This is both unfortunate and depressing...

pmwas

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Got this watch today...

D7F131FC-9BBB-430B-9545-1D373CF73EFB.jpeg

It’s a Herbst of Warsaw. Very hard to find a Warsaw signed verge watch, so a rare piece.
Sadly... not complete, not even restorable.

Removing the bezel already looks bad...

6760C2D7-F8E0-4713-BF29-62EB703B2577.jpeg

And the deeper you dig, the worse it gets...

38A92DBC-ED67-4A8D-A1E3-6DC8A1E86C95.jpeg

Dust cover hides one pure nightmare...

2623B377-06B3-471E-A0D7-8513D6B304D2.jpeg

No balance, no cock, no nothing...

EFB26FB6-672F-4699-B7B4-9AC2785AB177.jpeg

No escape wheel or bearings...

0326B5BB-7B72-404E-A0CD-E6500FBCFBD7.jpeg

Just barrel and fusee. And center wheel.
That’s it.

Well? Hmmm... I will gather some parts and see if anything could be fitted.
But without the missing movement plates... I guess it’s impossible.

Having a Herbst of Warsaw watch would be great, but... well... you know - this one looks too dead to live...
 

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Sorry to read and see the photos.


Rob
 
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Jerry Treiman

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Certainly a disappointment, but still interesting as an artifact of the time and place.
 
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pmwas

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Yes.. but I do want it back running... even if I have to buy all verge spare parts in the world ;)
Maybe I will find a way to fit some parts. No immediate hurry ;)
 
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Springdale Ben

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Hi Pmwas

Never say never... I have lots of old partial movements etc - so I had a look through them earlier.

I have this European verge movement that looks remarkably like yours, although no calendar works. The layout looks the same even down the pillar style and positioning of the numbering. Bottom plate is 40.3mm top plate is 37.9mm.

I believe it's complete apart from the chain. Balance pivots and hairspring are good.

I really have no use for it. Drop me a message.

Thanks

Ben

IMG_2547.JPEG IMG_2548.JPEG IMG_2549.JPEG IMG_2550.JPEG IMG_2551.JPEG IMG_2552.JPEG IMG_2553.jpeg
 

pmwas

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Funny... in the flat I temporarily live in, there is nothing to measure mine...
But I’m sure it’s significantly larger.

But thanks, I will contact you when I manage to measure it.

BTW - it is suspicious...

F8164FC2-EDCE-4002-A6A7-D6140B0BBDE2.jpeg

I tried to fit in a pinion and three is no way anything could be squeezed in here. The center wheel appears to be slightly too big...
Or was there some sort of small (that is narrow) pinion there? Strange... the wheel fits the plates nicely, but there is no space for a reasonably sized 3rd pinion :???:
 

pmwas

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It’s all so difficult in such watches as there are no spare parts readily available!

So much easier working on an Elgin.

OK. I have a promising balance...

9F2DA1D2-D5D4-4564-B544-921099054679.jpeg

And I found a nice 6 leaf pinion that should fit...

A9ED6373-5F83-4D64-BE73-07C3CD6F6BFA.jpeg

This wheel is too large, tough.
In fact, this watch has small gears for it’s size...

65AF3AD8-229A-4698-AC81-857F628F1514.jpeg

That will probably need an 8 leaf pinion on the 4th (or 10?) but looks promising.

Only I need it lower as the 4th has to have some room...

CAE4FA58-11C4-4E43-83FA-942EAD9B1BD0.jpeg

And done. Pretty much...
This 3rd wheel should work.
But will it? I still have some spare pinions, but finding a wheel of correct diameter is a problem here...
 

pmwas

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Back with this one - from time to time, I would take it and try to fit some gears, an escapement, balance, balance cock etc.
But with no result.

I even tried to fit a lever escapement and almost succeeded...

IMG_9041.JPG

I wasted many, many parts doing that and drilled many, many holes in the top plate, including exanding the balance opening in it (brutal and definitely not something to be proud of, but since I had to fit parts, I needed some more space there).

