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Waltham Royal hour hand 1/4 behind

JohnVanguard

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Oct 5, 2021
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Greetings all. I recently acquired an unblemished masonic face pocket watch with a nice damasceened Waltham Royal 17 jewel adjusted movement. While it time out well, I noticed the hour hand is not aligned correctly. It appears to be 1/4 hr behind. I have verified the lever set works properly and the difference off doesn't get better or worse if I adjust time forward or backward. Will this get worse as I use the watch? If it really doesn't affect the watches true accurate ready, should I worry? Thanks from new member.
 

Jerry Treiman

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Either the hour or minute hand was installed a little out of register with the other or one has slipped after installation. If one of the hands is slipping it could get more out of synchronization. If it was just installed that way it should not get worse. Re-installing the minute hand to match the position of the hour hand should be a simple operation for a watchmaker.
 

Skutt50

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Welcome to the forum.

As had been said, it could be as simple as re-installing the minute hand. A simple job for any watchmaker!

There is also another possibility. Under the dial you should find a washer pushing the hour wheel down towards the main plate. If this is missing AND the minute hand is mounted a bit high on its post, the hour wheel may temporary slip loose from the minute wheel and the hands will be out of sync. To check this the dial needs to be removed!

The first thing I would do is to check that the hands are well fited and not loose on their posts. If so, re-install the minute hand and see what happens. Should the problem re-occur, you need to check under the dial.
 

JohnVanguard

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Oct 5, 2021
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Either the hour or minute hand was installed a little out of register with the other or one has slipped after installation. If one of the hands is slipping it could get more out of synchronization. If it was just installed that way it should not get worse. Re-installing the minute hand to match the position of the hour hand should be a simple operation for a watchmaker.
Thanks for reply, I removed the crystal and upon close inspection, the second hand was barely catching the hour hand. This happens only when hands are over 6. After verifying the second hand rides above the hour hand, with the minute hand on top, I've assumed there is a clearance issue, i.e., a bent hand. The washer was there, and it appears the only issue is the bent hour hand. The clearance to the minute hand is alot, so I used a tooth pick and gently pulled up on the hour hand while pressing on middle with another toothpick. The hour hand is now traveling over the second hand without touching it, and clears the minute hand by a mile...5-7 mm. Apparently, while flexing the hour hand to straighten it, I noticed it had no resistance to just a rch touch. I felt no resistance as I nudged the hour hand to its proper orientation, about 6 mm. Am tracking movement, and accuracy and all are on point. I will be asking a REAL watchmaker to replace the hands, as I see the minute hand is also bent at the end , which will wear a ring in the face, which is mint and a beauty of a masonic emblem. Kind of strange ... nice Royal adjusted with a Emperor case? It's a nice case, but a step back from the quality of movement/dial. While I only have a few pocket watches, I must admit that I'm smitten with the beauty and complexities of these old watches. Update, 2 hrs later and accurate to the minute. I obviously need a watchmaker and will stop trying to act like one, but I find it exciting and wish I was 1! Thanks again Jerry!

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Jerry Treiman

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The Royal grade is a good quality watch. Your movement is configured for a hunting case, which was probably melted at some time in the past, and it has been recased in the lower quality Emperor case. This was done a lot in the Depression and many times more recently when gold hits a high mark and people need the money.
 
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JohnVanguard

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Oct 5, 2021
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The Royal grade is a good quality watch. Your movement is configured for a hunting case, which was probably melted at some time in the past, and it has been recased in the lower quality Emperor case. This was done a lot in the Depression and many times more recently when gold hits a high mark and people need the money.
Copy that! What triggered you that it was made for a hunter case?
 

Skutt50

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I will be asking a REAL watchmaker to replace the hands
Congratulations to finding the problem.

Just a quick note: Finding these type of hands is hard enough and new hands most likely needs some adjustemnets to fit properly.

You don't need to have the hands replaced. Just have the watchmaker tighten the hour hand tube to fit the hour wheel and straighten whatever parts of the hands that needs it.
 
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Dave Haynes

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Sep 12, 2000
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When you find a watch losing packets of time , look at the cannon pinion when you find the hands not where they are supposed to be, check for touching just like you suspected. The hour wheel can also have too much clearance and rise enough to skip a few teeth and get out of sync. The dials can just ride too high from bent feet or just being too careful when mounting the dial. Placing hands can take a long time. They sometimes can be placed and be the width of a piece of watch paper from touching at 12:00 and be hitting each other at 6:30, they must be checked all the way around. You can bend the individual hands to gain clearance but they look so much better when done like the factory. Loose hands can be restored with a staking set and careful work. I have a lot of pocket watch plain hands. PM me if you need something. You can also hand fit hands that are too small by using a tool made for the purpose. It holds the hand while you broach out the hole to fit your purpose. I wouldn't be surprised to hear of people using a touch of super glue to hold a loose hand. I know one guy who does his staffs with super glue.
 
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JohnVanguard

Registered User
Oct 5, 2021
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When you find a watch losing packets of time , look at the cannon pinion when you find the hands not where they are supposed to be, check for touching just like you suspected. The hour wheel can also have too much clearance and rise enough to skip a few teeth and get out of sync. The dials can just ride too high from bent feet or just being too careful when mounting the dial. Placing hands can take a long time. They sometimes can be placed and be the width of a piece of watch paper from touching at 12:00 and be hitting each other at 6:30, they must be checked all the way around. You can bend the individual hands to gain clearance but they look so much better when done like the factory. Loose hands can be restored with a staking set and careful work. I have a lot of pocket watch plain hands. PM me if you need something. You can also hand fit hands that are too small by using a tool made for the purpose. It holds the hand while you broach out the hole to fit your purpose. I wouldn't be surprised to hear of people using a touch of super glue to hold a loose hand. I know one guy who does his staffs with super glue.
 

JohnVanguard

Registered User
Oct 5, 2021
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Thanks Dave, I'm saving you! I have noticed a major item that I usually would not have found until I inadvertantly tapped the watch at an angle. The hour hand, which does advance, is loose and moves with a jostle. I don't see the washer missing, and the minute hand is keeping perfect time. This is why the hour hand gets hung on the subdial at the 25 minute mark and the small adjustments I attempted to make it clear passed, then failed. While it's been a hunter in it's past, and the current case is just a nice Chesterfield alike, this watch is my only puppy in need, and I am now searching for a vet to fix. It appears to be above dial work. Wish me luck in Virginia Beach, Va.
 

pocketsrforwatches

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"After verifying the second hand rides above the hour hand"

Apparently people are missing the above statement in your post number 4. The second hand should be under the hour hand, not above it. Maybe a typo on your part but a significant problem if you are trying to get the second hand to operate between the hour and minute hands.
 

pocketsrforwatches

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"After verifying the second hand rides above the hour hand"

Apparently people are missing the above statement in your post number 4. The second hand should be under the hour hand, not above it. Maybe a typo on your part but a significant problem if you are trying to get the second hand to operate between the hour and minute hands.
Obviously it would be impossible to have the second hand ride above the hour hand...I was being factious and trying to point out in an obviously failed attempt at humor that it is important to describe accurately what one is attempting to do so that confusion is eliminated.
 

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