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Setting the Time on a Patek Philippe Gondolo

mlschlot

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I'm posting for a friend of mine who owns an 18 jewel, Patek Philippe Gondolo Chronometro pocket watch. His watch is in beautiful, original condition, and runs well. However, he cannot pull the stem to set the time. I tried, gently, but could not budge it. Does this watch have a lever, or locking mechanism on the stem? I looked, but couldn't see anything. As you've guessed, I'm not a watch person. I focus strictly on clocks. Any help is most appreciated.
 

mlschlot

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Hello Jeff. Yes, I did. I have a lever set Elgin that belonged to my Great Grandfather. I didn't see anything similar on the Patek. I also checked for a locking push-pin, similar to the stem lock on my Hamilton Mdl.22 Deck Chronometer; again, no luck. I think the watch stem is jammed, but I don't fool with any watches, unless they're my own. Any suggestions?
 

Jeff Hess

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Well, I get this question from time to time in my store after I have sold a watch for a gift or something.

And when folks call me, and I KNOW the watch is in good running order, I often tell them to not be timid and hold the watch VERY firmly in one hand and pull VERY hard on the crown.

Many are not aware that some of the old Pockets need a firm tug.

THat said, I do not know your watch and am not SURE that you do not have a serious problem.

Take it to a jeweler and ask him to set it for you. It may as simple as the above. That you are being too tentative about pulling on the crown.

If he cannot do it then you MAY have a problem. (Perhaps as insignificant as a little oil..but it could be more serious)

Good luck.
 

Dr. Jon

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Jeff has it right. Patek Philippe was organized as a partnership to take advantage of Ardienne Philippe's patent on stem wind stem setting. While there are some pin or lever set Pateks they are very unusual and I have never sen one in a Chronometro Gindolo.

Its trick because the setting elements can hang up and sometimes to hard pull gets everything working again. If you pull too hard you can tear out the detent and that is very expensive to repair.

What it needs it for someone to remove the dial (and hands) and watch the setting as it is pulled. This is something you probably want a pro to do if you are not familiar with all that's involved. This especially true for Pateks because parts are very hard to get and teh watches tend to break rather than bend.

Pateks are very unforgiving
 

mlschlot

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Thanks for the info Jeff and Doc. Your advice mirrors my feelings exactly. If someone is going to try to pull out this stem, it won't be this bad boy. As the late great Johnny Cash said, "You've got to know your limitations." I sure don't want to inadvertently break any watch, much less a Patek. Now, the next question; can anyone recommend someone in the deep South who can properly handle repairs on a Patek?
 

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