hairspring collet

0132joshua

Registered User
Dec 24, 2015
158
7
18
Country
hi, i have a hairspring which matches one which is broken, the trouble is the the collect is to small in diameter to fit the balance staff, what is the best method to enlarge the inside diameter , without removing hair spring, as it looks rubbed in and most likely break. or do i turn down the balance staff, cheers
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
12,765
2,310
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi 0132joshua,
...or do i turn down the balance staff, cheers
Certainly not, the new part should be made to fit the original movement; doing it the other way round can lead you, (and others who may work on this watch), down a rabbit hole of increasing complexity.

Balance springs are usually pinned into the centre collet, but if the pin has been trimmed off really close, it can be hard to see where the pin is.

If the collet is only slightly too small, you could try running it along a lubricated smoothing broach to expand it, but you must be careful not too go too far and crack it. If it's really too small but there's enough metal to play with, if you have a watchmaker's lathe you could hold it in a suitable wire collet and broach out the centre, but this is very delicate work.

Regards,

Graham
 

darrahg

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Dec 22, 2006
1,563
672
113
Houston
Country
Region
There are a few options for solving this problem but the more correct solution would be to replace the collet on to the original hair spring. However, I have a method that will answer your specific question about enlarging the collet opening as I have done this a few times. That is, there is a tool made by Bergeon (#3007) that is a vice made for attaching hair springs to collets and it can be used to hold a collet while enlarging its opening with a broach. See the pics.
HS collet tool Bergeon 3007 top.JPG HS tool Bergeon 3007 side.JPG IMG_6592 (2).JPG
Using a collet (not the same as a hs collet) of an appropriate size with a watchmaker lathe can also be used with some difficulty for enlarging the opening.

Keep in mind that hair springs and balance wheels are mated together and switching a hair spring might necessitate adjustment of the balance wheel if you want accuracy. Best wishes on your project.
 

0132joshua

Registered User
Dec 24, 2015
158
7
18
Country
hi, i have a hairspring which matches one which is broken, the trouble is the the collect is to small in diameter to fit the balance staff, what is the best method to enlarge the inside diameter , without removing hair spring, as it looks rubbed in and most likely break. or do i turn down the balance staff, cheers
hi, thanks for you reply, yes turning down the balance shaft not a good idea, seems easy solution though, as you say i have a small lathe to cope with, here we go, try holding it in a chuck. cheers
 

0132joshua

Registered User
Dec 24, 2015
158
7
18
Country
There are a few options for solving this problem but the more correct solution would be to replace the collet on to the original hair spring. However, I have a method that will answer your specific question about enlarging the collet opening as I have done this a few times. That is, there is a tool made by Bergeon (#3007) that is a vice made for attaching hair springs to collets and it can be used to hold a collet while enlarging its opening with a broach. See the pics.
View attachment 662617 View attachment 662618 View attachment 662619
Using a collet (not the same as a hs collet) of an appropriate size with a watchmaker lathe can also be used with some difficulty for enlarging the opening.

Keep in mind that hair springs and balance wheels are mated together and switching a hair spring might necessitate adjustment of the balance wheel if you want accuracy. Best wishes on your project.
wow thats great tool, not seen one of them before, dont think i will find any time soon, great information on the tool, looks like i am going to go for it held in a chuck/ lathe, cheer
 

Brunod

Registered User
Jun 8, 2021
37
31
18
Belgium, french speaking part
Country
Here is an older one (down). It's a table with a lever to open the spring and set the collet in the hole. Usually cheaper than the new one. OutilViroles.jpg
 

Jerry Kieffer

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
May 31, 2005
2,997
589
113
wisconsin
Country
hi, i have a hairspring which matches one which is broken, the trouble is the the collect is to small in diameter to fit the balance staff, what is the best method to enlarge the inside diameter , without removing hair spring, as it looks rubbed in and most likely break. or do i turn down the balance staff, cheers
My personal method is to mount the hairspring collet in a collet holding tool post and drill it out per attached photo. The collet holds the hairspring collet securely even under light collet tension, For reasons of additional caution, I drill the hole with a number of smaller drills and work my way up to the desired size since the procedure is quick and secure .

Jerry Kieffer

fullsizeoutput_894.jpeg
 
  • Like
Reactions: Old Rivers

DeweyC

NAWCC Member
Feb 5, 2007
2,520
1,090
113
Baltimore
www.historictimekeepers.com
Country
My personal method is to mount the hairspring collet in a collet holding tool post and drill it out per attached photo. The collet holds the hairspring collet securely even under light collet tension, For reasons of additional caution, I drill the hole with a number of smaller drills and work my way up to the desired size since the procedure is quick and secure .

