South Bend Size 12 Grade 407 Hairspring Replacement

JuliusSqueezer

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Good evening everyone,

Newbie here. Please go easy on me.

I’m fairly new to the watch collecting and repair scene.
I think we all know where this is going.

Long story short, I have destroyed my South Bends Hairspring and am having some real trouble finding even a parts movement to replace it.

I do understand that Hairsprings aren’t “plug and play”, and I’ve learned my lesson - the very hard way.

I’m begging you guys here. I’ve looked everywhere and asked everyone and I can’t dig anything up as of yet.

Can someone point me in the direction I should be looking for a replacement Hairspring and/or balance assembly for a 12s 407 movement?
 

musicguy

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Moving thread to watch repair section.

Welcome to the NAWCC forum!


Rob
 

Tom Huber

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Your 407 is an unadjusted movement so you are looking for a flat hairspring. I checked my stock and the only one that I can readily find is an over coil hairspring used on an adjusted movement. I'll keep looking.

Tom
 

JuliusSqueezer

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Your 407 is an unadjusted movement so you are looking for a flat hairspring. I checked my stock and the only one that I can readily find is an over coil hairspring used on an adjusted movement. I'll keep looking.

Tom
Thank you, Tom. I really appreciate it.

The hairspring that was in it had a slight overcoil on it. Does that mean the hairspring was replaced with the wrong one at some point?
 

Tom Huber

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Normally unadjusted watches have a flat hairspring. The curb pins are usually differ on the regulator for flat and over coil

Noone knows what changes could have been made over the years

Tom
 

JuliusSqueezer

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Normally unadjusted watches have a flat hairspring. The curb pins are usually differ on the regulator for flat and over coil

Noone knows what changes could have been made over the years

Tom
Is there any way we could negotiate a deal so I could get one of the overcoils you have?

I suppose it’s worth a shot - especially with the luck I’m having trying to find one at the moment.
 

JuliusSqueezer

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Normally unadjusted watches have a flat hairspring. The curb pins are usually differ on the regulator for flat and over coil

Noone knows what changes could have been made over the years

Tom
Here’s a picture of the pins. I don’t believe a flat hairspring would reach them as they’re quite high up from where the collet sits on the staff.
02543269-94D9-4096-BD0F-4EF3BB747190.jpeg
 

Skutt50

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How bad is the original damaged hairspring? (Picture?)

Have you considered trying to re-shape it? Since it is a write off, you can use it for practise and possibly get it back in business.....
 

JuliusSqueezer

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How bad is the original damaged hairspring? (Picture?)

Have you considered trying to re-shape it? Since it is a write off, you can use it for practise and possibly get it back in business.....
It’s bad.
Literally in two pieces. It’s not getting fixed.

I was trying to reshape it to begin with as it was rubbing on the balance cock.
 

Al J

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Is there any way we could negotiate a deal so I could get one of the overcoils you have?

I suppose it’s worth a shot - especially with the luck I’m having trying to find one at the moment.
On the other forum where you asked about this, you indicated you were taking it to a watchmaker. Is that still the case? If so, the watchmaker can likely have more luck finding the part as they will already have the connections to people who might have them.

If someone here is able to find you the part, I would still recommend you give this to a watchmaker to complete the repairs.
 

JuliusSqueezer

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On the other forum where you asked about this, you indicated you were taking it to a watchmaker. Is that still the case? If so, the watchmaker can likely have more luck finding the part as they will already have the connections to people who might have them.

If someone here is able to find you the part, I would still recommend you give this to a watchmaker to complete the repairs.
Yes, I have been in contact with several dozen watchmakers across North America.

None of them will touch it without doing a complete restoration, at a cost of $400-$500, and one of the best watchmakers in Canada I spoke to only does repairs to the hairspring.
Another told me I’m SOL for parts.

No hairspring = no restoration.

At a cost of $500, I might as well scrap my SB and buy an Elgin railroad watch.

I literally cannot take this to a watchmaker for repairs.
 

Al J

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Yes, I have been in contact with several dozen watchmakers across North America.

None of them will touch it without doing a complete restoration, at a cost of $400-$500, and one of the best watchmakers in Canada I spoke to only does repairs to the hairspring.
Another told me I’m SOL for parts.

No hairspring = no restoration.

At a cost of $500, I might as well scrap my SB and buy an Elgin railroad watch.

I literally cannot take this to a watchmaker for repairs.
Well "literally" you can, but it's going to cost more than the watch is worth, so lesson learned I guess. It is unfortunately pretty common that people get in over their heads and damage something.
 

