Information needed from this musical repeater pocket watch

sternerp

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Nov 23, 2010
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Dear forum readers and pocket watch experts!

My collection has some new pocket watches, now I present one of the most special pieces. This is one musical quarter repeater watch, maybe from the early XIX century? Unfortunately has some faults, and I don't know if I can find a suitable watchmaker for repair in my environment. I'm not an expert on these watches, but I noticed these mistakes right away. I marked these faults with a red circle.

I have a few questions. There are 3 tiny switches on the case, what is their function? I think not many watchmakers could produce these complicated pocket watches at that time. But which manufacturers made such watches? I looked for pictures from similar musical repeater watches, and I found a few. But there were usually fewer sound rods in those (25-32). In this one, however, I counted 38! How rare is this? And if I saw correctly, 2 pieces unfortunately missing;-(

Approximately how much would a full renovation of such a watch cost?

Any new information is welcome!

1657195445496.jpg 1657195661360.jpg 1657196679260.jpg 1657195661346.jpg 1657196679251.jpg 1657195445474.jpg 1657195445486.jpg faults.jpg 1657195661371.jpg
 

gmorse

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Jan 7, 2011
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Hi Peter,

As it happens, I have a similar watch on the bench at the moment.

DSC01890.JPG DSC01891.JPG DSC01905.JPG

The square for the minute hand isn't the cannon pinion, it sits on a post and the actual second wheel arbor is to the left of it in the third picture. The wheel is mounted on a pin which runs through the hollow second arbor to allow hand setting, in the usual Swiss fashion. The lever at 5 in the first two pictures selects how the repeater sounds, either on the gongs or the music. There's also a single slide which appears to enable or disable all the sounds.

I'm lucky with this one in that all the steel fingers for the music are intact, there's just a spring in the selection mechanism to be replaced. Finding someone who can replace the missing fingers won't be easy, and they could probably name their price for the work!

Regards,

Graham
 

SKennedy

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Jan 5, 2017
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In my experience these musical watches normally have the music train activated automatically on the hour. This function can be silenced using one of the 'switches'. The other switch is normally there to activate the music at will, so you can take it out your pocket whatever the time and impress your friends.

The third switch on your case, nearer the pendant, may be a 'pendant lock' to prevent the pendant from being accidentaly pressed in and activating the repeat. If that's the case there would be a slide piece inside the case at that point that cuts through a notch in the pendant push piece.
 

gmorse

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Jan 7, 2011
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Hi Peter,

In answer to your question about the chain, it's supposed to connect the operating lever, which moves when you press in the pendant, to the pulley on top of the repeater spring barrel. The system was prone to breakage and also, if the chain stretched it would result in the wrong number of hours being struck. The later system of a rack instead of a chain on the end of the operating lever was far more certain in its operation.

DSC01981 - Copy.jpg 1657195445486_2_crop.jpg

Green - hour rack
Red - pulley
Orange - repeat spring arbor
Blue - chain attachment point
Black - operating lever

Also, I was misleading about the functions of the levers in my post #2. I'm grateful to Seth for correcting my description of this:

"The lever on the lower left is the 'play on demand' switch. When the slide in the band is moved to the left it pulls the single tooth of the locking arm out of the notch in the wheel in the middle and also, the end of the curved arm at the bottom frees the train. The music then plays for one rotation of the wheel before the tooth drops into the notch and thus the train is locked by the curved arm.
During normal running the cam top right lifts the arm mounted on the barrel and then at the hour it drops off. As the arm is lifted, the hook on the straight/angular piece slides past the pin on the end of the locking arm. When the lifting arm drops of the cam at the hour the hook pushes the locking arm down, releasing the train to play the music. As it does so the pin sticking up from the wheel moves the straight piece sideways thus allowing the whole thing to re-set.
The lever at the lower right is the music/silent piece. Moving the bottom of the lever to the left means that at its other end it is preventing the straight piece to engage with the locking arm pin each time the straight piece is released by the cam. So the music is not activated."


Regards,

Graham
 
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gmorse

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Hi Peter,

Mending the chain if there isn't a section missing will be a delicate job, and as I mentioned earlier, it has to be exactly the right length or the striking is thrown out of sync. Setting it all up afterwards can also be a fiddle.

Regards,

Graham
 

sternerp

Registered User
Nov 23, 2010
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Hi Graham!
Thank you very much for the detailed explanation!
I read your reply, but I couldn't find my previous post;-)
I thought I wrote it but I didn't send it... but then how you would know, what I asked? You would be a mind reader?
Then I noticed, that I accidentally wrote my previous post in the european watches section. Sorry, maybe one of the moderators can correct my mistake.
Regards! Peter
 

gmorse

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Jan 7, 2011
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Hi Peter,
Sorry, maybe one of the moderators can correct my mistake.
I should ask the moderators to move this new clock-watch/repeater to a new thread as well if I were you, it would cause less confusion! Just use the 'Report' button at lower left.

Regards,

Graham
 

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