Loose hour hand does not rotate but watch ticks fine

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by novicetimekeeper, Mar 18, 2019.

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  1. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
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    I have recently been selling off spare stock from my collection. The first watch I sold, mid 19th century lever, I said it ticked.

    Purchaser has said the hour hand dioes not advance and is loose. I had not noticed but then I wouldn't usually run it without servicing, he asked me if it ticked and I checked that it did.

    I've said I will take it back but presumably this is just a friction fit? It sounds like a simple fix, I'll just sell ir again with the fault noted. I just wondered how hard it is to fix.
     
  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Nick,

    The hour hand is usually a friction fit on the hour wheel, and if it's loose there are a couple of ways to tighten it; either close the boss, (ideally in a lathe collet), or spread the hour wheel pipe slightly. The minute hand is squared onto the cannon pinion so it's less likely to cause problems.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  3. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    Also, the minute wheel might be missing... hope it's not :)
     
  4. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I have no idea I wasn't selling it with a warranty, just told him that when I wound it a couple of turns it ticked!
     
  5. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    It's why I never return a watch that's not described as serviced and all Ok. Old watches have their unpleasant suprises and one takes that risk when buying non-checked old watch...
     
  6. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Yes, me too, but this chap seems rather disappointed because he didn't seem to understand that. I have offered him one that ticks AND the hands go round but pointed out it still needs a service. I don't buy clocks that have been restored if I can avoid it because I'm usually unhappy with what they did, and I feel much the same about watches. You just end up paying more for shoddy work.
     
  7. jboger

    jboger Registered User

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    Should I assume the minute hand moves properly? If not, if it rotates freely as the hour hand does, then you may have a loose canon pinion.
     
  8. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Will know soon, he is sending it back!
     
  9. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Seems to be a lot slower coming back. Apparently he spoke to a watchmaker who said it was missing the minute wheel. I asked if the minute hand went round when the watch was running but he didn't seem to understand the question, just saying both hands should move together.

    I can see why I never sell anything, Unless a vendor has incorrectly described something I just accept whatever condition my purchase is in. I know I'll need to get a watch or clock repaired. However ebay buyers other than me seem to have rather higher expectations!

    I do have a buyer in Taiwan, I expressed concern about sending something so far and then being told it doesn't run but the chap there says he buys them to fix so he would take it apart anyway. Seems I might be better off exporting them!
     
  10. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Well it is back. The hour hand is loose and may always have been, it doesn't flop when you move the watch but you can push it round with your finger.

    The watch was not packed well on return which is very irritating.

    When it left me I had put a couple of turns on the fusee to see if it ticked. It had a strong tick and sounded fine. Now it is back it is near fully wound and out of beat. Ticks for a bit and stops. It does tick long enough to see the minute hand moves as it should.

    Does the minute hand moving suggest it is just the friction fit of the hour that is wrong there? How does it get out of beat? Poor handling?
     
  11. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Nick,

    If the minute hand moves as it should, the hour hand is most probably loose on the hour wheel pipe as you suspect. If you move the minute hand with a key on the square, does the hour hand make any attempt to move?

    Watches don't go out of beat by themselves, and poor handling alone shouldn't cause this, so I suspect your buyer has had the balance off. If you bring it along on April 3rd I'll have a look at it.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  12. Chris Radek

    Chris Radek Registered User
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    If you didn't set and run it, or test the motion works (test that the hands move together correctly) before you sold it, and the hour hand is there but can just be pushed around, and someone looked at it and said the minute wheel is missing, I think the most likely explanation for the problem is the minute wheel is in fact missing.
     
  13. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Nobody looked at it, but Graham will :)

    Thanks
     
  14. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User

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    Intriguing o_O. Surely for someone to determine that the minute wheel is missing would entail removal of the dial? Removal of the dial would entail removing the watch from the case and the hands and, probably, 3 fiddly taper pins. If they have done all that there is no end to the possibilities for mayhem - we are all aware just how much modern 'watchmakers' know about antique (I assume fusee) movements. I would suggest another possibility is that there is no dial washer fitted and that the hour wheel has risen to disengage from the minute wheel pinion, although it would be unusual for that not to re-engage if the hour hand is rotated. It should be fairly easy to determine if, when the hour hand is manually moved, the hour wheel pipe rotates along with the hand. I am interested to know what Graham discovers.
     
  15. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    me too. I have looked at the pictures before it left me and compared it to the view I get now. The square to set the hands seems to have become flush with the minute hand boss and the minute hand boss is now shiny.
     

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