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Orphaned 1800's Longines PW Movements - What To Do With Them?

Incroyable

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If you figure out the basic design could you simply tweak it for different movement sizes?
 

John Hinkey

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If you figure out the basic design could you simply tweak it for different movement sizes?
Likely.
There is the complication of lever set versus negative stem set versus stem set variations along with the associated stem type and size (length and diameter) that needs to be accommodated.
Also, the location of the movement retaining screws are all over the place from one movement to the next.

Should have a complete prototype assembly next weekend or so. The front and back covers take about and hour to print (at the same time) while the main body takes ~9hrs to print. Trying to find a compatible stem for this movement as opposed to printing one (won't be strong) or making one (time consuming)
 

eri231

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The two movements are 18 LS from 1877 lever set.
You have the stem, why replace it? You must only
stretch the square. You can use a key of the verge
or a tube above the stem
Regards enrico
 

John Hinkey

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The two movements are 18 LS from 1877 lever set.
You have the stem, why replace it? You must only
stretch the square. You can use a key of the verge
or a tube above the stem
Regards enrico
Not trying to replace the square x-section winding part that is sticking out of the movement (is that called a stem?) that the crown/stem (with female square hole in it) connects to. Rather I don't have a part that looks like this:
1665511708939.png

And I'm forced to find one that fits if the movement doesn't come with it (and my movement did not come with one) or 3D print a version.
I'd like to use a generic winding crown that's nice and pretty and then 3D print the part that engages the square x-section winding stem sticking out of the movement.
 

eri231

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The crown and stem with female square hole in it is hardly found together with the movement because it is part of the case, you can use one of the keys that are used for verge watches
Regards enrico
IMG_20221011_205047.jpg
 

Dr. Jon

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Enrico is on the right rack but the keys sold as an assortment are not durable.

You can use them to determine the size you need and then buy an older key that size.
 

John Hinkey

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Unfortunately these winding keys do me no good as I'm trying to make a working pocket watch case, etc. for these movements, thus I need to make a female square hole tube + crown assembly to insert into my 3D printed case. I.e., I need to make one of these:
1665529237521.png

I really don't want to machine anything. The winder+crown need to be held in place with a side screw (just like in actual lever set/stem wound cases).
I've just now 3D printed what I need and will see if the plastic part with the square hole in it will hold up (likely it won't) and if not find an easy-to-make metal substitute.

Fun problems to have!
 

DaveyG

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Mar 21, 2005
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Hi John, I can see where you are coming from, but I think what folks are saying is that you should get hold of a decent quality watch key that has the correct size to fit onto the protruding square of the winding arbor on your Longines. Once you have that, cut off and file/turn the steel portion of the key such that you have a female square section at each end. Positioning that onto your winding arbor will convert the arbor from a male to a female connection to the winding stem; you can then use a standard style male winding stem, which you can secure in the pendant as you describe, to wind the watch. Sure, there will probably need a bit of modification to allow the winding stem to fit securely into the 'connector', but it should work.

Hope I'm not trying to teach my granny how to suck eggs ;)
 

John Hinkey

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Feb 21, 2022
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Hi John, I can see where you are coming from, but I think what folks are saying is that you should get hold of a decent quality watch key that has the correct size to fit onto the protruding square of the winding arbor on your Longines. Once you have that, cut off and file/turn the steel portion of the key such that you have a female square section at each end. Positioning that onto your winding arbor will convert the arbor from a male to a female connection to the winding stem; you can then use a standard style male winding stem, which you can secure in the pendant as you describe, to wind the watch. Sure, there will probably need a bit of modification to allow the winding stem to fit securely into the 'connector', but it should work.

Hope I'm not trying to teach my granny how to suck eggs ;)
Thanks - I know exactly what people are recommending I do with these watch winding keys - I get it, but I'm looking for alternatives that are much less effort to get to work with my 3D printed cases. I have an engineering and machining background and this seems not workable to me as it will make the winding tube on my cases potentially way too long:
"Once you have that, cut off and file/turn the steel portion of the key such that you have a female square section at each end. Positioning that onto your winding arbor will convert the arbor from a male to a female connection to the winding stem; you can then use a standard style male winding stem, which you can secure in the pendant as you describe"

AND, for some movements I have to deal with a negative set stem - I'm hoping I can find some 12s and 16s stem/tubes that will work and then find a crown that will fit.

Fun!
 

Dr. Jon

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One other wrinkle.

The negative set system uses a stem spring. These are available and you may want to install them in your pendants. They normally are threaded.
 

John Hinkey

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Feb 21, 2022
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One other wrinkle.

The negative set system uses a stem spring. These are available and you may want to install them in your pendants. They normally are threaded.
Yes, exactly my plan, but on ebay (where I can find them) they want something like $30+shipping each. Ouch.
Is there another source besides ebay to find these sets?

