Removal of E. Howard from case--the detent

jboger

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I've posted pictures of this watch under the American Pocket Watch Forum. I've decided to dismantle and clean the movement. Also weigh the case. But before I do any of that I need to remove the movement from the case. I have worked on many, many watches of all sorts [American makes, fusees (verge and lever), Swiss bar] but it's been a while since I've had one with a detent screw like this Howard. And I never had a Howard movement in its original case.

So what do I do? If I recall correctly I want to back off on that screw just enough so the stem pulls out, yes? This is a stem set watch. Does it matter if the stem is pushed in or pulled out? I seem to recall that if I back off too much on that screw then the setting assembly (between the plates) can come apart. I guess I should push the stem back in and tighten down on the screw after the movement is removed from the case.

Some of this seems to be coming back to me, but I really would like confirmation of this. I've attached a picture.

Thanks in advance,

John

MVIMG_20210531_151029.jpg
 

MrRoundel

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Really nice split plate. Looks all original to me, including the double-sunk dial.

Yes, that is the detent screw in such early Howards. Back it out about 1 3/4-2 turns and the stem should release.

Make sure you use good screwdrivers, and soft instruments whenever possible, i.e. brass tweezers, as you work on this one. It would be a shame to hurt those pretty nickel plates.
 

jboger

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I concur it would be a shame to mar those nickel plates. It seems to me that it should NOT matter whether the stem is in or pulled out when I back off on the detent screw. Is that correct?

I never liked detents.I seem to recall the last time I worked on one years ago I couldn't get the stem back in because something moved between the plates and I had to disassemble and reassemble the watch to get the proper alignment so the stem could enter the winding/setting mechanism.
 

jboger

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Good news. The movement is now out of the case. The hands are off. The dial is off. And the motion work as well. The movement has several what I identify as Swiss features: Geneva stops, balance jeweling, and the center wheel pin/arbor. Curiously, the dial has four feet, not the usual three on American/English watches, nor the two I've usually seen on Swiss watches. It's a nice piece of workmanship. I can see why people like these earlier Howards.
 
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MrRoundel

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It's a nice piece of workmanship. I can see why people like these earlier Howards.
Yes, that fine workmanship is one of the big reasons we watch folks appreciate the early Howards. If that's your first early Howard, it may be a hard act to follow for your second early Howard and beyond. Enjoy. Cheers.
 

jboger

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Learning much from Clint Geller in another thread. But I want to keep "repair" separate from a general discussion. So, with that in mind, and assuming the cannon pinion is threaded onto the center wheel arbor, how do I best unscrew the cannon pinion, from the front or from the rear or both? I could put a small hand vise on the square peg of either the canon pinion or the setting square in the rear. OR I use two vises: (1) on the canon pinion to hold it stationary and (2) on the setting square, where I give it a turn to unscrew the arbor. And to unscrew, do I turn counter clockwise (lefty-loosey). I would of course remove the balance first.
 

jboger

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I took the cannon pinion. Quite simple. Now know whether it was threaded or not or had been altered.
 

jboger

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I want to publicly thank Clint Geller and watchmaker John Wilson of Philly for their assistance. I wasn't familiar with the removal of the barrel from the bottom plate and wanted to know the consequences of any action I took before I took any action. Once I had a path forward, the barrel was removed from the bottom plate in a matter of seconds. The watch is now fully disassembled waiting for me to find a block of time to work on it.
 

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E. Howard & Co. by Clint Geller