Norton pocket watch project.

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by pmwas, Jul 24, 2020.

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  1. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

    Dec 12, 2010
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    Here I’ve got a very sad Norton pocket watch...

    60D3180C-17F4-48DE-A6EF-E3C48E079380.jpeg

    92BDB55A-CE4D-4BB5-8572-0E2F000004C1.jpeg

    It’s terribly corroded. Terribly.
    I soaked it in WD40...

    D2A43A93-90C2-4EEF-902A-140DA5A5704D.jpeg

    And managed to remove the cock...

    968274DF-D5ED-44DF-8FED-DC2DC86AC873.jpeg

    Terrible, but both pivots intact!
    Soaking goes on and in a few days I’ll make a repair attempt.
    Surely will take plenty of time to make that run, but with it’s superb triple case - well worth it.

    The case I will show later.
     
  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Paul,

    Amazingly, the balance spring appears to be relatively untouched. However, I don't envy your task with this one!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  3. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    This has a truly wonderful case. I have a movement that could match, but I like to keep watches original so I will give it a chance :)
    If I fail, I’ll considering replacing the movement.
     
  4. svenedin

    svenedin Registered User

    Jan 28, 2010
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    All the best of luck. There's an old trick to soak in paraffin so what you are doing is a very similar idea.
     
  5. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    Ok... took me over 2 hours, but the watch is now disassembled.

    norton 1.jpeg

    I had to punch one screw out, drill three stuck taper pins out and somehow disintegrate the hands-cannon pinion-hour wheel conglomerate joined rather tight together.

    norton 2.jpeg

    Firstly I punched out the center wheel from the cannon pinion, then I harshly punched out the cannon pinion (the whole thing stood on the hour wheel, the minute hand would press on the hour wheel collet, do I could hit quite hard, as dial was not yet involved in the process...

    The next step was tricky, though.
    How to remove the hour hand fused tight with the hour wheel:???:

    I chose a medium-harsh way of doing it - I tapped the edge of the hour wheel collet with a small-diameter punch repeatadely all around (going in circles). The punches had to be gentle enough not to break the enamel dial.
    Little by little, the hour wheel fell out of the hour hand! Dial intact...

    Fusee...
    I don’t have a ‚before’ picture, but you can see in the precious one there is s - kind of - large ,blob’ of rust all around it.

    norton 3.jpeg

    Took a lot of time to remove the chain from around the fusee not ruining the grooves, but I managed.

    norton 4.jpeg

    The fusee stop plate is a mess and the entire top end of the arbor is missing, but the fusee appears usable!

    norton 5.jpeg

    I’ll see if I can replace the steel parts or if I just drill the arbor and repair it. Time will tell.

    I’ll need a new fusee stop spring, the fusee stop I’ll try to file down and repolish, but it’s bad so might go wrong, and I’ll need the fusee ratchet I did not find at all (likely disintegrated as well).

    That’s it for now :)
     
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  6. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Paul,

    With the fusee in such a bad state, I'd be inclined to soak it in alum to dissolve what's left of all the steel parts, leaving the brass cone and great wheel, which should be intact after the corrosion and the alum treatment have done their job. You can then set about making a new fusee arbor and poke, something which is never normally contemplated due to the way the arbors were driven into the cones with considerable force. Many of these arbors were made with 5 or 6 flats on the section which fitted through the cone, presumably to ensure that they would never come loose. I've never discovered how the poke was fixed in place; if you do decide to dismantle it, some pictures of your findings would be appreciated.

    DSCF7031.JPG

    I see that the tangent screw is practically untouched by corrosion, which is a big bonus, and the good state of all the gilt brass parts speaks volumes for the quality of the mercury gilding. The dial should improve with a bath in denture cleaner.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  7. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

    Dec 12, 2010
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    12 long hours of work... long? No - time just filed - didn't notice when it got dark ;)

    I decided to try to repair the fusee arbor.
    I punched the centre of the arbor and drilled it.
    It turned out, I punched it off centre :(

    IMG_5031.JPG

    But it's operational - despite a little wooble it engeges the center wheel all the time, so not THAT bad.
    Single ratchet fusee (silly me - I thought this was missing a ratchet but this only has one :) ! ).

    IMG_5036.JPG

    As Graham mentioned - this has a tangent screw for the mainspring barrel.
    Old, forgotten design...
    I cleaned that and the case spring.

    I pitcured all gears on the pillar late, but in fact - this one assembles upside down...

    IMG_5040.JPG

    Assembling on... At this pont I tested the chain and fusee and they all PRETTY MUCH work.
    I found a chain, somewhat too long, but... oh whatever :)

    In fact - a suprise, as I thought I only have one short chain left. Pleasant suprise it is :)

    I used a pin-vise (with a long, thin end) to turn the tangent screw to 'rewind' he chain from the fusee to the barrel.

