American PW 18s John C. Dueber - What is this curious lever hooked to the mainspring barrel?

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by Hans van den Berg, Feb 10, 2019.

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  1. Hans van den Berg

    Hans van den Berg Registered User

    Feb 4, 2011
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    Having mainly cleaned 16 size pocket watches in the past, I have recently turned my attention to 18 size. Today I started on two 1890 John C. Dueber grade watches that immediately raise a question.

    Under the dial, right next to the lever setting and winding mechanisms both watches happen to have the same curious lever that appears hooked to the bottom side of the mainspring barrel. See attached picture.

    The whole construction somehow reminds me of Abbott stem wind conversions on KW Elgins, that I only know from pictures, but here there’s no Abbott patent text, so I don’t think it has anything to do with that.

    Not having seen this on other watches, I am curious to find out what this is. Can anyone shed a light on this, what this lever's function is? Thanks!

    John_C_Dueber_Image1_1500_.jpg
     
  2. Harvey Mintz

    Harvey Mintz Registered User
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    Jun 7, 2002
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    It looks to me like it's the click. And the part that sticks out to the edge of the dial allows you to release the click and let the mainspring wind down.
     
  3. Hans van den Berg

    Hans van den Berg Registered User

    Feb 4, 2011
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    Ah, thanks. that indeed makes sense. Ha, on 16 size watches these clicks are on a more accessible spot.

    That will come in handy, as one of the two is wound tightly and the movement is somehow stuck. Now I can properly let the mainspring down, investigate and clean it.
     
  4. Marty101

    Marty101 Registered User
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    Oct 28, 2007
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    I believe some movements have these "clicks" as secondary click-?? Sort of a courtesy to watchmakers?
    Is this true?
     
  5. Marty101

    Marty101 Registered User
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  6. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    Dec 9, 2000
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    As Harvey said, used for releasing and letting down the mainspring..
    Must use a bench key when released so the spring doesn’t snap down quickly

    Tom
     
  7. Marty101

    Marty101 Registered User
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    Oct 28, 2007
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    Just pointing out some movements have a click plus this other mechanism-I have no idea what it is called,only it's function. Here is a comparison-see?

    SAM_8454-001.JPG SAM_8456-001.JPG
     
  8. Marty101

    Marty101 Registered User
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    Oct 28, 2007
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    Here it is closed-

    SAM_8458-001.JPG
     
  9. viclip

    viclip Registered User
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    Jul 20, 2018
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    Marty101 I believe the little lever on your Elgin functions to lock the movement in winding position when it's out of the case. Otherwise it would default into the setting position & wreak havoc while the movement was being timed due to the engagement of the setting mechanism.

    If you have a bench key, you might try seeing the effect of changing the lever's position vis-a-vis the winding/setting function. I can't remember whether you have to push the bench key down before the lever locks the watch in winding mode so you may have to play around a bit.
     
  10. Marty101

    Marty101 Registered User
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    Oct 28, 2007
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    Aha-yes,thank you.
     
  11. Rick Hufnagel

    Rick Hufnagel Just Rick!
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    Oct 25, 2018
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    Yep I like it when those Elgins have that feature, some didn't and letting it down can be a bit hairy. It just disengages the spring that pushes the winding clutch into setting mode.
     

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