented Scent System" watches turned up in the penny lots on e-bay, so I fired a single shot caffè latte's worth of filthy lucre at it, and this is what arrived. 
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It needs the decorative insert replaced, and I have a few choices in that regard. There are a couple of De Coven examples on the web, with either a faux perlised marble insert, a leather one, or a red faux soapstone looking thing... or... I could use my imagination and produce something outlandish.

Any thoughts?

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The same style of case back as the previous one, and the same felt scent pads.

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All of the sticky black goop removed.

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The money shot. What makes it tick, or in this case, stubbornly refuse to tick, or even wind, until stripped, cleaned and oiled. A humble one jewel number.

Edited by AndyHull

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On 9/30/2019 at 2:53 PM, AndyHull said:

Two fails on the trot. :wacko:

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This time, a 2609HA based 19 Jewel Sekonda.

If you don't mind opening it up every time you need to set the time, then I guess it is not as complete of a fail as the Beaver.

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I started by stabilizing the dial finish with a very light wash of thinned PVA, since it was flaking off, and there was no way I could remove the dial and hands without doing this.

Once this had dried and set up I popped off the dial and hands to see if I could figure out why the thing was reluctant to set.

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Other than the missing teeth on that gear, the thing is fine (if a little rough around the edges), so I guess I have another almost complete  spare movement with a good balance.

I grabbed a picture of the dial and did a little initial cleanup, in case I get a chance to repair it.

I'll post it here in case anybody else is interested. I still need to tidy up the missing bits and sharpen it up.

It is also not to any particular scale, so it would need to be sized before I attempt to print it.  I may also add some registration marks, and possibly convert it to an svg if I can get a version that I am happy with. 

 

Sekonda19JewelsWhite2.png

Sekonda19JewelsWhite2.jpg

Sekonda19JewelsCream.png

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The red dialed Kander 21 Jewel seems to have enjoyed its bath.

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This morning's time-grapher results are in and they look good. I'll wear it for the rest of today and then adjust the rate to nearer zero.

Another fully serviced, fully functioning, bright and sunny member of the 404 club. :thumbsu:

 

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On the theme of watches enjoying a bath, here is a quick video of a Timex getting the "Duncan Slunge" treatment.

The jar is actually a single portion jam pot, picked up with my scone and jam from the local supermarket Cafe.

This is a 1967 Timex mechanism watch mechanism soaking, and also, if you look carefully, ticking away nicely in cleaning fluid.

Generally it is advisable to remove the hands, and dial, but In this case I didn't bother.

The service manual also suggests removing the balance, but that is generally not necessary, and introduces the risk of damaging the hairspring or putting the balance way out of beat.

This is not perhaps the most subtle method of cleaning a watch mechanism, but with these vintage pin lever Timexes it does typically work. The "bath" is naptha, aka lighter fluid. Around five to ten minutes is usually sufficient to dissolve and remove the old dried up oils and dirt, but some really grubby examples may necessitate a couple of trips through the bath, or may even require complete disassembly. Any rust or corrosion must be attended to separately.

CAUTION: Do not try this on any expensive watches, (i.e. pretty much anything other than a vintage Timex mechanical).

You can clean other watches with naptha, but much greater care is needed. Also be aware that the naptha may attack glue, dial finishes, seals and jewel settings on jeweled watches. Soaking jeweled watch balance components in any form of alcohol should be avoided. On jeweled watch balances and balance forks, it will quickly dissolve the shellac and may destroy the balance or fork (naptha is generally safe for short periods on these items). Also be aware that lighter fluid is obviously a fire hazard, as well as being toxic and an irritant. Take suitable precautions to avoid inhaling or even touching the stuff as much as possible. Once soaked, and dried, you should lubricate the mechanism in accordance with the relevant Timex service manual, which are almost all available on line.

Dry the movement on some clean cloth or similar, prior to lubrication but try to avoid anything that will shed fibers into the mechanism.

