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Grandfather's and Grandmother's watches

Discussion in 'Fine Watches, Jewelry, & Clothes' started by rdefabri, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    That looks fantastic! Can't wait to wear this one, thanks for the good work you are doing!
     
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  3. walnut

    walnut F1 Rookie
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    After a lot of searching and double check part numbers, I now have a replacement balance staff on order. Once it arrives I can get it installed and the movement back together.

    Also, the dial has been shipped out as well!
     
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  4. walnut

    walnut F1 Rookie
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  5. walnut

    walnut F1 Rookie
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    Alright, the dominoes have been set up and are finally starting to fall in order. We've got Rich's new strap, the balance staff (previous post of mine) replacement has arrived, and we got notice that the dial refinish work is complete. I've not done anything since I cleaned the movement aside from thorough inspection under the microscope of all the parts and some touch up cleaning where needed. Now though, I've let Mrs. Walnut know that I'll need some time in the lab this weekend and next to do the assembly work. This is going to be one nice looking piece!
     
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  6. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Very excited and it's going to be awesome - thanks!
     
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  8. walnut

    walnut F1 Rookie
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    All the pieces of this puzzle are finally coming back together now that the refinished dial has come back from International Dial, Co. I just need some time in the Walnut Lab to get the puzzle out together!

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  9. QtrItalian

    QtrItalian Karting

    Jan 22, 2021
    143
    It definitely looks cleaner. I think I used them ages ago on my grandfather's Bulova.
     
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  10. walnut

    walnut F1 Rookie
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    The keyless-works has been reinstalled. Everything gets oiled/greased as it goes in. The only hard part was the darn spring for the yoke (long golf club looking piece) that took a few tries to get seated properly.

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    I made sure everything spins freely, of course, and the pull/push of the stem seats nice, easy, and securely.
     
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  11. walnut

    walnut F1 Rookie
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    The next step is to install the mainspring, ratchet wheel, etc. and their bridge. Looking at the mainspring though, while it appears to be in good shape there are a few black smudges on it. Likely these are from old grease that was put in. I am going to have to clean it with some Rodico putty before reseating it. Easy enough, but I'm glad I noticed these spots when I did. Check once, check twice, check it again, thing about installing, one more check... then do. Every little detail matters.
     
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  13. walnut

    walnut F1 Rookie
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    Mainspring is cleaned and installed. Mainspring bridge and the winding system are also in place. I am probably overly cautious when I do this type of stuff with the constant checking and rechecking. Today is one of the days that validated my extra caution though. As I was checking the action of the stem for winding and setting it came to my attention that the center wheel was not flat. That too has now been addressed.

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    Next up will be the going train and bridge as well as the pallet fork and bridge/cock.
     
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  14. Brian A

    Brian A F1 Rookie

    Dec 21, 2012
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    You do nice work.
     
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  15. walnut

    walnut F1 Rookie
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    Tonight I got the going-train installed as well as its bridge. Also, the pallet fork and pallet cock are in as was my plan. Everything spins nice and free and the fork snaps back and forth even with very minimal wind on the mainspring.

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    Next step is to reassemble the balance cock. After that comes the tricky step, replacing the balance staff. I’ve got to be sure I get a good night’s rest before that one! Definitely getting close here.
     
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  16. QtrItalian

    QtrItalian Karting

    Jan 22, 2021
    143
    I was re-reading the earlier part of your post and think I have one more pointer after learning the hard way... It should be easy since the hairspring is off the staff now anyhow. If the end of the hairspring needs to be re-bent or positioned at the stud and regulator pins do it now by pinning to the cock without the balance. Ensure it is absolutely centered and horizontally level on/over the jewel hole and of course note with small, light hairsprings gravity will pull the collet down making it hard to judge it's centering when vertical. When horizontal gravity just drops the collet anywhere also confusing center. I also will hold the cock upside-down and look upwards but the spiral attachment will allow it to fall unevenly also confusing center. Anyhow, do the utmost best now. The reason is contrasted with a big pocketwatch. There, one can be off by 0.1 mm and no big deal. In fact the old books state to do occasionally do this to purposely allow some sideways pressure on non-Breguet hairsprings to force their opening towards one direction to control for some position adjustment. Here being off by 0.1 mm may be the equivalent of one or two hairspring loops. It will place so much lateral friction that total amplitude will suffer. I have learned this the hard way on small ladies watches or '30s mens watches. All can look great except amplitude but you can't tell that the assembly is not centered without total disassembly. With the risk of bending the hairspring or mangling at the collet it is a tough pill to swallow (especially if it turns out to not be the cause)... now I feel like I need to take something apart. *laugh*
     
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  17. walnut

    walnut F1 Rookie
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    Usually, getting all the parts of the balance cock back together is a bit of a challenge for me. Getting everything to set just so, line up, etc. This movement though was a cake walk. Everything just “fit” perfectly. Set it all on a small piece of Rodico putty and that was that.

