Mechanical WW Orient balance problem

Charlie Ryan

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Hi All,

I'm a beginner.

This is an Orient with the plate stamped H9. I bought it as a non-runner and found a dial foot screw in the wheel train. Not so easy! After reassembly, the amplitude was too low to register. My guess is that it's a balance problem.

I've cleaned and re cleaned the balance jewels, removed the balance from the cock and stuck the pinions in pithwood (is it as straightforward as that? not an easy job with HS attached). The cap jewels got a puddle of 8000. I've also swapped the bottom and top jewels along with their hole jewels. Still a puff of air does little to the balance compared to what I've seen before.

Here:


End shake https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-wc1NavWFE&feature=youtu.

Pivots
IMG_3977.JPG IMG_3979.JPG

IMG_3983.JPG IMG_3982.JPG

Bottom pivot/jewel clearance
IMG_4001.JPG

...and top

IMG_3996.JPG

Any ideas how I might troubleshoot this?

Thank you

Charlie
 

Chris Radek

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I assumed it had no end shake, and then saw your second video where I can clearly see the staff lift up. You did a great job with the videos! If nothing is rubbing anything else, and the pivots are free in the jewels, then maybe it is VERY magnetized?
 

Skutt50

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Nice photos/videos!

You seem to have a special problem here.... quite an opportunity to learn new/more about balances.....

First: As has been suggested: Make sure it is not magnetised!
Second,Also as has been suggested: Look from the side so nothing is touching the balance wheel e.g. hairspring, screw, plate part etc.
Third: Remove the jewels and put the hole jewel over the pivot. Is it loose and tilts slightly? (Did you use peg wood to clean the jewels?)
Fourth: Examine the pivots under magnification. Look for any damage, bent pivots, corrosion etc......

Did you try to hold the movement upside down and in other positions?
It looks like you have end shake but perhaps not! Try to loosen the balance bridge screws a tiny bit?

Please keep reporting the progress..... I think this is a very intresting problem......
 

Charlie Ryan

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I did notice that the balance will behave as it should when I put the bridge on but before pushing it down. The pivots where in the holes Does this mean not enough end shake? If so, what would cause it and can it be repaired?

Same problem when upside down.

Nothing obvious with the jewels under the microscope. I can barely hold on to the chaton jewel with the tweezers. If I tried to peg it, it would surely ping off.

I ensured neither the spring nor wheel were impacting anything.

Also, I have a balance from a scrap Orient 11E4B8 which looks the same to this beginner. Is it worth attempting a swap. Or is another approach recommended.

Charlie
 

roughbarked

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No point in swapping the balance if you cannot see what is wrong with one balance, you may not see what is wrong with the other either. However it probably won't hurt if the new balance actually works. If you have a donor watch then try swapping the balance jewels first.
 

Skutt50

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I did notice that the balance will behave as it should when I put the bridge on but before pushing it down. The pivots where in the holes Does this mean not enough end shake? If so, what would cause it and can it be repaired?
This could be where the problem is! If you put a piece of thin paper under the balance bridge before you tighten it you may have a working balance. This will shim the bridge a tiny bit which might be enough to free the balance. If so it may be caused by someone pressing too hard in the center of the bridge thereby disforming it slightly, enough to cause the binding.
 
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Charlie Ryan

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This could be where the problem is! If you put a piece of thin paper under the balance bridge before you tighten it you may have a working balance. This will shim the bridge a tiny bit which might be enough to free the balance. If so it may be caused by someone pressing too hard in the center of the bridge thereby disforming it slightly, enough to cause the binding.
I've now tried 4 layers of aluminum foil with no change. It seems to only work well when the bridge is still loose.

What would cause end shake to decrease?

Thank you

Charlie
 

Skutt50

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What would cause end shake to decrease?
If the balance bridge / cock is deformed i.e. been bent dowwards........ Also the wrong type of jewel (too thin) can cause this but you have an Inca type so that is probably not the problem here!

You could also try to polish the balance pivots. They should have a mirror finish but you need some special tools for this......
 

geo.ulrich

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If you shim cock and slowly tighten until it starts to snug balance does bridge move when balance is spun, perhaps a bent pivot.
 

Chris Radek

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Also be aware the knock-off shock devices may not be high quality, and if they don't sit perfectly upright in their settings you will get binding. Or you might even find the hole jewels in one or both are installed crooked? Treat them with as much suspicion as you do the staff, and frankly everything else about this movement...
 
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karlmansson

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Just watched your video, something is definitely rubbing. By the looks of it, and where the balance stops, either on the periphery of the balance, between the roller assembly (have you checked the height of the fork and guard dart?) and lower jewel setting/mainplate or along the endshake. I looked at your second video also and it looks more like you are flexing the balance in the shock settings than you are lifting it along its endshake. Try placing the movement flat and then lift the balance from underneath with a very fine oiler. If you can't get it to shift up and down with very Little pressure, there's your problem.

