Wanting to put the 16s American Pocket Watch in the Wrist watch case. Help with info

LarryW

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So I have got my bad boy 23 jewel pendant set hunting case Howard all tweaked out and running lovely. I've decided Its so beautiful that I want to wear it on my wrist. Its not in the original case anyway, so I'm good with doing this. The watch I'm wanting to do it too is here.

https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php...ket-watch-General-Questions-about-originality


I have contacted 2 people over seas that distribute these cases I'm talking about, and I'm not going to be modifying my pillar plate to make this work, as shown here,

http://pilguy.com/showthread.php?t=44

Is their a way to do this and make it work without modifying the plate? I'm having a hard time finding a sleeve and stem that might work and the stem will probably have to be custom made or modified, maybe even the sleeve also. Is this something that could be made to work for a reasonable price? Where could I Find this odd size of a sleeve (If Possible)? And if so, Who could do this easily?
Thanks.
 

everydaycats

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Re: Wanting to put the 16s American Pocket Watch in the Wrist watch case. Help with i

Watch at link is really nice! You have my permission to modify if it results in a wrist watch as shown at the link.
Good luck, and waiting for pictures.
 

LarryW

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Re: Wanting to put the 16s American Pocket Watch in the Wrist watch case. Help with i

He did a magnificent job. And that watch looks really sharp in that case, but I Wont even consider doing that to mine.

I'm thinking that I might be able to add an extension tube to case, and using a modified stem and a deep threaded large crown might work. But I haven't decided what the best way to install the tube would be. I'm thinking maybe to thread the tube into the case and then adding inner threads to the tube for insertion of a sleeve. These cases are stainless steel so I don't want to heat it up and discolor it or take the temper out and make it brittle. Plus I have never done anything like this before, so I don't know if I could get it right, especially on my first try, would probably be easier to pay some one else to do it.

I'm trying to go the path of least resistance with this.
 

Rob P.

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Re: Wanting to put the 16s American Pocket Watch in the Wrist watch case. Help with i

Path of least resistance? Leave it as a pocket watch.

1st more difficult step from there? Use a late model nickel or stainless pocket watch case, machine off the outer rim/edge until it's thin enough to look like a wrist watch case. Add a shortened stem/sleeve. Silver solder on some lugs and you're there. You know the movement fits without modification and the sleeve will thread in and not come out.

Most difficult step? Buy a case, modify the case in some manner to either accept a shortened sleeve or fabricate some sort of stem/sleeve system that fits in the case while retaining the stem. Modify the case to mount the movement in the correct location relative to the stem hole, make a movement retainer/holder, make any dial spacers needed.

I just did some casing work on some Wathams I have. I bought some cheapie cases and discovered very quickly that recasing a pocket watch as a modern looking wrist watch isn't all that simple. It's easiest if a case is custom made that fits your particular movement and much more difficult to make a movement fit a generic case.
 

everydaycats

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Re: Wanting to put the 16s American Pocket Watch in the Wrist watch case. Help with i

I know not of what I say, so please excuse if it's funny...Why not simply turn the dial 90° so crown is now aligned correctly at the 3:00 position?
 
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Smudgy

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Re: Wanting to put the 16s American Pocket Watch in the Wrist watch case. Help with i

It's in a pretty nice case now! I think it would simplify the conversion a lot if you used a lever set, pin set, or key set watch to do this.
 

richiec

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Re: Wanting to put the 16s American Pocket Watch in the Wrist watch case. Help with i

And once you break it when you bang your wrist against something hard inadvertently, you will kick yourself. Swinging it around on your wrist, it will not keep good time either, the balance jewels will get wallowed out, the balance staff will wear prematurely as well. A person at an antique store here did one and to me it looked clunky using a nickel case but to each his own. Kids today like that large, blingy looking stuff, it is the style.
 
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Rob P.

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Re: Wanting to put the 16s American Pocket Watch in the Wrist watch case. Help with i

I know not of what I say, so please excuse if it's funny...Why not simply turn the dial 90° so crown is now aligned correctly at the 3:00 position?
Not funny but not workable on most watches either.

The biggest hurdle is that the seconds bit is opposite the stem on OF movements. If the dial puts the stem at 12 the seconds bit is at 6. You can't just rotate the dial 90* because the seconds bit will no longer have a hole to go into with the dial in that position.

Of course, on watches with no seconds bit or a center seconds hand you can rotate the dial and just move the feet to the (now) correct locations. But on watches with a seconds bit you have to have a dial that puts the seconds hand at 9.
 
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Rob P.

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Re: Wanting to put the 16s American Pocket Watch in the Wrist watch case. Help with i

And once you break it when you bang your wrist against something hard inadvertently, you will kick yourself. Swinging it around on your wrist, it will not keep good time either, the balance jewels will get wallowed out, the balance staff will wear prematurely as well. A person at an antique store here did one and to me it looked clunky using a nickel case but to each his own. Kids today like that large, blingy looking stuff, it is the style.
While Incabloc jewels were invented to help solve this problem, watches were worn on the wrist for a long time without this being a major issue. Yes, some people broke staffs in their wrist watches but that also happened with the watch being carried in the pocket as well. As such, I believe this to be an old wives tale. Possibly even created as marketing hype to help sell the new shock absorbing jewel systems. Which still have staff breakages albeit in much smaller numbers than for non-incabloc movements.
 

richiec

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Re: Wanting to put the 16s American Pocket Watch in the Wrist watch case. Help with i

Suit yourself. Just remember pocket watches were designed to be worn in a pocket, preferably a vest pocket, where there was little movement, I still contend that the watch will not be accurate swinging around on the wrist. Just MHO.
 

