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  1. #1
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    Default Slow running watch

    Hi folks,

    I have a little 12 size, 17 jewel Waltham that I've been carrying every day for the past couple of weeks.

    When I first got it, I cleaned and oiled it, and to my eye everything is in good shape.

    With the regulator screwed all the way over to the "fast" position, it gains slightly. With it anything short of pegged, though, it runs slow. With the regulator centered, it runs 2-3 minutes a day slow. This is whether I'm carrying it, or leave it running at home(face up).

    I demagnetize all watches when I service them, so I know that's not the problem.

    I've been through DeCarle's book, and everything I see seems to talk about faults that cause the watch to run fast.

    So, what, reasonably, could I expect cause the watch to run slow like this? Obviously, it's functional as it is, however I prefer to not have the regulator screwed all the way over.

    Thanks,
    Ben

  2. #2
    Registered user. Dutto11's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slow running watch (RE: ben_hutcherson)

    Hi Ben,
    I'm no expert but from what I have learnt it could possibly be the main spring. Did you replace it or is it the same old one.
    As main springs get old they loose there tension and thus reducing the power through the train.
    There maybe others out there that can enlighten you further and I maybe way off base but it is worth a try.
    Cheers
    Gary


  3. #3

    Default Re: Slow running watch (RE: Dutto11)

    My understanding is that a worn balance staff pivot can also cause the watch to run slow. The increased friction lowers the rate of oscillation. I would also double check and make sure I had thoroughly cleaned the balance cock jewels, and didn't forget to oil anything. Lack of oil can cause similar problems.

  4. #4
    Registered User MikeBarnett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slow running watch (RE: wackyvorlon)

    I'm leaning towards a regulator pins/hairspring issue. The datapoint of -- the regulator being anything less than pegged all the way over makes it immediately run slower -- makes me thing there is an issue with the leveling of the hairspring, the regulator pins, or the outer coil of the hairspring.

    Take a look at how the hairspring sits between the regulator pins with the regulator all the way over to 'pegged'. Then, move it back a little to the point that the watch seems to immediately change. Do you see a big difference in the position of the hairspring in between the pins?

    Perhaps in the pegged position the pins don't touch the hairspring at all, then with the slightest of movement, the pins begin to touch the hairspring. Going from not touching at all to just starting to touch could be a very large amount of hairspring that's suddenly shortened.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Slow running watch (RE: MikeBarnett)

    A point I forgot to add, too. How is the balance amplitude?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Slow running watch (RE: wackyvorlon)

    Check for rust on the hairspring, any rust, even the smallest amount will cause the watch to run slow. I have found this to be the #1 problem.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Slow running watch (RE: Jim Michaels)

    Thank you to everyone for the responses. I apologize for taking so long to respond, however I just started back to school and have been extremely busy.

    I'm going to tear the watch down again tonight and specifically check for the mentioned problems. I'll report back if and when I find something.

    Thanks again,
    Ben

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Slow running watch (RE: ben_hutcherson)

    The most common problem for a beginner is their way of cleaning. What solutions do you use in cleaning the watch? in rinsing? Your oiling? Is it new or modern movement? How do you clean an old caliber?
    You dont have to answer because my questions actually is leading you to review your present method. Remember, dealing with an old caliber (if it is) movement is different to a new and modern movement. I have so many experience with beginners that they say they clean it but when I inspect the movement it's not really clean.

  9. #9
    Registered User Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Slow running watch (RE: le arsi)

    L arsi there are many definitions of clean, and its human nature to take short cuts.I know i have in the past.When i clean a watch i put it under my microscope and have a look, you would be amazed at what you see with a microscope, it opens a whole new world.But a very valuable tool to have.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Slow running watch (RE: le arsi)

    le arsi,

    You may be on to something, as this was about the third watch I did, and I can pretty confidently say that I'm much more thorough now than when I started.

    This particular watch is an American pocket watch from 1905 or so-give or take a few years. American pocket watches are all that really interest me, so that's all I've been dealing with.

