• Upcoming updates
    Over the next couple of weeks we will be performing software updates on the forum. These will be completed in small steps as we upgrade individual software addons. You might occasionally see a maintenance message that will last a few minutes at most.

    If we anticipate an update will take more than a few minutes, we'll put up a notice with estimated time.

    Thank you!

Some Longines Repair Questions

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Over in the European section I've a thread where I'm documenting my 1883 Longines Pocket Watch restoration that I've just started.
I've started the tear down and have encountered some problems:
1648791479793.png


The first issue is that I'm not sure there is any power into the watch as the watch cannot be wound nor set, so I'm not sure the mainspring is de energized.
To wind it down I would put the winding stem on, slightly wind it to take the force off the click, then pull the click back and let it slowly wind down controlling the rate with the winding stem.

Unfortunately I cannot advance the winding - I've put a bit of torque on the winding stem and it won't budge enough to pull back the click.
Thoughts on how to figure out if the mainspring is energized? The escape wheel nor any of the gears move then you push the pallet wheel back and forth.

The second issue that you can see in the image is the broken screw head - only half is there - any ideas on how to get this out? Do I loosen the bridge plate and try to (very gently) break off the remaining portion of the screw head and then back out what's left with pair of micro needle nose serrated pliers?

Thanks -

John
 

Skutt50

Registered User
Mar 14, 2008
4,353
505
113
Gothenburg
Country
I've put a bit of torque on the winding stem and it won't budge enough to pull back the click
The fact that the click can be almost released when you put some torque on the winding stem indicates to mee that the mainspring is fully wound. Lots of force there that needs to be released in a controlled manner........

To loosen the broken screw I would first remove the second bridge screw. I would then gently tap on the side of the broken head with a suitable tool. Small punch or possibly a graver. That should release the tension and the screw should be possible to wiggle out....

Should the screw head for some reason break, there would be enough sticking out to grip with some pliars. In worst case there is always Alum to do the job.
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
The fact that the click can be almost released when you put some torque on the winding stem indicates to mee that the mainspring is fully wound. Lots of force there that needs to be released in a controlled manner........

To loosen the broken screw I would first remove the second bridge screw. I would then gently tap on the side of the broken head with a suitable tool. Small punch or possibly a graver. That should release the tension and the screw should be possible to wiggle out....

Should the screw head for some reason break, there would be enough sticking out to grip with some pliars. In worst case there is always Alum to do the job.
Actually, maybe I wasn't very clear (it's late), I can't get the wheel the click is connected to to turn at all and I don't want to put too much torque into the winding mechanism for fear of breaking something.

I will try again . . .

Thanks!

John
 

John Runciman

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Aug 13, 2003
651
161
43
Seattle, WA
Country
Region
I will try again .
Sometimes trying again may or may not work may be a new approach is needed?

There is another way to let the power off it works well but things have to remembered like there can be no hands on the dial side. You don't want anything breaking off their. You remove the balance wheel and bridge set them aside move the pallet fork bridge then remove the pallet fork make sure it does not drop back into the watch at all and gear train will take off and start spinning ideally there should be nothing to cause it to a come to a sudden stop. It really won't hurt at the spin down a little bit because unfortunately if you can't let the power off any other way this is the only other way to do it. It's also the only way to actually guarantee that the power is off before disassembling because sometimes you may think the powers off but it's not so only when the pallet fork is out and you can see that the train is free you know you have no power. In some rare cases you could have a super dirty watch and the power doesn't let all the way down but that would be unusual. Then if that was the case there are ways of dealing with battles but I'm guessing when the pallet fork comes out your problem solved

The second issue that you can see in the image is the broken screw head - only half is there - any ideas on how to get this out? Do I loosen the bridge plate and try to (very gently) break off the remaining portion of the screw head and then back out what's left with pair of micro needle nose serrated pliers?
I didn't suppose you can put gentle pressure on what's left of the screw and try to unscrew it? Otherwise breaking what's left of the head off would be the easiest way as long as it actually does break all the way off.
 