IMG_9050.JPG

Yes, the lovely balance bridge seen was soon to be broken and discasrded. But at least the regulator stayed fitted to the plate.

At the point, however, I decided to give up and started fitting a flat Doxa between the plates.
An idea just to make it run with a complete lever movement inside it.

And yet - thanks to my disappointed fellow KMZiZ Forum member, I decided to try again.

I finally fitted a swinging balance to the top plate...

IMG_9054.JPG

The balance cock is English and I mutilated it greatly.
Not for fun, not out of anger, but to fit it under the dust cover. In fact - these cutouts prooved even too small and I had to enlarge them even more.
There were three options... cut the bridge, cut the dust cover open or discard the dust cover as whole, and I chose to cut the bridge as a non-original 'graft'.

IMG_9057.JPG

The escape wheel is something I am proud of, though.
Because this watch has relatively small gears, the 4th wheel would not reach the pinion, so I had to reverse it, fitting the escape wheel on the other side of the pinion.
This requited something to fit it dead flat on the tip of the pinion and I came up with an idea, in which I found a small wristwatch minute wheel that fitted the tip perfrctly, disassembled it and used the small steel bit to fit the escape wheel on it.
Dead centered, dead flat. Yes, I am proud of that idea, as whenever I use brass collet - it's not dead flat.

IMG_9059.JPG

Inside the fusee, there is a bad ratchet wheel, but since it has most of the teeth and I don't have a replacement one - it stayed there.
I could have used a complete Quartier fusee I have, but this fusee is among the only few original parts of the watch, so it had to stay.
Inside the barrel I found a good mainspring...

IMG_9060.JPG

Parts assembled, oiled and ready to go...

IMG_9062.JPG

The chain I found was kinda rusty and it broke after assembly, so I had to use a shorter one, which is quite a disappointment. I already ordered a log one to replace it...

Gear train...
IMG_9065.JPG

I used random - mostly American - gears and pinions just to make it fit.
I did not count the teeth and leaves, as I'm to lazy to do that. I prefer to assemnble it and see how bad it is, and replace something later, depending on rate ;)

Anyway - I'd prefer old verge watch gears and pinions (smaller amount of teeth and mostly 8 leaf pinions), but the sizes are different in this one (like I mentioned - relatively small gears) and I could not fit a set.

I fitted a jewel in the 4th pinion bearing, as I could not find a correct pinion at all and also - I broke the original bearing trying to fit it deeper in the main plate.

IMG_9066.JPG

Stopworks.... You can also see I bent the balance bearing up to fit the balance over the regulator on the pate... yes, I mutilated this poor watch greatly, but like I said - it's improvised. I indeed made a Swiss watch plate look like Swiss cheese, with all the holes I made, but - that's the thing - when you find some matching parts, you have to drill holes to screw them down and then it all turns out bad and... the holes stay :(

IMG_9067.JPG

One of the 'secondary targets' of this mission was to fit the regulator and balance in the original spots, to allign them with dust cover's openings.
The regulator is in the right place(only it's too big for the markings to be seen) and so is the balance jewel...

IMG_9071.JPG

I could not find a 19th Century large ruby cap jewel, so I used a flat cut topaz I found.

IMG_9056.JPG

And that's it for now...

IMG_9072.JPG

The watch works, but jams from time to time and it's way too fast, so I will need to replace the 3rd pinion.

IMG_9076.JPG

I still have to implant a date mechanism, as this has a day of the month indication.

And so - here it is half done.
Am I proud? With all the damage I made - not really. But I am happy this ticks again.
Very happy.
It took many hours, a few sleepless night working on it till 5AM, and I have to say it - at some point - became an obsession.
But I made it!
Will be back when I fit a date indicator on it. And I hope this works out fine as well...

