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The Three Emperor's Corner - part seven - a Russian wreck

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Back to my homeland again, I'd like to remind you of the old Russian boarder railroad station in Sosnowiec:



Like I said - the station is in terrible state, but it's being refurbished at last.
I got back to this photograph, because here I have another wreck from the time of the old Empire:



Not too impressive, eh?
Well - this watch has a long and rather said story to tell. I bought it from a Latvian seller some time ago and it turned out to be a mess.
It's a bad thing to generalize, as I've already had a pleasure dealing with wonderful sellers from the eastern lands, but sadly when buying from sellers located in post-USSR countries you're much more likely to get a terrible piece of crap than when dealing with 'western' sellers. It's both because some sellers are less honest and because some watchmakers here are very bad as well.
Anyway - I definitely should have returned this watch, but I think it would cause more trouble than it's worth.

So - the watch stayed with me.
In parts, that is, as I've scrapped it and put in boxes to use for parts some day.

And just yesterday I thought - well, what the heck, let's give it a try!



First - I had to find a cap jewel. Last time I tried - none would fit, but I must have disassembled something else, because this time I found a good match no problem.
The bridges are numbered and the number on the barrel bridge is odd. I think the barrel bridge might have been replaced, but it fits well in every way, including finish and wear. Maybe a factory mistake, who knows...
The barrel has just one bearing and it cannot be removed - the arbor is pinned tight together and would need quite a 'massacre' to take apart.

The watch has Swiss single roller lever escapement:



The dial has filed down feet and since the spots don't match the movement's holes, it has to be a replacement.
The dishonest watchmaker glued it to the plate and... inserted pieces of wire, so that it would seem the dial feet are in place! What a [naughty cat]!

Assembling:



And on...



The movement has a bridge construction with just one bearing a bridge.
Makes things easier, but the bridges don't fit the main plate very well - they keep going up until they're finally screwed down, so you have to control the position of the pivots all the time.



With the movement all done, I noticed a problem.
The amplitude was very low and the balance kept overbanking like crazy, after just few ticks.
I applied some more power and... the pallet fork disintegrated!

Below - the parts are loose on the staff:



Now - the staff is screw-in and the thread damaged. What I did is controversial for sure, but I punched the hole to tighten it, so that the thread would engage again.
It's very harsh way, but works.
Also notice the fork is broken and the pallet holds on to it with quite some amount of shellac.
And the pallet fork is bent up significantly as well.

I straightened the pallet fork and moved the roller table down the balance staff to allign properly.
However, the balance would still overbank a lot and moving the fork revealed, that it could move freely no matter of the roller's position...

So:



That's controversial again - I punched the end of the fork to flatten it, hoping now it would engage the roller table properly. That's pretty much why the usual single roller (with safety pin) is easier to work on - in an old American watch, for example - I'd just have to bend the safety pin a bit, here - I was in trouble.
Tap gently, BTW, this steel is very soft, feels like brass when worked on!



Still - flattening the pallet fork's end actually worked excellent, and now you just won't move the fork unless the roller is engaged. Splendid, I say!



The watch recased and working.
The dial is a replacement, so are the hands.
The bezel actually holds the dial nicely, no need gluing it.
One day I might want to try to attach some feet to it.

The case...



...is marked Tobias and has a matching S/N. In many Swiss watches it's actually important that the case's and movement's S/Ns match.

The hallmarks...



...indicate 19th Century Imperial Russia.



The watch actually looks not too bad now...



And works not too bad for a crappy watch like this.
It's fast, but that's because some damn fool had once filed down balance screws to speed it up (successfully, I guess). But it does have a nice, steady amplitude and works 24h in all positions no problem.

As for the quality - it's a 19th Century mid grade Swiss watch, which means - on one hand - it's full jewelled and has a lever escapement, but - on the other - the parts' and finish quality is rather low.
I'm happy to bring this back to life, however - I kinda like it now, that it's back in one piece again!
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