  • Like
Reactions: John Hinkey

Skutt50

Registered User
Mar 14, 2008
4,353
505
113
Gothenburg
Country
then remove the pallet fork make sure it does not drop back into the watch at all and gear train will take off and start spinning
I have had to go down this route a few times (specially on Verges) and to make sure the gear train does not take off uncontrolled I stick a small piece of Rodico under the escape wheel (crown wheel on a Verge) before removing the pallet fork (or balance on a Verge). Now you can make sure the gear train does not take off uncontrolled. After a few turns of the wheels there is often enough clearance for the click, unless the keyless works is jammed.

Specially if there is a problem in the gear train there can be some difficulties. If the gear train is stuck and you wiggle is free, be prepared it can suddenly start to spinn uncontrolled.
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Thanks guys.

Also, I forgot to mention that I cannot set the time - when I pull the lever out and the setting gears engage I still cannot get anything to move, thus something is really jammed up inside. When I move the pallet fork back and forth there is no movement of the gears and the escape wheel does not turn.
I'm going to remove as many wheels as I can before I take the rest of the bridge plates off. It may need a soaking overnight in lighter fluid to free up whatever is jamming things.
 

Skutt50

Registered User
Mar 14, 2008
4,353
505
113
Gothenburg
Country
Before you remove the pallet fork you could remove the hands and dial to inspect if there is some problems with the keyless works.

I'm going to remove as many wheels as I can before I take the rest of the bridge plates off.
This is the situation I mentioned when the problem wheel comes loose and the gear trian rush with possible damage to some parts.
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Before you remove the pallet fork you could remove the hands and dial to inspect if there is some problems with the keyless works.



This is the situation I mentioned when the problem wheel comes loose and the gear trian rush with possible damage to some parts.
Yes I have the dial removed:
1648844485831.jpeg

and this is what I see. The keyless works seem to work fine when disengaged from anything, but the hour and minute wheels are also locked and won't budge.

I attempted to move/rotate all the wheels in the train with a brass tweezer and they are all loose up to the center wheel which is very very stiff and it won't move at all ( I can jostle it a little bit using some mild force, but it's not nearly as loose as the other wheels in the train).

Thus it seems as if the barrel is stuck in some way - does that sound correct?
Unfortunately all I can remove w/o pulling the entire barrel bridge off is the escape wheel and the pallet fork.
Right now there is no torque getting to the third and fourth wheels as well as the escape wheel as they jiggle freely with the usual lash that these have when un-loaded.
1648845700891.jpeg

I can grab onto the centerwheel via the square lug to keep the wheel from spinning when I take the full bridge off.

Do I soak the whole thing in lighter fluid for a few days to see if I can free it up? I can easily take the pallet fork and escape wheel out for this.

Thanks -

John
 

roughbarked

Registered User
Dec 2, 2016
8,991
2,150
113
Western NSW or just this side of the black stump.
Country
Region
It appears that there is rust on the canon pinion. The same has got the hour wheel stuck.
I would not be attempting to allow the train to run free enough to let the mainspring down while the issue of rust on the centre wheel and canon remains. As it is likely that the letdown power of the mainspring can spin the rusty pieces and break them.
I'd be attempting to fix that problem before attempting removal of pallets.
There may be also rust on the barrrel arbor or in the mainspring itself but it isn't readily visible in your photos.
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
It appears that there is rust on the canon pinion. The same has got the hour wheel stuck.
I would not be attempting to allow the train to run free enough to let the mainspring down while the issue of rust on the centre wheel and canon remains. As it is likely that the letdown power of the mainspring can spin the rusty pieces and break them.
I'd be attempting to fix that problem before attempting removal of pallets.
There may be also rust on the barrrel arbor or in the mainspring itself but it isn't readily visible in your photos.
The canon pinion, though dirty, is not rusted - it appears to be made from a dark bronze material. I cannot scrape off anything that looks like rust.
1648848200643.png

I half-engaged the setting works so that neither end engages and those two wheels noted will not move at all.

