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H. L. Matile Locle Pocket Watch with broken pallet fork

jjwillett4

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Feb 19, 2015
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I have a H. L. Matile Locle watch c. 1865 that has a broken pallet fork and is missing the bar that covers the fork and screw.

I've been told by 3 jewelers that this is a very difficult piece to find and they can't help me.

I am looking for suggestions how to either find this piece or buy a derelict watch of similar vintage for parts.

Any advice or suggestions would be very much appreciated.




. xyzzytom_252375
 
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PW&C

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Feb 18, 2014
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I recently had an A. Matile pocket watch that I had to turn a custom balance staff for and grind a pallet jewel to fit. It was an older model than yours so I'm thinking maybe this was made by a son or some other relative.

Watches like this were hand made and made-to-fit replacement parts are not available however, I have see Matile watches come up on eBay from time to time and if you don't mind the cost involved almost any part can be custom formed by a skilled craftsman. If you want to break down the watch a little more for a better picture that might help.
 
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Dr. Jon

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Welcome the the NAWCC board and we really want to help.

I do not believe it to be a particularly hard part to find. An exact replacement very unlikely, but a workable and functional part probably not so hard. The problem is that it takes time to go through parts and make adjustments and time whether spent making a part or cleaning a high end modern watch is money.

A watch repairer to make a decent living would spend at least half a day in this assuming they had a parts watch in hand and to break even they would have to charge well over $500. This assumes that the arbor on the replacement lever is the right length and pivot size. If not add another several hundred to fit up and or make a new arbor.

This was a fairly standard type movement. These parts were made by specialty makers although perhaps not when your watch was made. It is possible to restore this watch but not economically viable.

That these parts are missing suggests that someone has botched this and there could well be other issues. This kind of damage occurs on a bench not in wear. If you were into this hobby enough to have a long relationship with a good repairer they might take it on but it's a bad risk without such a relationship. To do it the shop would have to keep you waiting a long time, invest time they could use to make a lot more money and risk you not collecting it.

If you can post a picture of the lever I will look to see if I have one that might do.


Matile was a superb maker and yours is a very high grade watch. This kind of thing is heart break.

This is why a lot of us do our own repairs.
 

Dr. Jon

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There may not be an issue with the lever. It depends on the type of roller the watch has. This style had both double rollers and single rollers. The high grade single roller has a knife edge on its end rather than a fork.

We need to see photo of the end of the lever under the balance wheel. Removing and replacing a balance wheel is not difficulty if you know what you are doign but you can break it if you are careless or do not know how to do this.

Perhaps hakonrs can get some photos of the ends of his levers.
 

jjwillett4

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Feb 19, 2015
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IMG_2937.JPG IMG_2938.JPG IMG_2939.JPG Thanks to everyone for your responses ... although I am simply an owner and some of your questions are quite over my feeble understanding. Per some of your requests i did take the watch to a jeweler and had the broken piece removed and photographed. If these pics provide any additional suggestions I would welcome one and all! :)
 

astonvilla

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Jun 3, 2001
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It is possible that I have the parts , but I need to know the size of the movement .

H Sandstrom
 

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