View Full Version : repairing a quartz pocket watch
06-18-2007, 08:45 PM
I have a quartz pocket watch that is acting up.... stops when all hands are at 12......... also stops at other times or just loses time in large increments after running well for a time.
I really like the case and would like to replace the quartz movement, a Morioka Tokei pc21 with a nicer movement.
So far, I can't figure out how to remove the stem from the winding knob. How do you do it?
Next, will I need any special tools for removing the hands and placing them into a new movement?
I would like to upgrade to a better movement if possible.
The watch has a sweeping second hand and no date function.
As you can see.... I am totally new at this.
Is just replacing the entire inside including the dial an option? Would that be easier?
06-18-2007, 09:30 PM
A watch hand puller will remove the hands without damage or loss.
With the case back removed--look in the area where the stem comes through the case and into the movement. There should be an indication there of what to push to remove the stem. Remove the stem and crown as one piece. No need to separate them.
06-19-2007, 06:10 AM
I have looked at the back with a 60X hand held microscope and can't find any indication of a button to push. I've used a needle to try to push anything that looked like a botton.
I have found no screw heads that look like they are anywhere near the stem to hold it in place. The long stem itself looks like a spiral screw.
Would it screw in?
06-19-2007, 08:38 AM
Your quartz movement will not have a retaining screw. There will be an area to push that will release the stem from the movement.
See if there is an arrow pointing to an area or small button. Quartz movements are not all created equal when it comes to removing the stem. Many times one has to study it a while to find the right area.
A pin might be a little light/small for the job. A "very" small screwdriver tip or the closed tips of tweezers (jewelers forceps) should do the job.
06-19-2007, 09:47 AM
On the PC21 just above where the the winding stem enters the movement there is a straight piece of metal in line with the stem, this has a small "dimple" in it, push on the dimple and at the same time pull on the button (crown) and the stem and button will come out.
06-19-2007, 11:41 AM
Wow journeyman.... it worked like a charm!!
Now that I have it out, I'll look at replacing the dial and movement.
Where are the best places for dials?
Will it matter about the size of the watch hands since this has a full sized sweeping second hand?
Should I just get new hands if I get a new movement? It would be nice to have lumninous hands.
Sorry for all the questions. Now that I've taken the first step, I can see how this can become an interesting hobby... its kind of exciting in a way.
06-19-2007, 12:46 PM
The dimple would be the "area" I mentioned. Journey is apparently familiar with that movement and put you right on it.
Not to discourage your wanting change but--the easiest fix would be to replace your movement with the same one or a suitable substitute. That way your dial and hands would fit right up.
There is a multitude of quartz movements out there and finding the right movement, hands etc. can be a challenge.
Also if you change dials you have to be sure the dial will suitably fit your case. All of this can be really trying with quartz watches.
06-19-2007, 01:36 PM
What I was looking to do was to switch to a Japanese V movement. Replacing the same movement is about $6.... a V movement could be from 2-4 times that. I am assuming that you get much better quality but realize that I may be off base.
I am even considering changeing to a style which uses a small dial within the larger dial for the second hand.
Not sure how difficult it is to change these out though or if it can even be done with a quartz movement.
It'd be nice to convert it to mechanical but I just imagine that would just compound the case fitting problem. The case I currently have has a 1 and 26/64th opening at the back.
Maybe I'm just trying to recoup investment and going further into the hole on just a so-so case.
06-19-2007, 05:55 PM
It's nice to see you're so enthusiastic, but believe me, putting new movements into different cases, getting new dials for them, and making it all fit, is a humbling experience. I'd love to drop a 255.483 (triple date moonphase) into a rolex case, but it ain't as easy as it sounds.
If you're trying to fit a mechanical movement into a case that held a disposable japanese quartz movement, I'm wondering what the appeal of that case is, since in my experience those sorts of cases aren't all that nice. The ones I've seen usually aren't even water resistant, and when it comes to replacing gaskets, good luck with that. Believe me, putting a mechanical movement in there is going to be a pain every step of the way. That being said, if you want a mechanical movement I'd start with the Jules Borel movement catalog, which you can browse online, and oh yeah, you'll need to start measuring in metric.
06-20-2007, 09:32 AM
I can see your point. I think I'll just replace the quartz movement and be done with it.
When you purchase a new movement, does it come with the stem for the hands? How difficult is it to mount the hour, second and minute hands?
Is there a special tool for mounting them?
Earlier a poster recommended getting a hand puller.... there are about 6 of them. Which is the one for pocket watches or do you even need a special one?
Do the hands hold the dial in place?
06-20-2007, 09:35 AM
The Miyota 2035 will fit directly in place of the PC21A and has the advantage of being repairable and very reliable. It's also cheap (usually less than $5.00) and has metal plates. Dial and hands are exactly the same size/positions. Good luck!
06-25-2007, 06:42 AM
The more I got into this project, the more I realized that the case just wasn't worth it... I still like the case, but I think I'll convert it into a fancy picture holder for my granddaughter.
I do have one more question. I purchased an Elgin 349 grade pocket watch on ebay for a really good price.
It does have some small wear marks on the gold filling, down to the brass.
Is it possible to have the case re-filled or touched up? What is the general cost on such a repair?
I anticipate that some may say its just not worth it, still I'm curious.
06-25-2007, 08:30 PM
As to replating a gold filled case, it is generally not worth it unless the case is something really special or has extreme sentimental value. The plating does not hold up well at all if the watch is carried. You are best advised to look for a better standard 18S open face case and just recase the movement into it. Also, if you plan to carry the watch, a little bit of brassing won't really matter.
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