- John
 

Skutt50

Registered User
Mar 14, 2008
4,353
505
113
Gothenburg
Country
Since you can't move the hour and minute wheels that is where I would start. This may be the answer to why the watch will not run. I agree with roughbarked you need to fix this first.

I can grab onto the centerwheel via the square lug to keep the wheel from spinning when I take the full bridge off.
I think this will be a dangerous route to take. Easy to slip and there is plenty of force in a wound spring.

Have a look at the center wheel. It seems to be one of these that comes with a pin that goes through the center wheel arbor, The canon pinion is fitted at the end of this pin. Good news! You should be able to punch the pin back towards the square end side. I use a staking set to remove the pin/canon pinion but you should be able to do the same by supporting the square end side over a hole and hit the tip of the pin with a hammer. The pin should come loose and possibly the gear train would work again.
 
  • Like
Reactions: roughbarked

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
The dark bronze part is called hour wheel and sits over the canon pinion. The hour wheel should be loose and easily separated from the canon pinion.
Sorry, poor semantics. Still trying to call parts by the correct names. I will try removing the hour wheel and see what the cannon pinion looks like underneath.
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
The dark bronze part is called hour wheel and sits over the canon pinion. The hour wheel should be loose and easily separated from the canon pinion.
Hour wheel came off very easily. Here's what it looks like. No sign of rust/corrosion, just dirty:
1648852287808.jpeg

1648852312356.jpeg
 
Last edited:

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Since you can't move the hour and minute wheels that is where I would start. This may be the answer to why the watch will not run. I agree with roughbarked you need to fix this first.


I think this will be a dangerous route to take. Easy to slip and there is plenty of force in a wound spring.

Have a look at the center wheel. It seems to be one of these that comes with a pin that goes through the center wheel arbor, The canon pinion is fitted at the end of this pin. Good news! You should be able to punch the pin back towards the square end side. I use a staking set to remove the pin/canon pinion but you should be able to do the same by supporting the square end side over a hole and hit the tip of the pin with a hammer. The pin should come loose and possibly the gear train would work again.
Based on what you see after I removed the hour wheel should I still push out the pin? This won't hurt anything on the square end side?
 

Skutt50

Registered User
Mar 14, 2008
4,353
505
113
Gothenburg
Country
And once you are at it: The remaining wheel next to the canon pinion is called minute wheel and should come loose easily as well. Just lift straight up.

Once the canon pinion is removed. Give it another try to use the crown. Now the crown should move easily in the setting position.
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
You can push out the pin. As long as you have an anvil with a hole in it that clears everything sticking out the other side. It should come out with a light tap of the small hammer.
So, to be clear, I can push out the canon pinion pin w/o taking the plate/bridge off on the other side first? It's not clear to me that the square end of the pin will move w/o the bridge/plate taken off - i.e. there is a bearing on the other end I would suspect.

Thanks!
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
You can push out the pin. As long as you have an anvil with a hole in it that clears everything sticking out the other side. It should come out with a light tap of the small hammer.
Yes I have a watchmakers anvil, I just need to find a small enough hammer . . .:)
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
14,836
3,934
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi John,

Attachments


This is what the pin looks like. It's meant to be able to turn with some friction in the hollow centre wheel arbor to allow hand setting but it's firmly set in the cannon pinion itself.

Regards,

Graham
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Success!!!

