Elgin Culver, question to the knowledgable

Bernhard J.

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Jan 10, 2022
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Hi,

Today I received the Culver and I really love it. The coin silver case is really massive also, amazing, never had a "simple" (= without complications) pocket watch being this heavy before. The movement seems to be in perfect order also, large amplitude in all positions, and running precisely (checked with a modern chronograph and looking at the seconds hand over half an hour).

But. The minute hand and the hour hand do not move a single bit. Interestingly the minute hand or the cannon pinion on which it sits is not loose. Very strange. Because if the movement runs so nicely, the central wheel naturally must revolve and, consequently, the cannon pinion and motionwork have no choice other than to move along (?). If the cannon pinion were loose, then the minute hand would rotate more or less freely, but the opposite is the case, it seems very stiff and I do not dare to try to turn it with more than appropiate (low) force.

How can that be?

I will presumably need to have a look at the motionwork and to remove the dial for this. I instantly (in office) removed the movement from the case and had to notice that if one is familiar with European watch movements, this means nothing in respect to American movements. :D

Since it is a full plate movement, it is not surprising that one see no means how the dial is fixed. Looking at the movement sideways does not give any hint either, since it is surrounded by what we know from English watches as dust rings. But other than in English dust rings, I see no instant means for removing the dust ring. So I put the movement back in the case and decided to ask people who know, before I do stupid things.

Upon a closer look at the dust ring it is made of two half-rings. Each seems riveted to a part outside the barrel. This part can only be removed, if the barrel bridge is removed. Can this be?

Is there perhaps some kind of exploded view of this movement showing how the various components are arranged? If not, could someone be so kind to provide a step by step instruction how to get access to the motionwork? I am quite sure that the problem is rather easy to solve. If one knows how to get there :emoji_grimacing:

Many thanks in advance,

Cheers, Bernhard
 

John Pavlik

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Dec 30, 2001
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Bernhard, the dust rings slid in grooves.. loosen the screw at the end of the dust ring and unhook it.. then slid the thin
ring out of the grooves.. the 3 dial feet, are pinned ... on some "newer" mdls one foot could have a set screw in the dial plate ..
 
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Nathan Moore

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Dec 29, 2011
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Upon a closer look at the dust ring it is made of two half-rings. Each seems riveted to a part outside the barrel. This part can only be removed, if the barrel bridge is removed. Can this be?

Is there perhaps some kind of exploded view of this movement showing how the various components are arranged? If not, could someone be so kind to provide a step by step instruction how to get access to the motionwork? I am quite sure that the problem is rather easy to solve. If one knows how to get there :emoji_grimacing:
Follow the instructions John Pavlik provided.

The patent documentation and illustrations for the "dust-excluder" might help:
 
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Bernhard J.

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Thank you both, now I got it, I love patent drawings, that is really interesting. However, in my watch there is no screw, just friction fit. If one pushes where the arrow is to the left, the right half-ring slides to the left and out of the groove. The same in opposite directions with the left half ring. How fancy is this, I love such designs!

Dust ring.jpg

Handling pins will be familiar territory (even if they are stubborn) :D

Any idea about a really well running movement, but with rock solid cannon pinion? Anyway, I will have to and will find out.
 
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Bernhard J.

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The riddle is solved. The wheel, which carries the hour hand, in German called hour wheel, was solid with the cannon pinion. The cannon pinion in turn a quite loose fit on the axis of the center wheel (in German minute wheel, here it is the second wheel?). In consequence the motionwork was blocked and the center wheel turned more or less free of the blocked cannon pinion, thus the hands doing nothing, although the movement was running fine. This should be an easy fix, I will polish the outer circumference of the cannon pinion and the base thereof, and tighten it up a tiny bit. And see whether the inner surface of the hour wheel needs some finishing, presumably yes.

Here is evidence that the disassembly happened. Those pins in the dial feet really are tiny, I am happy that I did not lose one :cool:

L1030087.JPG
 

gmorse

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Hi Bernhard,
in German minute wheel, here it is the second wheel?
Yes, because it's the one after the first, or great, wheel, on the barrel or fusee.

Those pins in the dial feet really are tiny, I am happy that I did not lose one
That shouldn't be a problem since all taper pins should be replaced as part of a service anyway.

Regards,

Graham
 
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John Pavlik

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Bernard, sorry about the ”screw”, If I remember correctly, Early Hamptons are the ones with the screw holding the bands, with a solid piece fitted around the mainspring barrel… Another interesting movement dust band style ….
 
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Bernhard J.

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That shouldn't be a problem since all taper pins should be replaced as part of a service anyway.
Hi Graham,

Sorry for the presumably stupid question, but why should one generally replace taper pins? In the past I have frequently reused them, if they looked fine. I know that hard brass easily breaks, so bending of pins is not a good idea, pins in need of bending should indeed be replaced. I generally do not mount them with such high forces that they are deformed significantly.

Perhaps I am just lazy. Making proper pins is not a job of just a few minutes, even if prefabricated tapered pins are used ...

Best, Bernhard
 

gmorse

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Hi Bernhard,

I always replace taper pins, whatever their state. If I see a watch that purports to be serviced with old pins in it, I immediately have doubts about what else has been done, (or more importantly, not done), as part of the service. I regard them as consumables and it's the matter of a few moments to try fresh ones in place, mark the lengths, trim with flush cutters and neatly round off the cut ends. It finishes off a clean and functioning watch.

A bonus is that it's much quicker to remove old pins if you don't have to worry about preserving them.

Regards,

Graham
 
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