JuliusSqueezer

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Well "literally" you can, but it's going to cost more than the watch is worth, so lesson learned I guess. It is unfortunately pretty common that people get in over their heads and damage something.
I’ve been destroying things my entire life, so I’m no stranger to finding obscure things. It takes a while, but I usually find it.

This is no exception as I currently have a couple of leads on a new spring.

It is what it is.
 

Skutt50

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I don't know if I dare to mention this but (depending on where the old hairsprig is broken) there is a teporary, not acceptable cheat, to get it running again.

Line up the two pieces and glue them together with a 1-2mm overlap!

I have actually been sucessful with this the one and only time I tried it. An old English fusee, side lever, where the hairspring was rusted into two pieces. The rust was only on one spot, just where it broke.

Not being able to find a replacement I glued them together (some 10-15 years ago) and the watch is still running to this day. The regulator is a bit of center but it keeps time.

My intention was to replace the hairspring at a later date but I have left it as is as a memory of odd repairs.........
 

JuliusSqueezer

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I don't know if I dare to mention this but (depending on where the old hairsprig is broken) there is a teporary, not acceptable cheat, to get it running again.

Line up the two pieces and glue them together with a 1-2mm overlap!

I have actually been sucessful with this the one and only time I tried it. An old English fusee, side lever, where the hairspring was rusted into two pieces. The rust was only on one spot, just where it broke.

Not being able to find a replacement I glued them together (some 10-15 years ago) and the watch is still running to this day. The regulator is a bit of center but it keeps time.

My intention was to replace the hairspring at a later date but I have left it as is as a memory of odd repairs.........
Huh. That’s actually a pretty good idea.
I never thought of that.

I’ll try it this evening and report back.
 

Al J

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I’ve been destroying things my entire life, so I’m no stranger to finding obscure things. It takes a while, but I usually find it.

This is no exception as I currently have a couple of leads on a new spring.

It is what it is.
Good you have a lead - let's hope the new one survives.
 

JuliusSqueezer

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Good you have a lead - let's hope the new one survives.
I appreciate your help, Al J, but I don’t appreciate your condescending comments.

I screwed up, I know this. You don’t have to rub it in anymore, thank you.
 

gmorse

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Hi JuliusSqueezer,

You should appreciate where professional watchmakers like Al are coming from, they have to take a very pragmatic view of their business; although at first sight their prices may seem unnecessarily high, remember that you aren't only paying for the hours they spend on your watch, you're also paying for the years of experience that enables them to do it properly.

Regards,

Graham
 

JuliusSqueezer

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Hi JuliusSqueezer,

You should appreciate where professional watchmakers like Al are coming from, they have to take a very pragmatic view of their business; although at first sight their prices may seem unnecessarily high, remember that you aren't only paying for the hours they spend on your watch, you're also paying for the years of experience that enables them to do it properly.

Regards,

Graham
No, I do appreciate and understand why prices are so high. You’re paying for experience and expertise.

What I don’t appreciate is that he is rubbing my mistake in my face repeatedly, across multiple forums.

I have been in contact with multiple watchmakers and parts suppliers across North America about this watch and they all said I’m SOL on the part. None of them have it and can’t get it, apparently.
That why I literally can’t take it to a watchmaker and I’m on my own finding the part.
 

Al J

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I appreciate your help, Al J, but I don’t appreciate your condescending comments.

I screwed up, I know this. You don’t have to rub it in anymore, thank you.
I'm not rubbing it in, although I understand why you may think that. On the other forum you were asking questions that illustrate that you are not very experienced at watch repair, and you admitted that you were very much a beginner. In one reply there I did explain that these parts are are essentially a finite resource, and no one wants to see them used up even quicker than they are already by unnecessary damage.

Here you have stated that you have "been destroying thing my entire life" and I'll be honest, as much as you say you regret what you have done, it seems like you are on the road to repeating the same mistake. That's why above, I said if someone here helps you find what you need, you should consider taking the watch (and the new parts) to a watchmaker to get this repaired correctly.

Unless the watch has been serviced very recently, it likely needs a service anyway. Yes it's expensive, but it costs money for a reason.

I also advised you on the other forum that you may want to get some different and more plentiful movements (with lots of spare parts) to practice on.

As I said, you are not alone. On yet another forum, someone said he had an issue with the balance spring on his Omega 30T2, and so I asked him for a photo with the balance stopped. He decided to go one further and remove it from the movement, and this was the result:

30T2 balance.jpg

He turned what was likely an easy fix into a complete mess. It's very easy to make a mistake that will cause extreme damage - this can't be overstated for someone who doesn't have experience repairing watches.

