Changing PW case stems? Possible?

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Beetlebug, Feb 10, 2006.

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  1. Beetlebug

    Beetlebug Registered User

    Dec 5, 2002
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    Hi,
    I would appreciate if anyone could give me a clue on my problem. I bought a 16s NOS case recently but didn't notice that it didn't have the common male stem but instead had a female stem. It's an older case and I've seen later pocket watches with this but I wasn't expecting it in this example.

    My question is can this stem be changed out for a more common male one? I've got several similar cases with stems that could be use but I don't know if this can be done (and who could do it for that matter.)

    Thanks for any help!
    T. Overfield
     
  2. Beetlebug

    Beetlebug Registered User

    Dec 5, 2002
    33
    0
    0
    Hi,
    I would appreciate if anyone could give me a clue on my problem. I bought a 16s NOS case recently but didn't notice that it didn't have the common male stem but instead had a female stem. It's an older case and I've seen later pocket watches with this but I wasn't expecting it in this example.

    My question is can this stem be changed out for a more common male one? I've got several similar cases with stems that could be use but I don't know if this can be done (and who could do it for that matter.)

    Thanks for any help!
    T. Overfield
     
  3. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

    Aug 27, 2000
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    Calgary, Alberta
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    Hi,

    I will try to answer your question based on the image in my mind of the case you are referring to.

    The original movement for this case was likely a lever set which meant there was no need to be able to pull the crown out in order to activate the setting mechanism. Hence, these cases most often have no sleeve, and no thread inside the pendant to screw a sleeve into. Stem setting requires a sleeve both to retain the stem, and to enable the activating of the setting mechanism. A lot of these cases have a small set screw that screws into the pendant from the side, and which holds the crown and female stem in place. So, if I am right about your case, I know of no way you'll be able to convert it other than to graft a later model pendant with sleeve onto the case.
     
  4. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User

    Oct 18, 2001
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    If the watch you intend to put in the case is lever set then the simple solution would be to
    extend the female stem with a "male" piece. Find or make a squared piece that fits into the current stem tightly and tap it into the old stem. Be sure there is enough sticking out that can be filed to fit the watch you are putting in.
    -Cort
     
  5. Beetlebug

    Beetlebug Registered User

    Dec 5, 2002
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    Thanks guys for all the info. Doug, you were right on the money with what you said. The case is how you described it. Cort, my watch repair person suggested the same thing you did: square off a metal "interim" piece that would fit into the movement.

    I am curious about one thing: What 16s lever set watches needed a case with a female stem? Anyone know?

    Thanks again,
    Tom
     
  6. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Aug 25, 2000
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    Geologist - California Geological Survey
    Los Angeles, CA
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    Elgin and Waltham both made "16" size watches that took a female stem. However the Walthams, and perhaps the Elgins, are not the later standard 16-size -- they are slightly larger. If your case is for one of these earlier models it might be a mistake to modify it in any way to fit a later 16-size movement. Good empty cases for the earlier models are not common and I suspect there are many who would be glad to trade a standard 16-size case for yours. Can you tell us the brand name and markings in your case?
     
  7. Beetlebug

    Beetlebug Registered User

    Dec 5, 2002
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    Jerry,
    I've placed a 16s movement into this case and it does seem the right size. The only thing is it doesn't "seat" quite right. This was a Hampden movement and the lever cut out was exactly in the right place for it. The case is marked "Philidelphia Watch Case Co" circling a royal crown. Under that is "Silverode". Serial is 5x1878 where the "x" seems to be a poor stamp so you only have a partial number.

    In style it doesn't look very early. No big pumpkin crown etc.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
    -Tom
     

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