    Anyway, here's my present method:

    1. Disassemble watch

    2. Place all train wheels in a naptha bath. They sit there for about 20 minutes, with occasional manual agitation.

    3. I use pegwood to clean out all the jewel holes and bushings in the plates. I then look at the jewels under magnification. If I see any remaining "crud", I spot clean it using either pegwood, a small brush dipped in naptha, or a combination of both. I'll sometimes also use Rodico to remove any remaining spots I see.

    4. The plates then get dunked in a naptha bath, and agitated by hand, and brushed off with a small paintbrush while still in solution. They are removed from solution and left to dry.

    5. I then brush all the train componenents while still in solution, and remove them to dry.

    6. Once the train wheels are dry, I stick the pivots in pithwood. I then roll the gears in rodico to remove any gunk from between the teeth.

    7. I then remove the balance complete from the balance cock, and dunk it in solution. Once dry, the pivots also carefully get gleaned in pith.

    8. I disassemble the balance jewels settings, dunk them in solvent, brush off, then clean with with pith or pegwood as appropriate. I do the upper and the lower completely separately(i.e. reinstall the first before I remove the second) so as to not confuse the two.

    9. The faces of the pallet stones get cleaned with pith, and the escape wheel teeth cleaned with pegwood).

    10. Finally, I oil all the train jewels, using a fine tipped oiler to apply a drop of Nye oil to each train jewel, and reassemble. The balance jewels get oiled, the balance complete reattached to the cock(making sure the hairspring is properly seated), and the balance is reinstalled.

    As I don't have a mainspring winder, I generally just put a few drops of oil on the spring while it's still in the barrel, and leave it at that. I know this isn't proper, but a spring winder will hopefully be a new addition(I'm a college student short on money).

    Also, I'm in the process of getting an L&R cleaning machine set up. I have some additional parts and cleaning solution on the way.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Slow running watch (RE: ben_hutcherson)

    Ben,
    Two things I see in your lubrication process: a light grease should be used on the mainspring (Moebius makes some decent ones), and you make no mention of oiling the escapement. A side note, I prefer to oil the train jewels after the train is assembled.
    Samantha

  12. #12

    Default Re: Slow running watch (RE: ben_hutcherson)

    Ben, I recommend that you add the following step to your process.

    After cleaning-before watch reassembly--reinstall the balance pivot jewels. Oil the balance pivots. reassemble the hairspring stud into the balance cock making sure the hairspring is between the curb pins. Put the balance cock with balance into the watch. Give the balance a spin with a toothpick. The balance should ossilate freely and come to an easy stop. If not, you have aproblem there that should be fixed before reassembly.

    Also, as you spin the balance, use your loop and look directly between the banking pins. When the balance comes to a stop, the roller jewel should be resting exactly in the middle of the banking pins. If it is not, the watch is not in beat. It must be put into beat before reassembly.

    Tom

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Slow running watch (RE: Tom Huber)

    Samantha,

    Thanks for the reminder-I left that step out, but I do oil the escapement by placing a small drop of oil on three separate teeth roughly equally spaced around the perimeter of the wheel.

    Tom,
    Thanks for the suggestion-I'll start doing that.

  14. #14
    Registered User doug sinclair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slow running watch (RE: ben_hutcherson)

    What does your timing machine tell you about the rate in all the positions? Is the rate consistently the same amount out in two horizontal positions and the vertical positions? Do you have one position where the rate variation is greatest? Does the balance wheel need poising? Do you have a loose curb pin on the regulator? A timing machine is used for more than regulating a watch. It is a boon when it comes to diagnosing what might need attention. Adjust using a timing machine to attain consitency, THEN regulate for accuracy. You simply can not reverse these procedures! You will never achieve accuracy until you attain consistency!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Slow running watch (RE: ben_hutcherson)

    Please correct me if i'm wrong, in my understanding you have only one solution used. The natha bath. I just want to clarify because we are not familiar with that solution name here in my country. If you are going to place that solution in a L&R Cleaning Machine with 3 jars, where would that be? Is it solution no.1, 2 or 3?

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