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  1. #1
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    Default Screamer - Elgin running 60 minutes fast/day

    I recently picked up this Elgin 15j GM Wheeler grade 75. The case is rusty (thoughts on polishing?), but it has a really nice mega-thick beveled crystal, a reasonable dial, and great amplitude. The interesting thing is it runs fast. I mean REALLY fast. So fast that my timing app detects it as a 19,800bph watch. I've had it running for an hour and a half or so and it's gained more than 5 minutes in that time.

    I have demagnetized the watch and don't see any obvious gross issues to the hairspring, but being a novice that isn't saying much.

    Any idea how the watch can run really strong but be so out of time?

    Thanks,
    TJ

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  2. #2
    Registered user. roughbarked's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screamer - Elgin running 60 minutes fast/day (By: TJ Cornish)

    Dry pallets can do this in some watches. Hairspring not flat round and concentric can also do this. Oil or magnetism affected hairsprings also.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Screamer - Elgin running 60 minutes fast/day (By: roughbarked)

    Moving to Watch Repair.

  4. #4
    Registered user. ANDY YALE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screamer - Elgin running 60 minutes fast/day

    i recently worked on an elgin 241 16s that had great amplitude, a flat balance and was gaining about 15 minutes an hour. I have yet to resolve why, but the best guess is the poise of the balance or a bad hairspring that is not readily apparent.
    This one had severe rust on the balance rim, and spots of rust on the hairspring. You might look for loose or missing timing screws, and check the balance for poise and true, especially in the round.
    Last edited by ANDY YALE; 03-15-2017 at 08:53 PM. Reason: spelling

  5. #5

    Default Re: Screamer - Elgin running 60 minutes fast/day (By: ANDY YALE)

    Just in my (admittedly amateur) experience, I would say this is likely a replacement hairspring which has not been vibrated to the correct rate (18,000 bph) for the balance; that explains the timing app showing the 19,800 bhp. With a mismatched hairspring, the watch may "appear" to run perfectly but in reality will keep very poor time. I currently have a Hamilton 914 with a replacment/misvibrated hairspring; runs perfectly, keeps terrible time.

    Ideally, you could find another hairspring and ensure it is vibrated to the correct rate (you need tools to do this as well as a large selection of hairsprings). If the watch is running fast (as yours), the balance needs more weight added to the rim; it needs to be repoised with more weight.

    Just my guess; definitely listen to the more knowledgeable guys on here before me! Other causes, as you probably know: magnetization, oil on hairspring, missing balance screw (s), etc.

  6. #6
    Registered user. roughbarked's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screamer - Elgin running 60 minutes fast/day

    Quote Originally Posted by Dante Sudilovsky View Post
    Just in my (admittedly amateur) experience, I would say this is likely a replacement hairspring which has not been vibrated to the correct rate (18,000 bph) for the balance; that explains the timing app showing the 19,800 bhp. With a mismatched hairspring, the watch may "appear" to run perfectly but in reality will keep very poor time. I currently have a Hamilton 914 with a replacment/misvibrated hairspring; runs perfectly, keeps terrible time.

    Ideally, you could find another hairspring and ensure it is vibrated to the correct rate (you need tools to do this as well as a large selection of hairsprings). If the watch is running fast (as yours), the balance needs more weight added to the rim; it needs to be repoised with more weight.

    Just my guess; definitely listen to the more knowledgeable guys on here before me! Other causes, as you probably know: magnetization, oil on hairspring, missing balance screw (s), etc.
    I sometimes see balances with metal removed. Which clearly was done in reverse.

    Rust on the balance would likely make it run slower.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Screamer - Elgin running 60 minutes fast/day (By: roughbarked)

    As has been suggested above you need to check the hairspring! It might be the angle of your picture but it looks like you have a hairspring that is clinging together in the outer coil! I would remove the balance and inspect the hair spring!

    Even if you demagnetized the watch the hairspring can cling because of e.g. oil.

  8. #8
    Registered user. roughbarked's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screamer - Elgin running 60 minutes fast/day (By: Skutt50)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skutt50 View Post
    As has been suggested above you need to check the hairspring! It might be the angle of your picture but it looks like you have a hairspring that is clinging together in the outer coil! I would remove the balance and inspect the hair spring!

    Even if you demagnetized the watch the hairspring can cling because of e.g. oil.
    I like to start from the bottom up even though it was mentioned in the OP that the balance vibrated at a speed that could indicate wrong hairspring. Stuff like this could cost a lot of money. OK if the customer is willing to pay. Most don't. Better to check list off until you come to; replace hairspring.

  9. #9
    Registered User Paul_S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screamer - Elgin running 60 minutes fast/day (By: roughbarked)

    Yes, it is likely the hairspring, either sticking or rusting. Like mainsprings, hairsprings have a "strength," which changes when they rust or change temper.

    Also, if you have a timing machine, uploading a pic of the watch running dial-up would help!


  10. #10
    Registered user. Paul Raposo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Screamer - Elgin running 60 minutes fast/day

    From my recent experience with a Hamilton 924 and a missing screw off the balance wheel, it looks like a couple of the screw heads on your watch are much shorter than the others.

    Could they have been a replacement or cut during a long ago servicing?

    In the movement picture the screw near the regulator arm and it's mate on the other side look short compared to the others.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Screamer - Elgin running 60 minutes fast/day (By: Skutt50)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skutt50 View Post
    As has been suggested above you need to check the hairspring! It might be the angle of your picture but it looks like you have a hairspring that is clinging together in the outer coil! I would remove the balance and inspect the hair spring!

    Even if you demagnetized the watch the hairspring can cling because of e.g. oil.
    What you're seeing is the outer loop of the coil that goes to the clamp - it's higher than the main part of the hairspring. I will investigate further to see if there's something wrong closer to the balance shaft.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_S View Post
    Yes, it is likely the hairspring, either sticking or rusting. Like mainsprings, hairsprings have a "strength," which changes when they rust or change temper.

    Also, if you have a timing machine, uploading a pic of the watch running dial-up would help!

    I use the IOS app timegrapher - I don't have a real timing machine. I will upload a picture from the app tonight when I'm near the watch.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Screamer - Elgin running 60 minutes fast/day (By: Paul Raposo)

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Raposo View Post
    From my recent experience with a Hamilton 924 and a missing screw off the balance wheel, it looks like a couple of the screw heads on your watch are much shorter than the others.

    Could they have been a replacement or cut during a long ago servicing?

    In the movement picture the screw near the regulator arm and it's mate on the other side look short compared to the others.
    That's possible - I need to stop the balance and investigate more closely. As I am an extreme beginner I wasn't sure if that much adjustment was even possible with retiming the balance, or if there was something more severe going on. Complicating things is the fact that I don't own a poising tool, but may be able to get away with new panavise jaws.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks all, I really appreciate the ideas.

    What's the best way to work on the rust on the case - scotchbrite?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Screamer - Elgin running 60 minutes fast/day (By: TJ Cornish)

    Have you considered rebanking? Does the watch run this fast at all amplitudes?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Screamer - Elgin running 60 minutes fast/day (By: karlmansson)

    Try the case in silver dip.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Screamer - Elgin running 60 minutes fast/day (By: roughbarked)

    Quote Originally Posted by roughbarked View Post
    Try the case in silver dip.
    Does that work with "Oresilver/silveroid/nickel-steel"? I don't think there's much silver in this case.

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