Any luck with Pin leaver movements?

Thread: Any luck with Pin leaver movements?

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  1. #1
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    Any luck with Pin leaver movements?

    First time watch enthusiast with a pin leaver one jewel swiss movement. Mine is overwound runs a few seconds and stops. I have done some investigation and many across different sites, say pin leavers are not worth fixing. Anyone had any luck with pin leaver repairs or am i just wasting my time? Any information would be appreciated. :thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: Any luck with Pin leaver movements?

    You are wasting your time, pin levers were meant to be used for a year or two and trashed when they no longer worked or became very inaccurate. They were not designed to be taken apart for repair or cleaning, but rather for ease of low cost manufacture.

  3. #3
    Mod. Russian, China Mech. Chascomm's Avatar
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    Re: Any luck with Pin leaver movements?

    Quote Originally Posted by hamilton992B View Post
    First time watch enthusiast with a pin leaver one jewel swiss movement. Mine is overwound runs a few seconds and stops. I have done some investigation and many across different sites, say pin leavers are not worth fixing. Anyone had any luck with pin leaver repairs or am i just wasting my time? Any information would be appreciated. :thanks
    If you like the watch then you're not wasting your time looking for somebody who is willing to get it running for you. However there are many watchmakers who will not be bothered. A pin-lever can be worth fixing if you like it enough and can find a willing repairer whose price is acceptable to you. Bear in mind that the repair will probably be more than the saleable value of the watch.

    Not all pin-levers are alike. Not all 1-jewel Swiss pin-levers are alike. Some, like the Baumgartner BFG 866 can respond well to servicing, and many parts are available in the workshops of well-established watchmakers. Some of the rougher examples from Bettlach or Ebosa might be less likely to yield a result.

    Get out the phone book and look up watchmakers in your area. Avoid jewellers and battery-change kiosks. After a few quotes, you may decide that it is not worth your while, but it's worth finding out.

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    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Any luck with Pin leaver movements?

    Tsk tsk! I've cleaned up a number of pin lever's since I've started playing at being a watchmaker. The newer ones use decent metal, so as long as nothing is broken, they're not hard to clean and oil. Of course, if something is broken, it becomes a donor-in-waiting.

    When people say they're not "worth fixing", they mean they're not worth the cost of having a professional watchmaker fix them. Most people aren't interested in paying $100 to get a $10 watch working, even if it does have sentimental value.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  6. #5
    Member MACz13's Avatar
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    Re: Any luck with Pin leaver movements?

    I have a pre-WW2 unjewelled pin lever Cimier that I bought for next to nothing. I had it cleaned and now it keeps perfectly reasonable time (and it's quite a looker too, I'll get some photos up one day). Pin levers arent 'destined' to fail, if well maintained they work just fine. It is the cylinder escapement which is inherently flawed (wears significantly even if properly maintained).

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    Re: Any luck with Pin leaver movements?

    I have been on this forum for 3 days and am loving it!. You guys are really helpful. Anyways, I really do think mine is just in need of a good cleaning. I like the it runs for about 5 mins then stops, feels really way overwound. I really like everything about it so if i can get it working right it will be a nice novelty piece for me. How much did it cost to get yours cleaned MACz13?

  8. #7
    Member MACz13's Avatar
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    Re: Any luck with Pin leaver movements?

    It cost me 15 dollars :D Here in Hungary there are quite a few competent watchmakers around so prices are low, and my watchmaker actually charged me less for this pin lever than he would for say a 15 jewel lever (normally around $20), perhaps because it required less time or attention. So living here certainly has its benefits!

  9. #8
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    Re: Any luck with Pin leaver movements?

    Back when pin levers were the only cheap watches around before quartz--yes, I date from that era--my boss (es) always used to say to clean pin levers, because there was a good chance that that was all it took to get them running.

    Alarm clocks (please, keep your shoes on. Clocks are time pieces too) were almost all pin levers, with only a few expensive exceptions in the 8 day travel clock category. We almost always fixed those, unless they were riveted together. They all respond well to cleaning and in quite a few cases, spare parts were available. Some of the German ones, such as Wherle (back when it was actually Made in Germany--not the rubbish being sold under the brand now) were very elaborate with alarm, striking the hour, hygrometer and thermometer built in. Exceptional clock, and pin levers.

    It's also worth pointing out that the pin lever has a number of close cousins, such as the pin pallet escapement and the Brocot escapement. Suffice it to say that Rifler, one of the greatest geniuses of horology that ever lived used a modified Brocot escape on his watches...as did Timex.
    Last edited by Somewhere else; January 28th, 2010 at 10:52. Reason: Exstitential Angst

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    Re: Any luck with Pin leaver movements?

    Very good price for a cleaning, unfortunately here in America its not as easy to find a watchmaker let alone a good one.

  11. #10
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    Re: Any luck with Pin leaver movements?

    Thanks Somewhere Else!. I had no idea that pin levers were so prevalent, one of the previous posts said someone had a watch that pre-dated WW2 and still ran with cleanings. Mine is a one jewel and is extremely accurate. It is as accurate as my Vostok 2416B. I am a novice to this hobby, but i am surprised as to how accurate it is for supposedly a throwaway watch. Mine cannot be wound by the stem but if you give it a slight shake it runs for hours...Thanks for sharing your experience nice to know how things were before quartz. I like quartz but there is no romance or bond between you and your clock/watch. Yes they are alot more accurate but once its broken its broken. And i am personally tired of buying batteries.

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