Thanks - John
 

John Hinkey

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Feb 21, 2022
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First mostly full assembly. Crystals not glued in, no hands, stem retaining screw still on the way, plastic bow printed just to have one, etc.
But it's screwed together!
1665640150217.jpeg

1665640172135.jpeg

1665640197672.jpeg


It will wind, set, etc. The movement needs a complete re-build, but should look fantastic all cleaned up and oiled. Need to adapt an off-the-shelf metal bow, etc. 100+ year old mechanical watch movement has a 2nd life!!!

This is the first full assembly and I've learned a lot. Printed the 3 main pieces of the case about 4 times each, winding stem 3 times before I was reasonably happy. The main body of the case needs some adjustments to hold the movement more securely, but it's really close.
Also need to find a better way to actuate the setting lever, which is hard to get to in this design.

The resin that I used is not the most opaque. I have options for a deep black, white, gray, crystal clear, green-ish clear for any of the parts.
There are other resins that may be stronger and more scratch resistant than what I used.
I also will be putting a very thin layer of acrylic coat on the plastic to harden the surface.

Enough for now . . .

Thanks for the help and comments!

- John
 

John Hinkey

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Feb 21, 2022
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Not having one of these movements to hand, how does the setting lever actuate?
Is it a downwards pressure or a sideways action?
Sideways action with rotation - meaning it does not pull straight out - the little 1.5mm wide lever rotates as it comes out. Maybe you can see this in this photo:
1665671120084.png
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
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I was attempting to think about how you could relate that action to a button that could be better sealed than the gaping hole.
Yes, this is a problem I have not solved, but exposes the beauty of 3D printing as a design modification and re-print of the main body takes about 10 hours max. The front and back covers take about an hour to print and then about 1/2 hour clean-up.

Any suggestions for a design would be great to hear!

- John
 

John Hinkey

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Feb 21, 2022
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Very nice idea! Please let me know when you start mass production! I have a 16D looking for a new home ... :)

View attachment 731441
That is a beauty for sure! I really like these early Longines movements.
I have one or two more late 1800's Longines movements that are also candidates for a 3D printed case.
I've been also thinking of a way to have a back clamshell design so that key set watches like this could be accessed. Maybe the back cover with glass that has a hole in the center for the key access which is covered with a rubber plug to keep the dirt out. Or something like that.
What does the dial look like?

- John
 

Chris Radek

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1665709335061.png


I wonder if a thumb wheel, like these old volume controls, could be made to actuate the lever. It might need to be above, perhaps part of the bezel, with some kind of slot or pin/pins pointing downward to act on the upturned end of the lever.
 

DaveyG

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Mar 21, 2005
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Traditionally a setting lever would be accessed by screwing off the bezel. Is that a possibility? I understand that screw threads can be printed but whether at these necessary dimensions that would be sufficiently robust is a different question I guess. When made of metal they are prone to cross threading and other causes of thread damage if not handled carefully so, in resin, would that be too fragile?
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
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Traditionally a setting lever would be accessed by screwing off the bezel. Is that a possibility? I understand that screw threads can be printed but whether at these necessary dimensions that would be sufficiently robust is a different question I guess. When made of metal they are prone to cross threading and other causes of thread damage if not handled carefully so, in resin, would that be too fragile?
Yes, fine threads would likely be too fragile with the resin that I'm currently using. Though there are some other resins that appear to be better for threads.
A couple of things I could do:
- Make the front cover be hinged at the bottom as in a traditional hunter-style case with some kind of simple to operate latch at the top near the case tube. This might be a little clunky, but would solve the setting the time quickly problem w/o the wonky cut out of the front cover.
- Make the front cover attach via a "bayonet" style mount such that you just have to rotate it by 1/3 of a turn or something and it would come off
- Make an external pin or lever kind of mechanism that pulls the setting lever out while simultaneously restrains it from being over-extended and/or damaged from being caught on something.
- etc.

Open to all ideas!

In the mean time I'm going to UV glue the glass crystals in, put in the stem restraining screw and see how I can use a standard nickel PW bow that comes pre-made from Esslinger, etc. (the 3D printed bow is too flexible and hard to make). Also spray on a very very thin coat of clear acrylic to protect the surface from scratches, etc. My 3D printed winding key and crown also need to be exercised a lot to see if they will stand up to a decent amount of use - I may have to fashion a metal winding key/stem. I'd also like to use an actual gold or silver metal crown too if I can . . .

This is Ver 1.0 for this movement and I think with one more iteration on the design it will be good enough to make a final print of the case. I really want to rebuild this movement as I really like the dial, hands, and movement aesthetics.