After applying a bit of naptha to things, I managed to move the click wheel just enough to disengage the click and nothing moved (i.e. it would not self let down). So I continued to douse the click/crown wheel and anything else nearby with naptha and things started to move.
The spring was wound, but it appears the grease in the barrel, etc. has solidified. I was able to gradually wind it up a tad and then let it down, dowse with naptha and repeat and I was able to get many turns on the crown wheel while letting it slowly turn down to the point where it no longer moves on it's own and I can wind it up just a bit, it will hold some torque and I can let it down by dis-engaging the click while holding onto the crown to manage the speed.

So I think the mainspring is de-energized. I can wiggle the barrel just a bit now too which tells me it's not supplying any torque.

2nd victory is that I was able to loosen the broken screw by taking out the other screw on that plate and rotating the plate back and forth a few times, then taking a screwdriver that just fit in the hole of the broken screw and rotating it counter-clockwise to put some torque on it and it loosened.

BUT, the setting works will still not turn. The gear connected to the canon pinion will not budge.

No power is going to any of the wheels so I will remove the pallet and the escape wheel, push out the pin in the canon pinion and take the bridge plate off. All the while making sure that the mainspring still remains de-energized.

Also found the click spring is not very stiff . . . and sometimes doesn't engage the teeth on the crown wheel.

I guess this should be expected for something that hasn't been serviced for over 100 years.

Today I bought two spare movements (they appear to be identical to this one) from someone in Argentina through ebay and should get those in 3-4 weeks or so. One of them supposedly runs, but has a split balance (mine has a non-split balance) while the other movement has the same balance, but the mainspring is reported as being broken. So hopefully I have enough spare parts.

I was sweating this one.

Thanks for your help and I'll update my other thread regularly.

- John
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Sounds like the minute wheel is stuck on its post. It will eventually come off, when the gunk that has stuck it there dissolves a bit. Maybe a short stint in an ultrasonic?
Unfortunately I don't have an ultrasonic cleaner - everything manual for cleaning. I will soak it in naptha after removing everything that I easily can.
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Got my pin out and the shaft was all fouled up with very crusty stuff making it difficult to get out. I tapped out the pin from the cannon pinion side until it was flush, then pulled the pin from the other side by using my hand removal tools to get underneath the square head and very gently prying it out w/o bending it. Now the cannon pinion just fell out and the gear next to it came right off as well.
Things are freeing up more now that this crusty-coated pin is out. About to take the main bridge plate off.
Pictures soon.
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Got my pin out and the shaft was all fouled up with very crusty stuff making it difficult to get out. I tapped out the pin from the cannon pinion side until it was flush, then pulled the pin from the other side by using my hand removal tools to get underneath the square head and very gently prying it out w/o bending it. Now the cannon pinion just fell out and the gear next to it came right off as well.
Things are freeing up more now that this crusty-coated pin is out. About to take the main bridge plate off.
Pictures soon.
Some pics. Dirty inside - I think this watch hasn't seen service since 1890 when its owner (my great uncle) passed away.
Click wheel pretty sticky underneath:
1649524481499.jpeg

that stubborn pin holding the cannon pinion:
1649524519245.jpeg

Setting works fairly dirty too:
1649524599549.jpeg

Today the main bridge comes off!
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Well, there's good news and bad news - likely how it usually goes when you pull apart a 100+ year old watch :confused:

First the good news - found why the whole thing was all jammed up and would not wind:
1649546628835.jpeg

somehow the missing dial tapered pin had gotten between the mainspring barrel and the main bridge plate!
So two mysteries solved - why it would not wind and where the 2nd tapered dial foot pin went to.o_O

Now the bad news - broken jewels - three it looks like:
One here on the main bridge -
1649546335981.jpeg

and at least two on the main plate -
1649546457827.jpeg

and maybe 3, though it's hard to tell since they are all so dirty.
I'll give it (the main plate, the main bridge, - all the jewel parts) an initial cleaning and do another inspection.

Hopefully my donor movements have some good jewels of the right size!
 
