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  1. #1
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    Default Stem Removal in general

    A very general question.

    How do you know if a pocket watch stem NEEDS to be removed, or if it remains in the pendant (like the Elgin I worked on in the NAWCC workshop)?

    When I open the back of a pocket watch, how do I know which type of stem it is? Is there a trick?

    I undertand once the dial is off it becomes easier to tell, but you generally can't get the dial off without uncasing the movement, which means I'll probably break a few stems doing that.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Stem Removal in general (RE: NewbieCoachRob)

    For the American watches only a few have stems that are not part of case. The couple I think of right off hand are Waltham 1888 models they have detente screws holding stem in. Some Hamiltons also have detente screws in 16 size. The Walthams 1877 & 1879 models have male stems that are held in by a screw in pendant tube. Elgin has a few male stems, the convertible comes to mind. Others should be able to add to list. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Stem Removal in general (RE: Bill B)

    Bill,
    Yes, EVERthing I read here helps.

    So, how do you know if a PW has a detente screw? I know to look on wrist watches, because they all have some sort of detente. But a PW has so many darned screws, that I never know if it's holding a spring in place (in which case if I turn it, that spring will certainly pop out and I'll never know where, or how, it goes back in if I can even find it), securing something important on the other side (which I can't see with the dial on) on the main plate in place, or some other crazy thing? I'm always afraid when turning a screw that it will do something I don't want.

    I did work with one PW with a detente screw, but that was only after I couldn't uncase the movement, and figured the stem HAD to come out after I nearly broke the thing wrestling with it. (Yes, I know, never force a delicate instrument. )

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Stem Removal in general (RE: NewbieCoachRob)

    The detente screw should be easy to see, I know of no U S company that put screws side by side to hold a plate down, right where the pendant is. So if you see side by side screws at pendant, one is the detente. Here is a Waltham 1888 model pix detente is on right next to case screw see how the plate screws fit and detente has room around it. That is also a clue.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails land.jpg  
    Last edited by Bill B; 09-12-2010 at 10:55 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Stem Removal in general (RE: Bill B)

    Do you remove the screw all the way, or turn 1/2 at a time until the stem comes out? The one I did previously, when I turned it, seemed to "click", almost as if a spring somewhere were being released. Do I use that as a guide? For instance, turn it to the first "click" then try to remove the stem?

    Right now I'm working on a Saturn UMR Ruhla, and there is a small screw right next to the case screw. It's much smaller than any other so it must be the detente. I turned it just one turn, and the stem came right out of the movement. There was no sleeve or an loose part on the solid stem. Unfortunately, after I put the stem back IN, it no longer enters the setting mode when pulled to the first click.

    I never took the screw all the way out, and exactly what I worried would happen, HAS happened.

    What now?
    -> posts merged by system <-
    Update:

    I go it to finally set. However, it now has to be pulled out TWO clicks instead of just one. And even then, turning the stem to set it is much more difficult than before I pulled the stem out of the mvmt.

    I can't see this as being good, can you?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Stem Removal in general (RE: NewbieCoachRob)

    I am not familiar wit the movement you are working on, maybe someone else will be of help. On the Waltham one turn and the stem comes out. Sometimes I have to position the lever to get it to lock back on the stem.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Stem Removal in general (RE: Bill B)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill B View Post
    Sometimes I have to position the lever to get it to lock back on the stem.
    By this, do you mean wiggle the stem to get it to seat right? The set lever is still obscured under the plate because the movement is still cased. I tried that, still two clicks instead of one.

    I don't think this is specific to Saturn movements, because this is the second detente I've found, and both have given me an identical result: clicking when I turn it CCW then CW, and a problem getting the movement to reenter the set mode after stem reinsertion.

    I can see I have MUCH further to go than I anticipated.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Stem Removal in general (RE: NewbieCoachRob)

    Watch repair is learned in steps.Knowledge is gained over time.
    Give your self more experience and time and you will know more in general.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Stem Removal in general (RE: Kevin W.)

    Rob, You are working on Swiss watch right? Most of them have detente system. Saturn watch is this a wristwatch? How about posting a clear pix of movement, maybe someone will be more able to help you.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Stem Removal in general (RE: Bill B)

    Bill,
    Unfortunately, my daughter has the good Nikon at school with her. I only have a cheap Canon (well, not so cheap, but not an SLR), which doesn't take quality close-ups. The focal length is too large for quality pictures up close. I MAY have to invest in a better camera (can you say $300 out of pocket??) of my own as I see that I'm sorely going to need assistance with things that are better described in pictures, not words.

    Here is the best I can do. It's grainy, but you may be able to get the idea?!?

    At the very least, maybe somebody can explain what the "click" is that I'm feeling as I turn the detente screw? Is it a spring of some sort that holds the screw in the plate? It sure feels like the click wheel near the barrel sounds.
    -> posts merged by system <-
    Goodnesss, I just read the manual and there IS a setting on my Canon Elph that allows close up (macro) photographs (it's the tulip icon; always wondered what that was for!). So, here is a better photo.

    Thanks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rob Detente.jpg   Detente.jpg  

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