    Before (and yes, those are screws…):
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    After:
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  18. walnut

    walnut F1 Rookie
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    Step one to replacing the staff: document the original! Here we can see where the hairspring stud rests relative to the arms of the balance wheel (top view & bottom view) and where the roller jewel is relative to the poising marks (spot drilled holes) on the bottom of the balance wheel.

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    When it is apart, I’ll make sure that everything is nice and cleaned before it goes back together.
     
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  19. Jgivoo

    Jgivoo Formula Junior
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    Jan 22, 2016
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    very consistent looking hairspring
     
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  20. walnut

    walnut F1 Rookie
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    After replacing the balance staff and putting the balance assembly in place… comes the moment of truth…



    So awesome! Lots of adjustments left to make, timing and beat error need to be set, and I want to get a good bit of runtime in before it can go home but this is always a huge relief for me.
     
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  21. walnut

    walnut F1 Rookie
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    Yep, it runs well dial down and in any side position but the hairspring sags and rubs against something making it stop in the dial up. That’s just a matter of finding where it rubs and tweaking the hairspring. Delicate and time consuming but definitely doable. Also, the balance wheel needs a bit of a truing up. It is close, but not close enough. In all actuality, I’ll true the balance wheel first as that could be a cause of the rub.
     
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  22. QtrItalian

    QtrItalian Karting

    Jan 22, 2021
    143
    If inspection doesn't help (i.e. doesn't look out of plane, rubbing, etc) simply try unscrewing the stud screw a half turn and gently position the stud slightly higher (if possible) or lower in the hole - can be an easy fix. I've found a few watches don't seem to like it when the stud is completely down (from underside) onto the cock. Why? Who knows, I just go with it...Hope you don't mind the advice. I'd like to teach my kids but they're teenagers so....
     
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  23. walnut

    walnut F1 Rookie
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    I am going to keep that in mind, thank you. After quite a long time of inspecting it, I’m not 100% sure the hairspring collet is seated all the way down and I believe it is what stops the balance when it shifts just that tiny bit as the movement is turned dial-up. I’ll have to give it a few knocks with the old staking set. If it still appears to be the issue, I’ll take a very light cut file to the collet. Then it’s on to the hairspring.

    Before any of that though, I have to the balance wheel. These little adjustments are the most time consuming but also the most important.
     
  24. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Interesting - I just had a crystal replaced on a 1952 Longines watch I own, and sure enough there must be something similar happening. It worked perfectly fine before. I'm not sure it's the crystal, but something in the movement...frustrating though, as there's no way I could fix it.
     
  25. QtrItalian

    QtrItalian Karting

    Jan 22, 2021
    143
    Watches are funny things, and sometimes annoying. Despite small parts tolerances we don't really have something like Plastigage to measure small distances like when resurfacing crank journals, etc. It means we can get things rubbing but sometimes only with really odd coincidences of conditions. I recently added timing washers to a small watch which made the balance screw protrude more. It cleared the balance cock but when you held it in only one of the infinite vertical positions and also with a slightly angled way it would just kiss the cock and slow the motion until it stopped but it wasn't an immediate dead stop as you would think - frustrating to figure out.... The crystal replacement shouldn't have changed anything but potentially as you mention, perhaps it did. Things which come to mind is a slightly thicker crystal and/or at least shallower inside dimension and problem with hand clearance, movement loose in case (not to common), potentially stress on balance cock somehow upsetting the endshake of the balance. Also, dust/hair could have entered and might affect in one position particularly. ...sounds like you may need to send it to Walnut for another evaluation here!
     
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  26. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    I know he has other projects but this one would be a slam dunk I think. I would do nothing to this watch other than to get it in working order again, it’s a great little piece (similar to my Gruen Curvex, but I think I like the Longines slightly better in terms of looks).
     
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  27. walnut

    walnut F1 Rookie
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    This balance is kicking my butt! I just can't seem to find the rub. Now it appears it is the hairspring touching against the balance cock. I can't quite get the wheel level either. Tiny adjustments and lots of time. I will get it though.
     
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  28. walnut

    walnut F1 Rookie
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    I’m still struggling with this balance and getting everything level. As a precaution I’ve found a running Vulcain 330 movement and it is on its way to me.

    First, I’m going to see if I can find the issue on Rich’s watch based on what I see on the spare movement which shouldn’t have a damaged hairspring. If that doesn’t work, I may have to replace Rich’s balance assembly with the one from the movement I’ve picked up in order to get his watch back to him. I know it won’t be “original” parts but sometimes, period correct, factory original is the best I am able to provide as a hobbyist.

    I plan on holding onto the donor and if it ends up with the wonky balance, I’ll continue this fight until I win. At that time Rich, you’ll be hearing from me to see if you want the original parts back.
     
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