Jerry Kieffer

View attachment 662781
Without removing the balance spring, centrifugal force will destroy the spring. Graham told you how to go. My question is: if the collet does not match it is from a different balance assembly. How do you know the balance spring "matches".
 
  • Like
Reactions: roughbarked

Jerry Kieffer

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
May 31, 2005
2,997
589
113
wisconsin
Country
Without removing the balance spring, centrifugal force will destroy the spring. Graham told you how to go. My question is: if the collet does not match it is from a different balance assembly. How do you know the balance spring "matches".
For anyone who may not have noticed in the photo in post #7, the hairspring collet is held stationary in the tool post collet holder to protect the hairspring and the drill is rotated by the lathe spindle. While this was posted as a option to the OP`s question, its also a secure and sound procedure if required when fitting a hairspring collet to a balance that is to be Vibrated . By drilling the collet, sizing can be predetermined and assured.

In the past, repair shops offered hairspring replacement services, but are almost gone today. However, if equipped with a vibrating tool per attached photo, its possible in some cases to find hairsprings that can be vibrated to a particular balance. There are many videos of the procedure online.

Jerry Kieffer

fullsizeoutput_895.jpeg
 

DeweyC

NAWCC Member
Feb 5, 2007
2,520
1,090
113
Baltimore
www.historictimekeepers.com
Country
For anyone who may not have noticed in the photo in post #7, the hairspring collet is held stationary in the tool post collet holder to protect the hairspring and the drill is rotated by the lathe spindle. While this was posted as a option to the OP`s question, its also a secure and sound procedure if required when fitting a hairspring collet to a balance that is to be Vibrated . By drilling the collet, sizing can be predetermined and assured.

In the past, repair shops offered hairspring replacement services, but are almost gone today. However, if equipped with a vibrating tool per attached photo, its possible in some cases to find hairsprings that can be vibrated to a particular balance. There are many videos of the procedure online.

Jerry Kieffer

View attachment 662941
it ain't quite that simple.

Once you have been trained in colleting and pinning by making up balance springs for the 2892, you understand the futility of trying to "fit" balance springs. When I returned from Switzerland I sold my vibrator and my stock of balance spring assortments. And I well understand the CGS system for balance springs.

While it is simpler to fit a flat spring like that of the 2892 than a Breguet, both REQUIRE knowledge of the pattern to be used for the spring. In class we were given that pattern and it still took us a month to make a useable spring. Tony Simonin told us how when he first went to work at Omega in the 1960s it took him an entire summer to learn how to make a spring that could be used in a watch.

Of course, I am not talking about simply making a watch tick. I am talking about springs that return a watch to correct function (position performance).

As Samelius said back in the 1940s, "It is one thing to "repair" a watch; but it is another to adjust it".

As for the old time fitters; I only read about them in what are today known to be questionable sources. If it took Tony a summer to learn how to make a spring for ONE caliber with the maker's specs, how could one guy make springs for a variety of watches? Something does not line up.

Even George Daniels got his balance springs from Hamilton already made (992B). And I am no George Daniels, just a decent mechanic.

Anyone can fit a spring to make a wheel oscillate at a given frequency in one position. It is the simple problem faced by makers of pendulum clocks. But watches take up more positions than 12 up or dial up. And a precision watch like a RR watch must keep the same rate within 6 seconds across 6 positions (or 10 if you use the 1/8 vertical positions).

If a balance spring needs to be replaced, and the watch justifies it, the only recourse is to find a donor movement. You will still have to adjust the system for positional performance, but at least the spring and balance wheel were within factory specs for a match.

If a collet is destroyed and the spring still good (a common problem caused by material fatigue, the use of incorrectly sized staffs, or overstressing by repairers who are naive), then learn how to unpin the collet and replace with a correctly sized collet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Brunod

Jerry Kieffer

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
May 31, 2005
2,997
589
113
wisconsin
Country
If the OP has a Chronometer he or she is regulating for competition, I would agree that adjusting and regulating can be a long hard road.

However, lets assume the watch is a vintage watch where no parts are available and is of good quality and good condition. Under these conditions, it is likely that a properly selected non original hairspring could be vibrated to the original balance as mentioned in post #7. In the 70`s and early 80`s I had a outfit in New York replace several hairsprings without issue and the movements were regulated to original Spec.as part of normal servicing adjustment. Well, there was that one that had other issues.

