Well, as much as I would like to say that I had a super productive week this week, but… I did not. Which is okay. The watch that I was working on last week gave me some trouble. I didn’t take a lot of pictures of it due to me trying to figure out what was going on with it. Let me detail the problems.
Taking it apart:
- The second hand was getting caught on the minute hand. Decided to fix it later.
- Noticed one of the dial screws was broken, and decided to deal with that later.
- Noticed that the escape wheel cap jewel screw was loose and thought the plate may have been stripped. It was. Mr. Poye was able to fit a new and slightly larger screw.
- Hairspring was a little out of flat. Quick fix.
- Put it back together, no more issues found
- Oiled It, no issues found
- Timed it with the Witschi. Problem Time
- The timing started great and then got erratic. I took a look at the regulator to see if maybe it was in a weird position. The regulator arm was fine. I then noticed that the key was in an open position. Weird… I thought I closed it. Took it back to my bench, and gave it a quick twist and noticed that it was loose. I tugged it a bit with my tweezers and it moved around. I put on my 10x loupe and saw that the rivet wasn’t as tight as it should have been. No problem, I just finished working with regulator keys. Well, when I went to tighten the rivet, the tip of the regulator key broke and the regulator pin got bent. Great. Back to the boxes to find a replacement key. So, it took me about a while to get a new key selected and fit. I had to file the width of the key to get it to where it wasn’t pushing on the pin, and then get it timed out. Well, at this point, the timing was just all out of whack. When I put it on the timing machine, it was running slow. Very slow. Like -600 seconds a day slow. Also, when I put it in the dial up position, it stopped running. Back to the bench. First thing to do was to figure out why it was stopping in the dial up position. I checked pivots, jewels, bridges (to see if they were bent), etc. Nothing panned out from those checks. I decided to put on my 10x loupe and just watch the balance wheel. I started with it in dial down. Looked great. Dial down-stopped again. Holding it in place, I noticed that the arm of the balance was getting hung up on the top of the regulator key. Easy fix. I removed the balance wheel from the bridge and filed the key a bit. I did this a couple times until I got clearance of the balance arm in all positions. I also filed off some excess part off the back of the regulator key (it was shaped kind of like a “T”) to make sure that the rim of the balance had nothing to get hung up on. Re-assembled everything, put it on the timing machine and was able to get it to where it was about -200 in all positions. With a beat error of about 6.5 ms. I was able to get the beat error down to about 1.5 ms. I took it up to Mr. Poye to look at and he recommended that I work on the hairspring a bit. The second coil was touching the regulator pin, so it is safe to assume that in all the removing and replacing of the hairspring, it got a bit out of round. Worked on it some more, timed it again and it was still running slow. I took it apart and double checked everything. The watch had excellent kickback. The pivots were in great shape. The jewels looked great. Bridges and plates were in great condition. I re-cleaned it. Re-oiled it. Put it back together and timed it. Still slow. I took it back up to Mr. Poye and let him know what was going on and what I had done. He pulled out his magic tweezers, fiddled with it for about a minute and handed it back to me. Back to the timing machine and it was running +10 seconds in all but two positions. The beat error increased up to 4.5 ms, but that is easily fixed. Amazed, I took a look at the movement to see what he had done and he closed the regulator pin a bit. I worked on getting the beat error adjusted and was able to get it to where it was 0-.1 ms in all positions. I timed it out on the timeographer and it looked great. I took the tape and the movement up to Mr. Poye and went over the rate results. He said that for the watch I had, the rate looked good and that the beat error fluctuation was due to some collet issues (that I would learn about later this semester).
- Casing the watch up-Issues remembered: Dial Screw and Second Hand
- In all of my issues, I had forgotten about the broken dial screw. I was able to fashion a sort of tool that I used to press on the screw from the broken end and it slide out. Mr. Poye found a screw for me to use to replace it with, but I needed to shorten it. To do that, I put the head of the screw in my pin vise and slowly filed it away on my bench stone. The second picture shows the original length of the replacement screw (I had two) and the screw that I shortened. It ended up being a perfect fit. The hand issue was just a matter of increasing the clearance of the second hand over the minute hand. A little tweezer manipulation fixed that.
- I gave it a full wind, set the time using time.is as my master clock and sealed it away in its bag to never be touched again (by me) until Friday to finish the 24-hour check.
I got a new watch to start on once I bagged up my first one.
It’s a Seiko! And a ladies watch. And a pin-detent (I’ll explain that in some pictures later). If you take a look in the picture, I got a new movement holder! It’s in the background-it’s a vintage L&R holder. I won it in an ebay auction along with a ton of other holders. I’ve got some new tools and things coming in later this week, so I’ll go over all those later next week.
The case was dirty, the crystal scratched to heck and back, pitting /dents on the crown, tarnish on the case, etc. It wound, but the lack of second hand didn’t let me know if it was running or not, so I took the movement out of the case.
Gear train looked good and the balance was moving nicely. I timed it and it was okay. The oil was in poor condition/non-existent which would possible explain the timing. I removed the balance to check the kickback and it was laughable. There was non and in fact when I turned the crown, the escape wheel was just lazily stuttering around, so I knew that I had at least a mainspring issue.
Checking the dial side was a bit of a shock.
Rust on the winding pinion, detent, and around where all of those hang out in the plate. I took a while with my pre-cleaning procedure (pegwood, rodico and watch paper) to hopefully have some clean parts after the ultrasonic. The two parts that aren’t the plate or winding pinion (wheel) make up the pin-detent. In a lot of watches, the detent is screwed to the the plate (in case you forgot, the detent keeps the stem in place when the stem moves from winding to setting positions). In this watch, instead of it being a screw, it is a pin. It is a two piece part that is a lot easier to install. If you need to remove the stem when the movement is cased up, you just push on the pin and it will move a bit to allow the stem to move.
You remember when I mentioned that the watch had no kick-back and that there was a mainspring issue?
Wow. I really wish I had taken a picture of it when it was in the barrel. It was hard not to laugh. Look at all the kinks that are in that spring. There is one kink near the innermost coil that caused all the bends that you see along the length of the spring. While I was running the movement and parts through the ultrasonic, I worked on the spring with some tweezers/pliers and a bamboo peg (thanks Tim!). I was able to get it to look like this:
I got the parts out the ultrasonic and some of the rust that I was worried about, but it was still there. Mr. Poye said that there since the rust was more surface rust and not corrosion, the parts were going to work. At that point, I had run out of time in class, but I am hopeful that I can get it put back together without any issues on Monday and move on to a new watch.