Pocket watch i.d

greg wilson

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Jul 29, 2011
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please can anybody help I.D. my pocket watch, there is no makers or movement marks i can see, i bought the watch to see if i could repair it, i do not want to take it for repair as this would defeat the reason i bought it, the watch appeared to be over wound and if i shook it would tick for about 30 seconds, i removed the two screws and released and unwound the main spring, then i removed the three screws holding the main plate, but i can not remove either to look inside the watch, i do not want to force anything and do more damage,now the main spring barrel rotates when i try to wind the watch also the main hands turn, i have also noticed that one of the jewels may be missing ? if anybody can please advice with any information no matter how small apart from taking it for repair i would be most greateful, thanks greg.
 

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Kevin W.

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Hi Greg, I dont know the maker of this watch.Others will likely know.
i removed the two screws and released and unwound the main spring, When you did this you could have easily damaged the movement.This is not the way to let down the power on a watch.
Best bet would be is to take it to a watch repair person if you would like to see it run again.
If you wish to pursue watch repair, you have a lot of learning ahead of you.
 

greg wilson

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Jul 29, 2011
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many thanks for your reply, i know this will be a learning curve for me, but as i said this would defeat the object. and i am willing to wait for the watch to be I.D. and would like to thank you for your time and will not go any further untill i get the right advice, as a very last resort i will send the watch for repair many thanks greg
 

Cary Hurt

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Your watch has a cylinder escapement, and likely dates to the last part of the 19th century. The convention among Swiss makers at that time was to not sign their movements, so a positive ID is made more difficult.

I cannot tell from your image, but I would not be surprised that this movement only had four jewels to begin with.

I do not mean to discourage you, but repair work on these movements is something of a lost art, and this is really not a good choice to begin learning on. There are some references with chapters on cylinder watches, but parts are non-existent and the intricacies of adjustment are largely unknown or ignored nowadays. The cylinder movement is a sturdy and reliable, if not very accurate design, and they were considered obsolete by the 1930s. Few watchmakers trained since then have mush experience with them.

If you want to learn skills that will be more universally applicable, try to find a mass produced lever escapement watch (Elgin or Waltham are good bets). I would suggest holding off on this one until your basic skills are honed on more standardized movements.
 

greg wilson

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Jul 29, 2011
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many thanks, i think i will take your advice and seek help, do you know anyone ? many thanks greg
 

greg wilson

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Jul 29, 2011
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on the back of the dial there are many names with dates but most i can not read at the moment but one stands out which looks like it as been stamped it says colin with a c underneath which looks like a makers mark ? also stamped on the back 41373 or 41575 hard to see if its a 3 or 5
 
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greg wilson

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Jul 29, 2011
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just been told it will not repair, but can anyone please tell me how to remove the main plate, removed the screws and is loose but will not release from the winder spindle?
 

John Pavlik

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Greg,

It appears you are trying to dismantle the movement while it is still in the case? If I were you, I would get a basic repair book, so at least you get an idea of how a watch works.. While disassembly is quite easy, assembly may prove to be much more difficult..
 

Watchfixer

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I am curious what do you mean by swiss convention not to sign their movements? This makes things more diffcult to trace. Which is thankfully done now on many movements now (was this enforced back then?).

Cheers, Watchfixer
 

Cary Hurt

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I am curious what do you mean by swiss convention not to sign their movements? This makes things more diffcult to trace. Which is thankfully done now on many movements now (was this enforced back then?).

Cheers, Watchfixer
Up until the early 20th Century, the Swiss watch industry was much more of a cottage industry than their later reputation would imply. A few factories produced large quantities of basic movement parts (plates, bridges, wheels, and screws) and sold them unfinished. Some went to small specialty makers, others to large scale producers. Dials, hairsprings, hands, and jewels were made by other specialized makers. These parts were hand assembled into movements which could be finished to any desired degree, tuned, decorated, and timed to a wide range of specifications. Jobbers would buy these movements to have them cased and exported, or sold to jewelers or watchmakers who would sell them (sometimes engraved with the name of the seller, but not the maker).

Since the attention was paid to the one who finished the movement, or to the retailer who sold it, it was expected (and accepted) practice for the original maker of the movement to remain anonymous. As these movements were hand finished from common parts, knowing the original maker of the base movement (the ebauche or blank) really doesn't tell us much. The quality (and marketability) of the movement would be more dependent upon the maker who finished the movement, rather than the one who started it.
 

greg wilson

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Jul 29, 2011
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hi john, thanks for your reply, the movment has been removed from the case and the dial removed please see picture, but the plate will not remove from the centre shaft. i thought it may unscrew into two pieces but this does not seem to be the case?
 

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John Pavlik

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Greg,

You really should take the balance assembly out first.. Much danger of damage with balance in place.. THEN the center shaft needs to be removed.. Cannon pinion removed, shaft should then come out with minimal pressure.. from front to back.. it may take a punch to remove the cannon pinion..
 

greg wilson

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Jul 29, 2011
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sorry hands and dial and balance wheel all removed, just started my intrest in pocket watches i have a lot to learn, not sure which is the cannon pinion, guessing its the centre spindle? whould appreciate if anybody can tell me the best web sites that show the parts of a watch and any i may find helpful. thanks
 

Kevin W.

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If you google watch repair there some web sites with free information.It might be advisable to start learning on a common Waltham or Elgin that parts are easily available.Also to read up on watch repair in general.
Just my 2 cents.Glad to see someone new interested in watches.http://www.timezone.com/library/wglossary/wglossary631691895527615829

Good site to learn parts names and terminology.
 
