Help with Hamilton keyless works

Old Buzzard

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Please can anyone help? Please bear with me as I've never posted on any forum before now and it is with desperation that that I now beg for help. Be gentle with me.
I have been repairing pocket watches (mainly Ingersoll and various low end Swiss watches) for about 3 years and have now become obsessed with Waltham 16s size watches.
I have a the exact same problem with both my Walthams (a 7j Traveller and 17j Riverside). As the same problem is on both watches I am thinking that it is something very very dumb I am doing.
The problem is that the winding crown will not stay down in the winding position but imediately springs back up into the setting position.
When pressed down there is no locating click of the kind usually encountered with any other watch.
I have stripped and examined both keyless works mechanisms and compared to images found online for these and other movements and I find that they agree identically with other watches.
I have now studied the two mechanisms for a solid 12 hours and cannot understand how the crown locks into the lower winding position.
Please can anyone throw light on what is going on?
 

musicguy

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Welcome to the NAWCC Forum!

I am moving your question to our watch repair section.


Rob
 

viclip

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I take it that we are we talking about Walthams.

Are both movements currently uncased?

Photos would probably help or else please provide the serial numbers of your Waltham movements so we can verify their particulars.
 

musicguy

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Case sleeve?
 

Jim Haney

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Rob is correct that the stem will pop up if the SLEEVE is not adjusted to the proper depth. You will have to study sleeves and stems to see what you are asking about.

You will need a sleeve wrench to adjust this. All watches have a diffident depth on which the set position and wind position are activated.
 
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viclip

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Thanks Jim, to which I would add that one or more sleeve "fingers" could be damaged or missing thereby allowing the keyless works spring to overpower the remaining sleeve fingers thereby allowing the movement to enter its natural state of setting.

(assuming that these movements are housed in standard 16-size American type cases which indeed contain sleeves)
 
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Old Buzzard

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I take it that we are we talking about Walthams.

Are both movements currently uncased?

Photos would probably help or else please provide the serial numbers of your Waltham movements so we can verify their particulars.
Hi
I take it that we are we talking about Walthams.

Are both movements currently uncased?

Photos would probably help or else please provide the serial numbers of your Waltham movements so we can verify their particulars.
Hi Viclip - One watch (Waltham Traveller S/n 14692969) is a complete watch with its own case and is currently de-cased for investigation. When it originally arrived about a month ago, the crown did lock down but it sprung up very easily and randomly. The second Waltham (S/n 12511309) is a movement which I bought later and I am using the case from the traveller for testing purposes. The common factor in these two faults is the case. Does the winding stem and threaded bush / guide have any part in the locking / unlocking process?
 

Old Buzzard

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Rob is correct that the stem will pop up if the SLEEVE is not adjusted to the proper depth. You will have to study sleeves and stems to see what you are asking about.

You will need a sleeve wrench to adjust this. All watches have a diffident depth on which the set position and wind position are activated.
 

Old Buzzard

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Hi Jim. Please forgive my ignorance. I am guessing the sleeve is the bush / guide type device which sits in the case beneath the crown? From what you are saying it seems like this is the device that locks and unlocks the winding stem? As the case (I only have one case) is the common factor between the two movements, then what you are saying makes a great deal of sense. I will buy a sleeve tool and do some further investigation.
Many thanks for the help.
 

Skutt50

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Does the winding stem and threaded bush / guide have any part in the locking / unlocking process?
That is the thing... There is a sleeve mounted in the pendant that pinches the winding stem. The "locking into position" you are looking for is the pendant mounted sleeve holding the winding stem in position. The sleeve will slip on the stem and pinch it in setting or winding position. This sleeve is then screwed upp or down in the pendant to set the proper depth for the setting/winding to function properly.

The movement removed from the case will behave as you described i.e. will be in the setting position. Some movements have a function to set the movement is a service mode so the winding position will be engaged when out of the case. How this works varies from one movement to the other.....
 

viclip

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Both movements exhibiting the same issue when interchangeably housed in the same case pretty well indicates a sleeve/stem issue with the case:

- damaged or worn sleeve fingers
- maladjusted sleeve position
` mismatched sleeve/stem combination

The first & most obvious thing to look for are damaged or worn sleeve fingers. A good rough & dirty test is to determine, with the stem already pulled out in the setting position, whether pulling out on the crown some more will allow the stem to come completely out of the case. In my experience this is a fairly common fault because the sleeve fingers are springy & over time become work hardened & stress cracks develop resulting in loss of tension & breakage.

