Benjamin the Builder...
Like Tree10Likes
  • 8 Post By pmwas
  • 2 Post By SilkeN

Thread: Benjamin the Builder...

Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Member pmwas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Benjamin the Builder...

    Long ago, accidentally on a Polish listing, I got myself a book issued in the 1920s by Elgin National Watch Company, by the title of 'Romance and History of Time'.
    It is a book that - in a nutshell - describes the history of watchmaking, starting from an imaginary cavemen's 'clock' to the imaginary timepieces of the future, covering most of the milestones in global horology. It's not meant ot be too exact or precise, it's in a form of a story.
    Of course, since it's an Elgin book, there is a chapter about Benjamin Raymond, who was among the founding fathers of National Watch Co.
    Here goes:

    Name:  DSC09454.JPG
Views: 68
Size:  228.3 KB

    Name:  DSC09455.JPG
Views: 58
Size:  231.1 KB

    Name:  DSC09457.JPG
Views: 60
Size:  220.6 KB

    The chapter is illustrated with a picture of B.W.Raymond, which I enriched with Elgin's early B.W.Raymond timepiece...

    Name:  DSC09480.JPG
Views: 63
Size:  257.0 KB

    It's an early (S/N<20000) Elgin watch, but recently I've got an even better one...

    Name:  DSC09914.JPG
Views: 59
Size:  441.2 KB

    I'm not sure if I posted this one here on no - this is a VERY early B.W.Raymond grade movement - No 558.
    The very first run of Raymonds can be told by the shape of balance wheel's arms - I fail to find proper words in English to describe it, but if you look at the place the arm meets the rim, it's differently shaped than in a usual Elgin early compensation balance.

    On 'admission', the watch had some damage, including the dial that had fallen apart, the bent pallet fork and missing regulator pin...

    Name:  DSC09917.JPG
Views: 64
Size:  304.0 KB

    Also, the barrel would not transmit power to the train, but that was just a jammed safety pinion ring, that would not hold the center pinion correctly...

    Name:  DSC09920.JPG
Views: 57
Size:  186.0 KB

    In Elgin's patented safety pinion, the center pinion is totally loose on the arbor, and has a screw-on friction ring, that will hold the pinion tight if the barrel works in the correct direction, and unscrew when the mainspring breaks or is suddenly released.
    I've corrected most of the damage best I could...

    Name:  DSC09925.JPG
Views: 59
Size:  282.2 KB

    ...and went on to assembling.

    Name:  DSC09934.JPG
Views: 57
Size:  818.0 KB

    Notice the balance cock has a sunken screw - it's also distinctive for the first run BWR.

    Name:  DSC09939.JPG
Views: 60
Size:  735.9 KB

    The regulator pin is a tad short but good enough, it turned out.

    Name:  DSC09947.JPG
Views: 56
Size:  497.9 KB

    The movement ready for casing.

    Now - it still has a serious issue, namely - too much pallet arbor endshake. I don't know it the pallet or the arbor is replaced or original, but it runs quite well or very badly depending on position, and it seems that there is a problem with pallet-roller table interaction depending on if the watch is facing dial up or down.
    I decided to leave it the way it is. It would need parts' replacement to fix and - just in case the pallet fork is the original one - I wish to keep as many parts as I can.

    Now - the case...
    It was a 'movement only' listing, so I had to case it. At first I cased it in a pat. 1885 case that's remarkably nice, but does not match the desired style at all, so for now (maybe forever) I dug out a fake case I once bought, that's fake, but looks as it should for an early KW American watch...

    Name:  DSC00080.JPG
Views: 56
Size:  183.2 KB

    It's a funny thing - the maker stamped this on the caseback...

    Name:  DSC00081.JPG
Views: 59
Size:  200.4 KB

    ...too fool the 19th Century buyers and I got fooled over 100 years later!!!
    To make it even funnier, the seller himself thought it's tarnished silver.
    Obviously, as a reputable seller, he'd certainly accept a return, but I thought it's too much effort to send it back, so it stayed...

    Name:  DSC00079.JPG
Views: 58
Size:  88.1 KB

    It actually is quite nice...

    Name:  DSC00084.JPG
Views: 58
Size:  154.3 KB

    ...and houses the movement nicely.
    In fact - the details are crude and looking closely you'll see it's a fake (even if it were not brassed all over), but it has a very decent overall 'feel' somehow...

    Name:  DSC00082.JPG
Views: 61
Size:  245.8 KB

    Maybe because it's an old, antique case, that's it.
    For now - I think it can stay cased like this, if I happen to find a loose 1860s silver case I'll consider recasing it.
    As an Elgin lover - I desperately needed a first run piece in my collection and finally I got one. Not the top notch piece, but a first run all original movement it what counts here. Another valuable trophy to add :)
    Have a great day!!!

  2. #2
    Member simpletreasures's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Re: Benjamin the Builder...

    Great job!!!

  3. #3
    Member SilkeN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Re: Benjamin the Builder...

    I would say: "pmwas the builder". Congradulation to the result. In comparison to the work you've done silver plating is definetly easy. I guess its probably the easierst, cheapest and most orginal way to restore the watch. If the first cleaning and polish is well nothing could get worse. It's no sorcery. Just try it.

    Just the way I would go for
    regards Silke
    mkws and pmwas like this.
    That's what I think about today:

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Similar Threads

    1. Website builder recommendation?
      By Bolaberlim in forum The Cafe
      Replies: 21
      Last Post: November 5th, 2018, 17:01
    2. Getting another Micro builder watch again...
      By ematthews in forum Dive watches
      Replies: 4
      Last Post: June 11th, 2012, 23:00
    3. Builder 360.....A+
      By NG111 in forum Watch Deals, Feedback & Reputation
      Replies: 0
      Last Post: March 16th, 2012, 03:53
    4. Replies: 0
      Last Post: October 16th, 2010, 20:03
    5. ZENTON (online watch builder)
      By Watchuseek Feeds in forum Bloggers United
      Replies: 0
      Last Post: September 1st, 2010, 13:40

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts