31659 repair...
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    ON, Canada

    Rolling eyes 31659 repair...

    After conversing with schnurrp a few weeks ago regarding the 31659 movement, I happened upon a eBay "buy it now" package that included two chronographs, one a fully functional early-nineties blue face Sturmanskie, and the other a broken military-issue Sturmanskie; no movement picks were made available. I requested shipping from the seller, whom I believe I had dealt with before, and the package arrived late last week in record time.

    Upon arrival, I noticed that the case back rings were pretty much welded shut, which explained the lack of movement pics, but I manage to get them loose with some extra leverage on the opener. I guess they were both sitting for an extended period of time in a non-perfect environment and the steel rings started to corrode a little.

    Here`s a pic of what thankfully turned out to be a 31659, albeit a broken 31659, with date stamp 4-90:

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    The winding mechanism had issues with broken/stripped gears and a bent winding stem, and the chrono-minute hand was jammed. I disassembled the watch, and for what I believe is the first time ever made available, I took some quick pics of the modifications and components used to manufacture a Poljot cal. 31659.

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    The elbow lever used to activate the second stop function is at bottom-right.

    Below is the original cal. 3133 setting lever beside the cal. 31659 setting lever with extra post used to pivot the elbow lever.

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    THe cut-outs and trenches made in the main plate to accommodate the elbow lever. The pin that the lever pivots around is the same pin the keyless works yoke pivots around on the reverse side of the movement.

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    Another pic, but this time with the lever in place and in the off position.

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    Note the tiny spring at the end of the lever, this is what actually stop the watch by pressing against the balance wheel while in motion.

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    Unfortunately, once the movement was reassembled and repaired to working order, the last thing I decided to test was the second-stop function... and guess what? The darn thing broke off on the first attempt!! It’s quite difficult, if not impossible, to convert a cal. 3133 to a cal. 31659, but all too east to do the reverse…

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    Anyway, after stepping away from the project for a day, I decided to attempt to reattach the spring in hopes of converting the watch back to it’s former glory.

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    Level of disassembly necessary to repair the second stop-function.

    Well, I didn't get off to a great start. While attempting to remove the old epoxy from the spring, it catapulted itself into the biosphere never to be found again. I hate that!!

    So now I have to make a new spring.

    Trying to find the perfect gauge of wire for this was no easy task, but after numerous fails I finally settled on a bristle from a Dremel tool wire brush. The wire is easy to shape and you can cut it using a sharp mini-screwdriver on any steel surface.

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    Once shaped, I loaded up the end of the lever with a glob of gel super glue and placed the spring in the glue. I should have used less glue, but there is a wide birth for the lever to travel so no troubles in this regard. Also, notice that I decided to flip the spring on the lever in order to avoid a harsh butt end collision with the balance wheel. You can make adjustment to the spring once the glue sets, with this gauge wire the spring will give before the glue.

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    The above pic shows the finished product in the on and off positions. It works.

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    Back together and working well, for now…

  2. #2
    Member JRMTactical's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    The Valley of Death, but I fear no evil for I am the meanest SOB in The Valley

    Re: 31659 repair...

    I'd be cross-eyed and cussing a blue streak within about 5 minutes! I'm amazed at your level of skill, Steve! Awesome job brother!!
    Perdendosi likes this.
    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said "....I drank what?"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Re: 31659 repair...

    Wow, that is impressive.

    You should really decide to emigrate to Belgium and become a watchmaker with a specialty in Russian watches. :)

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  5. #4
    Member schnurrp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Raleigh, NC

    Re: 31659 repair...

    Nice job Steve, you answered a question for me regarding the differences found between the 31659 and 3133 bodies and bridges. I'm glad you got it working but if I had known I could have offered a sportivnie assembly to try although getting those little pins out to harvest the spring would have been a challenge :)

  6. #5
    Member GuessWho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    London, Canada

    Re: 31659 repair...

    Another great, informative post! You are truly a master of the 3133 and it's variants, I don't think there is a problem you couldn't solve!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Re: 31659 repair...

    I used a hairspring from one of my broken poljots and it worked fine also as a replacement. And I used a glue stick and a lighter for adhering the spring into the lever. It is quite a task as I used all of the hairspring because the darn thing always flew even when I breathe.

  8. #7
    Member sbutera's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Re: 31659 repair...

    Thank you! Super informative and you are quite skillful!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Toronto, Canada

    Re: 31659 repair...

    Fantastic work Steve!
    It's always inspiring to see the result of your repair efforts!
    Thanks for sharing such valuable info!


  10. #9
    Member S.H.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Re: 31659 repair...

    This post does shows some level of expertise!

  11. #10
    Member sq100's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    The Netherlands

    Re: 31659 repair...

    Excellent writeup. thanks!

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