- John
 

John Hinkey

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Feb 21, 2022
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I should also note that I'm not necessarily trying to replicate a traditional pocket watch case, though I certainly started out that way.
I'm wanting to eventually have two or three modes of case design:
- Traditional style-looking case that is fully functional and totally wearable like a traditional PW
- A modern, but retro-inspired case that maybe is more adept at sitting on a desk top
- Do the "turn it into a wrist watch" kind of thing. I've been told that these non-shock mounted jewel movement designs don't do well as wrist watches due to the jewels getting damaged when you bang your watch against the door frame, etc. I think these movements could be easily shock-mounted inside the plastic case to prevent damage. This would be a stretch goal kind of thing.

I also know that a stem set/stem wind movement will be far easier to make a case for since there is no setting lever, etc. I have a couple of these movements made by Tavannes (see above I think for some pics) and am on the look out for more swiss movements that are in excellent shape, but have had their gold cases removed and melted down :(
- J.
 

Karl Kröte

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May 11, 2021
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What does the dial look like?
Dial looks good, hands need to be replaced.

I learned that these 16D movements were shipped to Aikin, Lambert & Co. (a fountain pen manufacturer) and put into 16s gold cases. Later on they got scrapped for gold, that's why you find so many of them without case.
I'm looking for key wind 16s cases on Ebay, but I have no idea if the movement will really fit if I find one. I assume that the hole for the winding key is always in a different position, depending on the manufacturer.

Longines 16D face.jpeg
 

John Hinkey

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Feb 21, 2022
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Dial looks good, hands need to be replaced.

I learned that these 16D movements were shipped to Aikin, Lambert & Co. (a fountain pen manufacturer) and put into 16s gold cases. Later on they got scrapped for gold, that's why you find so many of them without case.
I'm looking for key wind 16s cases on Ebay, but I have no idea if the movement will really fit if I find one. I assume that the hole for the winding key is always in a different position, depending on the manufacturer.

View attachment 731611
Nice. I tend to like more subtle design-ed dials and hands.
I got most of my 1800's Longines from South America (Argentina) from a couple of vendors that for some reason have lots of movements for sale. Some are just for parts while others are in fantastic shape.
What's the dial diameter?

- J
 

John Hinkey

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Feb 21, 2022
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Here's the latest:
  • Changed to an off-the-shelf nickel bow (18 size shown, but I can also fit a 16 size) available from Esslinger using some drilled out stainless steel washers as bow bushes
  • Changed the pendant tube OD - slimmed it down in order to fit the bow
  • Adjusted some dimensions on the main body part
  • Added the winding stem restraining screw, which I now have in hand
I still have not solved the access to the setting lever, but am working on it using some of the suggestions above.

My plan is to 3D print another main body part (the two covers are un-changed) and add the bow when it comes this week.
It should be fully functional with this next iteration.

- John


1665958066808.png

1665958101022.png
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
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I know the design doesn't look like it's changed, but I have added the feature that allows the movement to be securely captured by the main body of the case using the locking screw on the movement. So this case is now working pretty much jut like a standard metal case.

Waiting for the pocket watch bows to come in and installation of the bushes to complete the basic design and assembly.

Next major rev of this will
  • solve the actuation of the setting lever in a practical way
  • maybe have a metal winding stem+crown, though the 3D printed version is working well
  • UV glue in the glass windows (I have sapphire windows too)
Getting close to calling this prototype done. Then I need to print/assemble a final version and re-furbish the movement and be done.

I can also print the parts in clear (which might be cool), white and a darker black (the current resin is somewhat translucent, though dark), so I may make a couple of 3D printed cases using different materials for different parts which might be kind of cool looking.
1666118403577.jpeg

1666118424664.jpeg

1666118447664.jpeg

1666118484936.jpeg


Comments welcome.

- John
 

Dr. Jon

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I have been trying to come up with a way to deal with lever setting.

I have a watch in a case intended for lever setting but it came with stem setting but the idea may be useful
DSC00036_s.jpg

The watch has a second outer bezel. A hinged 3D printed bezel may be too much but you could make with bezel to hold the crystal and have the lever come through the inner bezel. A second bezel could snap over the inner and seal it .
 

John Hinkey

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Feb 21, 2022
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I have been trying to come up with a way to deal with lever setting.

I have a watch in a case intended for lever setting but it came with stem setting but the idea may be useful View attachment 732209
The watch has a second outer bezel. A hinged 3D printed bezel may be too much but you could make with bezel to hold the crystal and have the lever come through the inner bezel. A second bezel could snap over the inner and seal it .
Actually a hinged front cover might be doable - just need a good way to keep the front cover closed securely while being easy to open for setting.

- J
 

John Hinkey

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Feb 21, 2022
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Hi John,

I think your case is a most impressive use of this technology!

