Is it OK to run a pocket watch horizontal?

eshalom

New Member
Apr 19, 2011
2
0
0
I bought a Longines pocket watch that was made about 1912, and probably converted to a "transitional" watch in the early 1900's.

It runs OK upside down (flat), but stops when it is turned up.

My local watch repairman says such watches are instrinsically flawed, since pocket watches were designed to run vertical. He wants $250 to completely rebuild the watch.

I understand that pocket watches may keep better time in the vertical position, but feel they must be designed to wear OK in the horizontal position; when they are not worn, aren't most pocket watches (that are not conversions) run in a horizontal position ?

I am worried that my local watchsmith either is not an expert, or is perhaps trying to take advantage of me.

Thanks!
 

Kevin W.

NAWCC Member
Apr 11, 2002
23,049
514
113
63
Nepean, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
Hello, you posted this in clock repair, so no idea if you have a watch or clock?
Need pictures.
250 dollars for a complete overhaul is a price many charge for such work or there abouts.
Watches do run in all positions and this includes pocket watches as well.
 

eshalom

New Member
Apr 19, 2011
2
0
0
Thank you.

Whoops! I'm new to this forum, and should have posted this in watch repair, since it is indeed a pocket watch.

I am not looking for a "complete overhaul" unless it is necessary: is it not possible that a complete disassembly and oiling is all that is required, which can be done for about $100 ?

Ed
 

Kevin W.

NAWCC Member
Apr 11, 2002
23,049
514
113
63
Nepean, Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
If the watch does not run in all positions then most likely a repair is needed.In which case a oil and clean and adjustment and fix the problem will be over a 100 dollars.
Depending where you live Ed you could pay easily 250 for just a clean and oil and adjustment.
You could be looking at a broken jewel or a bent balance staff.Just afew things that can make a watch run this way.
 

ben_hutcherson

NAWCC Member
Jul 15, 2009
3,153
350
83
Kentucky
Country
Region
As Kevin said, a watch should run well in all positions. Otherwise, it's of little use as a watch. Even in your pocket, under certain conditions, the watch may be nearly horizontal.

There are literally a dozen reasons why a watch can produce the symptoms you describe, and few will be remedied by a simple clean and oil. Most common in my experience is problem with a balance pivot, balance jewel, or the hairspring. Sometimes it's a combination of two of these, or even all three.
 

Don Dahlberg

NAWCC Member
Aug 31, 2000
3,425
18
38
To add to what others have said, if you have a bent pivot on the balance staff and the staff has to be replaced, this could prove to be a problem. We usually do not have staffs for Swiss watches. This may mean a staff has to be made or repivoted. This takes time and skills that many watchmakers do not have. In other words $$$$$ well above a simple cleaning and overhaul.

Don
 

MFRC1956

Registered User
Dec 9, 2008
738
0
16
Stockholm, Sweden
Country
Region
eshalom, if you have a Longines a staff is no problem as long as you have the caliber or ligne number.
There is a guy in USA who stocks a lot of Longines parts if you need some, when cleaned all parts should be examined and then you will know what the problem might be, my guess is that a complete service will do the trick or at least show the problem.
Over here in Europe we have a lot of parts for these old high-end movements so that is no problem, some parts are generic and therefore you will be able to have this fixed by a skilled repair guy.
Mine is a 21 LS (lever set) from 1878 and it was a walk in the park to get the parts for it, that is when I at last found this guy in USA with spares for European movements. Crazy world! ;-)
It was in my early days in this and I didn´t have the contacts I have made later on.
 

Bubbaloo001

Registered User
Oct 24, 2010
45
0
0
Cranbrook B.C., Canada
Country
Region
I wouldn't say that your repairman is trying to take advantage necessarily since this is the fee he charges, like it or leave it. $250 isn't much by the hour, for him..... but you could make use of that real money quite easily elsewhere, so I know the feeling.

Your repairman's comment about the inherent design flaws are somewhat vague as described. I think what he is referring to is that your watch poses a problem in its conversion from pocket to wrist -since pocket watches are set up for the hairspring to develop from the pendant up position, and a wrist watch is set up to develop from the pendant (winder) down....since most wear a watch on the left arm. These adjustments are for reliability in timing a watch and not that the watch is unsuitable for another orientation.

So, yeah, ANY watch should still run in the positions other than the ideal adjusted ones. And its not necessarily that I can say if it a hairspring problem at all, since very old watches can pose stiff challenges to repair them.
 

sderek

Registered User
Jan 8, 2009
2,723
66
48
USA
Country
Region
eshalom, if you have a Longines a staff is no problem as long as you have the caliber or ligne number.
There is a guy in USA who stocks a lot of Longines parts if you need some, when cleaned all parts should be examined and then you will know what the problem might be, my guess is that a complete service will do the trick or at least show the problem.
Over here in Europe we have a lot of parts for these old high-end movements so that is no problem, some parts are generic and therefore you will be able to have this fixed by a skilled repair guy.
Mine is a 21 LS (lever set) from 1878 and it was a walk in the park to get the parts for it, that is when I at last found this guy in USA with spares for European movements. Crazy world! ;-)
It was in my early days in this and I didn´t have the contacts I have made later on.
Would you mind providing the contact info for the fellow who has the Longines parts? I have a Longines PW I'd like to get runnng.
Many thanks!
 

MFRC1956

Registered User
Dec 9, 2008
738
0
16
Stockholm, Sweden
Country
Region
Not at all!

It is in fact two suppliers in my case, I found Blacke at http://www.scotchwatch.com/ and he has many staffs.
I guess Blake can source parts he doesn´t stock but it may take a while to find them.

The other one is here in Sweden, www.angeurdelar.com so the combination was a hit for me.
I can ask the Swedish supplier on your behalf if you want me to?

Rudolf Flume in Germany is also a supplier with a large stock
 

Forum statistics

Threads
164,811
Messages
1,434,041
Members
85,815
Latest member
drjjpdc
Encyclopedia Pages
1,101
Total wiki contributions
2,863
Last edit
Rockford's early high grade movements by Greg Frauenhoff