View attachment IMG_9074.MOV
 

pmwas

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The only info I finally managed to find in the web is this:


As I expected - first half of 19th Century.
Only few surviving watches are known, which is why I wanted so badly to save this. Even if it cannot really be restored to it's former glory...
 

Incroyable

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If you know how to lathe and machine parts wouldn't it be possible to make all the missing components yourself?
 

pmwas

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If you know how to lathe and machine parts wouldn't it be possible to make all the missing components yourself?
Yes, you’d have how to make bridges, wheels, incl. escapement ‚crown’ wheel, pinions, etc.
Also make and engrave the regulator plate..
Not to mention a verge staff is difficult to even repair, not craft as whole...
It’s not as easy as making a new lever watch balance staff... which is not so easy as well ;)

All in all - in Switzerland at the time noone would make each and every part for a watch, and today there are very few who actually can make such parts...
 
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Box Car Charlie

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Yes, you’d have how to make bridges, wheels, incl. escapement ‚crown’ wheel, pinions, etc.
Also make and engrave the regulator plate..
Not to mention a verge staff is difficult to even repair, not craft as whole...
It’s not as easy as making a new lever watch balance staff... which is not so easy as well ;)

All in all - in Switzerland at the time noone would make each and every part for a watch, and today there are very few who actually can make such parts...
Never give up - there are people who can do these type of projects - having old machines - also helps - it is a passion and huge investment, I have not been around this forum going on 12 years now due to many things - but rejoined up with the NAWCC and retooled and started over, also told NAWCC I would start helping and teaching again down here in Florida - I figure this would be a good entry post - I have noticed some members from years back are no longer with us, there were some great people on here back when as there is now,, moving on - Please do not butcher an Antique watch of historical importance I will try to start helping on this forum when I can make time. "A little pun for fun" Start buying tools gears and so on - I will respond when I can
IMG_1465.jpg
IMG_1467.jpg
 
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pmwas

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The main problem with this watch is that it was parted with it’s bridges. Most likely during some unfinished repairs. If it had the bridges, it would be so much easier, without them it was a total improvisation, as it’s never possible to find a perfect match. Gears, pinions - I’d love to be able to make, but always a pinion or gear can be found... and a bridge... it never fits. Always has to be fitted and that’s when the butchering starts.

Without the original bridges, this watch will never have much value, but all in all ticking is better than dead.
The only thing I think was a huge mistake, was trying to fit a lever escapement in it.

The idea came to me seeing some English watches converted that way by the masters of old, and even though I almost succeeded (in fact I still don’t know why it did not want to work), I now see this caused too many holes in the plates and was a foolish idea indeed. But time cannot be reversed and what’s done is done.

All in all - it was never economically justified to even buy this corpse (I paid a lot for it), and more - to pay for crafting all parts. I wanted to make it tick just because it’s (or was) a Herbst. Somehow I really wanted to see it live again.

And maybe the best idea I had was to fit a complete, flat movement between the untouched plates, but the sound of the verge in it is way more satisfying.

I will now have to make the date wheel, change the gear ratios and... that’s it. It’s not like I’m really happy with this work. Improvising, I went too far. And I’m aware of that. Knowing what worked out in the end, one knows what was done needlessly, but in real life one can not save and load a game... all in all I consider this a success, but this victory is not nearly glorious...
 
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Box Car Charlie

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:: pmwas::
I understand wanting to see things work - I have made many mistakes over the years - we all do - and will do so far into the future, it is how we correct those mistakes

I also - well understand that drive of staying up till 5 in the morning or pulling a 24 straight - or waking up out of a dead sleep because it hit you in the middle of the night - - Howard Hughes did that

So do not take my words the wrong way, - sometimes I come across a bit strong and arrogant, - well - most of the time - that is just me - it is not my intention to make people feel bad about what they have done,- but - to help aid in driving your passion to the next level, you my friend have that drive - I started out the same way - self taught over 40 years ago - and yes - you should be proud of that - regardless right or wrong - you took junk parts and got a watch running -, many people have trouble just cleaning a watch.

