Serviced Waltham 1899 Hard to Wind

oldmancoolidge

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Jul 20, 2020
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I just serviced a 1899 Waltham, washed all the parts, oiled, replaced the mainspring, everything went smoothly...only problem is its hard to wind. I used a #2227 0.019 mm strength. I rechecked everything...nothing seems out of line. This the only 1899 I have...maybe they just wind hard? Only other thing I can come up with is a used a spring that was too strong. I see that the spring range from 0.016 to 0.02. Why would they make them at a strength that makes them uncomfortable to wind? Maybe I am missing something. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 

MrRoundel

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Dec 28, 2010
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The higher the grade and number of jewels, the thinner the MS needs to be. If you have a 19-23J, I'd think they'd call for something thinner than the .019mm. My Waltham materials book from 1909 shows 5 different grades where they must use the same part number but with what are probably the varying thicknesses, as they are under different grade names. They run from a "Bond Street" through "Maximus" and "American Watch Company" grades. A logical progression would seem to be the .016mm for the "Maximus"/"American Watch Co.", through what might be the .020mm for the "Bond Street".

All of that said, I don't think that the winding should feel much more difficult based on those differences. After all, the reduced friction of the train jewels is taken out of the equation when winding. Did you put a couple of spots of grease on the clutch and winding pinion? I am guilty of putting too little oil/grease on these points sometimes and I run into imperfect winding, FWIW. Good luck figuring it out.
 
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oldmancoolidge

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Jul 20, 2020
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Thanks d
The higher the grade and number of jewels, the thinner the MS needs to be. If you have a 19-23J, I'd think they'd call for something thinner than the .019mm. My Waltham materials book from 1909 shows 5 different grades where they must use the same part number but with what are probably the varying thicknesses, as they are under different grade names. They run from a "Bond Street" through "Maximus" and "American Watch Company" grades. A logical progression would seem to be the .016mm for the "Maximus"/"American Watch Co.", through what might be the .020mm for the "Bond Street".

All of that said, I don't think that the winding should feel much more difficult based on those differences. After all, the reduced friction of the train jewels is taken out of the equation when winding. Did you put a couple of spots of grease on the clutch and winding pinion? I am guilty of putting too little oil/grease on these points sometimes and I run into imperfect winding, FWIW. Good luck figuring it out.
Thanks for the input. Would Mobius 8200 be appropriate for this application?
 

MrRoundel

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I'm not sure about the Moebius use. It looks like it would work, viscosity-wise, but I don't know how well it stays put. I use the KT-22 microlube, FWIW.
 

oldmancoolidge

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Jul 20, 2020
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So I tried different cases and adding more grease....it's still a tight wind. I can get a solid 8 cranks out of it, but I'm so used to how smoothly my 1888 winds up.
 

richiec

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Feb 24, 2007
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Something is not right, never had an 1899 movement that wound hard, I would disassemble the winding mechanism and clean and check every part.
 

darrahg

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Just checking; did you clean and apply a fine amount of grease on the main spring when replacing it. If so, continue as it sounds like lack of lubrication somewhere. along the line.
 

oldetymes

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Feb 5, 2007
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Some items to check for,hard to wind: Have you greased the crown wheel core? Is the crown worn? Is the crown the correct size? Did you remove The stem and sleeve, clean and lubricate?
Best, Dave
 

oldmancoolidge

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Jul 20, 2020
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Some items to check for,hard to wind: Have you greased the crown wheel core? Is the crown worn? Is the crown the correct size? Did you remove The stem and sleeve, clean and lubricate?
Best, Dave
Hello, yes I did all these things. I will say something odd about the mainspring is that its slightly larger than the barrel width causing a gap within the barrel wall and the main wheel which has always bothered me. Figured the barrel bridge would straighten that out. I've convinced myself through reading that this is the way its supposed to be but I can't say for certain. I've never been pleased with how the barrel arbor passes through the assembly.

Discussion here:

American PW - Waltham 16s 1899 Mainspring
 

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