Cheers, Al
 

JuliusSqueezer

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I'm not rubbing it in, although I understand why you may think that. On the other forum you were asking questions that illustrate that you are not very experienced at watch repair, and you admitted that you were very much a beginner. In one reply there I did explain that these parts are are essentially a finite resource, and no one wants to see them used up even quicker than they are already by unnecessary damage.

Here you have stated that you have "been destroying thing my entire life" and I'll be honest, as much as you say you regret what you have done, it seems like you are on the road to repeating the same mistake. That's why above, I said if someone here helps you find what you need, you should consider taking the watch (and the new parts) to a watchmaker to get this repaired correctly.

Unless the watch has been serviced very recently, it likely needs a service anyway. Yes it's expensive, but it costs money for a reason.

I also advised you on the other forum that you may want to get some different and more plentiful movements (with lots of spare parts) to practice on.

As I said, you are not alone. On yet another forum, someone said he had an issue with the balance spring on his Omega 30T2, and so I asked him for a photo with the balance stopped. He decided to go one further and remove it from the movement, and this was the result:

View attachment 644867

He turned what was likely an easy fix into a complete mess. It's very easy to make a mistake that will cause extreme damage - this can't be overstated for someone who doesn't have experience repairing watches.

Cheers, Al
Al, listen. Instead of repeating over and over that you don’t trust me with my own watches, why don’t you offer some assistance?

I live less than an hour West from you.

What can you do to assist me in my quest for a Hairspring?

Nothing comes for free, of course. So if you’d like to offer some help in finding a spring or balance assembly, I will offer payment in return.

If not, that’s okay too.

Either way, I’d appreciate if you’d stop following me from forum to forum telling me how unqualified I am to do this myself.

Everyone starts somewhere and this is where I have started, unfortunately.
 

Al J

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Al, listen. Instead of repeating over and over that you don’t trust me with my own watches, why don’t you offer some assistance?

I live less than an hour West from you.

What can you do to assist me in my quest for a Hairspring?

Nothing comes for free, of course. So if you’d like to offer some help in finding a spring or balance assembly, I will offer payment in return.

If not, that’s okay too.

Either way, I’d appreciate if you’d stop following me from forum to forum telling me how unqualified I am to do this myself.

Everyone starts somewhere and this is where I have started, unfortunately.
Well, I'm sorry you feel that I have not offered any help, but this is the problem with your approach in my opinion. In the other thread I explained that when you contacted Breguet to order a new balance spring, that Breguet didn't actually make the spring for your watch, and if they did they wouldn't sell you one anyway.

I suggested that you start on a watch that is easier to work on (ETA 6497), and provided you a link to a free downlead of the TM-9 1575 manual that has information on adjusting balance springs of the type you have. Others have also provided help when you suggested that a a complete beginner by your own admission, that your plan to vibrate a new spring from scratch is probably more than a little ambitious. But you don't see any of this as "help" but people apparently throwing roadblocks in your singular quest to find the part you need.

I am a watchmaker, not a parts supplier. I make my living repairing watches, not hunting down parts for other people, so I'll pass on your business thanks.

And just so you know, I am a member of many different forums, and have been a member here for years - since 2009 actually. I'm not following you around certainly, but it seems that since you didn't get the answers you wanted on the other forum (despite getting some good advice), you are now trying somewhere else. That's fine,. but I only commented here because you said on the other forum you were going to take it to a watchmaker, and here that plan seemed to have changed.

Good luck with your watch.

Cheers, Al
 

JuliusSqueezer

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Well, I'm sorry you feel that I have not offered any help, but this is the problem with your approach in my opinion. In the other thread I explained that when you contacted Breguet to order a new balance spring, that Breguet didn't actually make the spring for your watch, and if they did they wouldn't sell you one anyway.

I suggested that you start on a watch that is easier to work on (ETA 6497), and provided you a link to a free downlead of the TM-9 1575 manual that has information on adjusting balance springs of the type you have. Others have also provided help when you suggested that a a complete beginner by your own admission, that your plan to vibrate a new spring from scratch is probably more than a little ambitious. But you don't see any of this as "help" but people apparently throwing roadblocks in your singular quest to find the part you need.

I am a watchmaker, not a parts supplier. I make my living repairing watches, not hunting down parts for other people, so I'll pass on your business thanks.

And just so you know, I am a member of many different forums, and have been a member here for years - since 2009 actually. I'm not following you around certainly, but it seems that since you didn't get the answers you wanted on the other forum (despite getting some good advice), you are now trying somewhere else. That's fine,. but I only commented here because you said on the other forum you were going to take it to a watchmaker, and here that plan seemed to have changed.