Jerry Kieffer
 
  • Like
Reactions: John Runciman

DeweyC

NAWCC Member
Feb 5, 2007
2,520
1,090
113
Baltimore
www.historictimekeepers.com
Country
If the OP has a Chronometer he or she is regulating for competition, I would agree that adjusting and regulating can be a long hard road.

However, lets assume the watch is a vintage watch where no parts are available and is of good quality and good condition. Under these conditions, it is likely that a properly selected non original hairspring could be vibrated to the original balance as mentioned in post #7. In the 70`s and early 80`s I had a outfit in New York replace several hairsprings without issue and the movements were regulated to original Spec.as part of normal servicing adjustment. Well, there was that one that had other issues.

Jerry Kieffer
The OP asked a very specific question to which Graham gave a very appropriate answer.

Like I said, even a simple piece like an ETA 2892 requires knowledge of the factory pattern. And it is a fallacy to state that someone actually could ever make a useable spring for any watch model as you so commented. That does not square with reality.

This forum is read by people trying to learn proper ways to do things. And it WILL be read by learners in the future.

If, as you now state, your goal is to only make the watch tick, why did you present your method without caveats? Is that fair to those trying to learn?

While I know your intent was to avoid dealing with recolleting (drilling out a collet with the spring still pinned). Just because the right approach takes skill and knowledge is not a good reason to take shortcuts that may well defraud a paying customer.

It is more valuable to explain the skills required to do the job properly and to tell people that if they do not have those skills that they should refer the job to someone else. We ALL have limits. For example, I send all my casework to Bill in Florida. I handed back non functional quartz watches in class. I do not offer current case sealing standards.

It is very possible someone would take your suggestion, apply it to a real job and brag to the customer what a wonderful watchmaker he/she is while in reality he engaged in vandalism.

I do not understand why, on top of leaving out your current caveat that it is a shortcut intended to merely make the watch tick, you did not caution that IF this approach is taken, the owner MUST be consulted beforehand with the explanation that others are able to the job properly.

And what are the ethics of doing this to your own watch which you sell 5 years later? Do you inform the buyer?

It is important to think about the implications of what is written here.
 
  • Love
Reactions: roughbarked

roughbarked

Registered User
Dec 2, 2016
6,372
924
113
Western NSW or just this side of the black stump.
Country
Region
hi, i have a hairspring which matches one which is broken, the trouble is the the collect is to small in diameter to fit the balance staff, what is the best method to enlarge the inside diameter , without removing hair spring, as it looks rubbed in and most likely break. or do i turn down the balance staff, cheers
Clearly your hairspring does not match if the collet is wrong.
 

Jerry Kieffer

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
May 31, 2005
2,997
589
113
wisconsin
Country
The OP asked a very specific question to which Graham gave a very appropriate answer.

Like I said, even a simple piece like an ETA 2892 requires knowledge of the factory pattern. And it is a fallacy to state that someone actually could ever make a useable spring for any watch model as you so commented. That does not square with reality.

This forum is read by people trying to learn proper ways to do things. And it WILL be read by learners in the future.

If, as you now state, your goal is to only make the watch tick, why did you present your method without caveats? Is that fair to those trying to learn?

While I know your intent was to avoid dealing with recolleting (drilling out a collet with the spring still pinned). Just because the right approach takes skill and knowledge is not a good reason to take shortcuts that may well defraud a paying customer.

It is more valuable to explain the skills required to do the job properly and to tell people that if they do not have those skills that they should refer the job to someone else. We ALL have limits. For example, I send all my casework to Bill in Florida. I handed back non functional quartz watches in class. I do not offer current case sealing standards.

It is very possible someone would take your suggestion, apply it to a real job and brag to the customer what a wonderful watchmaker he/she is while in reality he engaged in vandalism.

I do not understand why, on top of leaving out your current caveat that it is a shortcut intended to merely make the watch tick, you did not caution that IF this approach is taken, the owner MUST be consulted beforehand with the explanation that others are able to the job properly.

And what are the ethics of doing this to your own watch which you sell 5 years later? Do you inform the buyer?

It is important to think about the implications of what is written here.
I make every effort to clearly explained and illustrate my posts. You can critique them if you wish , but I suspect almost all are intelligent enough to evaluate them for themselves.

However I can explain further.

In the past hairsprings have been commercially produced for replacement by those who specialized in this service. No one said an individual made each hairspring as they were needed. Many of these people were highly skilled, You should look into it.

My reference to adjusting and timing a particular watch to spec. means that the watch has been timed within the limits specified by the maker when it left the shop or manufacturer. At one time I also thought I could turn a timex into a Patek but lucky realized I would only have a Timex. I now collect Pateks. Best investments I have ever made.