At first I suspected the hairspring stud but it looks like the balance meets resistance and stops at other spots too.

Regards
Karl
 

Charlie Ryan

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Just watched your video, something is definitely rubbing. By the looks of it, and where the balance stops, either on the periphery of the balance, between the roller assembly (have you checked the height of the fork and guard dart?) and lower jewel setting/mainplate or along the endshake. I looked at your second video also and it looks more like you are flexing the balance in the shock settings than you are lifting it along its endshake. Try placing the movement flat and then lift the balance from underneath with a very fine oiler. If you can't get it to shift up and down with very Little pressure, there's your problem.

At first I suspected the hairspring stud but it looks like the balance meets resistance and stops at other spots too.

Regards
Karl
Hi Karl,
Thank you for the help.

There is no fork installed at the moment. Agreed, it's hard to tell if it's endshake or just flexing the wheel. I really can't tell. Maybe that means there is no shake. That's what I suspect. I've spent some time with it under the scope and nothing obvious is rubbing. Today I'm going to swap in the balance from the other Orient movement.
 

geo.ulrich

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Hi Karl,
Thank you for the help.

There is no fork installed at the moment. Agreed, it's hard to tell if it's endshake or just flexing the wheel. I really can't tell. Maybe that means there is no shake. That's what I suspect. I've spent some time with it under the scope and nothing obvious is rubbing. Today I'm going to swap in the balance from the other Orient movement.
If you had 4 pieces of tinfoil under and there wasn't end shake then theres a big problem.....
 

Chris Radek

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In the end shake video I can clearly see the staff lift what looks like an appropriate amount or a little more. It is not an end shake problem.

(This video is a link, under the one that shows up right there, I bet some folks might have missed it.)
 

Skutt50

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Well this seems like a difficult problem to solve!

Perhaps you should go back to basics and remove the hairspring. Try to get the balance to spinn alone with only the bridge and the jewels installed! If that doesn't work I guess it has to be a pivot/jewel issue!

(I actually had one on my bench a few weeks ago. It was a thin movement that would not run properly dial up..... Turned out someone had replaced the hairspring that came with a collet that was too thick for this slim movement......)
 

karlmansson

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In the end shake video I can clearly see the staff lift what looks like an appropriate amount or a little more. It is not an end shake problem.

(This video is a link, under the one that shows up right there, I bet some folks might have missed it.)
I Think it was the fact that you were able to move it in both directions that botheres me. How are you holding the movemen in that clip? I normally test endshake against gravity. Place the movement flat and lift gently with a fine oiler. The Wheel should then return to its original position as you let it go.

I Think the pattern of how you balance stops is a Little too abrubt to be caused at the pivots actually… Does it do this in all positions? Could it be the roller?

I'm fascinated that so many of us are trying to trouble shoot this cheap movement! But I've caught the bug here I must admit. I just wish I could see it for myself. With so few Components installed there isn't much that could interfere with the balance. You mentioned that there is nothing "obvious" rubbing. I Think you need to look beyond the obvious at this Point. Do you have a poising tool? Those can be very good for checking for a bent pivot. Truing calipers are also a good idea for checking if there is any out of flat that may cause rubbing at a given Point along the arc of the balance.

Best of luck!

Karl
 

Al J

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So no idea if a flattened pivot is the problem here (unlikely to be the only problem IMO) but I do have the tool featured in that article. I already had the Jacot tool but I thought this tool might save some time, but it doesn't do the job as well as a Jacot tool does. No idea who the author is, but I would advise against using any sort of abrasive when rounding pivots. First, it's not needed, and second it can become embedded in the pivot and cause wear down the road. All that is needed is some oil and pressure applied - no abrasive required.

Cheers, Al
 
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karlmansson

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So no idea if a flattened pivot is the problem here (unlikely to be the only problem IMO) but I do have the tool featured in that article. I already had the Jacot tool but I thought this tool might save some time, but it doesn't do the job as well as a Jacot tool does. No idea who the author is, but I would advise against using any sort of abrasive when rounding pivots. First, it's not needed, and second it can become embedded in the pivot and cause wear down the road. All that is needed is some oil and pressure applied - no abrasive required.

Cheers, Al
I remember Reading an article a while back, I Think it even may have been posted here, where a watchmaker with access to a sweep electron microscope did some experimentation with the differences between burnishing and polishing. Burnishing produced a smooth and compressed Surface with a great deal of Surface hardness (not visible but shows up as increased wear resistance and resistance to deformation). The polished Surfaces would only get as smooth as the abrasive used would allow it to be. Burnishing yielded a much smoother result on extreme magnification, even though both pivots had a mirror finish to the naked Eye, or loupe-clad eye for that matter.

