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Beginner Question: 1910 Elgin Grade 294 model 5

Watching the Wheels

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Took apart my first watch and put it back together...mostly. It was not working when I got it from an antique store. 1910(ish) Elgin Grade 294 model 5. Size 18 in a Philadelphia Silverode case. I ordered a new mainspring and a vintage mainspring winder to arrive soon. For now, I took the rest apart and reassembled. I tried to wind in to old mainspring by hand but broke it. I will use the winder for the new one. I am just a beginner and am slowly acquiring more tools, but don't have many now. I have been dissembling and reassembling the watch for a week or so, and I put it all back together tonight. I have an issues that I need help/advise:
I thought I took enough pictures, and everything seemed to go back together, but now the hands don't set. When the pendant is in the wind position, I hear the click but feel no resistance because there is no mainspring, so that feels right. But when I pull the pendant to the set position and turn the crown...nothing happens. It just spins freely and does not feel engaged with anything. All of the pieces are back in the watch, besides the mainspring. I did not think to take pictures of the reassemble. Next time I open her up I can take photos. Tonights session was a long one and it is a little bit of a process to get my shared-with-wife-office into "watchmaker configuration" so had to switch back before bed, but wanted to start this forum. Any advise or help for a beginner is much appreciated.

Thanks
- John
 

Rick Hufnagel

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Hey John

Make sure the circled tab is being depressed by the case. This adds the tension to the spring pushing the keyless works into setting mode. If the movement is properly inserted into the case it should be pressed in enough. If the movement is out of the case you will need to manually press this to set the hands.

If that is not the problem, maybe your sleeve needs adjustment in the pendant, but I would look at that spring first.

I didn't have any under dial photos available, but this one is from the pocket watch database.
Screenshot_20220125-093419~2.png
 
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Rick Hufnagel

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Hey John,

I dug a bit deeper into this and realized that your movement has the later model 5 setup. Apologies.

This photo is of the same grade. It is also from Pocket watch database Elgin National Watch Co. Grade 294 Information | Pocket Watch Database

The lever circled in the picture engages and disengages the setting mechanism. It's for letting the mainspring down when the movement is out of the case. You can move this lever without removing the dial.
Screenshot_20220125-113416~2.png
 
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Watching the Wheels

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Jan 21, 2022
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Hey John,

I dug a bit deeper into this and realized that your movement has the later model 5 setup. Apologies.

This photo is of the same grade. It is also from Pocket watch database Elgin National Watch Co. Grade 294 Information | Pocket Watch Database

The lever circled in the picture engages and disengages the setting mechanism. It's for letting the mainspring down when the movement is out of the case. You can move this lever without removing the dial.
View attachment 692063
Thanks for getting back to me. When I get a chance tonight, I'll try this and let you know how it turns out. Thanks again for responding and even looking into the problem for me.
 
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Watching the Wheels

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Thanks for getting back to me. When I get a chance tonight, I'll try this and let you know how it turns out. Thanks again for responding and even looking into the problem for me.
Hi Rick,
I was able to take some time to tinker with the setting mechanism so I wanted to give you an update. I also took some photos to help with this exchange. I apologize for not yet knowing all of the names of all of the parts. I will try to describe how I named the photos. Also I apologize for the photos in a strange order. That is not the order I had them in while uploading and I'm not sure how to rearrange the order.


1. Setting Wheel Disengaged
2. Stem Input Disengaged
3. Stem Input Engaged
4. Mainspring Release
5. Setting Wheel Disengaged By Lever
6. Setting Wheel Engaged

The 6th photo is the setting wheel engaged. When I turn the stem input (while engaged) then the motion works all engage and spin.

The 5th photo is when I pull the lever-you-mentioned. It does move the vibrating arm and disengages the setting wheel from the motion works. It appears to be reassembled correctly.

The 1st photo is when the lever-you-mentioned is returned to it's "at rest" position. The vibrating arm does not move back on it's own. I can manually move the vibrating arm and re-engage the setting wheel, but it does not re-engage on it's own. I'm not sure if it is supposed to re-engage or if this is correctly assembled. If so, how does the setting wheel re-engage?

The 3rd photo shows the stem input engaged with the setting wheel. When combined with configuration from photo 6 (setting wheel engaged to motion works), the motion works spins.

The 2nd photo shows the stem input disengaged. Even with the configuration in photo 6, the motion works do not spin. I fear the case may be pulling when I try to pull the crown to set position.

The 4th photo is how I let down the mainspring. I was not even aware of the lever-you-mentioned the first time I let down the mainspring. I hope I didn't break anything.

I still don't have many tools. I ordered a couple of bench-key multi tools that will hopefully arrive soon. I have been checking by pressing a screw drive against the side of the stem input, then rotating the entire movement. It doesn't work great, but I was able to determine that when everything is engaged, the motion works do spin. The hands did set when I first got the watch.

Thanks again for all the help.
  • John


1. Setting Wheel Disengaged
2. Stem Input Disengaged
3. Stem Input Engaged
4. Mainspring Release
5. Setting Wheel Disengaged By Lever
6. Setting Wheel Engaged
tempImageCUcQiN.png
tempImageTLlhwk.png tempImagesdEDtk.png tempImageD2wDRR.png tempImageCDrhLY.png tempImageWPhnZt.png
 

Watching the Wheels

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Thanks for getting back to me. When I get a chance tonight, I'll try this and let you know how it turns out. Thanks again for responding and even looking into the problem for me.
Hi Rick,
I was trying to reply to your response, but I think I replied to one of my own. It is in this thread. I took some pictures. As before, any input is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
John
 

Rick Hufnagel

Just Rick!
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Hey John,

Looks like you have a spring that isn't in it's proper position. I dug one of these out and took some photos.
This first photo is how it should look for normal use and cased up. The lever down and the rocker arm disengaged from the mainspring barrel.
20220129_140711~2.jpg

When you flip the lever up it engages the mainspring barrel for letting the mainspring down and running the movement outside of the case.
20220129_140726.jpg

I suspect that this spring is not sitting properly inside the watch. Look how the pin sits in between the spring. It may be popped up or on the opposite side on the pin.
20220129_140745~2.jpg

Before disassembling, loosen the rocker arm just a little bit to see if it's just jammed up.
 
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Watching the Wheels

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Hey John,

Looks like you have a spring that isn't in it's proper position. I dug one of these out and took some photos.
This first photo is how it should look for normal use and cased up. The lever down and the rocker arm disengaged from the mainspring barrel.
View attachment 692928

When you flip the lever up it engages the mainspring barrel for letting the mainspring down and running the movement outside of the case.
View attachment 692929

I suspect that this spring is not sitting properly inside the watch. Look how the pin sits in between the spring. It may be popped up or on the opposite side on the pin.
View attachment 692927

Before disassembling, loosen the rocker arm just a little bit to see if it's just jammed up.
Thanks so much! I'll try this next and let you know how it turns out. You've been an excellent help.
Thanks!
- John
 
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Watching the Wheels

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Thanks so much! I'll try this next and let you know how it turns out. You've been an excellent help.
Thanks!
- John
Hi Rick,
The hands set now!! Thank you so much for all the time and effort you put in to helping me with my watch. I will be posting more threads soon! I hope to get as much help in the future as you gave me this week.
Thank you once again for everything!
- John
 
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