Why is this hairspring off center?

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by Paul Raposo, Apr 17, 2017.

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  1. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User
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    A Tudor cal 59. I've had the the balance out of the movement and took the wheel and spring off the bridge.

    The spring was the correct shape on the balance wheel with the coils evenly spaced. When I put them back on the bridge the spring was still the right shape.

    When I installed the bridge back into the movement the spring bunches up on one side and is spread out on the opposite side. The spring is flat when in the movement and running.

    The pallet fork doesn't sit between the banking pins when the movement is not running, but is off to one side. It starts on the first turn of the crown and runs but loses about 70 to 100 seconds per day dial up.

    I hope these pictures give a clear view of the spring.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    #2 Skutt50, Apr 17, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
    It sounds like the first half coil of the hairspring is not shaped correctly.

    Remove the balance cock and wheel once more and turn it upside down. The balance should sit straight and you should be able to have it oscillate a few turns in this position. You should be able to see where the mis shape occurs.

    If you can not see the problem you might have to remove the hairspring from the balance and install it in the balance cock. Now the center of the hairspring should rest straight above the jewels. Also try the adjustment arm. The jewel should stay above the center during the full movement of the adjustment arm. Don't forget to verify that the hairspring rests in the middle of the adjustment "pins" during the full movement of the adjustment arm.

    This is most likely linked to the problem with the hairspring. Don't try to correct this untill you have the hairspring sorted out.

    EDIT:
    Having enlarged your last picture it actually looks like the hairspring is not fitted between the adjustment "pins". (It could be the angle and un-sharp picture.)
     
  3. Rob P.

    Rob P. Registered User

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    This. The hairspring is not between the pins on the rate adjuster.
     
  4. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User
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    #4 Paul Raposo, Apr 17, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
    It does appear in the picture that the coil isn't in the index but I can confirm that it is. It's a boot style index that must be turned to create an opening for the spring to slip out and I double checked it before turning the boot to close it.

    I'm wondering if the spring was either pinned too short or was too short to begin with and when the stud is put into the carrier it's pulling the spring and causing the bunching up.
     
  5. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    Just as Rob stated, it appears as if the spring goes inside of the regulator pins, remove the balance and CAREFULLY reinsert it between the pins and check again.
     
  6. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    Your regulator is set at FAST and you still loose time. This indicates that the hairspring is not too short but possibly too long!

    It does not take much to cause the "bunching up". E.g. a small slip with a screw driver could cause this. I still believe you have a mis-alignment in the outer coil probably between the stud and the regulator......
    Have you tried to move the regulator to see if the "bunching" changes or moves position?
     
  7. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User
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    Oh! I did not know that. Honestly I've always assumed when a spring looks like this it was too short. Learning something new everyday, thank you Skutt50 :thumb:

    That was actually the first thing I tried and the bunching remained the same.
     
  8. Rob P.

    Rob P. Registered User

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    #8 Rob P., Apr 17, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
    It's not between the pins. Enlarge your pic #3 and you will see that the outer coil is inside the inner pin. You can't see between the pins but you CAN see that the coil is distorted at that point.

    Take the regulator off the balance cock and see if the coils return to correct position. It should just pop off with a tiny bit of pressure along with twisting a tool in the split in the ring. You'll have to remove the balance from the cock to put it back on or risk damaging/bending things but if you're positive it's in between the pins that will prove it or not. And will lead you to other possible places to look.

    Edited at add:

    I just opened the case on my Cal 59 because I thought the kink near the stud might be an issue. It's not. the kink is correct and should be there. However, I can clearly see by comparing mine with yours, that your terminal curve is being distorted right at the regulator pins.
     
  9. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    This would indicate that the hairspring is OK between the stud and the regulator pins.
    It is further confirmed by Rob.P in his post #8 above. (There may well be an issue at the stud but it would not be my initial approach.)

    If this is correct and the kink is right at the regulator pins it appears (from your pictures) as if the hairspring has been bent outwards. Could this have occured when the balance cock was removed from the balance? Not unlikely!

