Swiss PW Help Minute hand lagging

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by jess tauber, Nov 7, 2019.

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  1. jess tauber

    jess tauber Registered User

    Dec 24, 2017
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    Hi- I have an old Gallet-made lever movement (from around 1890) that I had to reattach a minute hand to. I used a pencil eraser to press it on to its post. I fear I might have pressed too hard, because now the minute hand is lagging way behind where it should be as the minutes go by. Could I have damaged the pinion? When I first got it going again the minute hand moved hardly at all, but now is moving but still losing time. Nothing is wrong with the hour hand's movement. Please help. Thanks!

    Jess Tauber
     
  2. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    Sounds like a loose cannon pinion

    Tom
     
  3. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

    Mar 14, 2008
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    If the hour hand is moving correctly i.e. shows correct time I would look at the minute hand. Does it have the correct size hole to fit the canon pinion?

    (The hour hand is driven by the canon pinion (indirectly via the minute wheel) so if the canon pinion is loose the hour hand should drag behind as well.)
     
  4. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
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    This is correct.
     
  5. jess tauber

    jess tauber Registered User

    Dec 24, 2017
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    Since I last posted the hour hand is now also lagging, though not as badly as the minute hand. The seconds hand on its own post seems to tick away just fine. I've shifted the regulator arm to Avance as far as I can without damaging it and the thing is still losing time.

    Jess Tauber
     
  6. Marty101

    Marty101 Registered User
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    Friend put the regulator back where it was,take off the hands and dial,and remove the canon pinion. You must carefully tighten it's friction fit on the post.
     
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  7. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    Well if both hands are slippig behind I also believe the canon pinion needs to be tightened.

    You can test this by inserting a piece of hair in the canon pinion before installing it. The hair will give enough friction for the hands to move correctly. To fix more permanently you need to tighten the canon pinion. (Put a reamer inside before you tighten it. This will save you from a collapsed canon pinion.)
     
  8. jess tauber

    jess tauber Registered User

    Dec 24, 2017
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    I've been running the watch continuously since the problem first developed the other day. Its not been running on time for the past half hour (before that it was losing five minutes an hour, which was much better than the way things were last night). So my question is whether gunk attached to hands' post holes might have caused the issue, rather than a pinion problem (of course the regulator being at full speed is an issue of its own)? I bought the watch several months ago, but hadn't paid attention to its time-keeping before as the minutes hand was missing- currently I'm using a replacement from an otherwise near-identical parts movement, and after that I was hunting for another case of the same type to make a cheap display case. THAT's worked out perfectly, and that's when I noticed the time-keeping issue. I don't know the maintenance history of the watch, when it was last cleaned, etc.

    Jess Tauber
     
  9. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    The canon pinion should be tight enough to move the hands and then some.......
    A bit of "gunk" could possibly be the explination to why it is running much slower (canon pinion at the edge of slipping) after the hand replacement but that is not your problem.....

    If the canon pinion is too loose the watch will run slow (or hands may stop completly). If you try the hair trick I explained above you will find out if is the canon pinion slipping or somethinge else.....
     
  10. jess tauber

    jess tauber Registered User

    Dec 24, 2017
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    Thanks. I had hoped it was something I could deal with myself (and my skills and tool set are still pretty minimal). I spoke too soon about it keeping time. It ran so for two hours- now its back to its old tricks (though the hour hand IS keeping time). Sometimes the minute hand seems to stop entirely and just hang until it starts moving again- I lost 20 minutes last time I looked.

    Jess Tauber
     
  11. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    Try manually pushing the minute hand?
    It does seem to me that the minute hand may actually be loose and that maybe it is catching on something; dial, numerals, crystal?
     
  12. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Jess,

    I think this is the most likely explanation for your problem.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  13. jess tauber

    jess tauber Registered User

    Dec 24, 2017
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    #13 jess tauber, Nov 9, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
    Hi Graham. Turns out the hand only SEEMED to be gripping the post. When I reset the time sometimes it would move, and sometimes it would not. My hypothesis that something was sticking it to the post was probably correct. In any case I have several other minute hands that I rechecked. One had a hole too small for the post, the others even larger than the one I'd tried out. I do have a hand gauge hidden somewhere, so I'll see what range I need and just lay out some dough to get a batch of similar style hands. Dodged a bullet not having to send the watch off to a professional for a cannon pinion adjustment. Thanks!

    I think what galls me a bit, based on trademarks on the movements, is that this particular Gallet design hails from just after 1890, which is well into the period when Swiss makers had gone over to machine-tooled in-house manufacture and tighter specs and standardization- yet the 5 parts movements I have vary wildly in this regard. Not even their 18s diameters are close to identical. This was GALLET, dammit! What the hell were they playing at??

    Jess Tauber
     

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