You can use a fan heater or hair dryer to speed up the drying, but remember that this stuff is designed to be used in a cigarette lighter, so don't set things on fire. You should use a good quality watch oil, but I have to confess that for fun I have tried 0W30 motor oil, and it appears to work just as well. Apply any oils very sparingly, otherwise you will gum up the works. The tiniest spot of oil is all that you need. Just enough to cover the moving surfaces of those tiny pinions, and no more.

DO NOT USE WD40 or similar penetrating oils, they are terrible for this application. They may also damage the dial finish, and cause the acrylic crystal to "craze". Don't use them.. just ... don't. They may be good for removing rust from your mountain bike, or for un-seizing the frozen wheel nuts on your 1976 Volkswagen, but penetrating oils are terrible as a watch lubricant. Do not get any oil on the hairspring, or the coils will stick together and the watch will either run very fast, or not at all. If you do have an issue like this, simply re-soak in naptha and this should remove the oil from the hairspring.

Finally, all of this advice is offered as is, you do this entirely at your own risk.

Edited by AndyHull

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AsPurchased.png.c00bf4a7da5319c7136b0bc9714e6c52.png
Well how could I resist that description.

I would take issue with it being the "worst" watch on ebay, but it did have a few issues.

First of all, it was, naturally, filthy inside. It also had a bad case of corroded balance components. Finally, the reason that the hands were "non-moving" was the bodged movement holder.
 

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This is an after marked tin can affair with randomly bent lugs, and when the case back was screwed down, it was forcing the stem against the stem tube, thus making it very difficult to wind and impossible to set.

 

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Once the issues had been addressed, the watch actually goes quite nicely. In fact, the dial looks genuine, so that makes it one of the better (HMT) watches on ebay in my opinion.

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Believe it or not, despite the residual marks, that balance actually swings very nicely. The error is a little high, but what the heck, its only an HMT after all, what can you expect. I may have a crack at improving that once it has run for 24hrs.

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More Russian fun. A before and after picture of the Sekonda which I posted about previously.
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This arrived as a non runner (as most of my watches do).
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I cleaned and serviced it yesterday and have been wearing it most of today, to let the lubrication bed in.
When I got it going initially it showed evidence of previous tinkering and was sitting with a beat error of 14ms or more and rattling away at +85 sec/day or so.
I just checked it again, having left it at +70s/day yesterday, in the hope that as the lube settled, the rate would fall, as indeed it has.
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Dial up
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Dial down
As you can see it is slightly stronger dial up, but I'll let it run a bit longer, then set it around -5s/day dial up and see how it goes for the next 24hrs.
I'm pretty pleased with the results so far, including the date change which fired at almost exactly midnight last night. Yes, I am sad enough to have sat and watched it.
This particular caliber the Raketa 2628.H also has a date quick change by pulling the crown to position 3 returning to 2, rinse, repeat etc.. A bit of a novelty when you have been dealing with ancient Timexes, with all of their fiddling with spinning backwards and forwards of the hands round midnight to get things set correctly.

The 17jewels.info page has a partial tear down which gives a hint about this feature, which you might not be aware of. 
All in all, this is another pretty nice watch, especially considering its pocket money price.
 
 

Nice job!!!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, ITProDad said:


Nice job!!!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Thanks.

It was so nice, I'm still wearing it almost three weeks later. There is something about the style of it that I like. Just that little bit different and it certainly scratches that retro itch.

A little more careful tinkering and I have it around +/- 4sec per day. Not bad for a bottom of the barrel ebay watch.

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I'm not sure why this particular the Raketa 2628.H  based Sekonda  has taken my fancy, but it has become my everyday watch for the last four weeks or so, since I cleaned and serviced it.

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In part I suspect it is because it is rock solid. It sits around +/- 4sec per day every day, and swings away like a sledge hammer.

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Looks pretty healthy to me.

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Three for two offer.

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Three no-name Chinese automatic movements for the equivalent of 73 pence each - One with an obviously damaged balance, and the other two in unknown condition, with a scruffy fake blue Rolex dial thrown in for good measure. I couldn't resist.

