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pmwas

A Marion struggle...

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Hi!
This short post is about a watch I've been trying to restore since 2015.





Here you can see it with the non original Elgin balance I made for it.
The original balance was not there when I got this movement, and it's too nice to use for parts.
In fact, damaged and somewhat polished, this comes from a short run of KW John Lewis grade, finished with gold jewel settings.

Recently I came accross a Marion balance complete, and - of course - I had to buy it!



There. The balance came with a rusty stud, but since my Lewis actually had it's lovely, chamfered, polished stud in place, I discarded this one.
I'll tell now that I had to replace the lovely, red ruby roller with a brass one.
For some reason (different production period, probably), the thicker ruby roller would keep locking in the pallet fork, regardless of the banking pin setting. So I installed a brass one and filed it to desired thickness.
I also tried to straighten the balance cock - it's bent and does not match the top plate well - there is quite a slit underneeth it, that needs the screw to be tightened very much to flatten it. However, I did not manage to correct that, so I threaded the (damaged) hole to use a screw that can be tightened enough, to fix the balance cock flat on the top plate...

The work was halfway done - I just could not find a well matched balance jewels set, so I had to wait till the original set arrived.



Like I thought - a completely different period. The parts came from a 4-digit Rollo.
Such a shame - 4 digit! Still, I guess I agree, this was too corroded to restore nicely. Or was it ?
For the sake of our conscience, let's conclude it was.
As you can see - the balance cock hole jewel setting is slimmer than the one that used to be there. Easy to tell with the original cap jewel depressed so much...
I rotated it a bit to secure it with some additional pressure from the screws, because the bearing turned out to be on the height correct for the staff (using a washer to level it with the plate surface would make the staff too short...



Assembled and working.
It's still not perfect with very nice amplitude horizontally, droping in vertical position to suboptimal.



Notice the remains of the damaskeening. Such nice finish for the time it was made.
The remains of the original black paint cleaned off completely, unfortunately.
Interestingly - the paint does not dissolve in cleaning fluid, it was floating in it in tiny bits for hours...
It just gets off the movement undissolved.



Oh well - the movement's busted and not in 100% working condition, but still looks much better with a Marion cut compensation balance. It's not a 'full value' marion, but a scarce and pretty collectable piece it remains, I guess.
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Comments

  1. MrRoundel's Avatar
    Having it running is a good thing, especially with the US Watch Co./Marion balance. I'd love to have one of the higher grade models with the cap-jewels like that. My only Marion is an Edwin Rollo, which is nice but relatively plain in finish. Good luck.
  2. pmwas's Avatar
    That's an interesting thing - there are cap jewel settings, but no cap jewels. From the very begining of USWCo's existance, some grades would have cap jewels, some just the settings and some were not milled for the settings at all. Certain grades would have cap jewels or just settings depending on the time they were made. In this watch, they are plain decoration only, but surely they are beautiful.