Balance Staff Replacement on Columbus 18s

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by Absilon, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Absilon

    Absilon Registered User

    Dec 19, 2014
    Country Flag:
    I will be attempting my 1st balance staff replacement on an 1890 Columbus Model-3, 11 Jewel movement.
    This is it here:

    I will be using my K & D Inverto Delux, No.18 Staking Set.

    I have watched every video and read everything I could find over the last several months and have a decent idea of what is involved. I have so far successfully repaired several non working pocket watches which are all running fine now, with the exception of one 1910 Waltham Grade-625, Model-1908, 16s Pocket Watch that losses 2 minutes each day, but I will re-visit that one soon.

    I have been unable to find a parts & materials catalog for Columbus. If anyone here has a pdf that would be great!

    I have some questions that I hope this wonderful community can help me with.
    For starters, which staff do I need and are they available?
    Is this a friction fit or riveted staff?
    Let me know if you need me to remove the staff and take some close-up photos.

    Can one tell the difference between friction fit and riveted staffs by looking at them?
    Can one tell the difference between single and double roller staffs by looking at them?

    Also. Is this a good movement to start balance staff work on? If not, I have other movements that need staffs including:
    1908 Waltham Riverside Grade Model-1894, 12s, 19j
    1916 Illinois - Grade-69, Model-6, 18s, 17j
    1889 Rockford Grade-68, Model-8, 18s, 11j
    1879-80 Waltham Model-1877, Grade-Broadway, 18S, 7J
    1896 Waltham - Model-1890, Grade-Y, 6s, 7j
    1952 Bulova 17AH
    and some other higher grade watches that I will staff after getting some practice.

    I have been learning so much and having lots of fun in the process. I really love this hobby. balance staff

    Thank you in advance for your input and advice.
    Have a great day!
  2. 18k BPH

    18k BPH Registered User

    Aug 18, 2016
    Country Flag:

    The only Columbus Watch material catalog pages are the following:


    Also, I found the following mainspring information:

    I hope this helps!

    Attached Files:

  3. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Super Moderator
    NAWCC Business Sponsor Donor

    Feb 11, 2005
    Camarillo, CA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The info sheet that I have shows 3 different Columbus 18-size staffs:


    Attached Files:

  4. MrRoundel

    MrRoundel Registered User

    Dec 28, 2010
    So. Cal., USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I have the same list as Dave C., and maybe one other, but it is illegible. :-( It's interesting that there is so little information on Columbus parts. I find part numbers for mainsprings, but that's about it. There must be a Columbus specialist out there who can help. Good luck.

    As far as which watch to restaff first, you might want to consider that Waltham 12s Riverside, especially if it's a friction staff. The friction staff is driven out by design, and is not held to the balance by a rivet. Do yourself a favor, learn now to remove a riveted staff with a lathe, not a K&D or other drive-out method. I have a few pocket watches laying around that after driving out the staff using the K&D, I now require a slightly larger staff. Were they like that before? Hard to know. However, best practice is to undercut the rivet on a lathe, in order to avoid enlarging the balance arm. Good luck.
  5. Bila

    Bila Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 22, 2010
    Country Flag:
    #5 Bila, Sep 13, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    If you can find a friend with an early "Waltham Horological School" staff kit you will have a staff for the early 18s Columbus models in pivot sizes ranging from .11-.14 size (if they want to part with them of course:)), also on some of the slightly later 18s Columbus watches a 18 size Elgin #857 staff is interchangeable. So once again, you will need to remove the staff and measure it's dimensions.

Share This Page