16-Point Check Outline

Here is my interpretation of the 16-Point Check System. Moving forward, any watch that I get will go through this same process. Following these steps will help me efficiently work on watches and hopefully deal with any potential problems (as well as know where to look for them).


16-Point Check

  1. Initial Take-In Procedure
    1. Examine case components and note condition
    2. Examine Dial and Hands
    3. Check Winding and Setting Mechanism
    4. Remove Caseback and make a note of the caliber
    5. Remove movement from case and if working, get initial timing results
  2. Remove each part from the movement
    1. Use this opportunity to check for kickback-if none, make a note
    2. Examine each piece for rust
    3. As each piece is removed, pre-clean with rodico, pith and peg wood
    4. Examine all pivots to make sure they are not bent or damaged
    5. Examine all jewels for cracks or chips, including pallet stones
    6. When removing barrel cap, make sure it snaps off with sufficient pressure
  3. Clean Parts/Post Clean Procedure
    1. Using high power loupe, examine each part after removing from cleaning baskets. Check to make sure pivots are in good condition, jewel holes are clean, and all jewels are indeed free of cracks or chips. Inspect pinion leaves and wheel teeth for no chips, bends, or broken parts.
  4. Reassemble Keyless Work
    1. Check condition of stem, winding pinion, clutch wheel, sliding and set lever, as well as the set lever bridge and spring.
    2. Grease appropriate parts
    3. Check for snappiness of stem moving between winding and setting as well as smoothness of winding/setting motions
  5. Examine the condition of the mainspring
    1. Check length, width and strength of mainspring
    2. Examine the shape of the mainspring and make sure there are no kinks and check the inner curve of the mainspring for proper shape
    3. If mainspring is in good condition, wind the mainspring with a mainspring winder and replace it in the barrel. At this point, if the mainspring is needing to be greased, grease it
    4. Grease the arbor and place it in the barrel, check to make sure the spring catches properly around the arbor
    5. Snap on the barrel cap
  6. Reassemble train
    1. Re-check jewel holes, pivots, pinions and teeth.
    2. Assemble the train
    3. Check each wheel for trueness and end-shake
    4. Lift each train wheel to see if it falls back into place
    5. Spin train to see if it moves freely in horizontal and vertical positions
  7. Replace Barrel
    1. Grease upper and lower holes in plate and bridge for barrel
    2. Replace barrel and barrel bridge and check end/side shake
    3. Grease and Replace crown wheel
    4. Replace click and click spring
    5. Replace ratchet wheel
    6. Check for kickback in dial up and down positions. If there is none, re-check the tightness of the mainspring around the barrel arbor. If the mainspring is in good condition, re-check the freeness of each wheel in the train. If the train moves freely, remove each wheel and add them one by one checking and check their spin. If there is a depthing problem or an issue with a tooth or pinion leave, it will show up at this point.
  8. Oil Train Wheels
    1. Oil all the train jewels in the watch
    2. Once jewels have been oiled, check the oiling with a high power loupe to make sure there is a ring around the pivots and that the oil is free of debris
  9. Clean and Install Pallet Fork
    1. Re-check the pallet arbors for straightness and polish of arbor and pivots
    2. Re-check the pallet stones for cracks or chips. Double check that the shellac is in good condition and isn’t flaking away
    3. Check the guard pin for shape, straightness and polish
    4. Install fork and bridge and check endshake
    5. Check for the following locks:
      1. Drop
      2. Inside & outside
    6. Check draw
    7. Ensure that there is no hanging of the stones on the escape teeth
  10. Clean, oil and reassemble Balance
    1. Check the tightness and uprightness of roller jewel in the roller table
    2. Check clearance of the balance wheel in relation to the pallet bridge and center wheel
    3. Check the clearance of the curb pins to balance bars
    4. Check the clearance of the guard pin and roller table
    5. Check the entry of the roller jewel and pallet slot
    6. Check guard and corner clearance
  11. Check Hairspring
    1. Check hairspring in the flat
    2. Check hairspring in the round
    3. Ensure hairspring is centered
    4. Check for wobble in the collet
    5. Put the watch in static beat
  12. Time the watch
    1. Take rates in dial up and down. These two positions should display the same time, rate and beat error. If there is a beat error, correct it before moving forward.
    2. Observe how the watch runs in reference to the time error over a 24-hour period
    3. Adjust the rate of the watch so that dial up and down are on time.
    4. Take rate positions in the different pendant positions and adjust rate as necessary
  13. Replace cannon pinion
    1. Check for proper lubrication of the cannon pinion
    2. Replace cannon pinion, but make sure the leaves of the cannon pinion mesh with the minute wheel instead of coming down on the teeth of the minute wheel and break or bend them
    3. Check that the cannon pinion has proper tightness
    4. Put the watch into the setting position and turn the stem. Check that the setting mechanism is smooth and that the cannon pinion doesn’t rise up
  14. Replace Dial and Hands
    1. Place hands at 12:00
    2. Fit hands securely to their post
    3. Ensure that there is even spacing between hands
    4. Ensure the hands are contoured to the dial
    5. With stem in setting position, turn hands checking that they line up at hour markers
  15. Case the movement
    1. Ensure that the caseback has been properly aligned before screwing it down or snapping it in place
    2. Check the clearance of the hands below the crystal
    3. Check the closeness of the crown to the case.
    4. Ensure that the movement is tight in its case
    5. Check the tightness of the spring bars
    6. Check that the lug holes aren’t worn down
  16. 24 Hour Check
    1. Set the watch on time with a master clock (No Cellphone Clock! time.is is a good resource)
    2. Run the watch for 24 hours and check it on a timing machine
    3. Allow the watch to completely run down and check its length of run. The watch should run for at least 30 hours


Prior Entries in the 16-Point Check Project



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