Good luck with your watch.

Cheers, Al
Well, first off, you keep commenting that I am a absolute beginner. This may be true, but you coming here to this thread and stating that here, where I am hoping to actually find parts, seems to make people less apt to help me.

So, you’re doing that on purpose, Al. Why would you do that to someone?

That’s fine that you’ll turn down my offer. I’ll accept that.

Now, I’d appreciate if you leave me alone and stop trying to sabotage my attempts to acquire what I need.

Also, I have tried to take it to a watchmaker. Like I have stated, I have been in contact with watchmakers across North America and none of them, apparently including yourself, have the part and cannot get it.

If you’re not going to offer any meaningful help, Al, please just don’t help at all. You’re doing more harm than good for me at this point in time.
 

JuliusSqueezer

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Again, it's unfortunate you haven't seen anything I've offered in the way of advice as meaningful.
You have not afforded the help I have asked for, on any scale.
I am simply asking for you, or anyone else for that matter, to point me in the direction of where to find the PART that I need.

You have only given me unsolicited and unwanted advice while telling me that I am incompetent and unqualified to work on my own belongings.

Again, please leave me alone, Al.
 

roughbarked

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Thank you, Tom. I really appreciate it.

The hairspring that was in it had a slight overcoil on it. Does that mean the hairspring was replaced with the wrong one at some point?
No. It means somebody bent it.
Yes, I have been in contact with several dozen watchmakers across North America.

None of them will touch it without doing a complete restoration, at a cost of $400-$500, and one of the best watchmakers in Canada I spoke to only does repairs to the hairspring.
Another told me I’m SOL for parts.

No hairspring = no restoration.

At a cost of $500, I might as well scrap my SB and buy an Elgin railroad watch.

I literally cannot take this to a watchmaker for repairs.
Then the answer is; scrap it or give it to someone who cares.
I don't know who did that to your hairspring but if it was you then you will by now realise why it costs $500 to fix.
I've probably got half a dozen hairsprings that would work but apart from me doing the calculations and adjustments, the postage would kill your budget.
 
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JuliusSqueezer

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No. It means somebody bent it.

Then the answer is; scrap it or give it to someone who cares.
I don't know who did that to your hairspring but if it was you then you will by now realise why it costs $500 to fix.
I've probably got half a dozen hairsprings that would work but apart from me doing the calculations and adjustments, the postage would kill your budget.
Nice. That’s kind of you to say.

According to this catalog from South Bend in 1928, all South Bend Hairsprings have overcoils.
A Hairspring from any 400 series movement other than a 431 or 419 would fit.

You and everyone else who calls themselves “professionals” I have encountered on this journey can’t even muster up 2 minutes of research.

And you’re all brutally rude, save for the few kind Americans I’ve run into.
“The postage would kill your budget” so what if I’m on a budget? The watch cost me $75. $500 to have someone like you or Al fix it isn’t worth it, nor would I give my business to any of you unhelpful, horrendous individuals.

If you treat strangers on the internet like this, I couldn’t imagine what you would do to my watch if I looked at you the wrong way in person.
 

roughbarked

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Nice. That’s kind of you to say.

According to this catalog from South Bend in 1928, all South Bend Hairsprings have overcoils.
A Hairspring from any 400 series movement other than a 431 or 419 would fit.

You and everyone else who calls themselves “professionals” I have encountered on this journey can’t even muster up 2 minutes of research.

And you’re all brutally rude, save for the few kind Americans I’ve run into.
“The postage would kill your budget” so what if I’m on a budget? The watch cost me $75. $500 to have someone like you or Al fix it isn’t worth it, nor would I give my business to any of you unhelpful, horrendous individuals.

If you treat strangers on the internet like this, I couldn’t imagine what you would do to my watch if I looked at you the wrong way in person.
All I can say is sorry but the photos made available looked like shyte.
I have never claimed to be any kind of reference on American watches but when the photos look like what is in this thread then I really don't need to look any further.

I am happy to see that you did some research for yourself and indeed many of us may have the exact hairspring you require. However, it still requires a watchmaker to calibrate the hairspring to a balance it has never been on.
As far as it goes, if you think abuse will get your watch fixed, then I was quite serious about postage killing your budget.
 
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Al J

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You have not afforded the help I have asked for, on any scale.
I am simply asking for you, or anyone else for that matter, to point me in the direction of where to find the PART that I need.

You have only given me unsolicited and unwanted advice while telling me that I am incompetent and unqualified to work on my own belongings.