Last edited:

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Here's the pallet - besides being filthy, not sure those pallet jewels are in any kind of shape:
1649547162459.png


Thoughts?
 

svenedin

NAWCC Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,942
700
113
Surrey
Country
Region
I love those counterpoised forks. 3 broken jewels seems a bit suspicious. It suggests the watch has had a heavy impact with something. Be sure to inspect all the pivots carefully and especially the balance staff. There may be pivots that are snapped off or bent.
 
Last edited:

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
14,836
3,934
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi John,
3 broken jewels seems a bit suspicious. It suggests the watch has had a heavy impact with something.
I think it's most likely that the 'heavy impact' was with a ham-fisted repairer! This sort of damage is from forcing a bridge down when the pivots aren't all aligned. These are rubbed-in jewels which aren't just a matter of popping out the cracked one and popping in another one; removing a good one from the donor movement is very difficult without breaking it too.

Although it will be easier to tell once the pallet jewels are clean, the exit pallet, (on the left), does appear to be chipped at the locking corner.

Regards,

Graham
 
  • Like
Reactions: MrRoundel

svenedin

NAWCC Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,942
700
113
Surrey
Country
Region
Hi John,


I think it's most likely that the 'heavy impact' was with a ham-fisted repairer! This sort of damage is from forcing a bridge down when the pivots aren't all aligned. These are rubbed-in jewels which aren't just a matter of popping out the cracked one and popping in another one; removing a good one from the donor movement is very difficult without breaking it too.

Although it will be easier to tell once the pallet jewels are clean, the exit pallet, (on the left), does appear to be chipped at the locking corner.

Regards,

Graham
Yes I thought that too! Unfortunately all too common in watches that have been through the hands of tinkerers over the years. It’s not that easy to find watches that don’t have totally avoidable damage and/or bodges. I’m not really collecting any more but when I look for a watch I can rescue, with my limited abilities, I tend to look for something that stopped because it was gummed up and filthy and then left alone. They can be found but it’s not easy.
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Thanks for the input guys. The silver case has many dents in it AND it had that broken bridge screw head AND that dial foot pin was in a strange place, so I suspect it was dropped more than once by the original owner and during banging around in boxes, etc. for the last 100+ years.

Besides the two donor movements I have for parts I've found what appears to be an exact match movement that supposedly runs.
If this 3rd donor movement doesn't have intact jewels in the main plate, etc. I'll have to find someone that can replace the jewels in the original movement.

So far I haven't seen any damaged pivots.

Doing another imaging session of the jewels after an initial Naptha soak and will report back with what I find.

- J
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Good news -
After doing an overnight bath in Naptha and an initial cleaning of every jewel, as far as I can tell only one of the jewels is obviously cracked:
1649622638375.jpeg

all the other ones cleaned up enough to not see anything like this cracked one.

I am having troubles getting the jewel surfaces truly clean in the naptha - there appears to be some kind of wax that doesn't want to come off and some dark stuff stuck to the balance pivot cap jewel that I can tell is deposited on the surface, but it won't rub off.

Cleaning fluid options for something other than Naptha to try to get this wax-like stuff off?

- John
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
14,836
3,934
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi John,
all the other ones cleaned up enough to not see anything like this cracked one.

I am having troubles getting the jewel surfaces truly clean in the naptha - there appears to be some kind of wax that doesn't want to come off and some dark stuff stuck to the balance pivot cap jewel that I can tell is deposited on the surface, but it won't rub off.

Cleaning fluid options for something other than Naptha to try to get this wax-like stuff off?
The 'wax' is probably just very old oil that's set into a very sticky varnish, and the light naphtha, (aka Coleman's fuel), will clean it off but you may have to help it with a sharpened piece of pegwood, (a cocktail stick will do), wetted with some of the naphtha. It isn't as effective as a proper solvent based watch cleaner, but some careful scraping with the pegwood should get it clean. You'll need to use a really pointed piece to clean out the actual holes, just re-sharpen it and repeat the process until the wood comes out clean.

