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English PW Pocket watch

Fenner

Registered User
Sep 25, 2012
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Barnoldswick.Lancs
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I have been given an cheap pocket watch to try and get running and succeeded to a degree, I stripped it down and did not find anything untoward cleaned and oiled and reassembled, the watch runs but only flat on its back and as soon as it is lifted, stops. can anybody tell me what could be the cause. To be honest I don't think the watch is worth it but the lady says it is of sentimental value. I have enclosed pictures if they would help. Fenner.
IMG_5585.jpg IMG_5586.jpg
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
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Hi Fenner,

This is what is widely known as a "dollar watch", and without clearer pictures and more information it's impossible to say very much, other than that it's most likely to be a problem with the balance or escapement, (hairsprings are the favourite area for trouble), which is probably a pin pallet type. These watches were not really designed to be repairable, so if you've got it back together in some sort of order, you've done pretty well!

Regards,

Graham
 

karlmansson

Registered User
Apr 20, 2013
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These watches seldom have jewels but only bushings made directly in the plate. Wear on the escape Wheel and pallet fork bushings is rather common. If the angles in the pin pallet escapement is thrown off by worn bushings, you will get great Power losses resulting in a no-go. Worn bushings also means that there will be more things that can shift depending on the position of the Watch so that might be an explanation to the problem you are seeing.

That being said, these watches are low quality and as Graham says, not meant to be repaired. They are prone to any number of faults and "servicing" them most likely means rebuildning them to some extent. Interesting from an academic standpoint but hardly Worth the trouble. I have a wristwatch variation of my own that has had me on the brink of madness more than once... Best of luck!
 

randallzadar

NAWCC Business
Jan 28, 2015
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I just worked on one with the same problem. There is so much sideshake in these dollar watches that this one when tilted, the balance just touched the regulator and stopped the balance. I adjusted the regulator up a bit and all is fine. I love working on these dollar watches.

Randall
 

Smudgy

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May 20, 2003
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You may want to check the balance pivots, ad they would explain the behavior and are commonly in poor condition in these. The pivot should be a cone with smooth, straight sides. They should rest in cups that have cone shaped indentations to match the pivots and should also have straight, smooth sides. To adjust the shake on the balance tighten the cups until you get a little drag, then loosen just enough to allow the balance to swing freely. Don't forget to oil the pivots. These watches are usually so overpowered that the problems need to be pretty severe to stop the watch, so the cause shouldn't be too difficult to locate.
 

Fenner

Registered User
Sep 25, 2012
448
5
18
Barnoldswick.Lancs
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Thanks all, I played around with it for quite a while whilst awaiting a reply from you lads out there which, to be honest I couldn't do without and as a complete novice you are a very helpful place I can go to. However glad to say I succeeded and the watch runs in any position and keeps good time (I must have been lucky in placing the regulator pointer) I find getting the balance in between those plates can be frustrating and every time you try to adjust the screw you find that the balance is trapped at an angle. But happily I can give the lady her watch back and she can relive her memories to what it means to her. Thanks once again to all and I only wish that I can gain enough knowledge someday in the future to reply and answer some of the problems to other members or guests as you lads or ladies do. Fenner
 

Smudgy

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May 20, 2003
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The easiest way to get the balance back in is to leave it out when assembling the watch, then back out the cups it mounts in and putting it in then. That way you don't have to deal with it while you are aligning everything else.
 

Ticktinker

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Jul 7, 2015
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Fenner,
I have a nice looking Ingersoll, once I cleaned it and oiled it, it seemed to run fine.
I sold the watch and it came back to me, due to stoppage and loosing time.
When I took a very close look at the metal pivot over the pallet, I found it had been worn (the pivot) into an oblong shape.
With high magnification I could see the pivot point on the pallet staff rocking as the watch ran.
That watch was made in about 1926, so as nice as dollar watches can be they can still be worn and stop...
I may work an experiment on it to learn how to install a jewel in the pivot position.
Good luck with your Watches.
 

karlmansson

Registered User
Apr 20, 2013
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Linköping, Sweden
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Fenner
That watch was made in about 1926, so as nice as dollar watches can be they can still be worn and stop...
Can't work out if you're being sarcastic here... They were specifically made to be cheap, not to run for a long time.

If you have a faceplate or very, very, very fine files and a bushing machine you could re-bush the pallet arbor. I think you'll find that other bushings are equally worn though, hence my previous comment about having to rebuild it to a certain extent.

Best regards

Karl
 

Ticktinker

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Jul 7, 2015
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Karl you just read too much into the text here, don't worry about it.
 

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