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pmwas

How about a... Roskopf this time?

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No matter if you collect Swiss, English, American, or any other watches form the wide world, you certainly have heared the name Roskopf. IN the 19th Century George Roskopf designed his famous inexpensive pin lever movement, soon renowned for great value and often copied by other makers as well.



photo - fr.wikipedia.org

I don't collect Swiss watches much, but I was always wanting to grab one of these cheapies.
However, cheap watches were not bought to keep them in a drawer - they were meant to work.
And so today, many Roskopf watches you'll find are in terrible, well worn and damaged, condition.

An opportunity to get a 'good' Roskopf came just a few days ago and so here I am, showing you the European verion of 'watch that's made for the majority'...



That's the watch disassembled.
Taking a closer look at some parts, we'll see a steel pin lever escapement.
It has a double roller, with safety pin above the horizontal roller.
The picture also shows the balance cock assembly and...



...the friction clutch, with the motion works in the bottom.
Yes, in Roskopf's watch there are some interesting design ideas employed, incuding a friction clutch on the mainspring barrel. The gear on the barrel cover can be turned independently of the barrel itself, allowing hands setting. The cannon pinoin is loose on the steel center shaft.
The gear on the barrel cover does not look like it can be taken off...



The intersetting wheel is screwed-down very tight and I can't move the screw. So I left it be not to break it.
There are cut outs in the main plate allowing adjustment of the pallet fork's position.
I began assembling the movement with the keyless works bridge.

Later - the balance.
I HATE friction fitted hairspring studs. Very unpleasant to work on..
I chose to assemble the bearing with the balance cock mounted on the pilar plate, because you get better stability this way.



In the barrel, someone put a 'bridge' made of a broken spring, to conect the mainspring end securely with the barrel tooth. I think the end must have been slipping, so - not checking that -i just copied this solution.



The mainspring barrel in Roskopf's watch is very wide. Also, there is no center wheel.
The gear train was originally reduced to three gears, but since that made the second pinion work backwards (actually, there are some Roskopf's style watches with second hand moving counter-clockwise!), fourth gear was added later to reverse the second pinion's direction.

Assembling the pin lever escapement is easy, as there are two separate bridges for it.
Notice that the escapement and balance wheel is jewelled, making the most crucial bearings more relaible. The dial side cap is metal, though. Not uncommon in cheap Swiss watches.



Reverse thread on the crown wheel!
Motion works on, and the dial...



The dial is LOVELY. It's near mint. The only flaw is a bent foot, that causes the second pinion to be a bit off centre in the dial hole, but I won't try to straighten this, the dial has no single hairline!
Notice, that despite you see just one dial screw, there is another one, that goes throung the top plate and you have to look from the side to operate it.
I accidentally cased the watch forgetting to put the balance on, but it's no big deal in this watch, there is plenty of space to install it later.



And here we go!
It's running like a new one!
In fact, I think this was hardly ever used...

And now, see how LOVELY this whole watch is:



The watch is cased in a base metal, beautifully decorated, somewhat tarnished case.



The decorative hands look original as well.



The back has a wonderful picture, very deeply stamped or cast?



I don't know what technology was used here, but surely it's among the best base metal cases I've seen...



Looking at it now - I wonder how could I hesitate 30 seconds before buying this one?
Roskopfs don't often get better than that (!). Except maybe a more 'collactable' railway marked models in such condition
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Updated 03-21-2017 at 11:16 AM by pmwas

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Comments

  1. Skutt50's Avatar
    Again Congratulations on a job well done.

    I had not "discovered" this section of the forum before, so I am a newbee in this section...........

    Some comments to your post:
    Yes, in Roskopf's watch there are some interesting design ideas employed,
    I agree, in my oppinion every watchmaker should have had a Rosekopf disassembled and put together again. Easy to work with but there are some interesting solutions....... however. one thing I don't like with Rosekopf is the loud ticking. It is easy to tell if there is a Rosekopf movement in the room....LOL

    I HATE friction fitted hairspring studs. Very unpleasant to work on..
    I come across these all the time but I always remove the pin and leave the stud in the balance cock. I just have to remember to mark or take a picture of how deep the hairspring is mounted.....

    The gear on the barrel cover does not look like it can be taken off...
    I have the same experience. Hopefully someone else can confirm or explain how to take it apart!

    The intersetting wheel is screwed-down very tight and I can't move the screw. So I left it be not to break it.
    I don't recall from the top of my head but did you try to treat it as a left threaded screw.... (pun intended)

    In the barrel, someone put a 'bridge' made of a broken spring, to conect the mainspring end securely with the barrel tooth. I think the end must have been slipping, so - not checking that -i just copied this solution.
    I am not 100% sure what you meant however I believe this is the original design making the mainspring slip when fully wound (instead of breaking if someone use excessive force)..... I can wind my Rosekopf's for ever but with a clear slippage when the mainspring is fully wound! First time I experienced this I thought the mainspring had come loose of broke......

    Enjoy your Rosekopf!

    Skutt50
  2. pmwas's Avatar
    Yes, un-pinning the hairspring from the stud is aslo an option, both not very convenient.

    As for the intersetting wheel screw - I probably didn't, but I also did not ty very hard to remove it. Maybe it's left threaded in fact...

    And the mainspring - usually the end of the mainspring should just engage the barrel wall, or so it is in every single watch I've worked on before. This one has this 'bridge' to connect the end of the mainspring with the barrel, that's it

    Thanks for extensive commentary again !
  3. Skutt50's Avatar
    Here you can see the "unbreakable mainspring" solution I mentioned above.

    http://www.musketeer.ch/watches/roskopf.html

    Scroll down to the middle of the page where you find picture 8.

    I think I understand what you described earlier. The lip made from an old mainspring is what I use to attach a mainspring. I found it long ago in some watchmaking book and i still do it if I am to fit an old blue steel mainspring. I believe it is a stronger solution than just folding the mainspring.
    Updated 04-06-2017 at 03:19 PM by Skutt50