You may find the following link helpful,explaining the "Negative Set or 'American' Keyless Mechanism" which includes a sketch of the stem/sleeve contraption together with a brief explanation:

Sleeve/Stem System
 
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Old Buzzard

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Both movements exhibiting the same issue when interchangeably housed in the same case pretty well indicates a sleeve/stem issue with the case:

- damaged or worn sleeve fingers
- maladjusted sleeve position
` mismatched sleeve/stem combination

The first & most obvious thing to look for are damaged or worn sleeve fingers. A good rough & dirty test is to determine, with the stem already pulled out in the setting position, whether pulling out on the crown some more will allow the stem to come completely out of the case. In my experience this is a fairly common fault because the sleeve fingers are springy & over time become work hardened & stress cracks develop resulting in loss of tension & breakage.

You may find the following link helpful,explaining the "Negative Set or 'American' Keyless Mechanism" which includes a sketch of the stem/sleeve contraption together with a brief explanation:

Sleeve/Stem System
Thanks so much for the info' everybody. Since I am using the one case, it should have occured to me that this would be suspect.
I've ordered a sleeve wrench and a new sleeve which should be with me next week. I'm very impressed with the US watches and look forward to working on more.
Thanks again.
 
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viclip

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Here's a hopefully helpful hint based upon personal experience.

If you ever need to remove (or even play with the adjustment of the sleeve), before doing so use a Vernier caliper or other capable device, to measure the depth of the existng sleeve from the top of the pendant. If it turns out that the problem was a bad sleeve finger or a vertical crack in the body of the sleeve, then the sleeve was bad rather than its position i.e. adjustment level within the pendant. When installing the replacement sleeve do so to the same depth as the original one ~ in all likelihood the original adjustment was just fine & replicating the depthing will save you considerable time & irritation in trying to correctly relocate the replacement sleeve.
 

Old Buzzard

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Here's a hopefully helpful hint based upon personal experience.

If you ever need to remove (or even play with the adjustment of the sleeve), before doing so use a Vernier caliper or other capable device, to measure the depth of the existng sleeve from the top of the pendant. If it turns out that the problem was a bad sleeve finger or a vertical crack in the body of the sleeve, then the sleeve was bad rather than its position i.e. adjustment level within the pendant. When installing the replacement sleeve do so to the same depth as the original one ~ in all likelihood the original adjustment was just fine & replicating the depthing will save you considerable time & irritation in trying to correctly relocate the replacement sleeve.
Thanks for the tip, it is greatly appreciated. I will do exactly that and I'm beggining to realise that this is going to be a sensetive adjustment.
I have ordered a sleeving tool and a replacement sleeve - hopefully they will be with me next week. I will do the depth measurement and remove the old item for inspection (I have already removed the crown and stem). If it looks ok I will refit, but looking at it in situ, I think I will need to fit the new one.
 

viclip

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Since you have already removed the stem you really don't need to await the arrival of the special wrench tool to remove the sleeve. A suitably sized thin bladed screwdriver will do the trick (unless the sleeve is corroded in place in which situation the tool is helpful in as much as it provides 4 points of contact with the sleeve slots vs. just 2 provided by the screwdrive blade).

The other advantage of the special tool is that it allows the sleeve to be turned with the stem in place (the individual prongs are hollow). This is quite helpful during adjustment of a sleeve so you don't have to keep removing & replacing the stem while testing your latest setting.

Anyways it will be interesting to see the condition of the sleeve once removed.
 

Old Buzzard

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Since you have already removed the stem you really don't need to await the arrival of the special wrench tool to remove the sleeve. A suitably sized thin bladed screwdriver will do the trick (unless the sleeve is corroded in place in which situation the tool is helpful in as much as it provides 4 points of contact with the sleeve slots vs. just 2 provided by the screwdrive blade).

The other advantage of the special tool is that it allows the sleeve to be turned with the stem in place (the individual prongs are hollow). This is quite helpful during adjustment of a sleeve so you don't have to keep removing & replacing the stem while testing your latest setting.

Anyways it will be interesting to see the condition of the sleeve once removed.
I have the case soaking in diesel at the moment while I wait for the wrench and sleeve to arrive. Since the sleeve concept is new to me, I was going to try to improve my chances of succes by having the right bits in the right place at the right time. I'm also very affraid of damaging the case. I'm always very careful with new concepts because, with my luck, if it was raining soup I'd have a fork! I've Vernier checked the depth of the sleeve in readiness and I'll post some images when I manage the extraction. Hopefully I'll get an idea of any wear or damage by comparing to the new sleeve. Perhaps you would comment on the images because ideally I would like to refit the old sleeve if it's worth keeping. Could you say what (if anything) keeps the sleeve rotating in its threads and therefore the height setting moving during use? I was thinking of using a small amount of low force thread lock but I'm having second thoughts and I think it would probably be preferable to readjust if necessary? Many thanks.
 

viclip

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I'm glad you asked before applying any kind of sealant.