The left-hand jewel in your picture does seem to have some tiny chips around the hole edge, but they aren't as severe as the definite cracks in the right hand one. Now, how do you plan to remove this rubbed-in jewel, and what's more important, replace it with an intact specimen?

Have you had a chance to clean the pallets yet?

The bad effects of over-oiling are clearly demonstrated on this watch, from the amount of debris that it's accumulated!

Regards,

Graham
 

svenedin

NAWCC Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,942
700
113
Surrey
Country
Region
It's dried up oil that has turned to a waxy varnish. If you intend to carry on servicing watches it is worth getting an ultrasonic cleaner. They are not that expensive. You could try an electric toothbrush, some (like mine) do use ultrasonic. Be careful with solvents, some will soften shellac and then your pallet stones will fall out. I use cleaners made specifically for watches (ammoniated). They are expensive but you can re-use them and they are waterless. When your jewels are cleaner you can then go on and peg them out.
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Graham and Stephen -

I have already pegged out the jewels (rubbed the surfaces and cleaned out the holes) and still cannot quite get all the surface crud off - it's way way cleaner than what you see in the above (post-disassembly/pre-cleaning) pic and there is only one cracked or damaged jewel (right one of the two in the picture above).

I have some L&R 111 coming soon. I will cook up some distilled water + soap and do a cleaning with that, then alcohol dip.
I've only put the pallet in Naptha and know not to put it in alcohol. The Naptha soak overnight of the pallet did not loosen all the junk on it as there still seems to be a residue that is keeping tiny bits of debris firmly attached. These could be organic residue that the naptha might not be able to readily dissolve.

I didn't take any post-cleaning pictures - I will try later tonight and post them.
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Hi John,


The 'wax' is probably just very old oil that's set into a very sticky varnish, and the light naphtha, (aka Coleman's fuel), will clean it off but you may have to help it with a sharpened piece of pegwood, (a cocktail stick will do), wetted with some of the naphtha. It isn't as effective as a proper solvent based watch cleaner, but some careful scraping with the pegwood should get it clean. You'll need to use a really pointed piece to clean out the actual holes, just re-sharpen it and repeat the process until the wood comes out clean.

The left-hand jewel in your picture does seem to have some tiny chips around the hole edge, but they aren't as severe as the definite cracks in the right hand one. Now, how do you plan to remove this rubbed-in jewel, and what's more important, replace it with an intact specimen?

Have you had a chance to clean the pallets yet?

The bad effects of over-oiling are clearly demonstrated on this watch, from the amount of debris that it's accumulated!

Regards,

Graham
Graham -
Regarding the rubbed in jewel - I will likely have someone else replace it. I currently have two donor movements and will likely buy a third that, if in better shape, may have a bridge w/o any damaged jewels. It's hard to tell if any jewels are damaged in ebay pictures . . .

I still have not taken the spring out of the barrel - it's currently soaking in naptha as well and, although much better than right after disassembly, it still feels "gummy" when you try to put any wind into it. From the outside of the barrel it appears the spring has a "T" type connection end, but we'll confirm.

- John
 

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
14,836
3,934
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi John,

The more pertinent question relates to removal and replacement of that damaged, rubbed-in jewel; getting the existing one clean isn't a priority. Pushing it out is relatively easy, it will almost certainly break in the process, but getting the replacement out of its movement can also break that one, even with a jewelling press. Then the setting has to be opened up and probably tidied before the new one can be fitted and rubbed in, both of which are ideally done with special tools or in a lathe.

Regards,

Graham
 

svenedin

NAWCC Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,942
700
113
Surrey
Country
Region
Graham -
Regarding the rubbed in jewel - I will likely have someone else replace it. I currently have two donor movements and will likely buy a third that, if in better shape, may have a bridge w/o any damaged jewels. It's hard to tell if any jewels are damaged in ebay pictures . . .