    In such case the hairspring should be bent back a tiny bit. This will be a delicate job if done with the hairspring in the movement and you can easily over bend or damage the hairspring. Personally I would remove the hairspring and do the correction "on the desk". I would also at that time install the loose hairspring in the balance cock and verify that it is well centered as discussed earlier in this thread.
     
  10. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    It all comes down to how the watch behaves. The frequency of the oscillator is determined by the relationship between spring and load. So either the balance is too heavy or the spring is too long/weak.

    Bunching up like this could be an effect of someone trying to fit a new spring that has too many turns. The spring would then appear to be well centered but as the stud is screwed in place, being the only fixed point of the spring apart from the collet, the coils on the other side will be pushed away.

    If the spring is original I would look at the first half coil where the spring leaves the stud. Or the "terminal curve" if you will. In particular the off set just where the spring leaves the stud and then the part that interacts with the regulator sweep. And as others have mentioned, double check that the spring is indeed between the regulator pins.

    But a spring shaped as the one you have SHOULD run fast. Everything points to it. Coils rubbing, increased friction at the pivots. There is a plethora of problems that can make a watch run fast but few that will make it run slow in every position. Check the balance for timing washers and you can maybe shed some light on whether the spring is original or not.

    Best
    Karl
     
  11. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User
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    There's actually only one pin. The spring is sitting between the wall of the boot and the index pin. I don't know if there are suppose to be two pins but there is only one on this particular movement and the spring is between that pin and the boot.
     
  12. Skutt50

    Skutt50 Registered User

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    This sounds correct, just does not show in your picture.
     
  13. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User
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    Yeah, I tried to get it clear but my those were the best I could do.
     
  14. Rob P.

    Rob P. Registered User

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    Maybe this will help. Pics of the hairspring and boot/pin on my 59.

    You can see that my terminal coil is not concentric with the other coils, it expands outward from about 7 o'clock on the pic. There is only 1 pin next to the boot but if the HS is inside that pin it will cause the coils to deflect like yours is doing. Double check. If it's in between, then I suspect the outer coil is too concentric. You'll need to pull the HS off the balance, put it on the cock and adjust to center the collet over the jewel. Check that the sweep of the adjuster doesn't change the centering.
     
  15. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User
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    I see now Rob. I honestly didn't understand what you meant but your pictures and explanation have helped. Looking at your pics makes me realize how bad my hairspring is. I'd like to know who worked on this watch before I bought it.
     
  16. geo.ulrich

    geo.ulrich Registered User

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    did you demagnetize?
     
  17. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Looks like it's bent at the stud. You said you took the spring off so you must have turned the boot off the pin. I use tweezers to turn the boot. Most flat springs have this arrangement. I think only overcoils have two pins.

    What I do is (with fully assembled) just reach in with needle and adjust near the stud. The regulator acts as the steady and the needle push bends at the regulation point. Then return the regulator to original position and examine that spring is in middle of boot and pin.

    Easy fix.

    RJ
     
  18. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    If there is no sign of a terminal curve having been formed at some point the chances that the spring is not original are even higher. It's kind of difficult to
    make a coil perfectly match the rest of the coil if you're not very good at adjusting springs. So it makes no sense that someone with those skills would first adjust the spring that way only to leave it like this. Seems to me
    that this could be a spring from another movement with a stud that fits this balance cock.
     
  19. Rob P.

    Rob P. Registered User

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    It looks to me like you're going to have to pull the HS off the balance and re-shape it. At least it isn't mangled. I think you can get it reshaped to adjust and run right. Of all the HS's I've had to do this to, only one wound up with a good full curve for the adjuster. All the others were against a pin on one end or the other and I had to mess with them to get even a small adjusting range in the middle. They all run, but I wish I was better at shaping HS's than I am. Hopefully you are up to the task.

    If you get it reshaped and running, you may find that the HS is a replacement for that balance that is not the correct strength and which will not allow it to come to time. At that point you have a second issue. But that's easy to fix compared to reshaping the spring itself.
     
