Russian Chronometer

Discussion in 'Chronometers' started by CJo, Jul 20, 2019.

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  1. CJo

    CJo Registered User
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    Aug 22, 2005
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    This belongs to a friend. My problem is that when I wind it up, it won't start on it's own. So I take it out and give the balance a little push, and then it will run till it runs down. Sounds like it is out of beat, but I'm not sure how to put this in beat and was wondering if it was something that I could do easily or not. I need someone to tell me how to put it in beat. Maybe it is a different issue, just not sure. Thanks for your help.

    IMG_3257.JPG IMG_3254.JPG IMG_3255.JPG
     
  2. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    A detent chronometer only has impulse in one direction, so there is no concept of "out of beat." That observation implies that your friend's chronometer has a lever escapement, but the pictures you show do not look much like my lever escapement Russian Marine Chronometer.

    movement.jpg That may be because it was made in the "other" factory. Here is a link to the page on mine. AWCo Web

    If yours is a detent chronometer, the correct behavior is to not start when wound until it is given a twist, usually by a sharp rotation of the box of about a quarter turn. That is the safer way to do the same as pushing on the balance.
     
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  3. CJo

    CJo Registered User
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    Tom thank you very much for your reply. I have learned something I didn’t know which is awesome. This a detent chronometer. Again, thank you very much.
     
  4. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I am glad. Learning is what we are all about here. :)
     
  5. pocketsrforwatches

    pocketsrforwatches Registered User
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    I'm no expert on detent chronometers having only recently acquired a Hamilton Model 21. I do believe that it is dangerous to let a detent chorno wind all the way down. Damage can occur to the delicate detent. It should be allowed to run down to where there are several hours left and then "corked" either with actual cork wedges or small strips of folded paper under the balance rim. Some chronos have other means to lock the balance. If I'm not mistaken it looks like there is a pointed arm on your balance cock which would swing over and lock the balance by contacting a balance weight. Someone else with more knowledge than me can verify this.

    Roger
     
  6. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    Yours looks a lot like the typical Russian detent chronometer.

    These are not self starting. They have to be started by swinging the balance but twisting the movement or using something like a fine paint brush to swing the balance/

    It is unlikely to be out of beat but they have be reasonably close to being in beat that is the impulse has to occur near the neutral point of the balance swing.

    If you started the balance and did not hear any ticking sound it may be far enough out of beat that the escapement could not drive it. When it is running under power the escape whee turning should be visible by watching the spokes of the escape wheel and you should hear ticking. It is not the same as that of a lever watch.

    It could also be dirty and gummed enough that the escapement cannot overcome losses and it runs down.

    If you don't know how to work on these you can break some stuff learning. This is not as bad as it would be on other instruments since replacement parts are available but for now I suggest you carefully swing the balance at least 90 degrees let it free and listen for ticking. If it does not tick it has some serious issues.
     
  7. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    #7 pmwas, May 9, 2020
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
    Russian Marine chronometers were made since 1940s to 1990s in Moscow.
    At first they were making clocks licensed by Ulysee Nardin - if my memory serves - (now very rare), but aquiring Glashuette equipment gave the Soviets an opportunity to start producing 'their own' movements.

    Earliest date to circa 1950 (and were signed 1MChZ im. Kirova), later (signed Poljot - brand name switched along with the name of the entire factory) were still made in the 1990s, making them probably one of the youngest fusee movements to be found.

    Pictures:

    DSC09802.JPG

    They come in a double wooden box...

    DSC09804.JPG

    Traditional chronometer design.
    Three hands and power reserve indicator.

    DSC09811.JPG

    Suspended in the special cage that maintains flat position of the movement to ensure flawless timekeeping.

    DSC09817.JPG

    Mine is in very good condition, but it is fairly new.

    DSC09820.JPG

    They all look pretty much the same, the European marine chronometers, but when you compare - this sure is Glashuette design.

    DSC09821.JPG

    Chronometer balance with large, movable weights, and vertical hairspring (I'm sorry, I don't remember the proper name for that type of spring).

    DSC09826.JPG

    Detent chronometer escapement.


    DSC09834.JPG

    And a fusee with power maintaining mechanism...

    DSC09840.JPG

    This came with all the 'paperwork', showing factory test results...

    DSC09854.JPG

    This piece was made in 1988 (date of the tests), but released two years later, in 1990, according to the release stamp.

    It is very funny how I hot that piece. I was helping a friend selling his entire collection, and I accidentally damaged one of the locks on the box.
    Ashamed, I ordered a replacement lock, but it was slightly different than the original one.
    Not wanting to tell him what happened, I told him this one I'll buy for myself :D

    And so I now have one. I do not regret that decision at all!
     
  8. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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  9. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

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    No, Hamilton 21 has a different plates' layout - more like the Ulysee Nardin chronometer that was also - for a short time - produced in Russia.

    The story of this well known 'Russian chronometer' begins with the machinery taken from Glashuette by Russians in 1945.

    IMG_1725.jpg

    That's the movement (and the entire clock) the 'Kirova' chronometer is a clone of.
    It's perfectly simple - the Russians came, took Glasuette equipment, and started making these in Moscow.
    The fact that they took the machinery and tools to Russia in 1945 is well known, mentioned even in the Glashuette Museum.
    They took many German factories East, including these.

    Having full documentation and equipment to make Glashuette movements, why would they make Hamilton 21 instead?
    Obviously -Hamilton model 21 is part of the same 'family', designed in a very similar way to the others. Like I said - they are all pretty much the same ;)
     
  10. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    The balance with 4 short arms is called the "Integral Balance" and uses Guillaume's alloy to eliminate middle temperature error.

    These are actually pretty similar to the Elgin Marine chronometers that were also modeled after Nardin. Elgin's innovation was the ability to remove the balance and escapement while the chronometer was wound up.

    The helical hairspring is steel.

    The Hamilton chronometer has an Elinvar Extra hairspring and the balance has an Invar cross arm and steel rim that becomes slightly oval with temperature changes to compensate for the slight remaining temperature effect in the Elinvar.
     
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  11. Paul Regan

    Paul Regan Registered User
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    Nice write up of your fine chronometer, thanks for posting this “pmwas”
    Paul
     

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