50s vintage Longines stops while wearing, runs fine on desk
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  1. #1
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    50s vintage Longines stops while wearing, runs fine on desk

    I have a Longines from the 50s (pretty sure it's a 19A movement, will find out for sure at some point in the near future) that runs perfectly when it sits on my desk. I'll set it there for several hours or more and look at it and it doesn't lose much time. When I wear it though, it sometimes stops, and then starts up again with a little shake, tap, etc.

    Perhaps an important thing to note is that the movement does move around in the case. It's especially noticeable when adjusting the time - the dial will rock back and forth slightly. Obviously, it wouldn't move around when sitting still on my desk, but when I'm wearing it, of course it'll shake quite a bit. Sometimes I'll look at it and notice that it lost a minute or two, but is still running. Would that explain why it runs fine on my desk, or is it just a coincidence?

  2. #2
    Member Paul_S's Avatar
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    Re: 50s vintage Longines stops while wearing, runs fine on desk

    You have hit the nail on the head. If the movement wiggles around, the balance wheel (or some other gear) is likely contacting something, which will stop it. The watch is getting harmed by being worn.

    Another option is that the amplitude is so low (it is not ticking with much force or "swing") that the small movements during wear stop the balance wheel.

    In any case, time for a service!
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  3. #3
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    Re: 50s vintage Longines stops while wearing, runs fine on desk

    Could be a worn mainspring (which would explain the low amplitude, if that's the case), could be a cannon pinion issue as well. First of all, get the issue of the movement flying around the case sorted out - likely missing or broken holding screws. Hope it's just missing the screws, because if they're broken, what's left of them will have to be extracted from the plates...

    For that matter, could be all three. Frankly, the low amplitude/worn mainspring is the least likely of the three, if by "not losing much time" you meant that it's running slow. With a low amplitude, it would be running wildly fast.
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  5. #4
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    Re: 50s vintage Longines stops while wearing, runs fine on desk

    If it runs OK on when lying on its back but not in other positions it could be wear in the balance shaft pivots. Let the watch run down and come to a stop then very gently check the end play in the balance by lifting or rocking the balance, it should have a little float .1~.5 mm (up and down movement) but should not be real lose. Typically a weak mainspring or low amplitude from other reasons will cause the watch to run fast.
    Last edited by tmessenger; September 8th, 2017 at 04:52.

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    I opened it up and the case screws are not missing, what else would cause the dial to move back and forth and how could I fix it?

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    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: 50s vintage Longines stops while wearing, runs fine on desk

    It would be much easier to help you if we weren't operating completely in the dark. Please post clear, high-magnification, in-focus photos from various angles.
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  8. #7
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    Re: 50s vintage Longines stops while wearing, runs fine on desk

    - check if seconds hand is contacting with other hand
    - check if it runs in various static positions (face down, crown up, crown down) - if stops then you need overhaul
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    Re: 50s vintage Longines stops while wearing, runs fine on desk

    Quote Originally Posted by german View Post
    - check if seconds hand is contacting with other hand
    - check if it runs in various static positions (face down, crown up, crown down) - if stops then you need overhaul
    None of the hands come in contact with one another, and it doesn't stop in any of the various static positions. It looks like the movement isn't secured directly into the case, but is held in with a ring. I'm guessing there's a gap between that ring and the back of the case, since it moves around a lot more with the back removed.

    I'd post pictures but my post count isn't high enough to embed or link to images.

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    Re: 50s vintage Longines stops while wearing, runs fine on desk

    Eh, probably breaking a rule here, but here's an imgur album with spaces in the URL: http ://imgur . com/a/0b91p

  11. #10
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: 50s vintage Longines stops while wearing, runs fine on desk

    Quote Originally Posted by schaeffizzle View Post
    None of the hands come in contact with one another, and it doesn't stop in any of the various static positions. It looks like the movement isn't secured directly into the case, but is held in with a ring. I'm guessing there's a gap between that ring and the back of the case, since it moves around a lot more with the back removed.

    I'd post pictures but my post count isn't high enough to embed or link to images.
    The retaining ring has probably been replaced with one that isn't quite the right size. Reading your posts, I am convinced that you should take the watch to a qualified watchmaker. Continuing to wear it, shake it, and generally mess around with it is just going to cause increased damage.
    -- Dan (formerly known as @badbackdan)
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