Hamilton 939 assignment
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  1. #1
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    Aug 2010

    Hamilton 939 assignment


    A watch that was 'referred' to me by a member of our Polish Message Board.
    So far I can only post this short video, detalied pictures - later, as I' not home today.

    It's a fairly scarce Hamilton grade 939, No 15141, early double roller RR watch.

    It was in bad condition when I got it - many scratches and surface marks, balance staff already repaired (good, easier for me), but balance badly timed (non original timing screws, shortened hairspring), and - worst thing - the pallet fork had a broken off exit pallet post (not just the pallet).

    A new post had been soldered on by someone, but it would not work at all, so... I had to get a new pallet fork, and I could not find a counterpoised DR 18s fork. So... I made a good fork out of two different forks, thanks to American manufacturing system of the time ;)

    Details - tomorrow, so 'stay tuned' ;)
    Have a great day!!!

  2. #2
    Member pmwas's Avatar
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    Aug 2010

    Re: Hamilton 939 assignment

    OK, here goes…

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    Like I said - this 939 has had a very tough life and it ended up with plenty of damage, partly repaired by now.
    The pallet fork is a scarcer type - counterpoised double roller version. I like it a lot, there is something 'evil' in it's overall look ;)
    Like I said - the exit pallet post is remade and it's a completely wrong angle and - it seems - the pallets' tips are too close apart.
    Because I could not find a fork like this in the web, I bought a three piece (incl. screw-in staff) single roller pallet fork and swapped the 'main piece':

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    The SR fork was not an exact match and I had to adjust and reglue the exit pallet to interact with the escape wheel correctly.
    It actually does, but maybe I adjusted it a tad too far (stil, we're talking about micrometers here), as now the banking pin has to be set almost far out as well.
    Stil - the roller side portion of the fork appears to be working symetrically in the hole in the top plate, with both banking pins adjusted to best balance performance, so I did not readjust it…

    Now - assembling. You can see below the top plate has plenty of scratches and the balance has a set of partly broken, partly filed down screws.
    The overcoil does not look perfect as well and I think it's missing a large portion as well.

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    Yes… assembling begins with the winding pinion, and on with the mainspring, escapement and gear train.

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    There is nothing special about this movement, all I can say is that the quality is good and the finish very nice.
    Dial side and winding parts…

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    I did not yet screw the rocker bar all the way down, as the rocker bar spring still needs to be energized…
    The watch is missing the lever spring, but that is not necessary for the setting mechanism to work. The lever is just a little loose that way...

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    There. You'll notice I've replaced most of the balance screws with lighter ones. I wonder why, but he balance was set to audibly too slow frequency, resulting in a loss visible even after just the first minute of ticking.

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    The banking pins are pretty much ruined, especially the - almost completely jammed - exit pallet pin. I could replace it, but that would take force-punching it out, re-threading the hole and - likely - I'd need to find a larger banking pin, so I left it be. No need to touch it anymore now, I guess…

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    Cased in a nickel swingout case, the movement works reasonably well. Not remarkably well, but good enough for a ruined pile of broken parts it used to be.
    And appears to be keeping reasonable time as well.

    I'll wrap the Hamilton up and send it back to the owner, but - that's why I don't take assignments - I don't very much like to part with the 939. I seem to get - kind of - emotionally attached to the watches I bring back to life from next to nothing ;)

    Anyway - a nice outcome thanks to the American manufacturing system of the time. I was quite sure the SR fork parts should fit :)
    SunnyOrange and laikrodukas like this.
    Have a great day!!!

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