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Broken Right Angle Pallet Fork

RotaryR1d3r

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Hey everyone. First post here. I have a Tobias and Co London pocket watch. Ive recently started learning and Ive been dismantling this PW and have found a few issues (not surprising since it was in rough shape when I bought it).

The pallet fork has snapped in half along with a couple jewels being broken and stripper regulator screws. My question is where can I find a replacement pallet fork? Finding one like this is proving difficult. Is there anyone in the U.S. who could make one for me? Im located in New England if that matters at all.

Any help is appreciated!

20210803_183608.jpg
 

gmorse

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Hi RotaryR1d3r, and welcome to the forum,
My question is where can I find a replacement pallet fork?
I think a general view of the movement would be instructive here, because that isn't an English lever but a Swiss one.

Tobias was one of the good English makers whose name was quite often applied to their productions by Swiss counterfeiters. The likelihood of finding an exact match for this is small, regardless of where it was actually made. To have one made would alone probably cost rather more than the watch is worth, and if you add in the broken jewels and the other problems you mention it would certainly not be an economic proposition.

Regards,

Graham
 

RotaryR1d3r

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Hi RotaryR1d3r, and welcome to the forum,


I think a general view of the movement would be instructive here, because that isn't an English lever but a Swiss one.

Tobias was one of the good English makers whose name was quite often applied to their productions by Swiss counterfeiters. The likelihood of finding an exact match for this is small, regardless of where it was actually made. To have one made would alone probably cost rather more than the watch is worth, and if you add in the broken jewels and the other problems you mention it would certainly not be an economic proposition.

Regards,

Graham
I appreciate the response and the weclome!

What exactly differentiates an English from a Swiss lever?

As far as the watches condition Ill post some pictures. But it is definitely a mess and probably not a watch most would put any time or effort into. However this is my first time and I feel I should try my best to do what I can.

I also have no real concerns of financial gain since this is exclusively for my pleasure alone. Unless of course to have the part made would cost hundreds then I would just hold onto it until/if I found a donor movement.

The picture Im posting is the only one I have of it mostly assembled missing only the balance and balance cock.

20210714_155542.jpg
 

gmorse

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Jan 7, 2011
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Hi RotaryR1d3r,
What exactly differentiates an English from a Swiss lever?
Although this is a tangential lever, which most English levers were, its style is very typical of Swiss work, with the scroll counterbalance and very long thin lever with narrow pallet frame. There probably aren't any jewels in the pallets which will be hardened steel. The escape wheel is a 'club-tooth' or divided lift design.

It's not impossible that you could acquire a similar movement with a lever that would fit, (more or less), but these weren't made to an interchangeable standard and you could end up going through dozens of movements before finding a match. There were many many of these made after all.

Compare it with this English lever, with its horizontal jewels. The escape has ratchet teeth, therefore all the lift is on the pallets. Divided lift escapements aren't unknown in English work, but they're uncommon and those that do have this design are mostly from the end of the 19th century.

DSCF5327 - Copy.JPG

One aspect that both have in common is that the lever and the pallet frame are in two parts riveted together, so you should be able to punch out the rivets to separate them, which will enable you, or someone to whom you entrust the work, to make a replacement lever, a relatively easy task, keeping the original pallets and arbor. It will still cost if you send it out, but it's an easier part to make than the whole thing with pallets and arbor.

The layout of your movement, known generically as a 'Lepine' calibre, (after the French watchmaker who introduced the concept), is very common in Swiss and French movements, but only rarely found in English ones. Yours isn't by Lepine by the way, it's just a convenient way of classifying them.

Regards,

Graham
 
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RotaryR1d3r

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Aug 3, 2021
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Hi RotaryR1d3r,


Although this is a tangential lever, which most English levers were, its style is very typical of Swiss work, with the scroll counterbalance and very long thin lever with narrow pallet frame. There probably aren't any jewels in the pallets which will be hardened steel. The escape wheel is a 'club-tooth' or divided lift design.

It's not impossible that you could acquire a similar movement with a lever that would fit, (more or less), but these weren't made to an interchangeable standard and you could end up going through dozens of movements before finding a match. There were many many of these made after all.

Compare it with this English lever, with its horizontal jewels. The escape has ratchet teeth, therefore all the lift is on the pallets. Divided lift escapements aren't unknown in English work, but they're uncommon and those that do have this design are mostly from the end of the 19th century.

View attachment 666068

One aspect that both have in common is that the lever and the pallet frame are in two parts riveted together, so you should be able to punch out the rivets to separate them, which will enable you, or someone to whom you entrust the work, to make a replacement lever, a relatively easy task, keeping the original pallets and arbor. It will still cost if you send it out, but it's an easier part to make than the whole thing with pallets and arbor.

The layout of your movement, known generically as a 'Lepine' calibre, (after the French watchmaker who introduced the concept), is very common in Swiss and French movements, but only rarely found in English ones. Yours isn't by Lepine by the way, it's just a convenient way of classifying them.

Regards,

Graham
Wow, I really appreciate all the information. Youve been a fantastic help!
 

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