Since they came from a UK seller, the arrived a couple of days after I parted with the dough. I had a spare couple of hours, so  I stripped them all down last night and made two fully functional Chinese standard based automatics from the bits.


I may have a crack at repairing the damaged balance, as it simply has an entertainingly twisted hairspring, which I may be able to puzzle back into a sane configuration.

There were issues on the other two movements. One had a damaged ball race (and the ball bearings instantly escaped when I took off the auto-winder).

The other  (the one with the Faulex blue dial on the left of the picture) had a missing jewel, a mangled canon pinion, and the center wheel was in two parts. Presumably this one had been dropped.

Working on them was remarkably easy, although in my exuberance while stripping them down,  I did manage to launch one date spring into a parallel dimension, but this wasn't a worry as there was a spare. I will take a crawl round the carpet with a magnet at some stage today, to find it,  before it ends up in the vacuum cleaner.

Since I had enough bits to make two complete movements, that was what I settled on. I also found a second winding stem in my spares stash, so I have an almost complete set of spares, and two fully operational automatics for the princely sum of £2.20

My next problem is going to be ... what to do with them.

Edited by AndyHull

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Continuing the Chinese theme, a "Winner" from the ever expanding pile of junk that comes with job lots of watches.

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This is a pretty standard Chinese Standard movement, all be it the skeletonized version. Most of the parts from this would therefore fit in the automatics from the previous post.

It arrived in a completely gummed up condition, with the winder mechanism and keyless work jammed up with waxy crud, but responded well to a strip and clean.

The case is "interesting" (i.e. in my opinion, pot ugly, and huge), and is held together with four screws that wouldn't look out of place securing the wires in a mains plug.

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It has the cheap feel of plated pot metal, and the plating is pretty thin, since the watch looks little used, but the "silver" plating on the reverse is starting to show signs of wearing down to the copper plated base layer on top of the frying pan alloy underneath. This may be a factory fitted feature however, the plating may have left the factory like this, and if so, it would compliment the free thumb prints that were generously added to the inside of the watch by the assembler. 

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I am not however really in a position to comment, as when I was re-casing the thing after cleaning and servicing, I fumbled the top half of the case, and grabbed it with my un-gloved hand as it shot rapidly across the bench in a failed attempt to smash itself on the floor. It was only once I had the mechanism back in place and the thing screwed shut that I realised that I too had autographed the thing by placing a nice big greasy splodge slap bang in the middle of the inside of the glass with my fat thumb.

I did however take the time to strip it back down and remove the evidence.

So what do you get for your not very much money, you may be wondering.

Well, there are the lumed hands I suppose, but strangely, no lume on the dial, which would make reading it the dark a little bit hit and miss I suspect. You also get a 20mm "stainless" metal bracelet of similar quality to the case, which I have removed and substituted with a NOS white leather band, which hasn't really done much to improve the look of the thing I must admit. 

You do however get surprisingly good rock solid performance. I guess that is to be expected from a reasonably well finished Chinese standard movement. It 'aint exactly COSC, but I feel with a little more tinkering I might get close.

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Dial up.

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Dial down.

Would I ever bee seen wearing the thing? Well I guess that depends on how much you paid me, but the fee would be a lot more than the cost of the watch. It does however make for a worthy addition to the 404 club.

What I will say, is that you can pick up a Winner automatic, new, shipped from China for around £10.00, (search "winner" "automatic" for many others, for example these..) so if you want a new, cheap watch to tear apart and put back together, these are on a par with the HMTs in terms of cost, and are very easy to work on. Furthermore if you hunt through the junk lots on ebay, you can get them for next to nothing, so spare parts are extremely cheap, but quality is variable.

What you learn from fixing one of these, you can apply to most other watches, and despite my reservations, the mechanisms actually look not too bad, or at least, not terrible, in terms of quality, and are reasonably attractive in terms of finish. Its just a shame, the same could not be said of the case.

Edited by AndyHull

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7 hours ago, AndyHull said:

...

