• The online Bulletins and Mart and Highlights are currently unavailable due to a failure of a network piece of equipment. We are working to replace it and have the Online publications available as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Repairing a Fusee Lever watch for a friend

Altdorfer

Registered User
May 19, 2020
13
2
3
46
Country
Hello everyone, this thread is about whether there is there a good way to economically fix an watch which has not so much "monetary" value.

I was given 3 pocket watches by my parents friends who had approached the auction house which told them that the watches "had no value". They were given to me as they said I may be interested in them! I'm not sure they want the watches back, however I'd love to give them back in a working state as they had helped our family out when my mother was Ill. All 3 were in a sorry state but 2 I've managed to restore to working order (one Waltham No.610 Hunter - without Bezel and someone has put a hole in the front of the silver case :-( and the other an open faced cylinder escapement)
IMG-20201104-WA0000.jpg


20210808_082512_resized.jpg

After restoration and keeping good time

20210923_195916_resized.jpg

The English lever pocket watch however has a broken escape wheel pinion. The silver case suggests it's from around 1880.


20210909_220545_resized.jpg

It looks like someone has slipped a couple of times working on this watch in the past....... it doesn't have many jewels....

20210909_221032_resized.jpg

20210909_230650_resized.jpg

So here's my conundrum. I would dearly love to get this watch working again. I'd happily spend some money on this but owing to the watches age I think it's a bit of a gamble trying to purchase scrap old movements off ebay etc in the hope of getting an escape wheel that matches (I don't have the tools for any micro mechanic machining to repair the original)
The other options is to get a pocket watch repairer to look at it but it's probably not economical.

Does anyone have any thoughts or advise on this. Should I put the watch back together with the broken pivot just as a family heirloom?

Would love to know your thoughts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zacandy

Dr. Jon

Moderator
NAWCC Member
Dec 14, 2001
6,642
1,004
113
New Hampshire
Country
Region
There is no way a restoration makes any financial sense. You did well on the Waltham. The others can be restored but they will require the repairer to make new parts. The cost will far exceed any added value, which is why they auction houses said they have not value. It is matter of sentiment which is personal.

I believe the mark is a lay out mark from when it was made. It locates a bearing hole.

If you can collect family lore to explain the relation of these watches to your family it might be worth doing some work in these.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Altdorfer

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
12,836
2,346
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi Altdorfer,
The English lever pocket watch however has a broken escape wheel pinion. The silver case suggests it's from around 1880.
Could you post a picture of the escape wheel by itself please? In your picture the lever is obscuring much of the escape wheel. Is it just one of the pivots which is broken? The pinion is an integral part of the arbor, so a pivot replacement should be straightforward.

Jon,
Do you mean the mark on the pillar plate bar by the third wheel lower hole, or the one locating the minute wheel post?

Regards,

Graham
 
  • Like
Reactions: Altdorfer

Altdorfer

Registered User
May 19, 2020
13
2
3
46
Country
There is no way a restoration makes any financial sense. You did well on the Waltham. The others can be restored but they will require the repairer to make new parts. The cost will far exceed any added value, which is why they auction houses said they have not value. It is matter of sentiment which is personal.

I believe the mark is a lay out mark from when it was made. It locates a bearing hole.

If you can collect family lore to explain the relation of these watches to your family it might be worth doing some work in these.
Thank you for the response Dr. Jon. Actually the watches are not part of my family history and I really want to hand all 3 back (at no cost as it's really fun working on them), to the family friends who gave them to me. However, I'd really like to give them all back in working order and maybe they would hand them to their grand children as I think this has the most value (If they didn't want them back I'd offer to buy them and keep them)

I think you are correct in the restoration makes no financial sense, especially on this one - I'd happily pay something but I fear I could just throw good money after bad attempting to find suitable escape wheel replacement.

Thanks so much for the tip on the lay out mark - this makes sense now......
 

Altdorfer

Registered User
May 19, 2020
13
2
3
46
Country
Hi Altdorfer,


Could you post a picture of the escape wheel by itself please? In your picture the lever is obscuring much of the escape wheel. Is it just one of the pivots which is broken? The pinion is an integral part of the arbor, so a pivot replacement should be straightforward.

Jon,
Do you mean the mark on the pillar plate bar by the third wheel lower hole, or the one locating the minute wheel post?

Regards,

Graham
Hi Graham,

Here's a picture of the escape wheel on it's own.

Any thoughts welcome :)


20210923_222523.jpg
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
12,836
2,346
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi Altdorfer,
Here's a picture of the escape wheel on it's own.

Any thoughts welcome
Yes, thanks for that, it's the pivot on the pinion end of the arbor that's broken off, which is a straightforward repair for someone with a lathe. The broken end will be dressed flat and a hole drilled into it to take a replacement pivot. You should be able to find someone in your area who's a member here and able to do this work for you at a reasonable cost.

Regards,

Graham
 
  • Like
Reactions: Altdorfer

Altdorfer

Registered User
May 19, 2020
13
2
3
46
Country
Hi Altdorfer,


Yes, thanks for that, it's the pivot on the pinion end of the arbor that's broken off, which is a straightforward repair for someone with a lathe. The broken end will be dressed flat and a hole drilled into it to take a replacement pivot. You should be able to find someone in your area who's a member here and able to do this work for you at a reasonable cost.

Regards,

Graham
Thanks so much Graham - that gives me hope. I'm based in Germany but am also back in the South West UK quite often (where the watch was given to me). I'm happy to pay someone to repair it - I'll see if I can do some searching here.

I was thinking at the start my only option was to try to find a similar escape wheel which would be expensive process and probably not very fruitful .... and therefore frustrating...

I will add to this post to let you know progress (best case would be if I could convince my wife that I could buy a lathe.... not sure I could swing that one!!!)

Thanks again for the advise, really helpful.

Have a good weekend
 

Forum statistics

Threads
168,853
Messages
1,473,374
Members
48,613
Latest member
johndavidcham
Encyclopedia Pages
1,060
Total wiki contributions
2,955
Last update
-