Pocket Watch Movement Restoration Question

Robert J. Moore

Registered User
Aug 28, 2013
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Hello,
I turn to those more experienced then I once more.

From time to time in the NAWCC publications I see articles regarding pocket watch restoration projects. Regarding such I have a question on techniques with the polishing of screw down gold jewel settings from higher grade movements. I currently own a nice Columbus size 18s, 21j., Time King HC movement which is in need of a good service. The two tone plate has a lot of potential going for it being quite bright once you get past the crude. The gold jewel settings appear tarnished. Is it usual practice to try and polish these raised gold jewel settings up some way? If so whats the method? Do you use a tiny buff? Do you remove each setting with its jewel in order to protect the damaskeening? Do you try and remove the jewel from its setting prior to polishing in order to protect the jewel? Thanks for any assistance.
Robert
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
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Hi Robert,

I'd be concerned that whatever method I used to treat the settings should on no account soften or round the crisp edges and flat surfaces which which they were originally made. Any kind of buffing would tend to round and soften them, so that method is out. I'd start with a good watch cleaner in an ultrasonic and see how they look after that; if they're gold, cleaning should be enough.

If a setting was made with tooling or graining marks, true restoration would not involve polishing those marks out, but simply cleaning them. Any acceptable cleaning method for the setting won't hurt the jewel, which should not be removed from the setting, not least because they were mostly rubbed in and don't come out easily without the risk of cracking them.

Regards,

Graham
 
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Rockford's early high grade movements by Greg Frauenhoff