Again, please leave me alone, Al.
I fully understand that the advice you have been given is unwanted, and that is the problem. The advice that has been given though, is very relevant to your situation. For those who want, they can read it here:

Fixing Extreme Positional Variance In Rate | WatchUSeek Watch Forums

Just because we aren't giving you the answer you want, doesn't mean we are being unhelpful.

Cheers, Al
 
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JuliusSqueezer

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I fully understand that the advice you have been given is unwanted, and that is the problem. The advice that has been given though, is very relevant to your situation. For those who want, they can read it here:

Fixing Extreme Positional Variance In Rate | WatchUSeek Watch Forums

Just because we aren't giving you the answer you want, doesn't mean we are being unhelpful.

Cheers, Al
I have asked you repeatedly to leave me alone if you’re not going to help with what I am asking for, which is a source for parts, not unsolicited advice.

Why can you not do something as simple as that?

Al, this is the type of behavior that doesn’t give me confidence in your skills as a “professional”.
You can’t even follow simple instructions to just leave me alone and stop with the unsolicited advice.

If I asked you not to polish my watch case, you’d probably do it anyway and say it was complementary.

What is the matter with you?
 

roughbarked

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I have asked you repeatedly to leave me alone if you’re not going to help with what I am asking for, which is a source for parts, not unsolicited advice.

Why can you not do something as simple as that?

Al, this is the type of behavior that doesn’t give me confidence in your skills as a “professional”.
You can’t even follow simple instructions to just leave me alone and stop with the unsolicited advice.

If I asked you not to polish my watch case, you’d probably do it anyway and say it was complementary.

What is the matter with you?
You do know that there is an easy answer here?
It is known as, know when to walk away.

None of us are here to polish your watch case even though many of us can fix your hairspring issue.
 

praezis

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:)
I stopped supplying rare parts to amateurs, even if I have enough. They are turned to scrap faster than you can look, resulting in disappearing resources for us watchmakers.

Frank
 

Al J

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I have asked you repeatedly to leave me alone if you’re not going to help with what I am asking for, which is a source for parts, not unsolicited advice.

Why can you not do something as simple as that?

Al, this is the type of behavior that doesn’t give me confidence in your skills as a “professional”.
You can’t even follow simple instructions to just leave me alone and stop with the unsolicited advice.

If I asked you not to polish my watch case, you’d probably do it anyway and say it was complementary.

What is the matter with you?
Well, since the vast majority of my business is servicing watches for vintage collectors, I default to not refinishing as a policy, and in fact I typically try to talk people out of it if they ask for it on a valuable vintage watch.

As I mentioned to you in the other thread "do no harm" is a key part of being a watchmaker, and in my view and that of many collectors, polishing is harm.

Cheers, Al
 

Al J

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:)
I stopped supplying rare parts to amateurs, even if I have enough. They are turned to scrap faster than you can look, resulting in disappearing resources for us watchmakers.

Frank
I do know some very talented amateurs, some on this forum. Those people are willing to learn from others, take advice, and go slow to learn the basics. Clearly not everyone takes that approach unfortunately.
 

JuliusSqueezer

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You do know that there is an easy answer here?
It is known as, know when to walk away.

None of us are here to polish your watch case even though many of us can fix your hairspring issue.
And yet, you all refuse to tell me where to get the parts, or in Frank’s case, outright refuse to sell them to anyone except “professionals” because he thinks it’ll make supply dry up faster.
If you sell it to anyone, it’s used up and no longer on the market anyway. Can you not see that, Frank?

You all act like those kids on the playground playing keep away with someone’s hat unless they give up their lunch money.

I have never run into a more deplorable, rude, unhelpful and ignorant group of people in my entire life.
One question: Where do I get parts? Simple enough question that is met with a huge spiel of other nonsense about how I’m unqualified and not worthy of knowing.

Perhaps you people have seen some dummies with fat fingers in the past, but that’s not my case.
It was 8+ hours of fiddling with the previous hairspring off of the balance before it tangled.

I will find my part and I will fix this thing, without any of your help, since you all outright refuse to lend a hand. Unless I’m willing to fork out $500 and trust you with it.

That’s never happening after stumbling upon you lot.
 

roughbarked

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Bye.
I could probably have fixed it for a quite reasonable price but as I said, the postage would have pushed it over budget.
Now the postage is something you cannot blame me for.

8 hours to ruin a hairspring?
It usually only takes a nanosecond for me.

I think in reality you don't seem to be getting the issue that watch parts are not as common as actual rocking horse dung.
 
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