Can you overwind a Vintage Pocket Watch?

Thread: Can you overwind a Vintage Pocket Watch?

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  1. #1
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    Question Can you overwind a Vintage Pocket Watch?

    I was just wondering, if pocket watches can be overwound? Today I was winding up my vintage Elgin Pocket Watch, I got to the 10th wind and heard a popping noise? My first reaction was oh ..... I just broke it?

    I had pulled the crown out to adjust the time, To make sure nothing was broken, the hands did turn without any problem. What could of happened? The watch is still running.

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Can you overwind a Vintage Pocket Watch?

    If you are not using pliers, I suspect you can not 'overwind' a watch.

    Maybe the noise came from a mainspring partially rusted to the barrel then braking loose?? Who knows?
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  3. #3
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    Re: Can you overwind a Vintage Pocket Watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeeb View Post
    If you are not using pliers, I suspect you can not 'overwind' a watch.

    Maybe the noise came from a mainspring partially rusted to the barrel then braking loose?? Who knows?
    Maybe? All I know is, I had traded away an Invicta watch for it and I know the guy I traded with, told me he got it serviced a month ago? I just don't know what he got serviced? Infact he didn't know the bezel came off so chances are he probably didn't know, about the overwind feature???

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  5. #4
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Can you overwind a Vintage Pocket Watch?

    If you've overwound a pocketwatch, you'd know it. Because you would have broken the winding-mechanism. You CANNOT overwind a watch. You can only wind it up to the top and then let it run. If you wind it up to the TOP and it DOES NOT RUN, then it needs servicing because it's dirty and needs relubrication & cleaning.

    If your watch is stopping after you wind it up, it means it needs the attentions of a watchmaker.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

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  6. #5
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Can you overwind a Vintage Pocket Watch?

    Yes and no, but mostly no. On pocket watches, the mainspring is connected to the inside wall of the mainspring barrel by one of several methods, most of which involve a piece on once catching on a hole in the other. If you wind the watch completely and keep turning it, you might pull the end of the mainspring off the hook, especially if you make a habit of doing it (metal fatigue). All depends on the specific mechanism. Still very rare and unlikley. Some designs anticipate this, and the very action of unwinding will cause the mainspring to reseat itself. This concept is one of the reasons that Roskopf licensed the "Unbreakable mainspring" design from Philippe in his low-cost, low-maintenance watch design.

    What is somewhat more likely (in your case) is having a bit of play in the winding gears that allowed them to slip over one another.
    Last edited by AbslomRob; December 23rd, 2010 at 03:03.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

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