Well - Its early here - gotta have a spot of tea and another pack of smokes - hopefully get my shop in order today { I'd have coffee, but my heart doctor zipped that in the butt} - "smokes, that is a mainstay"

Have a good day all
 
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pmwas

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Of course I understand :)
I imprivise a lot with parts, that can be replaced (staffs, arbirs, etc), but plates are sacred and on a good watch every scratch I make hurts me a lot. I even prefer to leave a cracked jewel instead of risking damage to the plate - don’t wear most of these watches anyway. The holes I made during the process make me sad, especially the one on the Herbst signature, that was for the escape wheel arbor (I’ll try to find a gilded stopworks post of the right size to plug it).
So I do understand your concern.
However - this wreck was available for a long time, considered irrepairable, once even bought and returned to seller, and I thought if I bought it, I have to deal with the problem best I can.
It wasn’t an easy decision to spend $400 on such wreck as well... my fiance does not even know, I told her it was junk-priced (technically true for a Herbst ;) ), so... yes, all in all I am glad :)

This task was too difficult for me from the begining, way over my skills, and yet it ticks. No black magic, just my hands and head and somehow... it’s alive again!
 
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JTD

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The only info I finally managed to find in the web is this:


As I expected - first half of 19th Century.
Only few surviving watches are known, which is why I wanted so badly to save this. Even if it cannot really be restored to it's former glory...
Abeler lists J.G. Herbst as working in Warsaw and mentions a silver pocketwatch (silberne Taschenuhr mit Spindelgang, Offiziersuhr, 2. Hälfte 18. Jahrhundert).

So a bit earlier than the link you found.

JTD
 

pmwas

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Abeler lists J.G. Herbst as working in Warsaw and mentions a silver pocketwatch (silberne Taschenuhr mit Spindelgang, Offiziersuhr, 2. Hälfte 18. Jahrhundert).

So a bit earlier than the link you found.

JTD
Yes, but I guess maybe it’s was meant to be 1800s.
From the best Polish source, he would begin during Napoleonic wars, in 1809.
Then he worked until maximum 1846 when he died. This looks super-credible, as it is also mentioned, that he took part in the ceremony after the death of Alexander I, King of Poland, Emperor of Russia, in 1826.

So this watch belongs most likely to Congress Poland period, either the times of Alexander I (1815-26) or Nicolas I (since 1826). Could as well remember the November Uprising (1830-31) or maybe it’s slightly too young to remember that...
 
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JTD

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Yes, but I guess maybe it’s was meant to be 1800s.
From the best Polish source, he would begin during Napoleonic wars, in 1809.
Then he worked until maximum 1846 when he died. This looks super-credible, as it is also mentioned, that he took part in the ceremony after the death of Alexander I, King of Poland, Emperor of Russia, in 1826.

So this watch belongs most likely to Congress Poland period, either the times of Alexander I (1815-26) or Nicolas I (since 1826). Could as well remember the November Uprising (1830-31) or maybe it’s slightly too young to remember that...
I suspect the original information may have come from an auctioneer's description - and these are notorious for getting dates wrong, especially for estimating things as being a bit older than they really are. Abeler doesn't state his source for this entry, so I can't be sure, but in view of your information that's what I suppose.

JTD
 
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pmwas

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Date... I had big plans for that...
I even crafted a demo (or trial) date wheel

38D0EB6C-0CB2-44EC-9D41-978D9FF8D608.jpeg

All my plans - however - did not work out...
I thought sky was the limit and in this case... the sky is called dial...

I tried a 64 tooth wheel driven by the minute wheel with a small pinion added on top, but that could not be fitted under the dial.

So I tried a date change wheel driven in 1:2 ratio by the hour wheel...

2F965B40-798F-4F55-84B8-E6DAF67B1FB2.jpeg

That fits barely.

The date wheel I made of a simple 31 tooth steel gear.

