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Revisiting an old hobby


AndyHull

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I picked this out of the scrap pile this evening, as the internet had gone down, and it was pissing down with rain outside, so I was in need of a little watch therapy. I didn't hold out much hope for it as the balance appeared to be glued in place, so I thought the pivots were probably bent. However with a little stripping, cleaning and a little oiling, (the watch you understand, not me), off it went. No fusee chains were injured in the process, which was a bit of a relief.

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Its a shame I don't have a suitable case for it, as that intricate engine turned dial, blued hands and fusee movement could do with a new home.  I'm not sure if the jewel is a diamond, or the balance is gold, but whatever they are, its quite spectacular. Dial is 35.75mm and the movement is 33.80mm, depth/thickness is around 10.00mm so its also relatively small for the time. You could almost squeeze it into a large wrist watch case.

Shame the dial has been bashed about a bit and the original case melted down, probably to make sovereign rings for chavs. 😉

The internet is now limping along, so I barely have the bandwidth to post a couple of still pictures. No moving movement videos tonight I'm afraid.

Edited by AndyHull
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2 minutes ago, AndyHull said:

"The Most Accurate American Watch Ever Made(*)"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDv8KDzfWlo

(*) 80 plus years ago.

I like Alex a lot. I learned a couple things from this- on this old stuff the grease on glass for the wolf teeth and liberal use of 9504 instead of hp or 9104…

He doesn’t live far from me and I think I owe him a pint…

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On 9/20/2023 at 11:56 PM, rehajm said:

I like Alex a lot. I learned a couple things from this- on this old stuff the grease on glass for the wolf teeth and liberal use of 9504 instead of hp or 9104…

He doesn’t live far from me and I think I owe him a pint…

Gosh Rehajm. You know Alex and can meet?  Wow. If you do, give him my personal regards. Been a great tutor to many of us novices. 

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1 hour ago, AndyHull said:

I nearly picked up one of these for a song a couple of years back, but I was pipped at the post. The calibre reminds  me somewhat of the HMT 0231 (and the related Citizen 0200 and 1800 families)

I realize he's just being cheeky about 'copy my homework' but 'copy' is a loaded word. Since forever brands using movements from other companies was standard practice, not a exception, and certainly not a 'copy.'...rant over...

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3 hours ago, rehajm said:

Since forever brands using movements from other companies was standard practice, not a exception, and certainly not a 'copy.'...rant over...

I guess it was more of a cheaper design based on an existing layout, rather than an actual direct clone copy. The same could be said for a number of movements from the Soviet Union, that borrowed a lot of Swiss (and in some cases French ) movement design ideas, but were unique in their own way.

The HMT is however a licensed copy of the Citizen, but it does have some simplifications and is sometimes, but not always, finished to a slightly less refined standard. I have swapped parts from the Citizen to the HMT and vice versa and they are mostly interchangeable.

In China, perhaps not averse to borrowing designs lock stock and barrel, the Chinese standard movement is more or less a clean sheet design.

Edited by AndyHull
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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
6 minutes ago, AndyHull said:

3d printer

The comments are interesting for which I agree with. Most people don't have spare 3-D printers laying around. Interesting idea of building a cleaning machine though. Although you can buy the same aluminum that 3-D printers made out of and probably redesign the whole thing but still an interesting idea

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2 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

The comments are interesting for which I agree with. Most people don't have spare 3-D printers laying around. Interesting idea of building a cleaning machine though. Although you can buy the same aluminum that 3-D printers made out of and probably redesign the whole thing but still an interesting idea

I suspect you could build something with a couple of stepper motors, some T-slot aluminium and an Arduino with a motor shield, but for not much more than the cost of sourcing those parts, you could also probably pick up a cheap Chinese 3D printer kit on Ali Express.

A simple low end known brand kit Like a Tronxy CRUX 1 comes in around £140.00 GBP but there are cheaper options. You can also pick up second hand 3D printers for much less, depending on age and condition.

I would suggest if you want a 3D printer, and you also want a watch cleaning machine, then your 3D printer can do double duty, but I wouldn't necessarily buy a 3D printer just to convert it to a watch cleaning machine as there are probably simpler and cheaper options.

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I was actually looking to do the same thing. I was thinking of doing the program simply as gcode. Utilize the bed heater or extruder heater connection of the main board to run the drying heater and extruder connection to run the agitation motor. Hadn't had the chance to try that out.

My current setup is based on a laboratory stirring motor, turntable, a PTC car heater, and 3D printed basket setup. I have to manually change it over from jar to jar.  An automated cleaner would be nice.

17 hours ago, AndyHull said:

Got a 3d printer? Not got a watch cleaning machine?
In that case you might find this interesting -> https://hackaday.com/2023/11/23/an-automated-watch-cleaner-from-an-older-3d-printer/#comments

image.png.b6b533ab24450f7a4dcc83bd976cb2b2.png

 

Edited by gpraceman
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13 hours ago, AndyHull said:

sourcing those parts

No need to source a whole 3-D printer besides a lot of 3-D printers aren't big enough for tall enough to do this anyway. It's amazing what you can find on eBay. From time to time companies I go out of business liquidate their stuff on eBay and then you can pick up stepping motors and all sorts of bits and pieces were very good prices. Plus just the usual yet the woman him all kinds of things off of eBay

then rather than convert a 3-D printer maybe just take all the bits and pieces and build something like the cleaning machine. For instance 3-D printers have XY and Z we don't need all those accesses for the cleaning machine. You obviously need the Z to raise and lower the basket but you really only need something to either move the jars or move the basket. If you are really clever you can figure out how to put the jars in a circle and rotate the entire assembly like they do on a regular cleaning machines.