Regards,

Graham
Thanks. It can be better with better skill from me (took me 2 months to get barely proficient in printing dimensionally accurate 3D resin parts), better printer (mine is only $350 + $1K in all the other necessary stuff) as it's mainly meant for printing figures and such, better resins (I'm not using the REALLY expensive stuff yet), better post processing (all sorts of stuff you can do to make the case much nicer).
- J
 

John Hinkey

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Here's a hinged design. I think I have a neat way to keep the front closed, but will first print this to get the hinge working (it's a 1.5mm brass tube with a 1mm dowel inside that). The back cover stays the same.
1666383116670.png

Should have some real bows today to try to install.
- J
 

gmorse

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Hi John,

If you make the bezel ever so slightly elliptical with the minor axis on the 3/9 line, it should provide just enough 'snap' to keep it shut, provided you form the lips with the right profiles.

Regards,

Graham
 
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John Hinkey

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Feb 21, 2022
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Hi John,

If you make the bezel ever so slightly elliptical with the minor axis on the 3/9 line, it should provide just enough 'snap' to keep it shut, provided you form the lips with the right profiles.

Regards,

Graham
Great idea, unfortunately plastic will not work well that way, especially this 3D printed plastic. What I'm working on is using a softer rubber o-ring that would be used for the snapping part so that there is no plastic-on-plastic interaction that would likely fail quickly. I will keep this in mind though and give something similar a try since it's very elegant, and see how durable it is.

It takes about an hour to print the front and back pieces and 9+hours for the main body.

I just received my PW bows and will attempt to install one (18s size - seen in the image - seems the best fit).

- J
 
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John Hinkey

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Feb 21, 2022
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Make sure you measure the stem. ;)
A question, hope it doesn't break any rules.
A very nice quality orphan like this, how much would I expect to be out of pocket to purchase one?
:D
I picked it up for $290 on ebay. It runs!
No idea for a purchase price . . . I need to work on a few things first.
This model I think deserves front/back sapphire windows!

- John
 
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John Hinkey

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Here's the first fully functional assembly of the case - lots of room for aesthetic, functional and mechanical improvement, but it's all there.
Working winder, you can set the time, hang it from a chain, etc. Still working on a more aesthetic access to the setting lever.
1666940394517.jpeg

1666940456308.jpeg


This design would be far more simple with a stem set/stem wind movement (hence my Agassiz purchase above). Even a negative set watch may be easier than the lever set movements.

I think I will do one more iteration on this design (solve the setting lever problem primarily and a few other things), then decide on a final 3D resin material and color(s). I kind of like the black though!

It's probably taken me 80 hours (not including calibrating the 3D resin printer) and a couple thousand $$ in tools and such to work this all out and I've learned a lot. Next design will be far easier and faster.

Welcome your thoughts and ideas.

- John
 

rstl99

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Well done John, and thanks for sharing your 3D printing lessons-learned with us. I'm completely ignorant of that technology.

I'd LOVE one day to have some kind of solution like that to more properly protect and display some of the several fine verge watch movements I own. In that case, the solution should also ideally allow viewing the movement from the side (clear sides on the case), to admire the internal components of the watches visible through the two plates. Would this be at all possible with 3D printing?

If I can ever get some decent lathe skills, I thought of just making cylinders of clear lucite (or something similar) with clear caps top and bottom, to protect and view the movements.

Here's such a verge movement to give you an idea (this one is from Julien Le Roy in Paris). In the meantime, I store them in small plastic containers as shown.

p.s. sorry didn't mean to hijack your Longines thread but thought I'd get some thoughts about manufactured cases for an older generation of watch movement.

Robert

IMG_0833.jpg IMG_0834.jpg IMG_0835.jpg IMG_0836.jpg
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
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Well done John, and thanks for sharing your 3D printing lessons-learned with us. I'm completely ignorant of that technology.

I'd LOVE one day to have some kind of solution like that to more properly protect and display some of the several fine verge watch movements I own. In that case, the solution should also ideally allow viewing the movement from the side (clear sides on the case), to admire the internal components of the watches visible through the two plates. Would this be at all possible with 3D printing?

If I can ever get some decent lathe skills, I thought of just making cylinders of clear lucite (or something similar) with clear caps top and bottom, to protect and view the movements.

Here's such a verge movement to give you an idea (this one is from Julien Le Roy in Paris). In the meantime, I store them in small plastic containers as shown.

p.s. sorry didn't mean to hijack your Longines thread but thought I'd get some thoughts about manufactured cases for an older generation of watch movement.

Robert

View attachment 733698 View attachment 733700 View attachment 733701 View attachment 733702
A clear case is certainly an option and I will experiment with that kind of material.
I want to solve the problem of the lever set movement since there are tons of fantastic lever set movements out there waiting for a home.

- J
 
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