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United States Watch Co. G.A.Read grade

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This watch I bought some time ago and ever since it has been sitting on my shelf.
I did not pay much attention to it, as it looked all nice and clean, until yesterday, when I finally decided to clean and oil it.

It's housed in a pretty busted (but good looking from the outside) 2oz silver case.

It resembles very much my Young America grade, and they look almost like twin brothers

The movement...

...is a 7 jewel key wind grade, the G.A.Read . Here it is disassembled:

It's interesting - sometimes a watch looks bad and turns out very good, and sometimes a 'good' watch has serious issues.
So - if you like a watch, consider having it serviced, even if it seems OK...

First issue - moisture signs under the potence, with rust in pallet top bearing...
Second issue - punched in and bent to fit - banking pin.
Third issue - an oversized, reverse thread case screw in the top plate.
I think this was to reduce the rattling, but the movement rattles in the case no matter what...

I replaced the banking pin with the closest match I could find. I could broach the hole and thread it for a wider pin, but this should work fine.
The case screw I replaced with a correct one.

The next thing - the escapement:

The watch has a straight line Swiss lever escapement.
Marion's 18s movement was among the first two American made 18s full plate movements having a straight line escapement, along with Elgin's model 1 released months earlier.
It's not the first Marion movement where you have to remove the potence to remove the pallet fork, and during assembling place the pallet fork first, then the potence.

The dial is pinned. To fit the barrel arbor in the ratchet wheel I prefer to use a winding key - makes it very easy.

Last, but not least - the hairspring stud.
This grade has a bi-metallic - but uncut - balance with what seems to be gold (plated?) screws.
Depending on the grade, Marion would use a long hairspring stud mounted to the top plate, or this adjustable stud attached to the balance cock.
The construction of the stud is simple - it just has a small screw in it, that will lock it in the correct position in the balance cock.

There was a significant beat error, now corrected.

And cased. Works fine, with decent and steady amplitude.
Rattles in the case like crazy...
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Updated 03-06-2017 at 08:19 AM by pmwas



  1. Dave Coatsworth's Avatar
    Nice to see it ticking away. It cleaned up nicely! As always, a fine write-up.