OR have a central column in a short arm for the cleaning basket z-axis. As you don't really have to go all the way across with two stepping motors necessarily and then just move the jars back and forth all sorts of ways of doing this but still an interesting idea and it has people talking.

13 hours ago, AndyHull said:

Arduino with a motor shield

Either this or the or the combined altogether CNC unit where their integrated together those are available relatively inexpensively.

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28 minutes ago, JohnR725 said:

No need to source a whole 3-D printer besides a lot of 3-D printers aren't big enough for tall enough to do this anyway. It's amazing what you can find on eBay. From time to time companies I go out of business liquidate their stuff on eBay and then you can pick up stepping motors and all sorts of bits and pieces were very good prices. Plus just the usual yet the woman him all kinds of things off of eBay

then rather than convert a 3-D printer maybe just take all the bits and pieces and build something like the cleaning machine. For instance 3-D printers have XY and Z we don't need all those accesses for the cleaning machine. You obviously need the Z to raise and lower the basket but you really only need something to either move the jars or move the basket. If you are really clever you can figure out how to put the jars in a circle and rotate the entire assembly like they do on a regular cleaning machines.

Not tall enough?  That guy's setup shows that it is certainly possible.  I did a test fit of my jars and heater on my Ender 3 Pro and all would fit and was tall enough to accommodate a motor on the gantry for spinning the basket.  An Ender 3 can be had for under $200.  Adapting such a machine for watch cleaning might a project that a lot of people could do.  Though, I imagine a simpler adaptation than this guy did.

 

Edited by gpraceman
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29 minutes ago, gpraceman said:

Not tall enough?  That guy's setup shows that it is certainly possible. 

Not all printers are the same. For instance if I was to cannibalize my first printer which still works fine it wouldn't work at all because it's not Tall and with a 6 inch bed it's not big enough. My Delta printer more than tall enough but I'm not sure that I get three jars underneath. So not all 3-D printers are tall enough or big enough.

I make it a better to take the idea and cannibalize the 3-D printer for parts or just buy some new aluminum off of eBay it's relatively cheap. Then even stepping motors controlling boards and all kinds of stuff can be found cheap on eBay if you're willing to take the time to lock. Especially if you can find somebody getting rid of 3-D printer companies that have gone out of business then you can really get some deals. Where basically they throw whole bunch of stuff in a box for not very much at all. Although these kind of things are few and far between but still they pop up occasionally allows you to get stepping motors power supplies the heated bed etc. because often times the people liquidating either don't care or don't know what they're selling.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As well as a compulsive horological problem, another itch that gets scratched occasionally is the yen for yet another microscope.

When I last checked in the mirror I still only had two eyes, but I have enough close up viewing apparatus around the place to satisfy the optical needs of the average spider. Despite this obvious fact, I threw a few more of my hard earned coppers (six pounds and ninety nine pence worth of British pennies to be a little more precise) at this little "beauty".

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Yes, it is a little ugly, and seems to be partially in kit form, but I think it is more or less complete and probably relatively old, possibly late Victorian. I think it would most likely fit the description of "field microscope".

Much cleaning and polishing of glass and brass, and possibly a little repainting and/or re-plating will no doubt be needed to bring it back to a serviceable condition.

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Sadly it didn't come with the camera adapter.

Edited by AndyHull
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21 minutes ago, AndyHull said:

image.thumb.png.4e4538b54dbe71b6c34cf0285f492169.png

1,000 hr power reserve.
If you have pockets deeper than the Mariana trench, and an aversion to winding, this may be just the thing for you.

All joking aside, it is an impressive piece.


https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/10/fashion/watches-haute-rive-stephane-von-gunter-switzerland.html

 

You would think for that price they would have put some numbers on the dial 🤣

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Beauty in the eye of the beholder. Can't get into these open works thingies. Don't mind seeing the workings via the back. But I find that the machines works view through the dial is confusing and detrimental to use. As I said Beauty in the eye of the beholder.

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    • I don’t know anything about this product, however assuming you have it if you put a drop on a mirror or piece of glass lying flat on a table and leave it to evaporate if it leaves any sort of residue it is not really suitable for watch part cleaning.   Tom
    • Well I put the spa on Gumtree (selling service) to try and sell it as it only needs a recirc pump to get it going. However, it weighs circa 250kg, so there's 4 fairly strong guys, and I would have to remove the sliding door in the room completely to be able to get it out, as well as clearing out a multitude of potted plants and the Alfresco outdoor setting to be able to get it out. Then move nearly everything in the back of the garage to be able to push it through to the front of the house. I would also need to hire furniture skates to be able to shift it around as carrying it is out of the question. Then someone would need a trailer to get it to their place as you won't get it on the back of a ute. So, the only answer is, out with the reciprocating saw and cut it all up into manageable pieces. Crying shame as it is in really good nick. I was only asking $1,500 and only got two bites, but it would only take something to go wrong with removing the sliding door etc that everything I make on the sale could go out the door on repairs etc. It would have been nice to be able to turn it into tools etc, but que sera sera. I don't know about the rest of the world, but there just seems to be very little interest from people wanting to buy things secondhand.  
    • I would like to see the movement. The watch is the movement. Anyone can print a name on a dial and sell it as "the maker".
    • Thanks for your answers! There seems to be a contradiction between these two answers, so perhaps I need to clarify. The flat and convex jewels look identical on the side facing away from the pivot shoulder. That is, there is an oil reservoir. I don't know if that changes anything but I thought it was safest to clarify since I didn't include a picture of the jewels from the opposite side.
    • unfortunately paying attention to details bumps up the cost. Which is why they shortchange on manufacturing steps if they can.
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