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Mechanical WW How to clean a vintage 30s Ingersoll Mickey Mouse watch

jimtone

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Dec 28, 2011
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I'm trying this for the first time and want to know what to soak the mechanism parts in?
 

giannis1967

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Oct 6, 2010
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Usually these movements are design not to be open, you can gently remove the movement from the case and put in Zippo fluid and use a soft brush to clean it, just carefull not to touch the hairspring, dry it and usually it will work.
 

4thdimension

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Oct 18, 2001
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I clean these the same as any watch. Ingersoll used three basic movements for Mickeys in the U.S. in the 30s all are similar to repair. The hands on these require care when removing as they are painted. The dials are held on by small tabs which have to be slightly bent to remove them. Keep all cleaner and lubricants away from the dial or it will stain the paper. You need to let down the mainspring before removing the barrel bridge. The balance requires extra care as well because the hairspring is thin, flimsy and easily bent.
These watches are not complicated but they can be fussy. Use some caution and you'll do just fine.-Cort
 

jimtone

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Dec 28, 2011
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Are you also suggesting I soak the disassembled parts in Naptha or lighter fluid? Do I soak the mainspring also? I've always heard that soaking and cleaning the mechanism without disassembly is bad for the long term health of the watch? If the hairspring is bent or snagged at one end, can it be repaired or straightened or will I need a donor for replacement?
 

Kevin W.

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Apr 11, 2002
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Jim depends on your experience if you are used to working on watches, taking them apart, try it. If you are a newbie i would not take it apart and use the soak method. hair springs can be straightened , sometimes if badly damaged then replaced.
 

jimtone

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Dec 28, 2011
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Replacement hairsprings would be available as new or new old stock or would they have to be taken from an original mechanism of same brand, style and vintage? If the spring is not very mangled and just slightly snagged, would it have to be sent to someone to straighten or is there a method that can be viewed or learned here? I am a new beginner in this and have been exposed to watch repairs by a friend that no longer lives near.
 

technitype

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Feb 19, 2012
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These movements are in the same class as alarm-clocks, and Timex pin-lever movements.

Since it is inadvisable to dis-assemble these movements, you should DEFINITELY NOT use water-based cleaning solutions...there is too much danger of rusting the steel parts.

Other than that, ordinary cleaning and rinsing solutions will work well.
 

jimtone

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Dec 28, 2011
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Do you know where or how to date the movements with the serial#? I see a "Renissance Watch Repairs" listing that has a chart but the chart is only 1/3 exposed and I can't see any way to open the whole chart?
 

everydaycats

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Aug 11, 2011
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Jim depends on your experience if you are used to working on watches, taking them apart, try it. If you are a newbie i would not take it apart and use the soak method. hair springs can be straightened , sometimes if badly damaged then replaced.
After soaking how do you dry? Do you then oil or does the fluid leave enough to work with?
 

Smudgy

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May 20, 2003
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Do you know where or how to date the movements with the serial#? I see a "Renissance Watch Repairs" listing that has a chart but the chart is only 1/3 exposed and I can't see any way to open the whole chart?
For Elgin go here
Illinois 12S here
Various American here
Rolex, Omega, Panerai here
Hamilton here
Various here
 

ANDY YALE

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Jun 14, 2013
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As to hairsprings, see this thread: "Fear and Loathing on the Hairspring Trail", on this board.
If you are new to the game, try switching out the whole balance, rather than the hairspring itself. Ingersoll hairsprings get busted, mangled, tangled and stewed way easy cuz as others said, they are cheap and flimsy.
I have worked mostly on Yankees but the other Ingersolls I saw of the same vintage looked pretty similar.
See if you can pick up a parts watch or 2 cuz you won't get hairsprings for these from the supply houses.
If you post a pic of the balance with dimensions, I will see if I have one for you....Persevere.
 

karlmansson

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Apr 20, 2013
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Some of these old pin levers are riveted together. I serviced an old 70s Timex a while back and found their service manuals online: http://timex.digidep.net/manuals/ Most of the lubrication charts there will probably apply to your watch as well, the Roskopf movements haven't evolved all that much in the later decades it would seem.
They claim to coat their mainsprings with some sort of permanent lubrication that withstands most commercial cleaning solutions so that will probably not be applicable to your, 1930s, watch. They recommend cleaning their movements in its entirety, after removing the balance though. These movements were not really meant to be serviced though so they can be a bit frustrating to work on... I ended up making a new rivet for the rotor in the Timex as spare parts can't be found, or at least not to my knowledge. They wear down after a while.

I've used both naptha and heptane (benzine) as cleaning mediums for cleaning by hand. It doesn't work great. Oil that is still fluid will be dissolved but stubborn, dried up and dirt-embedded oils will be left most likely. You need some sort of agitation to get rid of that, an ultrasonic tank comes to mind.
Or if you remove the dirt manually using pegwood. But that requires complete disassembly and reassembly.
So long as you don't leave the parts in a water based solution for too long (below 20 min or so) you shouldn't have a problem with rust. Soak the parts in isopropanol or a similar alcohol that is hygroscopic to get all the moisture out of the nooks and crannies of the parts and then dry the whole shebang using warm air. Some like to put parts in boxwood dust as well to let that suck out remaining moisture.

And as others have stated before me: all this only applies to the movement! For cleaning hands and dials, there are different techniques.

Best

/Karl
 

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