A Marion fan... but not so much now...

pmwas

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I got myself a little something to play...

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An early Marion. Not a nice early Marion, but... just an early Marion.

I wanted a better one. I’d love an Atherton. All nice and shiny and just in need of cleaning.

Instead, I got a Fayette Stratton with busted balance, tarnished all over as it’s clearly been caseless for a looooooong time.

S/N of 2123 makes it rather early, though, so why make a fuss?

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Along with the watch came another dial.
The original dial had no sub-second dial bit.
It has, however, different (smaller) lettering than the replacement dial, which I wanted to keep.

I pay attention to details, and such things as early lettering is important to me.

Unfortunately, the replacement subdial is...

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Too big. So... I’ll come back to it later.

Balance...

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Not too bad, not too good.
This could snap and try to find a correctly cut replacement.
I removed a screw for a better grip and...

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And it worked out fine!
4th...

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...bad as well. Mighty bad.
I let down the steel and straightened it with hot, soft, post stamp tweezers.

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That way it’s not super-precise, but allows soft, gradual bent not applying ‚concentrated’, direct force on one - already bent - spot.

I hardened it back and went on...

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Clearly not ‚the’ staff. But what can I do?
(Craft ‚the’ staff, only I can’t ;) ).

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Balance on...

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Not perfectly flat, but... flat enough.
The upper jewel needed replacement, found a perfect (set) match.

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The hairspring needed the collet to be stretched a bit (danger!!!), which worked out fine.

The roller table was way too tight, though.

I made a try and almost ruined the staff!
It was gently punched just on the very tip of it (very shallow) and yet so tight I could not remove it anymore!

Finally I managed to take it off and tried to broach the hole.

Perhaps I should alter the staff, but I have MIGHTY BAD experience with working on staffs balance-on, so I decided to broach the hole.

In a nutshell - no f... way (sorry).

It is a very thick roller table made of very hard steel. I tried to heat it to let it down, but still no way.

No tool would ‚eat’ into this steel, they would barely scratch it.

In the end it snapped in two halves, and so I had to find a replacement...

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Thinner, but should work...


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I tried to find a roller jewel for it, but they were too thick or too thin or too short, so...

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I used a brass one.

Last thing - the barrel bridge...

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Soldered in replacement bearing.
So I installed the key guard on top of it - not sunk in it’s (no longer existant) hole, but steady...

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The plates got a bath.

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The nice gilt is present only in hidden spots, like under the regulator scale.
I admit to having applied some mechanical surface polishing, as the tarnish was REAL bad.


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I should have polished the barrel cap as well, but I forgot it’s on the top side and visible.

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Gear train and straight line escapement.
I finally got to the assembling process, which (I mean the getting-to-it) took me a long, long time. Much longer than expected.
Which I will show in the next post (20 pic limit). 8F473291-82FA-46F3-B26D-06400DCD399C.jpeg
 
Last edited:

pmwas

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Ok, so... assembling, yes.

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The barrel can be inserted after screwing down the plates together.

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Dial side is simple:

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No early Marion stemwind assembly in this one, but - like I said - it’s 2123, so no fuss that it’s a key winder...

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The ratchet wheel’s too thick for this bridge. Either a replacement or just early Marion issue...

A replacement, I think...

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The subdial is too big, but just good enough to glue in.
Not very good and I was willing to sacrifice another dial from my stock, but I did not find a better match, so... I glued this one in.
With a glue that should let go easily, just in case I find a better one some day...


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It is... ALIVE!!!
Actually, running quite strong (but it does have a thick, strong mainspring as well).

This is this version of Fayette Stratton that has no decorative cap jewel settings over escapement bearings. Most FS grade Marions I’ve seen have them (but no jewels), while this run does not.

All in all - a decent (but discolored), early Fayette Stratton finally in my collection!

A case is bound to arrive tomorrow (just in time), and now I ‚just’ need a set of hands.

As for the thread title... I’m rather disappointed with the build quality of this (and all Marion) movement.

I’ve worked on few late ones and every time I thought they were in bad shape, late (and thus already worse due to USWCo’s financial troubles), maybe Marion Watch Co, I thought, but...

This one is equally bad. Not like very bad, or anything, but compared to Waltham’s or Elgin’s movements of the era, this movement is considerably worse in terms of quality.

I always thought USWCo movements were initially better, and thus more expensive, which resulted in USWCo’s sad demise.

But no. USWCo movements are not as good as Elgin’s movements.

The balance looks good, so MAYBE they were adjusted better, I don’t know.

But in terms of quality, I find this movement slightly disappointing.

Not like I’m unhappy, no.

2123 Marion is always a treat :D
 

vintageguy

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Perhaps I should alter the staff, but I have MIGHTY BAD experience with working on staffs balance-on, so I decided to broach the hole.
4th... ...bad as well. Mighty bad.
Your English idiom is mighty terrific! :)

I have a slightly later Fayette Stratton, # 2443. Its missing a key guard screw, but otherwise it looks mighty nice to me :)

a920c343432bdf4816b80361df4013df.jpg 8ed0ade27939efa9a68ec2fc415f662d.jpg e4ac879f3cb331f5d81d70bd880e4687.jpg
 

vintageguy

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pmwas

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Maybe so, but yours is REALLY early!
Yes. I wondered why this run has no cap jewel settings, but AFAIK ‚earlier’ numbers run had them as well. I thought maybe this was the first FS run and the later ones had the settings.

But now I just don’t know.

As for ‚mighty bad’ - I don’t remember where I picked that up.
 

vintageguy

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Nice! You'll have to post pics here when you get the case and hands set up.
 
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