I still have not taken the spring out of the barrel - it's currently soaking in naptha as well and, although much better than right after disassembly, it still feels "gummy" when you try to put any wind into it. From the outside of the barrel it appears the spring has a "T" type connection end, but we'll confirm.

- John
The spring is probably "set" and useless if it has sat fully wound for decades. Don't destroy it thought as you will need it to take measurements from to order the correct replacement.
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Hi John,

The more pertinent question relates to removal and replacement of that damaged, rubbed-in jewel; getting the existing one clean isn't a priority. Pushing it out is relatively easy, it will almost certainly break in the process, but getting the replacement out of its movement can also break that one, even with a jewelling press. Then the setting has to be opened up and probably tidied before the new one can be fitted and rubbed in, both of which are ideally done with special tools or in a lathe.

Regards,

Graham
Yep, precisely why I'd have an expert replace the jewel. Though I eventually could totally do this, I have none of the correct tools . . .
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
The spring is probably "set" and useless if it has sat fully wound for decades. Don't destroy it thought as you will need it to take measurements from to order the correct replacement.
Exactly why I'm soaking it in Naptha first so that I can remove it whole w/o having to force it out.
Already been through finding an equivalent mainspring for my Tavannes rebuild, so I know it will take some effort to find a spring or two that may fit assuming the correct end can be found. I don't have a spring winder, so it will be installed by hand (if you have any suggestions for an inexpensive winder for pocket watch sized barrels let me know . . .).
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Trying to get the balance spring off the balance cock so I can see the balance jewel and clean it - how do I detach the spring from the cock for this kind of attachment?
1649633481279.png

this is what it looks like from the top side:
1649633588359.png

do I have to push it out from the top side? Or is that a tapered pin that holds the hairspring to the balance cock?
Thanks -

John
 

MrRoundel

Donor
Dec 28, 2010
2,266
812
113
Country
Region
The stud does have a taper to it. There's a special tool for pushing the stud through safely, but you can make do without it. If you search for something I posted a few months ago on removing the tapered stud in a cylinder watch, I provided an image from a book that showed how. There are also posts by Graham and perhaps others.

Friction-fit hairspring stud
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
The stud does have a taper to it. There's a special tool for pushing the stud through safely, but you can make do without it. If you search for something I posted a few months ago on removing the tapered stud in a cylinder watch, I provided an image from a book that showed how. There are also posts by Graham and perhaps others.

Friction-fit hairspring stud
Thanks - that's what I'll do. Fortunately the pin does not stick out of the top of the balance cock and should allow the tweezer to locate in the hole somewhat securely.

EDIT - from the 2nd picture showing the balance cock from above it appears that someone has already pushed the pin out at least once judging by the marks around the hole.
 
Last edited:

svenedin

NAWCC Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,942
700
113
Surrey
Country
Region
I’m just a hobbyist and not a particularly good one either. Be extremely careful with anything to do with the balance spring. It is so easy to distort a spring and extremely difficult to get back from a mistake.
 
  • Like
Reactions: John Hinkey

gmorse

NAWCC Member
Jan 7, 2011
14,836
3,934
113
Breamore, Hampshire, UK
Country
Region
Hi John,
...from the 2nd picture showing the balance cock from above it appears that someone has already pushed the pin out at least once judging by the marks around the hole.
You can indeed remove it by either method, but pushing the stud out from the top, as MrR has described, is much preferable since it doesn't alter the pinning point. It will have been removed many times in its history, so some marks are inevitable. If you're lucky, it won't be a particularly tight fit and may even push out easily with a piece of pegwood without the special tweezers or pliers.

You'll notice that there's a slot in the underside of the stud which is intended for adjustment of its angle relative to the spring, but that can also be useful in slightly turning it to ease it if it's at all stiff to remove.

