Minute hand catches on the Hour hand


Registered User
Jul 6, 2012
I bought a 1922 17j Elgin three days ago and have run it for two days. (though I plan on only using it on special occasions) It has been keeping extremely good time over 24hrs but today the Minute hand got caught on the Hour hand and pulled it around with it for about a half hour.
Three questions really:
1. What could cause that since it has been running so well till now -temperature perhaps? (it was pretty hot today)
2. I figure I could easily fix this by bending the Minute hand the slightest little bit, making sure there is just a hair more clearance and I wonder -is that typically the way any of you guys would do it? (can't bend Hour hand down or risk catching Second hand plus there's plenty of room above Minute hand under crystal)
3. My bigger question is: is there any damage to the movement that could arise from one hand dragging the other around for a half hour or so or do the hands just pivot on the post and hopefully don't strain anything inside?
Thanks for any insight you may have!


Registered User
Mar 14, 2008
In my experience watches usually stop when the hands catch one another..... On occation the minute hand is bent before the movement stops.

There should normally not be any damage to the movement. When hands are fitted they are adjusted to sit nicely in straight lines over oneanother. Yoy can bend many hands but some are hardened and may snap!
I would not recommend you to fiddle with the hands yourself. You need special tools to remove them and you may damage the dial if you do it wrong. Also fitting (specially the minute hand) may cause damage to the movement if not done properly. This should be a quick job for a watchmaker!

The movement may have developed the problem by wear of the wheel where the hour hand is attached.... Often you find a small thin washer just below the dial which should push the whell were the hour hand is attached down towards the movement. This washer may be broken or worn out....Have you tried to run the watch in Dial Don position before?

Anyway if the watch has not been used for some years it needs to be serviced. Removal of old oil residues and possible oxides and then re lubed and adjusted..... Since it keeps time now you could have a very nice movement after service.....

Good luck!

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Rockford's early high grade movements by Greg Frauenhoff