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  1. #1

    Default Hampden hairspring

    I have a Hampden 16s watch with a rusty hairspring. Since I am not really comfortable with doing hairspring work I was wondering if it is possible to just replace the entire balance assembly. If that is possible are there other grades that would work for this? The Serial No. is 3417829.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hampden hairspring (By: watchtinker)

    Sure, if you find another watch of the same model and roughly the same vintage it's an easy swap. Double-check the pivots in the jewels and triple-check your endshake. Sometimes you can get a balance-complete from a parts house if the stars are in perfect alignment and you've led a really clean life. If the balance wheel has the serial number scribed on the bottom of the arms you'll get people who shriek about frankenwatches. "Running" sometimes doesn't matter to absolutists. If the balance is serialized, you might hold on to the original balance wheel just to flameproof your fanny. Someday if you get more comfortable fiddling with hairsprings you can fix and reinstall the original. If not, you'll be able to enjoy a running watch without making purists hyperventilate.

    Glen

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hampden hairspring (By: glenhead)

    If the hairspring is rusty, you will need to find a new hairspring as the rate will be way off even if you clean up the old spring, metal will be removed weakening the hairspring causing the balance to oscillate longer and lose time. Changing the hairspring is not heresy so if you can find an appropriate spring, go for it, just use your original balance wheel.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Hampden hairspring (By: richiec)

    Will the balance, staff, and hairspring work from any other movement other than a grade 98? The last time I tried to take a hairspring, I broke the collet. What is the proper way to take off and put back on a hairspring? Also, do you need a staking set to put it back on?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hampden hairspring (By: watchtinker)

    1-probably not, 2-a collet lift is nice to have to make removal easier and safer but not essential, much safer though, 3-you can usually just push the hairspring collet back on without a staking set, just be real careful, 3-just have to get the hairspring stud in the right position to line up with the hole in the balance.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Hampden hairspring (By: richiec)

    Thank you very much. How do I determine the correct hairspring?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Hampden hairspring (By: watchtinker)

    The Pocket Watch Database (https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/sear...ampden/3417829) lists your watch as a 16S, 17 jewel hunting configuration watch.

    Below is a screen shot of the 1923 Hampden Watch Material Catalog for hairsprings:



    I hope this helps!
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Hampden hairspring (By: 18k BPH)

    Well I bought a Hampden No. 109 movement and managed to pull the hairspring off and put it on the original movement. It turned out to be easier than I had expected.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Hampden hairspring (By: watchtinker)

    I started to time the watch and it is way too fast. I'm talking about gaining 10min over 6hrs. I am assuming this would be a problem with the hairspring, but I never tried to time it with the old hairspring, so I really wouldn't know. Would not getting the hairspring stud in the right place possibly cause this?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hampden hairspring (By: watchtinker)

    the length of the hairspring is critical along with the strength. If the spring is too light , it will likely run slow, too long an oscillation and if too heavy, too fast, a very rapid oscillation.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Hampden hairspring (By: richiec)

    Were hairsprings made for individual watches in which case, would it not be possible to replace the hairspring without adjusting the length?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Hampden hairspring

    There were differences in the weight of the balances even between the same grades made by the same manufacturer, so a lot of them supplied different strength hairsprings, so it is not just about length.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Hampden hairspring (By: Bila)

    So basically it is difficult to find the correct hairspring for a particular movement?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Hampden hairspring (By: watchtinker)

    It can be very much so, unless you are with in 50 serial numbers or so with the donor movement and you might have a chance.

  15. #15
    Registered User richiec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hampden hairspring (By: Bila)

    You would have to weigh your balance and the donor balance to see if they are even close, maybe measure the thickness of the spring as well.

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