BEB507C8-C1B4-4614-8452-008D9D468C21.jpeg

Not that good, it is too small. Should be a bigger date wheel and pin more to the center of the date changing wheel, but... I don’t have the tools to make a 31 tooth wheel of the size. Also - it has to be super-slim, so steel preferred.

I have to find some hands and see if it works. Actually the initial tests are promising.
 
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Box Car Charlie

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I suspect the original information may have come from an auctioneer's description - and these are notorious for getting dates wrong, especially for estimating things as being a bit older than they really are. Abeler doesn't state his source for this entry, so I can't be sure, but in view of your information that's what I suppose.
Agreed with your statement - after 40 + years being around auctions and antique's - it holds true " Buyer beware" and " A fool and his money is soon parted" Not everything we read is set in stone - therefore, question everything before buying - I understand we can not know everything, -- As a restoration business - Doing repairs on - Clocks - watches - Antiques / wood / metal - I also repair toy trains - The reason I stated this if you are into trains " Greenberg " who has many books - in his writing - you will find in his books - that he ask for people to come forward with information - to correct or to add to new findings.-
So - with that said " - yes, toy trains , the Railroad Clocks and watches.

Just as with this post, our obsession's take hold and to see things run again might cause a ripple effect - causing confusion and misinformation ---- now - my point to this - the original poster of this tread is attempting to get a watch going - which is very cool to see people still care about something that has been a big part of my life-------- Now - here is my point - if the OP gets the watch running and cleaned up running nicely { which I see , the OP is not giving up and will at some point get the job done } -- one day , the watch will get pasted on { That is a fact of life } to a new collector or auction house ----- how many people are going to know if that watch is right or a marriage of a labor of love for an old watch?

I'm not putting anyone down or stating it is wrong - there are wonderful works of art that have been restored to their proper glory - Hence, a fine line in restorations - Final point - if your able to follow my early morning opinion - Learn - study and research before doing final restoration work, ---- most auction houses get their information from books such as Greenberg's and others . Take what you find with a grain of salt - and keep looking

I feel most of people lost a chance to learn from the old masters and pass it on to future generations , and yes most of the old masters never shared or taught what they knew - never throw out any old papers - notes or anything else from a old or new clock - watch or clock or jeweler estate --- most of us who do restorations - have found a lot of information from such items

That is my 2 cents for today, :rolleyes:and I better get off here and hit the bench:nutjob:
Cheers
 
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pmwas

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Another good point. The question of originality of some solutions used.

In case of this watch, it’s pretty obvious what’s original and what’s not, but switched bridges can be annoying in antique American watches for example.

That’s why I generally never try to restore incomplete movements.

But this Herbst - I just wanted to do. Despite all the controversy of my work :)

Thanks for all the valuable input - I think we made quite a thread here :) !
 
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Box Car Charlie

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Yes, but you made a remarkable job of bringing this uncommon watch back to life. Well done!
Thanks for all the valuable input - I think we made quite a thread here
Agreed on all points in this tread, it's amazing, if you really think about - how an Antique watch - In it's own right - brought people together - many , many years later - From a time when no technology existed - such as the internet - The OP did in fact bring the Watch back to life , even with minor changes made, he took a work of art and a memory of days gone by and brought life to it. To, once again be enjoyed by many.:clap:

Cheers - Job well done.
 
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pmwas

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Just a final touch...

I straightened the balance wheel best I could, straightened (with some fears) the top balance pivot, adjusted the endshake to leave just the necessary minimum and it works better.

One day I will install a longer chain and maybe replace 3rd pinion, but I guess the time to fully dosassemble the watch again has not yet come ;)

B586A091-4B13-48B0-B108-30131A35CFE5.jpeg

C7995383-FD64-496F-88E7-EBA975CB94D5.jpeg

Just some coins and medal from the period. The medal is to commemorate the death of Alexander I, who is in the picture, and whom this watch might possibly remember ;)
 

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