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And so I got myself a Swiss fake...

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A free Saturday - something that does not happen very often, at least not for me.
And so, having a lot of free time, I decided to attend to a D.D.Neveren watch I recently got.
It's a large, circa 6cm watch, bigger than any other pocket watch I have.
A busted, rusty piece missing one hand and crystal, in non-working condition...



...mentioned in the back is apparently still in business, but - as far as I can understand Danish - it was established in 1896, so I don't think it could be the retailer (repairer?). The origin of the card, however, is an important clue, as I've read many Swiss imitations od D.D.Neveren watches were actually supplied to Scandinavia.
The hallmarks on both pieces of the pair case match, so I think the card belongs to the watch as well.
BTW - if anyone could tell me what this hallmark is - I'd be grateful. The halmarks on inner case are unreadable, but they definitely don't look English....

The watch has a thin, decorated dust cover (decorated, but not too fancy), that's attached to the movement by another hinge.
The watch I got was rusty and in pretty bad shape...

The goo inside of the barrel shows decades of mistreatment, but even more - the cannon pinion jammed with rust.
Took a lot of effort to punch the center arbor out, and I had to straighten the pillar plate as well...
The escape wheel bearing had one been purposely bent...

The watch has a jewel...

A very poorly cult ruby cap jewel on the top balance bearing.
The balance is lightweight, brass and with super-thin pivots...
A lot of dirt in the bearing as well...

The fusee is - from what I know by now - clearly 'Continental' style.

The ring is friction fitted. Oddly - so is the inner pinion for the ratchet!
To disassemble this (don't know what tools I need!), I just hold the gear and tap the arbor with a hamer till the ring goes off. Hold the gear, not the whole fusee. To assemble - I use a staking set, but tap gently not to jam it. Two gentle taps and check if it's still loose. There is a moment when the friction between the parts rises and the gear won't move freely - then tap the arbor once again once or twice till it moves freely, but without play once again.

Assembling time! Notice the bent pillar tip - the pins were so EXTREMELY tight in there, that the tips would bend as I tried to push them out!

I decided to put the dial side bridge on at first, but I had to remove it, as replaced bearings are difficult to find with the gears' pivots...
The escape wheel bearings also have a very 'Continental' feel to them...
Overall quality - LOW

Plates now pinned together, tension applied to the spring and chain, run-down test passed - so far so good...

Cannon pinion cleaned and good as new. I test the Tompion-style regulator during the process, since once I found out it's jammed after assembling and winding the watch.
The balance used to have it's original hairspring... until now

Damn it... Now I have two
I fitted some hairsprings made of bent American trash (I prefer to use damaged hairsprings, as I have to cut out the inner coils and reshape the outer coil and using a good spring can be a waste) and the second one actually prooved all right (with the first one it was super-fast).
And so the movement is now assembled...

The minute hand is just for timing, I know it's very bad. I hope to get better hands soon. Short, but maybe they'll fit...
I'm quite angry about the hairspring - must have had a weak corrosion spot there, because testing the remains - they are not THAT easy to break. A weak spot or not - I admit I made one move too sudden and too rough...

Now back to the watch - I hoped for a lovely, old English watch, but instead - I got a continental fake!
Of course, I'm no expert on English watches, so I'm easy to trick.
Still - it's a very nice antique watch and now that I've cleaned and oiled it, it also works not too bad, gaining something like 10 minutes a day. The rate is good, BTW, it's just that is audibly speeds up for a while for time to time. Like old, worn (badly worn!) verge watches sometimes do.

What's next? Well - I'll wait for the hands and crystal, then my disappointing watch goes on it's shelf. Such a shame about the hairspring... oh, well - it would break one day with or without my help telling by how easy it was to break it... It hurts that I (and not just time) was the one to kill it...

Have a nice day!!!
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Updated 07-02-2017 at 05:03 AM by pmwas



  1. langseth's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing. Being new to the watch world I was surprised to see a bicycle style chain used to wind the mainspring, I'm guessing. Just starting into pocket watches with 2 Waltham 18s an a 12s Illinois pocket watch with a broken lower balance pivot cap jewel that has me stumped. I was able to get 2 manual wind wrist watches working and keeping good time on my Timegrapher, just could be lucky so far. Lots of watches on eBay that aren't running, but I know I'm pushing my luck on the bay.
  2. pmwas's Avatar
    Yes, for a 'modern' man the chain might be suprising...
    I think I've explained that in one of the previous posts, but that was se time ago...
    Verge escapement is very sensitive to mainspring power - speeds up even when you adjust hands forward. To minimize torque variations, a chain and fusee is used, so that a more wound, stronger mainspring has to pull the thin end, which is more difficult. Someone has compared this to continiously variable transmission in a car, a not bad comparisson I guess.
  3. kevin h's Avatar
    I have a fake e howard if you enjoyed this exercise ! nice work