No sealant is necessary or desirable & none should have been used on your original sleeve.

The sleeves are held in by their own springiness applied against the female thread within the pendant. When you look inside the pendant from the top, you'll notice that there are 4 small slits visible around the circumference of the top or threaded portion of the sleeve. These slits effectively divide the threaded portion of the sleeve into 4 threaded prongs. These prongs are designed such that when the sleeve is screwed in, the threaded prongs compress, which they can do thanks to those slits. The outward radial springy force exerted by these threaded prongs raises sufficient frictional pressure against the female thread in the pendant, to keep the sleeve in place. In use there are no radial forces applied to the sleeve to speak of since when rotated the stem makes minimal contact with the sleeve (however it's a good idea to lightly lube the stem with non-melting grease to help smooth things out whenever the stem is moved in & out during setting)..

Those 4 slits also serve to function as the attachment points for a screwdriver or a special sleeve wrench when these sleeves are removed/installed &/or adjusted. Thus the slits are made just the right size to allow the threaded prongs to compress when the sleeve is installed, plus with enough extra room to accomodate a screwdriver blade or special tool.

Really quite ingenious little buggers.
 

Old Buzzard

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I'm glad you asked before applying any kind of sealant.

No sealant is necessary or desirable & none should have been used on your original sleeve.

The sleeves are held in by their own springiness applied against the female thread within the pendant. When you look inside the pendant from the top, you'll notice that there are 4 small slits visible around the circumference of the top or threaded portion of the sleeve. These slits effectively divide the threaded portion of the sleeve into 4 threaded prongs. These prongs are designed such that when the sleeve is screwed in, the threaded prongs compress, which they can do thanks to those slits. The outward radial springy force exerted by these threaded prongs raises sufficient frictional pressure against the female thread in the pendant, to keep the sleeve in place. In use there are no radial forces applied to the sleeve to speak of since when rotated the stem makes minimal contact with the sleeve (however it's a good idea to lightly lube the stem with non-melting grease to help smooth things out whenever the stem is moved in & out during setting)..

Those 4 slits also serve to function as the attachment points for a screwdriver or a special sleeve wrench when these sleeves are removed/installed &/or adjusted. Thus the slits are made just the right size to allow the threaded prongs to compress when the sleeve is installed, plus with enough extra room to accomodate a screwdriver blade or special tool.

Really quite ingenious little buggers.
Phew I'm glad I mentioned it! Great news (to me anyway) the sleeve tool has arrived along with a new sleeve. The tool breezed out the recumbent and diesel soaked sleeve and guess what............. As you have said, two of the four fingers are broken off and missing. As these broken parts were not found within the case when the movement was removed I have to assume that this was the way it was when I bought it. Not to worry because I have a replacement............Oh wait a moment, I've ordered the wrong one and it's too big! OK that's the next task I've attached a couple of images of the offending sleeve. When I find the correct replacement I'll fit it. Do you have any recommendations on where to find one? The outer thread diameter is 4.39mm ish by 5.63mm ish and the thread pitch seems to be about 0.33mm which translates to 77 tpi. As yet, I have no idea of whether or not this is a common size but I managed to find a wealth of Waltham factory produced parts books and other documents on an online document repository. I will pass on the link when I've gone back through my search history. Guess how I'm spending my weekend?
IMG_20221007_151646_480.jpg
IMG_20221007_151701_971.jpg
 

viclip

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Yup that sleeve is scrap however you might want to retain it as a specimen which you could send off to a sleeve supplier.

Hopefully folks here can direct you to someone who might be able to assist you with the proper sized sleeve. Alternatively if you can locate an identical scrap case you could cannabiiize it for the sleeve; perhaps just finding another case period that's in better condition would be a good option.

I should also mention that sleeve assortments both salvaged & NOS are available via online auctions. You may or may not get lucky. Especially worth pursuing if you see yourself dabbling with cases going forward.

If no one provides a referral to a sleeve supplier in the next few days then I'd suggest creating a new separate thread to better get peoples' attention.

Let us know the outcome ...
 
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