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1/4 hour bell repeater

christinas

Registered User
Apr 17, 2009
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Hello again. I have a question about this repeater. Is there a website or some place to look up all the old watchmakers? The watch was made by Thomas Heigel and that is all I know. I tried to look on the internet and nothing. I also have a possible repair question on the watch.

The watch runs perfect, the repeating parts work great, the problem is that the watch will not stay seated in the inner case. So when you push the pendant down, you have to kind of push on the dial to keep the movement centered so the bell sounds nice, if not it sounds more like a chlunk than a chime.

I have attached some pictures. You can see at the 6 o'clock position, there is a hole in the case. was there a button there at one time. I see that there is a metal piece that should lock the movement into the case but that does not seem to be working. Is there something that I can have repaired or replaced on this.

One other question! There is a small lever at about the 7 o'clock position. What is this lever used for? If you just tap the lever quickly, one of the hammers hits the bell? Any idea what this was used for?

Thank you guys for all the resonses!
Christina

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Dexx

Registered User
Mar 10, 2009
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The repeating action on watches from this period can be fierce, and depressing the plunger exerts considerable force on the catch that secures the movement to the case. You mention that this catch is not working. This is probably why the movement moves when you push the plunger. Over time the stiff action of these repeaters sometimes slightly distorted the lip of the case near the catch, making the catch less effective or fail altogether. A remedy may be as simple as adjusting the catch if the catch screw has become loose (this is hidden by a metal band around the repeater work and motion work so you won't be able to access it), or carefully bending or building up the case lip to correct for any distortion - sorry I don't know where you could get this repair done but others might know. If it were my watch I'd leave it as it is and regard this fault as a historically interesting fact about the watch and its repeating work.

The hole in the case was probably for a "pulse piece", sometime called a "touch piece." This would have been a stud that protruded through the hole. Pressing the stud would cause the bell to not sound but still allow you to 'feel' the strikes. The lever at 7 is probably connected with this function - maybe it allowed the option for the stud to be continually in the pressed position - a useful function if you were on an overnight journey in a coach, or in bed at home and wanted to know the time without waking others up.

I don't know of sites where you could look up the maker. I'm sure that others will know. But looking at your photos, the watch looks to have been made between early to mid-eighteenth century. If the dial is original, then the watch was probably made in the later part of this period, around 1750. The spelling of the maker's name suggests Austria as a place of origin? Baille lists a Martin Heigel (a relative?) working in Stadtamhof in 1730.
 

Dexx

Registered User
Mar 10, 2009
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A friend has told me I'm wrong about the lever at 7. :eek: If I understand him rightly, this is actually the pulse lever and it connects with the bell when the pulse piece stud is pressed. In this way, the sound of the bell is dulled and the feeling of the hammers striking the bell is communicated along the lever and back to the stud. Makes sense to me.
 

christinas

Registered User
Apr 17, 2009
30
1
0
Thank you for the information. I will check on the catch and see if I can adjust it any. Otherwise I will leave it alone. I appreciate the feedback. Another question that I forgot to ask is about the hands, it has none and I would like to get some that are from the same period as the watch. Would you know what they would look like or a name of the style.
Thank you,
Christina
 

Dexx

Registered User
Mar 10, 2009
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Hi Christina,
The more I look at the dial the more I think it may be a later replacement. But it is likely that the watch would originally have had 'beetle and poker' hands. These would still look good and right for the watch, even if the dial is later.
Regards,
Dexx
 

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