What I will say, is that you can pick up a Winner automatic, new, shipped from China for around £10.00, (search "winner" "automatic" for many others, for example these..) so if you want a new, cheap watch to tear apart and put back together, these are on a par with the HMTs in terms of cost, and are very easy to work on. Furthermore if you hunt through the junk lots on ebay, you can get them for next to nothing, so spare parts are extremely cheap, but quality is variable.

...

The cheapest brand new version of this watch that I can find on ebay today, is a remarkable £6.11 - with free shipping in the UK.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/001Classic-Automatic-Auto-Mechanical-Wristwatch-Black-Belt-Silver-Shell-wX/202771370401?hash=item2f361d91a1:g:m-YAAOSwRmNdVVvS

If you ever need parts for a Chinese standard movement, I can't think of a cheaper way to get them.

Of course this does mean that there is absolutely no financial imperative to ever fix one of these, since the cost of looking at it, far outweighs its monetary value. 

Great fun to pull apart and put back together to see what makes it tick though. :P

Edited by AndyHull

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Well it looks like the Winner is a winner, or at least well within spec. The Chinese standard movement is generally listed as +/-30 sec per day, although it is available with different performance specs.

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Dial up

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Dial Down.

The worst I get is -25 (crown left), although it does take a little while to settle down when changing positions. With a little tweaking, we could get those numbers to around +/- 10 sec per day, but I'm going to stick with this. Not too shabby for what it is. 

 

 

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A couple of Swatch Irony basket cases, now ticking away nicely.

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Both needed batteries (obviously) and both were reluctant to start, but spinning them like a top, (crystal down on a glass table top), then grabbing them while still spinning seems to have done the trick. This appears to be enough to kick their rotors in to action if they are slightly hesitant to get moving.

Both were well within the 404 club membership rate, but both need straps, and genuine leather ones will cost more three times what each of the watches did. Time for me to improve my leather craft skills perhaps. I also need to do a bit of polishing, probably with the Dremel and some elbow grease, to bring them back to a nice factory shine. 

"Spares or repair" Swatch watches are a bit of a lottery, since they are not designed to be opened.

You can generally get in to the Irony models by carefully prising off the bezel holding in the crystal, but even then, access is limited, and most things are held together with plastic rivets, so a spray with contact cleaner and perhaps a little gentle tickling of the gears with a pin is about as far as you can go without indulging in major, potentially fatal surgery. These didn't require me to access the works, so they are still factory fresh inside. The plastic cased Swatch models are much more hit or miss. You can get in by destroying the crystal, but even then, plastic rivets and cheap build quality will probably stymie and attempts to fix them.

Even the contact cleaner trick is risky. On one I tried this with, all of the dial indices fell off, pretty much the instant the contact cleaner vapour got to the dial.

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34 minutes ago, AndyHull said:

Both needed batteries (obviously) and both were reluctant to start, but spinning them like a top, (crystal down on a glass table top), then grabbing them while still spinning seems to have done the trick. This appears to be enough to kick their rotors in to action if they are slightly hesitant to get moving.

I find ironic that have some buy £50 Swiss line release boxes, others £15 ones, and there you are doing glass on glass for free. Well I've learned a new one!

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54 minutes ago, jdm said:

I find ironic that have some buy £50 Swiss line release boxes, others £15 ones, and there you are doing glass on glass for free. Well I've learned a new one!

I don't offer any warranty with this method, but it is certainly worth a try. I have a Lotus branded chronograph that looks like any number of spins and line release boxes 'aint going to make any difference. Sometimes the crud and corrosion just makes them too far gone.

Having said that, I'll give it a good shot, but since it only cost buttons,  I wont shed too many tears if it doesn't recover. :P

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image.png.35c2a6ae07c86ba10528e660a66506b2.png

While I'm waiting for a couple of Swatch straps to turn up from the dark recesses of ebay, I thought I'd take a look at another junker with no bids. It has been lying around since May, but I finally found a couple of minutes to take a look at it,

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This time it is a Seiko quartz (V732-0E08 R), and despite the fact that it arrived in kit form, it is actually pretty fresh.

That second hand still needs a slight tweak, to remove the remaining kinkiness, but given the state of it when it arrived, its looking a lot better.
 