Personally, I am also concerned about people who may read this in the future with the collet comment a good example.

If a person wishes to replace a unavailable hairspring with a close commercial match that will vibrate, there is nothing lost in evaluating the result.
If the collet happens to be slightly undersized, to suggest that the collet be replaced If it can be safely and securely enlarged in the same manner as it was manufactured, makes no sense. I certainly have no issue replacing a collet and have publicly demonstrated it at the Milwaukee National and in class. If a collet replacement is required, its required, but why suggest a person who may not be skilled risk damage that can be done, if its not required.

We could certainly discuss each others vandalism but it would serve no purpose.

For those who read these forums now and in the future and are serious about horological repair, I would suggest that Demonstrations and work examples will often sort out fact from fiction. While its almost always an inconvenience, its worth every moment of time and expense.

Jerry Kieffer
 
  • Like
Reactions: Old Rivers and Bila

roughbarked

Registered User
Dec 2, 2016
6,372
924
113
Western NSW or just this side of the black stump.
Country
Region
I make every effort to clearly explained and illustrate my posts.
At one time I also thought I could turn a timex into a Patek but lucky realized I would only have a Timex. I now collect Pateks. Best investments I have ever made.

We could certainly discuss each others vandalism but it would serve no purpose.

For those who read these forums now and in the future and are serious about horological repair, I would suggest that Demonstrations and work examples will often sort out fact from fiction. While its almost always an inconvenience, its worth every moment of time and expense.

Jerry Kieffer
I hear you.
Nobody said these things could not be done.
I have no idea why you would want to argue with DeweyC about it though.
 

DeweyC

NAWCC Member
Feb 5, 2007
2,520
1,090
113
Baltimore
www.historictimekeepers.com
Country
I hear you.
Nobody said these things could not be done.
I have no idea why you would want to argue with DeweyC about it though.
Roughbarked,

It takes two to argue and my simple goal is to have this poster provide full disclosure. Which is what happened. "So it goes." (KV)
 
  • Like
Reactions: roughbarked

0132joshua

Registered User
Dec 24, 2015
158
7
18
Country
wow thats great tool, not seen one of them before, dont think i will find any time soon, great information on the tool, looks like i am going to go for it held in a chuck/ lathe, cheer
Roughbarked,

It takes two to argue and my simple goal is to have this poster provide full disclosure. Which is what happened. "So it goes." (KV)
hi, great many reply to hairspring issues , it is now back to life and keeping decent time, the story, obtained donor movement, yet again, hair spring snapped to short, stuff this i thought, time for action, measured dia of staffs, original 0.80 donor 0.70, cheap mass produced i presume. looking through my bucket of duff watches i found a lot bfg 866 movements, look good i thought. donor movement staff 0.70, bfg 866 collect inside dia just under 0.70, rather than rework collet, i dont have a tool to hold it, and removing hair spring from collect, not for me, donor staff mounted in lathe, fine emery polished the required amount down, very fine touch indeed, the bfg hair spring looked the same dimensions as the snapped hairspring, bfg hairspring and collet fitted, another one saved which may have gone into the duff watch bucket.
 

John Runciman

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Aug 13, 2003
501
84
28
Seattle, WA
Country
Region
In the past, repair shops offered hairspring replacement services, but are almost gone today.
I was researching something in past publications stumble across some advertisements you might find them interesting. Especially the bigger one if you go to the bottom of the fine print obviously this person knows something about hairsprings..

hs v 2.JPG hs v 1.JPG
 

Jerry Kieffer

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
May 31, 2005
2,997
589
113
wisconsin
Country
I was researching something in past publications stumble across some advertisements you might find them interesting. Especially the bigger one if you go to the bottom of the fine print obviously this person knows something about hairsprings..

View attachment 665146 View attachment 665147
John
Thanks for the note and Ads, it brings back memories.

The person that I used, is of course long gone.
However my experience with this person was much like the testimonials in the Ad where nothing was ever a problem or an excuse.

A very nice and helpful person who suggested the exact brand and model when I purchased the Vibrating tool pictured in post #10. Its performance has been flawless.

Thanks again
Jerry Kieffer
 

praezis

Registered User
Feb 11, 2008
528
52
28
Germany
Country
Region
Dewey,

could you please disclose your mentioned "factory patterns"?
What is their mystery beyond the known hairspring rules like size, windings number, pinning angle?

Frank
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jerry Kieffer

Forum statistics

Threads
168,195
Messages
1,466,874
Members
48,160
Latest member
HIltonD
Encyclopedia Pages
1,060
Total wiki contributions
2,955
Last update
-