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    American PW Pallet fork travel stops adjusted.

    The banking pins are used ONLY to set the travel arc of the lever. DO NOT use them to adjust locking! To set the escapement properly -- if you can move the banking pins, likely they were indeed peened down because they were moving when they should not have been -- remove the tension on the...
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    Luminous Material Removal

    Sorry if I mis-typed that, but the T means the luminescent material on the dial contains tritium in some form, it's also present on Seikos, which are NOT made in Switzerland. Radium dials after 1950 or so, as far as I can determine, are marked with an RA. I believe some military issue watches...
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    Stem Removal Help

    Assuming that is a typical "snap back" case where the bezel "snaps" on, you simply need to lift the movement out of the case to access the back plate where the set lever screw is located. They can be a very tight fit, you may need to very carefully lever the dial upwards on opposite sides to...
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    Seiko 7S26 auto movement question

    I have not had an issue like that unless the watch was pretty badly worn from previous use -- any Seiko automatic I've worn (and I have a dozen or so various used ones, none new) stayed running overnight EXCEPT my current "in-use" one, which is a 1968 8306. Even worn except to shower or mow the...
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    Luminous Material Removal

    There have been several mechanisms for using tritium in luminous materials. Some use tritium gas in tiny glass tubes coated with phosphor, and others use tritium replacing hydrogen in other compounds. The microtubules or other silica encapsulated systems work the best, but since tritium has a...
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    American PW Elgin Veritas : Another cleaned watch with low amplitude - roller jewel angle ?

    Don't you just love "minimum cost" repairs? Check the pallet fork slot length against the roller table -- you may find the roller jewel is tilted back because the jewel is out too far and hits the bottom of the fork if it's upright! I do have to say it's a clever "kludge", fitting a balance...
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    Luminous Material Removal

    Lacquer thinner should remove the lumious material, but then you have the problem of disposal, it's not really safe to mess around with. You can replace the lume with modern materials, Bergeon sells a nice kit. You must mix the powdered lume with lacquer in a solution stiff enough to "float"...
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    Very Weird Pivot Jewel

    Those don't look like they come out easily. They may also be similar in function to the cap jewels in some older Seiko movements (8306 and 6119 for example) where the cap jewels are really dust caps, the pivots don't ride on them and the arbor has the usual flat ends that ride on the hole...
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    cleaning of a ladies wrist watch movement

    The first ladies watch I worked on was an ancient Le Coultre, probably from the 20's or early 30's. Fortunately I had been working on some 16/0 Elgins and Bulovas from the 50's, so I was prepared for the size and have winders that will accomodate the small mainspring. I did not completely...
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    scratches under balance bridge

    I've seen this on a couple watches, and in both cases the balance cock was also bent in the opposite direction, probably to "fix" an end shake problem the previous repair. Use proper shim stock, aluminum foil is usually much to thick -- "regular" foil is about 0.005", heavy duty seems to be...
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    wrist watch lubrification

    Oh, and down the rabbit hole we go! Lubrication is a subject that causes a lot of discussion here! As noted, there is not a single lubricant for oiling watches of any size. Various parts really require different viscosities of oil to work correctly -- grease for keyless works and winding...
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    Bulova Balance Problem

    Check for recoil, you should be getting quite a bit, that's a good watch. However, it only takes a tiny bit of fluff in the wrong place to stop a watch -- I had a lovely Elgin 556 going nicely (in a timekeeping contest, no less) that was running to within a second or two a day suddenly stop...
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    Elgin Running Diagnostics

    Check the poise on the balance, and verify that at room temperature the balance rim is even at the split -- even if poised, too far out will make the watch very slow. And look for timing washers under the screws on the balance -- not impossible someone "fixed" a set mainspring by slowing the...
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    Russian watches to learn on? Looking for input from the wiser collective!

    The shim is just a small piece of metal foil used to compensate for an overly long balance staff. Be aware that one may be present and put it back in if it is. Other inexpensive movements that are common enough you can still find parts (although sometimes only from another one) are the 17...
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    Russian watches to learn on? Looking for input from the wiser collective!

    Molinja's are perfectly good watches, and usually run very well once serviced, I've done a few for my brother. The onlything to watch for is that quality control is weak on them, and quite often the balance cock will have very thin shim under it to control the jewel spacing for the balance...
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    Mechanical WW Help needed with Elgin 681 movement

    The real danger with that movement is that it is very easy to break the balance staff while holding it. The balance wheel is partially exposed and very easy to apply pressure to, and that snaps a pivot off. I should know, I've done it at least once. Use a watercolor brush and see if the...
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    Mechanical WW Strange happenings

    I doubt that the hairspring is magnetized because any watch made with a non-carbon steel hairspring has a hairsrping made of non-magnetizing materials, be it elinvar or any of the other alloys. The coils are not sticking together due to being magnetized. However, a tiny amount of residual oil...
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    American PW Spring turns into schrapnel

    Carbon steel springs break in use, almost always, and the older they are the more likely they are to break. They suffer very badly from stress corrosion. No one to my knowledge has manufactured carbon steel watch springs since the 1950's when white alloy springs became available, in the same...
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    American PW Decisions, decisions. There's glue in my Gruen

    It might be OK on a garage door opener, but it's not good for watches. There are a number of "one step" clean and lubricate products out there, and they are all junk. They consist of oil of some sort dissolved in a hydrocarbon based solvent, the idea being you can simply take the movement out...
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    American PW Decisions, decisions. There's glue in my Gruen

    Green goo sounds more like Solo-lube than WD-40. The latter turns into something like rubber cement with age (it contains fish oil) and can be a real pain, but it does come off nicely with methylene chloride (aka liquid paint stripper, although you need to watch for strippers containing caustic...