  20. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    Not sure I agree with that.
    If you do indeed have a replacement spring, in order for it to work as intended You'll have to shorten it. Provided that it is too long. That it is being compressed in the way you are decribing suggests that it is. A correctly formed terminal curve will only ADD to the diameter. So if it doesn't fit not, it won't fit later (this is of course provided you don't have a Breguet overcoil at hand).
    So really you need to vibrate the spring to find the correct length for it. This is by no means an easy task. If you only remove weight from the balance you will lose amplitude and lots of it. In production, the balance is matched to the spring in terms of dampening. A balance that is too light for the movement will behave differently even if you adjust the length of the spring to compensate.

    Then there is the issue of matching the pinning point at the collet to your vibrating point. The studding point for the balance cock is normally somewhere around 90-70 degrees from the vibrating point. There needs to be a certain angular relationship between the pinning point and the studding point for positional error to be kept to a minimum. The watch will be impossible to adjust or kept at a reasonable isochronism if not. Refer to Daniels "Watchmaking" forthe details please.

    It sounds like a non-original hairspring to me, considering the watch is running slow, and not fast as would be expected from at hairspring that looks like this.

    Best regards
    Karl
     
  21. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    #21 RJSoftware, Apr 19, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
    If the watch is running slow and I see compression on one side and expansion on other then I would go with unfitted hairspring.

    This would be symptoms of a hairspring with too many coils. I did not notice you saying the movement was slow. So even if adjusting the coils to be symmetrical too slow is still too slow.

    BUT..!!!

    In your favor is slow being good thing. A hairspring that is too short is usually to fast and no way to restore what has been cut away (except cheating with super glue).

    If you have not vibrated a hairspring it can be a bit of a challenge. But the good thing is your close.

    Try not to cut, try to adjust and leave extra hanging in case you find you went too far. Cut after your absolutely sure.

    Now you don't have to buy any fancy tools or anything really. But it takes a bit more time than to use a vibrating tool.

    The vibrating tool allows you to pick any location along the hairspring body by a form of tweezer and then test the balance to see if it gyrates about the same speed as a similar balance wheel that has been timed to perfection.

    But observing the cost of the little devices may make you reconsider the poor mans option.

    Don't worry, where all brothers and some sisters here...!

    The following assumes watch is reasonably in beat.

    With the balance cock laying on backside, place the balance in jewel hole and wiggle balance a few times to establish where it's resting position hairspring and balance would be normally.

    Make a mark with fine tip marker or tiny razor scratch of where the hairspring stud (imaginary line) is on the bottom of the balance wheel -the underside. Mark the topside too. Use only marker at the top.

    Pull the hairspring pin at the terminal stud. Then pull about 1/4 turn through and repin. Unscrew the screw of the terminal and remove balance and hairspring from cock, turn the hairspring collet till new terminal location points to mark on top of balance wheel. Re-install.

    Since the regulation point is not too much distance from the terminal you can leave the boot open or not bother with the regulation until you get closer.

    Hopefully you have replacement pins. New pins make life much easier. And you don't have to prep them (file one side flat and cut length) as this stage is temporary.

    So for you because yours is going slow, the object is to reduce the hairspring number of coils/length. Doing so will speed up the escapement. But thing is you want to do it in a controlled manner and have reversible in case you go too far.

    In computer terms the process is like a binary search. But you have to be a bit more conservative. The binary search starts in middle, then results are either correct, too high, too low. If correct you win collect your money. If too high then go half way low. If too low then go half way high. Which ever direction gives better results is halved again toward that direction.

    The process is to reduce the number of steps to success. But in your case since you are close you don't need to take such drastic measures.

    I would start out by reducing a 1/4 turn and then observe the results.

    Repeat and repeat...
     
  22. Rob P.

    Rob P. Registered User

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    RJ's process is what I do except I use a timing machine. If the rate is too slow, shorten the HS (or reduce the weight of the balance). If too fast, you either change the HS or add weight.

    It takes 30 seconds to know what you have to do. It can take an hour or more to make the change. Then it's check again, make another change, check, change, etc. but you can get it right.

    In this case, until the HS is sorted out, we have no real idea whether it's correct or not.
     