So to add to what Al is saying, there are more upsides to burnishing, not just downsides to polishing.

Regards
Karl
 
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Charlie Ryan

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I've reached the end of my beginner skills on this and have sent it off to a watchmaker. The watch is an unimportant piece bought for learning. I'll report back with what he says.
 

Al J

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I remember Reading an article a while back, I Think it even may have been posted here, where a watchmaker with access to a sweep electron microscope did some experimentation with the differences between burnishing and polishing. Burnishing produced a smooth and compressed Surface with a great deal of Surface hardness (not visible but shows up as increased wear resistance and resistance to deformation). The polished Surfaces would only get as smooth as the abrasive used would allow it to be. Burnishing yielded a much smoother result on extreme magnification, even though both pivots had a mirror finish to the naked Eye, or loupe-clad eye for that matter.

So to add to what Al is saying, there are more upsides to burnishing, not just downsides to polishing.

Regards
Karl
Indeed - burnishing will always produce a better finish if done properly. I've seen the same article (not sure if it was here) and it did show that a burnished finish was smoother than a polished finish. Since that tool is a burnisher, it's something that doesn't need abrasive to work.

That tool does work, but the biggest drawback I find with it is getting enough of a flattened pivot rounded. It's more to do with the angle that you can move the tool to in relation to the end of the pivot than it is anything else. Here's a flat pivot:

Pivot1_zpskvjzh4ej.jpg

This is after using that tool - you can see the very outer part is rounded, but there's still a very large flat spot - amplitude improved maybe 10 degrees, but still was 20+ shy of what I needed.
Pivot2_zpsl01ui7by.jpg

I switched to a stronger microscope, and here you can see the area that burnished using that tool more easily:

Pivot3_zpsk62rvlja.jpg

So into the Jacot tool:

Omega%20Vintage%20HW%2021_0139a_zpsgwntzpgl.jpg

And after burnishing there, you can see how much more rounded the pivot end is - small flat spot in the very middle of the pivot:

Pivot4_zpsmngci6hi.jpg

Balance amplitude came up a LOT doing this, and ended up slightly higher than the other end, but not enough to cause me to require burnishing the other end of the staff. You often find one end that is flatter, typically the top pivot, which is down when the watch is laying dial up.

Cheers, Al
 
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karlmansson

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Indeed - burnishing will always produce a better finish if done properly. I've seen the same article (not sure if it was here) and it did show that a burnished finish was smoother than a polished finish. Since that tool is a burnisher, it's something that doesn't need abrasive to work.

That tool does work, but the biggest drawback I find with it is getting enough of a flattened pivot rounded. It's more to do with the angle that you can move the tool to in relation to the end of the pivot than it is anything else. Here's a flat pivot:

View attachment 554726

This is after using that tool - you can see the very outer part is rounded, but there's still a very large flat spot - amplitude improved maybe 10 degrees, but still was 20+ shy of what I needed.
View attachment 554727

I switched to a stronger microscope, and here you can see the area that burnished using that tool more easily:

View attachment 554728

So into the Jacot tool:

View attachment 554729

And after burnishing there, you can see how much more rounded the pivot end is - small flat spot in the very middle of the pivot:

View attachment 554730

Balance amplitude came up a LOT doing this, and ended up slightly higher than the other end, but not enough to cause me to require burnishing the other end of the staff. You often find one end that is flatter, typically the top pivot, which is down when the watch is laying dial up.

Cheers, Al
Very nicely made Point Al! Thanks for that. I've often time ran into the issue of getting a burr or a slight mushrooming of the tip after burnishing the end as you show. Especially after burnishing in the round and getting a lip pushed forward. Do you have any suggestions? Maybe stoning the end to remove any lip or burr Before burnishing the tip?

Regards
Karl
 

gmorse

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Hi Karl,

Do you have any suggestions? Maybe stoning the end to remove any lip or burr Before burnishing the tip?
I wonder if this is happening more on softer staffs? If your burnishing of the cylindrical portion of the pivot is resulting in a pronounced burr on the end, I think you need to be very careful how you start to round up the tip, starting at an acute angle to move the metal down rather than push it back and aggravate the mushrooming.

Regards,

Graham
 
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karlmansson

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Solved!

Well this is a bit embarrassing....forum member Chris Radek, a real watchmaker, was good enough to take a look. He services my "real" watches here The Time Guy: Vintage watch repair

As it turned out the HS wasn't level and was rubbing on the balance arm. Others suggested I look there as well. But I missed it altogether. Pics..

View attachment 555740 View attachment 555741
Wow, yeah. That one was pretty clear. Don't worry, you'll developan eye for it!

Glad I didn't have to add another obscure reason for loss of amplitude to my collection.

Regards
Karl
 

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