I have some UV cure glue to tack the crystal in with. This is optically clear stuff of the sort used to fix mobile phone digitizers to the LCD, so that will address another minor issue.


It needs a stem repair, but I have some stem extensions, and if I can remove the stub from the existing crown, I'll re-use that, otherwise I'm pretty sure I have something in my stash that will pass muster in its place. 

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As with a lot of these watches, the replacement battery cost almost as much as the watch, but on the plus side, shipping was free, and I have a stack of the batteries already in my spares. Another worthy addition to the 404 club.

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Edited by AndyHull
Additional image added.

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On 10/17/2019 at 3:24 PM, AndyHull said:

What I will say, is that you can pick up a Winner automatic, new, shipped from China for around £10.00, (search "winner" "automatic" for many others, for example these..) so if you want a new, cheap watch to tear apart and put back together, these are on a par with the HMTs in terms of cost, and are very easy to work on.

Three years ago I got few of these to see how they would sell locally, with a nominal mark up. After a quite a long time a man called and came to pick one up, in the few minutes we met he told me he was being treated for a bad disease, and his wife wasn't doing better. The watch was an occasional diversion that he allowed for himself. I felt like I should have gave him for free, but he had paid already. I don't know why, but since then I don't feel like dealing Chinese watches anymore. 

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More Russian rust wresting.

The bane of many a Sekonda and Raketa. Rusty 2609 HA key-less work.

This had reached the stage where absolutely nothing moved. I needed to remove the crown and drop the mechanism out of the front of the watch, then remove the dial and hands, just to see how bad the problem was. It was pretty bad.

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It took a great deal of patience, and about a dozen applications of the elixir of fish (WD40), just to remove the crown.

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I think there might actually be more rust on this than my 2006 Volvo.

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The crown gear/winding pinion and the castle wheel were frozen together and the whole sorry mess was frozen to the stem and the various springs. Not just gummed up, practically welded together.

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A little progress, but things are still solid at this point.

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The castle and crown gear separated.

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.. and finally with even more incantations and another cup of coffee, I have the crown free at last.

I was just about to resort to a little heat from the soldering iron.

However before I brought out the big guns, my Anglo Saxon incantations and more than a little nimble screwdriver levering and jiggling finally paid off.

With that out of the way, I can now strip the rest and give it a clean.

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    • Yes I hijacked this thread, did not mean to , sorry sorry.  
    • Your measurements of 8.75 x 21mm put this at a ligne size of 3.75 x 9.25 (or perhaps 4 x 9.5). There aren't that many movements of this size and the most common is the FHF 59 (which other manufacturers used as well and gave their own movement ID to). Unfortunately it's not this as the keyless works and bridge layout are completely different to your movement. Which brings me on to your probability of an ETA 651. That's a no ... at 10 x 22.7mm it's larger than yours and of course the keyless works (and bridge layout) are different. In my searching I had also come across the ETA 746 but it's the same story. I have spent ages looking through stuff trying to find your movement but no luck.   I've found setting lever springs that look similar but then a no-go on the movement size; a (Van) Buren movement looked promising but didn't tie up etc. etc. I hope someone strikes lucky!
    • Hi Nickelsilver, Thank you for all the help.  Will search for the tech sheet. I have many used genuine hairsprings and balances that I have been vibrating together. Need to place order for more hairsprings of compatible springness.  Been trying to experimentally find a compatible HS of known CGS.   Strength is proportional to area of the coil outer circle. I think I may find CGS direct out of this tables.  Will keep you posted.  Thank you, great help.   Best      
    • Found one of the tables, it's in French but easy to figure out.   If doing the test spring process, the formula is K=K' (D/D') 2 K is the CGS number you're looking for K' is the CGS of the spring you test D is the diameter of spring you need, at the pinning point D' is the diameter of the correctly vibrated test spring at the pinning point.   Sorry to the OP Joe and I are hijacking the thread a bit, maybe a mod could move it to a new thread?    
    • Thank you all for your kind welcomes.
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