  23. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    A "dog leg" where the terminal curve ends here may be all you need. Two kinks in the spring that offsets the terminal curve from the rest of the spring.

    Just remember that for a hairspring to function correctly after changing the studding point you also need to change the pinning point at the collet. And thus take the loss of spring length at the center of the spring for making this adjustment into account when setting the length of the outer end. There used to be a very informative article on this by a guy in watch school but the images appear to be bad links now... Maybe you can read it and it makes sense: https://www.watchprozine.com/watchtech/a-day-in-watch-school-part-six-hairsprings-/6112423/
     
  24. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Hey Karl.

    About altering the inner coils. I don't understand the need. When one initially installs a hairspring the center coils are cut to accommodate the collet with an initial spacing before the body of the hairspring starts.

    Seeing as how this initial setup is already done, why would you adjust the hairspring length by removing inner coils and re-pin at the collet?

    What is incorrect about re-studding the outer coil and rolling the collet to maintain beat?

    RJ

     
  25. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    This only applies to a flat hairspring and not overcoil ones. The relation between the inner and outer pinning point is crucial for some resemblance of isochronism. When the watch is designed, an angular relation is chosen where the long and short arcs, within the amplitude delta that you can expect a watch to go through between windings, will be consistent in rate for the most common positions in which the watch is carried. If you alter the relationship a watch may run reliably on a full wind but as you check the watch on a timing machine as its on half wind, you'll find that positional error has increased, even though you adjusted it well at full wind.

    Again: see "Watchmaking" for a better and illustrated explanation.

    Best
    Karl
     
  26. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Is there a general rule for selecting the best position/pinning points to achieve most isochronism on the flat spring?

    I'm hoping your not going to go mathematically, but just in general location (crossing fingers you say yes -lol).

    Say for example we look at the hairspring in 360 degrees.

    Could it be as simple as where collet is pinned is same degree as where stud is pinned? Or within some allowable amount of degrees away?

    I have read on the over-coil bending and relation to it's form and position. It is involved and not sure how much of it I really believe of grave concern to me. Think I read in same article about how the flat hairspring suffers from shock from change of direction. Thing is for me, somewhere along the line I drop off from the theoretical into practical mechanical need to get it done today.

    It would go as instead of studying how more isochronism is achieved by various formation styles, the question skips ahead and ask what is the best over-coil form.

    But yep, sometimes no easy answer.

    RJ


     
  27. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    If you have access to "Watchmaking", check the chapter on hairsprings. It will explain it better than I can do here, without pictures and graphs.

    As to if it's necessary: you'll only find what you are looking for. If you only test a watch in one state of wind you can adjust it well there. But for it to keep time OVER time you need a hairspring that is properly pinned.
     
  28. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Ok, I have Daniels book "Watchmaking" I'll look it up and see if I can find what he says about trying to establish the best one can of isochronism on flat spring.
     
  29. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Ok.

    It seems the best selection according to Daniels Watchmaking book on Lossier's pinning chart which is on page 338 is the picture 633b which has the collet pinned at 90 degrees ahead of terminal location.

    I take it that the graph in that picture has the smallest curve, hence the most steady.

    But then it refers to John Arnold using the graph of 633c which is pinned 270 degrees ahead of the terminal location.

    I don't know, what do you think?

    RJ
     
  30. Rob P.

    Rob P. Registered User

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    Unless the difference is the direction of the coils or location of the roller jewel, what I would assume, for flat springs with no overcoil, is that the pinning point on the collet should be perpendicular to the final pinning point on the stud. Which point (90 or 270) on that perpendicular line probably depends on who designed the movement more than anythign else.

    I think we're jumping ahead of ourselves here. At this point all we know is that the HS is deformed.
     
  31. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Yep.

     
  32. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    That's true. I think I was overly pessimistic about the spring not having enough space, looks like it could fit just fine.

    The discussion turned into more of a theoretical one. Nonetheless, I think it's important to know all the aspects of why a hairspring works like it does before adjusting it. It doesn't answer the OPs question but it adds to the context.
     
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