Jerry Treiman

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Re: Wanting to put the 16s American Pocket Watch in the Wrist watch case. Help with i

While Incabloc jewels were invented to help solve this problem, watches were worn on the wrist for a long time without this being a major issue. Yes, some people broke staffs in their wrist watches but that also happened with the watch being carried in the pocket as well. As such, I believe this to be an old wives tale. Possibly even created as marketing hype to help sell the new shock absorbing jewel systems. Which still have staff breakages albeit in much smaller numbers than for non-incabloc movements.
The important factors here, though, are mass and intertia. A pocket watch balance wheel is much heavier than a wristwatch balance. Its greater mass and inertia resist changes in direction of movement more than the smaller wristwatch balance, thus putting greater strain on the pivots. Pocket watches, worn properly in a pocket, were never subjected to these motions for which they were not designed. Pocket watches did not suffer broken staffs in the pocket -- that usually happened when they were dropped. Also, while staffs may be readily available for wristwatches, they are not so easy to find (except on the end of a piece of wire) for older watches like this Howard.

Another big negative with these particular conversions is the modifications to the movement for setting. This can severely affect the value of the better and less common watches.
 
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everydaycats

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Re: Wanting to put the 16s American Pocket Watch in the Wrist watch case. Help with i

Not funny but not workable on most watches either.

The biggest hurdle is that the seconds bit is opposite the stem on OF movements. If the dial puts the stem at 12 the seconds bit is at 6. You can't just rotate the dial 90* because the seconds bit will no longer have a hole to go into with the dial in that position.

Of course, on watches with no seconds bit or a center seconds hand you can rotate the dial and just move the feet to the (now) correct locations. But on watches with a seconds bit you have to have a dial that puts the seconds hand at 9.
Or, take an old dial and repaint it...Have seconds at 9:00 which would work for me...Lots of ways I can see to attack this rather than cutting/drilling...
 

richiec

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Re: Wanting to put the 16s American Pocket Watch in the Wrist watch case. Help with i

Yeah, leave it alone would be the best. There are plenty of wrist watches out there that will keep better time and not break and only need a battery every two years, the pocket watch population is starting to dwindle, go buy a wrist watch with a big dial.
 

Kevin Scott

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Re: Wanting to put the 16s American Pocket Watch in the Wrist watch case. Help with i

Concerning the accuracy and durability of a pocket watch movement worn as a wristwatch.

I used to wear on the wrist for a couple of years a Elgin 6 size, 15j, not marked adjusted, but a better grade. I serviced it, and spent extra time adjusting it to run within 5 seconds a day. And it did, on and off the wrist, except when I did heavy work in the garden, or home improvement work. Then it would lose `15 minutes a day, quickly.

Thought the problem was because it was a single roller, and did not recover from shocks as well as a double roller. At first, could not think of a movement made to be used as a wristwatch that was not double roller. Then thought of the Illinois 3/0, which most were single roller, and most if not all were made to go into wrist watch cases. And they had a good reputation for accuracy and reliability. So that killed that theory.

Maybe the geometry of the Elgin, with the long pallet fork, unlike a wrist movement, affected its ability to recover from shocks. Never did figure it out, even though I spent a far amount of time trying. Anybody have any ideas?

As far as damage, wear and tear etc on the movement, I don't think the movement suffered any. Even though it has been over 10 years since I serviced it, I just put it on the timing machine. Dial up and down: +30 seconds. Pendant down: -18 seconds. I think if I serviced it, it would be back to within 5 seconds in 4 or 5 positions without any extra work.

Maybe a 16 size is a different story. Don't know. But do feel it is crazy to wear a 16 size on your wrist even it it did not have the problems my Elgin had.

Recently read about a company that sells 6 to 18 size Elgin, Waltham and Hamilton vintage pocket watch movements in new wrist watch cases. They were very proud of their cases, and gave a good guarantee on them, but made it clear that although they serviced the movements, they did not not guarantee their timing keeping, or their durability. There prices for the watches were about $1000.00. What does that tell you? Don't remember the name of this company.

On another note, I think the Inclabloc system greatly reduces the the chances of a balance staff breaking, and damaged balance jewels based on the the repair work I see. I think that the Incabloc system and white alloy mainsprings greatly affected watchmakers income, and the demand for watchmakers starting in the 1950's.

My rule of thumb, when looking at a 16 or 18 size watch with a bad staff, 90% of the time it also needs at least one hole jewel. A 6/0 movement on the other hand, when needing a staff, only about 20%? or less need a hole jewel. Seems to be a direct correlation between size of staff pivot and damage to hole jewels. Watches with staff pivots of .08mm rarely need hole jewels when a staff pivot is broken.
 

LarryW

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Re: Wanting to put the 16s American Pocket Watch in the Wrist watch case. Help with i

Well, Taking all that I've read into consideration, I suppose I will just put it into a pocket watch display case. This is my carry watch and I don't see a reason to wear out a Howard case with daily use. As for the movement wearing out or breaking parts, I'm less worried about that. I have plenty of spare staffs and hole jewels for the balance. I thank everyone for posting their opinions on the issue of these conversion wrist watch/pocket watch cases. I never thought about the performance or the stress issues this could cause. Thanks!
 

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