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psfred

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Many of the old style key set watches have a friction fit center wheel and the cannon pinion does not slip on the center wheel arbor, it is a press fit. You will need to tap GENTLY on the protruding arbor to release the center wheel from the cannon pinion (the bit surrounding the arbor with teeth on it, upon which the minute hand installs). Best to use a staking set, but I'm fairly certain you don't have one. A watchmaker's hammer will work instead

This will free up the arbor, which will drop of out of the watch plates, freeing the bridge.

Peter
 

greg wilson

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Jul 29, 2011
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thanks to everyone for helping, the last two posts have been very helpful, i have now been able to remove the plate, which caught me by surprise and the wheels inside came loose and i am not sure how they go back doe's anyone have a diagram of the inside of a watch.
 

Kevin W.

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I doubt anyone has any diagram.I wish you would listen to some of the advice.I am not giving any more as you seem to want to destroy this movement.
 

daddypea

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Greg, all watches are basically the same, you only have 3 'wheels' to worry about (forgive my very basic drawing) Put your bottom plate on the table and put in A the one with the spring inside it. Next comes B which goes partly under A and is usually the biggest of the ones you have left. Next comes C and the centre teeth should touch the outer edge of B. Now you're just left with the spikey one which goes in the last hole and also partly under C. Now get the top plate and place it on top, not forgetting the centre spindle one. Now comes the fun bit of trying to marry the lot up which is best done with a wooden toothpick to gently nudge each 'wheel' into its corresponding holes. Good luck
 

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greg wilson

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Jul 29, 2011
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ref vertitas, thanks for your input you was born with the knowledge and never had to learn by your misstakes. please forgive the spelling, not trying to destroy the watch just trying to start a intresting hobby, so thanks to everyone that has the patience to help a novice
 

Kevin W.

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Greg i started out with no knowledge, but was willing to study and learn.I listened and learned from many people on this web site and others.I did not destroy a watch in the way you seem to have here.Sorry to be blunt but that is what i see is happening.You said you would take it to a watch repair person to be repaired , you did not.That is not what i call a person wanting to learn.I have patience for people who listen to advice and wish to learn.I dont think this describes you.
If i am wrong then i apologize, but by doing what you say you did, i ask myself, what did you hope to acomplish.
Newbies do have to start somewhere, and i hope the advice freely given helps people decide what to do.We were all newbies one time Greg, and i am not saying i am perfect, far from it.
Watch repair is not for everyone, you may or may not have the apptitude for this.
But if you wish to pursue it then there is a methodical way to aproach it.
 

greg wilson

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Jul 29, 2011
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dear veritas i thank you for your reply but if you read the second thread after yours, you will see i did take the watch to a jewellers not a high street one but a family run business, he was the one who said it was scrap, and would be a good test piece to learn on as i could do no more damage, and to practice removing and refitting the parts, when i could not remove the rear plate i thought the best thing to do was to ask someone, i am a very good learner and do listen and take advise well or i would not ask, but like most people make mistakes, that is why i always make a point of thanking anyone with the time and patience to help and i hope your reply will not put other people off and they will try to help me because a little patience goes a long way, and i do thank you for your input.
 

greg wilson

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Jul 29, 2011
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daddypea, great name, your drawing may be basic but i found it very helpful i have managed to refit all the parts back together, and seems ok next problem will be trying to replace the parts that were already damaged when i acquired the watch any thoughts on this matter? thanks for your help.
 

daddypea

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You said that a jewel is missing, this is a job for a watchmaker i'm afraid. I've done it in the past but not a job i'd relish as there are so many different types and sizes of jewels. Is the mainspring broken? If you don't know then the big wheel marked A on my drawing, gently lever it apart and you'll soon see whether its broken or not. Again that will need a watchmaker to replace it if you don't have a spare of the right size. Once you've sorted those bits out you can then check the balance but do those other bits first.
 

greg wilson

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Jul 29, 2011
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thanks daddypea, main spring looks ok, only two other problems apart from the jewel, the front cog where the hands fit has most of the teeth missing, this small cog is a press fit on the front, also there is a long curved ratchet type lever broken, both of the parts fitted under the dial, just hoping someone out there may have parts, i will try to post a picture later, but i may not be able to reply to anymore postings for a few days as my grandchild is about to be born, once again many thanks for taking the time.
 

jfl

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I would heartily recommend a NAWCC suitcase class for pocket watch basic cleaning. These are offerred at different times in various locations across the nation. I took mine in Kissimmee, FL in Feb 2010. I cleaned/serviced 4 watches in the 4 days. You could bring the cylinder watch to have the instructor give a short lesson on and he could tell you by looking what is wrong. That said I would start on either 16 or 18 size Waltham or Elgin 7j watches. The 7j models are much more forgiving of clumsy hands. I personally did one of each as well as a Knickerbocker 2j and a 15j 0 size Elgin. The 0 size while it runs, I now understand my limitations as it was incredibly difficult working with the much smaller components. I just finished my 24th watch successfully, although I have had 3 failures along the path that I still need parts for.
Lots of luck
JFL
 

greg wilson

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Jul 29, 2011
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i have just posted picture of the broken lever, and the small cog i need push fits onto the centre spindle but is too small to photo, please if anybody has the spares i need please let me know, many thanks
 

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greg wilson

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Jul 29, 2011
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daddypea sent a private message, not sure i have done this right, please let me know if you recived it thanks
 
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