Worst repair?

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by rolandantrobus, Mar 19, 2017.

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  1. rolandantrobus

    rolandantrobus Registered User

    May 17, 2016
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    What's the worst repair you've come across? I've just finished a Waltham P S Bartlett, I'd noticed it had a basic regulator fitted whereas it should have had a Church patented starwheel reg, someone had obviously changed the balance cock out at some time as the number underneath did not match the serial number of the watch. Well I had a spare gold starwheel cock, luckily with the same matching damaskeening, so proceeded to change it.
    Then I noticed the screw that holds the hairspring to the cock was the wrong one. It had been replaced with one of the screws from the balance wheel rim! Not only that but when I tried to unscrew it I found it had been glued in! Well it was very enjoyable to get it all sorted out in the end. Do you have any tales of horror?

    ANDY YALE Registered User

    Jun 14, 2013
    Jersey City, NJ
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    I think there is an existing thread called "Hall of Shame" or something similar which is chock full of horror stories. I mean blood and gore and splintered pallets.
  3. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User

    Nov 4, 2005
    Cambridge, ON Canada
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    I'm not a professional repairer but know enough to do very basic work. The last Elgin I had, the roller jewel was missing and someone had wrapped a piece of wire around the balance staff and was using the end of the wire as the roller jewel.
  4. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 9, 2000
    These are horror stories today for collector's, but we must remember that these were items used daily for a person to know what time it was. In many cases, when a watch stopped and it was taken in for repair, the only thought in the owner's mind was getting it running and done as cheaply as possible. If changing a balance cock could be done cheaper, most of the time the watch owner would opt for that.

    One must be realistic. How many cobbled repairs are done daily to keep an automobile on the road.

    The same was done 100 years ago for watches.

    I have seen many oddball repair jobs on watches--some ingenious, others horrific.

  5. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    Retired from Xerox
    Breamore, Hampshire, UK
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    Hi Tom,

    How about these two repeater star wheel jumpers?

    And an ingenious way of securing a wobbly fusee click?



    Attached Files:

  6. stuperdude

    stuperdude Registered User

    Jul 12, 2016
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    My favorite is a piece of wire looped around a case screw at one end and keeping tension on the click with the other. I've seen it a few times in beat up pocket watches.
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