You should also check the regulator pins because it looks as though the outer one, (with the larger rivet), is an L shaped 'boot' retaining the spring, with a similar slot in the end, and that must be opened by turning it 90º before removing the balance from the cock. If it does have this feature, the balance and cock must be lifted off together since that 'boot' isn't accessible from above.

Regards,

Graham
 

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
I’m just a hobbyist and not a particularly good one either. Be extremely careful with anything to do with the balance spring. It is so easy to distort a spring and extremely difficult to get back from a mistake.
Yes, I'm confident with just about any other part in a pocket watch, but the balance spring really makes me nervous doing anything with it. Even looking at it makes me nervous I'll damage it:(.
 
Last edited:

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
Hi John,


You can indeed remove it by either method, but pushing the stud out from the top, as MrR has described, is much preferable since it doesn't alter the pinning point. It will have been removed many times in its history, so some marks are inevitable. If you're lucky, it won't be a particularly tight fit and may even push out easily with a piece of pegwood without the special tweezers or pliers.

You'll notice that there's a slot in the underside of the stud which is intended for adjustment of its angle relative to the spring, but that can also be useful in slightly turning it to ease it if it's at all stiff to remove.

You should also check the regulator pins because it looks as though the outer one, (with the larger rivet), is an L shaped 'boot' retaining the spring, with a similar slot in the end, and that must be opened by turning it 90º before removing the balance from the cock. If it does have this feature, the balance and cock must be lifted off together since that 'boot' isn't accessible from above.

Regards,

Graham
Thanks Graham - I'll give it a go tonight. I'll likely try turning the pin via the screw driver slot (though pushing down on it to get the screwdriver to engage may seat it even more) or maybe try to rotate it by grabbing it with my very small set of serrated plyers to simply rotate it back and forth slightly to see if it will come out before trying to push it out.
Not sure if I should be more or less caffeinated than usual to try this:D
 

MrRoundel

Donor
Dec 28, 2010
2,266
812
113
Country
Region
I thought about using the screwdriver slot at the bottom of the stud to perhaps break any heavy bond between it and the balance cock. But then I thought that it might be a bit dangerous in the event that it gives too much and too suddenly to limit. That said, I don't know why else they would put the slot on there unless that was the intention. But I just now wondered if Longines was just "multi-purposing" the same part they used for trapping the HS at the index pin? I don't remember seeing that slot on other studs. Then again, I don't remember if I took my BP meds yet this morning. :eek: Good luck.

Oh, and my vote is for less caffeine, not more. Kalle from chronoglide (youtube) recommends being completely relaxed, "zen", before doing any work on hairsprings. While this tip applied to straightening distorted hairsprings, it might apply to relative newbies removing and installing them as well. I know that I have to walk away sometimes and get "re-centered" when dealing with them. Cheers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: roughbarked

John Hinkey

NAWCC Member
Feb 21, 2022
351
146
43
57
Country
I thought about using the screwdriver slot at the bottom of the stud to perhaps break any heavy bond between it and the balance cock. But then I thought that it might be a bit dangerous in the event that it gives too much and too suddenly to limit. That said, I don't know why else they would put the slot on there unless that was the intention. But I just now wondered if Longines was just "multi-purposing" the same part they used for trapping the HS at the index pin? I don't remember seeing that slot on other studs. Then again, I don't remember if I took my BP meds yet this morning. :eek: Good luck.
I'm assuming they put a slit in there to help push the pin in using a screwdriver? Maybe I should soak it in Naptha for a bit before trying to push it out in order to loosen up any gunk that might be in the pin/hole surface. Though the balance as a whole looks pretty good for gunk build-up.
I think I'll just try the pliers first (with some naptha applied via small brush) as that to me feels to be the most controlled method.
If that doesn't work then I'll try the push-out method.

- J
 

Forum statistics

Threads
179,004
Messages
1,570,126
Members
54,046
Latest member
Timmyboy75
Encyclopedia Pages
909
Total wiki contributions
3,088
Last edit
Swiss Fake by Kent