Help needed with balance wheel assembly

Cespain

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I'm working on my very first watch, a cheap one given to me by my nephew, and am trying to come to terms with the size of the parts compared to that of the few clocks that I have just started to try and repair.

I haven't yet disassembled the watch but just took off the balance bridge to examine the balance wheel and spring which both look ok. So I'm trying now to reinstall it and am l having great difficulty trying to engage the stud with the pallet fork - i hope these are the correct terms. So I'm looking for any advice on how best to do this. I attach two photos of the mechanism.

Thanks for any help.


20210623_150718.jpg 20210623_150647.jpg
 

Jerry Kieffer

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I'm working on my very first watch, a cheap one given to me by my nephew, and am trying to come to terms with the size of the parts compared to that of the few clocks that I have just started to try and repair.

I haven't yet disassembled the watch but just took off the balance bridge to examine the balance wheel and spring which both look ok. So I'm trying now to reinstall it and am l having great difficulty trying to engage the stud with the pallet fork - i hope these are the correct terms. So I'm looking for any advice on how best to do this. I attach two photos of the mechanism.

Thanks for any help.


View attachment 660044 View attachment 660045
One method as follows pretending the attached movement is your movement

With light tension on the mainspring, position the pallet per the red arrow against the banking pin.

When inserting the balance, position the roller jewel in the vicinity of the black arrow and rotate the bridge into position. This will rotate the roller jewel into the pallet fork. On first attempts ,you may need to try several times.

Jerry Kieffer
fullsizeoutput_865.jpeg
 
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Cespain

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Thanks Jerry. As you can see in the attached photo to my original post I haven't separated the bridge, spring and wheel so when I offer up the whole piece I can't see where the roller jewel is and if I move/rotate the piece the wheel bounces around on the spring and is difficult to locate in any particular position. Would it be wise to separate the pieces?
 

Jerry Kieffer

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Thanks Jerry. As you can see in the attached photo to my original post I haven't separated the bridge, spring and wheel so when I offer up the whole piece I can't see where the roller jewel is and if I move/rotate the piece the wheel bounces around on the spring and is difficult to locate in any particular position. Would it be wise to separate the pieces?
Unfortunately, we each have to develop our own procedures that work best for us as individuals. Personally, this is the most common method that I use with the balance attached to the bridge. While you can separate the balance and the bridge and in some cases you may need to, but it offers its own set of challenges. The roller jewel only needs to be in front of pallet fork to engage the fork as you rotate the bridge into position with, no need to touch the balance during installation. You can visually reference the roller jewel position by making note of the balance spoke that it is under during balance installation. The lower balance pivot should make contact with the lower balance jewel before rotating the bridge into position. This generally steadies the balance.

Hope this helps
Jerry Kieffer
 

Skutt50

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I do it the same way as Jerry described. Just that I excadurate the angle at which I hold the balance cock. I hold the cock so the impulse jewel starts at some 90 degrees from where the fork is. Most of the time this works fine but sometimes I have to try a second time before the movement ticks into life.....

On some movements the balance appears to be quite heavy in relation to the hairspring. In such case I lift the balance wheel and cock together with the tweezers and place the balance in the jewel. I don't want to risk streaching the hairspring out of shape with my not 100% stedy hands..... If the impulse jewel does not end up on the correct side, I try again and eventually it works.

I don't separate the balance wheel from the cock except for some special movements. Often the stud is not slipping into the cock easily and to try to do this with the balance bridge in place is not what I want. Also the stud is often located over a spock of the balance wheel and there is not always enough space, so you have to get hold of the stud and then turn the balance wheel to get enough clearance to insert the stud. Not what I enjoy.....
 

Cespain

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Thanks for all the advice guys. I'll keep at it. I think it might be easier if I remove the mechanism from the case but I can't see a way of releasing the stem. Any ideas. I attach a 20210624_122042.jpg photo of the watch again which might help identify how to do it.
 

Cespain

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Eventually got the stem out and also managed to replace the balance wheel correctly. Unfortunately the watch is still not working. I can't see anything obviously broken or missing and the parts look fairly clean. So I know it's a difficult question but any suggestions as to possible causes?
 

Skutt50

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any suggestions as to possible causes
There could be a long list of possible causes ..........

In order to narrow it down you could do the following:
1 - Reinstal the stem.
2 - Use the stem to let down the mainspring.
3 - Remove the balance
4 - Remove the pallet fork

At this point you should know if the mainspring is broken or not.

Now give the stem a small wind and observe if the gear train in moving smoothly. If not you have a problem in the gear train. It can be anything from a broken or bent tooth on a wheel to a broken jewel, a snapped off pivot, some foregin object jammed in the gear train or even corrosion, dert or other debree.
Remedy: A full tear down, cleaning and inspection is needed.

If the gear train is running smooth clean and inspect the pallet fork. If ok reinstall. With the mainspring let down the fork should fall from one side to the other if you tilt the movement. Turn the crown a turn or two and check if the fork is snapping between its end positions if you give it a gentle push.

If OK remove the fork and install the balance. Does it swing nicely for half a minute or more if you give it a small push?

By now you should have found something not working properly. Report back and we might be able to give further suggestions.
 

Skutt50

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Put some preassure on the mainspring, lift the mainspring barrel click and turn the crown backwards untill the mainspring is all let down.
 

Cespain

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Sorry but I can't locate the barrel click. I have done this before on another watch and the click was obvious but not in this case.
 

Skutt50

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Look at what looks like a metal bar across the barrel. When you wind the watch this bar should move, click and and lock the barrel untill fully wound.
 
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roughbarked

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This movement has a propensity to break one of the crown wheel winding train teeth or more.
It may be that the manual winding sysem does not function properly. It may also be that there are teeth floating around in the movement. The spring/click has an arrow pointing at it. If you wish, you can remove the triple slotted screw which has a right hand thread and disconnect the transmission wheel under it. The mainspring wind and let down can then be controlled with a screwdriver on the barrel arbor screw in centre of yellow ratchet wheel. Care that the screw may break if too much pressure is applied. Also, before you do anything, use the screwdriver in the ratchet wheel screw/arbor screw, to wind the watch a few turns to see if that's why it doesn't work. You should also be able to see if there are any crown wheel teeth missing.

20210624_122042.jpg
 
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