    I pretty much cleaned the balance of the rust. It's not very nice (sorry - forgot to picture it), but I'm afraid to polish that.
    I know I would break it in my clumsy hands ;)

    IMG_5046.JPG

    Somehow I managed to maintain the original hands.
    Power up and it.... WORKS!
    It's fast (maybe the balance is ligter afterthe work?) and the brat is inconsistent and position-dependent.
    Also it stops randomly (can work for an hour or stop after 30 seconds).

    But it works. From a pile of rust a working Norton!

    Nice original hands as well and beautiful dial.

    Case comming up soon :D !
     
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  8. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    Ok, the case.
    The watch has a gold plated case.

    Triple case. Inside - simple, usual...

    62C4A0F9-362D-4530-9AB1-2990FC876068.jpeg

    36B76701-4575-45E3-8A0F-2B31230CDA54.jpeg

    A mark inside:

    13FFB3B9-CF8D-40F5-B9C3-CE639777042D.jpeg

    Now the middle case... lovely decorated.

    F1993B69-5180-4341-83D8-545A6D12CA10.jpeg

    It’s missing a lock, so it does not shut tight...

    C46B82A4-372D-412D-AFAE-0C782EA0BC13.jpeg

    But it is beautiful!

    And now - the outer case...

    D8AC4741-EE7C-451C-9E06-3EF651AFB545.jpeg

    Indon’t know what this green inlay is. It’s partly missing...

    Glass back:

    FEC2C2E4-F71C-4758-9BEE-A87D80CE2A57.jpeg

    All in all - a stunning piece, even if somewhat busted.
    According to the seller, this was found during a refurbish of a flat in a house in Cracov.

    BCE0245C-2112-4F3B-BD40-5CB4B17AFAB0.jpeg

    I just could not resist buying it. It’s a lovely piece.

    351FB882-056E-4F71-BA03-33CC0C5B1E12.jpeg

    Charming, I’d say.
     
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  9. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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  10. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

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    Great watch, I have yet to get a complete cased one near that age. I would guess the green stuff is shagreen (usually shark skin)
     
  11. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    Yes, I thought it looked like skin/leather...
     
  12. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Paul,

    This is probably shagreen, a processed and dyed shark or ray skin, which was quite hard-wearing and sometimes used to cover outer cases.

    I can't recall seeing a repoussé case like this which wasn't solid gold or silver, but as this looks like some sort of copy, not having the high standard of finish of the mid-18th century gold examples, I'm not too surprised. The movement appears to date from the 1770s or 80s, (round pillars), although the proportions of the dial raise a doubt in my mind that it may be a replacement.

    I think you've made remarkable progress in restoring what looked at first sight to be a lost cause, well done!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  13. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    The dial looks fine when it comes to feet position matching the ring and the ring matches the movement. But you never know :)

    As for the case - it is true that the plating has a slightly other tone than the rest of the cases. The inner case looks original to the watch, you say the others were made later? The pair (,middle’) case has signs of wear-through so maybe this used to be a pair case watch for which someone ordered the outer case to protect it - now ot’s difficult to tell :)

    This was sitting hidden and was found accidentally, decades of poor storing conditions must have been disastrous to te case as well...

    I like to wiek on such poor, damaged watches, the good ones you just buy and store in a box, these give me plenty of satisfaction. I think this was a ‚last minute’ save.
     
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  14. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    #14 pmwas, Jul 26, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
    It is not unlikely that the outer case was made/ordered in 19th Century Cracov.
    This would also explain the low grade - probably replaced - long pendant. I always say it’s a shame they can’t talk - this watch has seen so much...

    I’m also very happy that the only replacement parts I used are the fusee stop spring, chain and mainspring, two screws and some taper pins.
    I thought I’d end up replacing half of the watch when I first saw the movement ;)
     
  15. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Paul,

    The 19th century origin for the outer case seems quite plausible, the repoussé detail work isn't anywhere near the 18th century examples, and the glazed back to the third case also seems like a 19th century innovation. Judging by the state of the watch as you found it, I'm not surprised that the shagreen has deteriorated, it's only fish skin after all!

    A mid-18th century outer case for comparison:

    DSCF4061.JPG

    Pendants tended to be vulnerable to damage and were often replaced over the life of a case.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  16. eri231

    eri231 Registered User

    Jan 13, 2012
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    hello Paul your next job?
    regards enrico

    IMG_2894.JPG
     
  17. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

    Dec 12, 2010
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    With trembling hands I wound it up again for the 2nd time. It kept working for the whole day today :) I’m so happy :)
     
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