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Westclox Pocket Ben adjustment

brad1

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Jan 23, 2023
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I recently picked up a Westclox Pocket Ben style 6 from 1961 at an antique mall. The speed was a little off so I adjusted it (I am a beginner and I don't really know how to do stuff, so I probably wasn't doing it in the best way, and this is my first repair). I got the seconds pretty accurate, but I noticed that even though the seconds were correct, the minutes would drift, falling behind. Basically, the minute hand seems to drift from the second hand as though there are not quite the right number of seconds in a minute. The minutes seem to change at around a minute for ever hour and a half to two hours. Since I am a beginner, I was wondering if there is a fix for this or if this is just a problem with these pocket watches or even if it's just a normal thing. Any help would be appreciated!
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brad1

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Jan 23, 2023
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Sorry, I am not very familiar with watch and clock terminology, so I am not sure what the cannon would be. And if the minute hand was loose, how would I fix it?
 

brad1

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Jan 23, 2023
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Ok. The minute hand seems to be tight. It didn't slip. If there doesn't seem to be a solution, I can always just set the speed so the minutes are accurate and disregard the precision of the seconds. What is the canon that you referred to in a previous post?
 

brad1

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Jan 23, 2023
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I looked up stuff about the cannon, and it does seem like it could be the cause, but I noticed that it seems tight when setting the time, contrary to what it seems would be the case. However, it does feel like the tightness setting the time could be in the gears and not the cannon, as it feels a little grindy.
 

darrahg

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I may be way off base but If I understand your description correctly, the watch is losing (drifting?) about a minute for every hour and a half to two hours. If that is so then a good cleaning, pegging (pivot holes), oiling and then timing should be done. This type of watch is a bit more difficult to work on and adjust since the balance wheel hair spring is secured by a pin and the balance must be removed in order to polish the pivot cups in which the balance pivots are secured and rotate. Once that is done then timing issues can be addressed or any other problems can be addressed.
 
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brad1

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Jan 23, 2023
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I don't disagree that that would be a good thing to do, however, as I said, I am a newbie and I would like to avoid taking the watch apart too much, such as removing the balance wheel. The watch mechanism does seem to run pretty well, just that the minutes seem to drift from the seconds. One thing that i did notice about the minutes loosing time but forgot to mention is that they don't seem to loose time steadily, sometimes seeming to stay constant and other times loosing time a little faster. To me that makes the loose cannon theory more likely, based on my current knowledge, though I would like to know if you think different.
 
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darrahg

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Setting time from the crown and hand movement are separate operations and utilize different wheels (gears). Tightness in setting the time by the crown is probably due to dried out lubricant where erratic movement of the minute hand is a separate issue and, as has been suggested, is probably the result of the canon pinion not being snug enough around the center wheel arbor (shaft). This can be checked by first removing the hands and then the dial by prying up the dial tab(s) on one end carefully and just enough to get it over the edge of the plate. The tabs on the other end should slip out without bending them. You will now have access to the time train gears (for both the minute and hour) and canon pinion (the minute hand attached to) for testing. Just keep in mind that not cleaning a movement properly before doing any work on it might cause you much aggravation. Good luck.
 

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