Keri's Dueber Repair

Thread: Keri's Dueber Repair

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  1. #1
    Member KeriJane's Avatar
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    Keri's Dueber Repair

    Hello. I'm Keri and I mostly keep to the Russian Watch section of Watchuseek.
    My location is CHICAGO (ЧИКАГО).

    My latest project was a good cleaning, oiling and repair of Great-Grandfather Anderson's 1890 Dueber 18s (Hampden-Dueber) pocket watch in a Hunting-style case.
    The repairs appear successful as the watch now keeps excellent time but I do have some questions to put to the experienced.

    Here's the watch in a nutshell: He was likely given the watch as a wedding present in 1895 (having emigrated from Sweden in '87). He spent nearly 50 working in a steel foundry until he died in 1943. The watch was put away and passed from daughter to daughter to daughter (me, last year).

    The watch was basically untouched for 67 years, being in bank vaults.
    Here's the condition I found it in:
    Engraving worn down.
    Crystal missing.
    Not running.
    Dirty. 50 years in a steel foundry kind of dirty.
    Setting lever dangles when pressed in. (pops out OK)

    After a great deal of study and some practice, I set about a careful dissection.
    The setting lever "IN" spring broken in half, rub marks from continued use in broken condition.
    The second hand was touching the dial, having left a circular rub mark.
    The dial pins were bent, resulting in the dial being off-center to the movement.
    Gross over-oiling, dried (70+ years old) oil residue everywhere Especially all over the winding train.
    Dirt, dirt, more dirt and even MORE DIRT everywhere. A huge gob jammed in a gear very tightly.
    Other than the broken spring, all parts intact.

    So I made a new setting lever spring and it works fine.
    I cleaned the movement and oiled it (probably over-oiled, because I'm an amateur) with Moebius 8200, 9020 and a bit of 9010.
    I obtained a crystal and fit it to the bezel.
    All parts (including the case and chain, but not the dial) saw plenty of Naptha, cleaner sprays and my ultrasonic jewelry cleaner.

    I did not disassemble the mainspring from the barrel. The truly ancient grease still appears fluid, and the spring should probably be replaced.

    So here's my questions:
    1- The watch has jewels for the Balance Wheel and ONLY the top plate. I count 6 total. The bottom plate has no jewels. Was this a common upgrade? I'm assuming the watch had no jewels in 1890.

    2- The watch case appears to be made by the The Newport Watch Case Factory (see picture). Do you think that this is the case from 1893-95 or was it replaced at a later date?

    3- As the watch is easily stopped by movement, I'm assuming I over-oiled the balance wheel or should have left the pallet fork pivot dry. (1 jewel, 1 steel) In retrospect, I should have gotten the special pallet stone oil. (I used 9010) Any ideas? Also what would work well on the balance wheel pin / fork area?

    Any suggestions, comments or questions are welcome.
    Thanks in advance.

    Have Fun,
    Keri
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    Last edited by KeriJane; August 22nd, 2010 at 08:37.

  2. #2
    Member Outta Time's Avatar
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    Re: Keri's Dueber Repair

    9415 for the exit pallet on the pallet fork, it transmits this to the escape wheel as it runs. Never, never oil the pallet fork pivots. They must remain dry, and clean, of course. 9010 for the escape wheel pivots and fourth wheel pivots. We use D5 on the centre or great wheel, and the third wheel. Also use D5 in various other slow moving areas, and grease in the setting/winding area: on the stem, springs where they contact the part they bear on; Yoke, sliding pinion, etc. There should be some basic lube charts online, showing the placement of lube. Oh, and the lack of jewelling is normal. Not sure about the case, I'm sure someone will chime in with the correct info.

  3. #3
    Member KeriJane's Avatar
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    Re: Keri's Dueber Repair

    Yay!

    After a couple of weeks back amongst the live and ticking, GG Anderson's 1890 Dueber was being a bit cantankerous.

    The amplitude of the tick was unsteady and the watch was variably unstoppable and easily stopped. Also, a noticeable variation in speed existed when holding the crown during unwinding.
    Diagnosis: the well over 70 year old mainspring is sticking and binding as well as having a "set" (see pictures).

    Fortunately, Otto Frei stocks mainsprings for Hampden-Dueber!
    I ordered the "weaker" of the two available figuring that the original was probably over-strong and modern metal is more consistent and reliable.

    So, a nice, white-metal spring got here to replace the old blued-metal one.

    While practicing with the winder, the old spring promptly broke! :oops:

    While the watch was apart, I got the exit pallet cleaned off and re-lubed with 941.

    So, in with the new mainspring and off we go. Very steady tick and no noticeable variation in the tick regardless of movement or position.
    Anticipating a slight gain, I set the regulator back.
    A good guess, as the watch was -10s after 12 hours.

    Feeling really lucky about getting that mainspring out just in time,
    Keri
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    Last edited by KeriJane; August 28th, 2010 at 17:27.

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  5. #4
    Omega Forum Moderator emmanuelgoldstein's Avatar
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    Re: Keri's Dueber Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by kerijane View Post
    yay!

    After a couple of weeks back amongst the live and ticking, gg anderson's 1890 dueber was being a bit cantankerous.

    The amplitude of the tick was unsteady and the watch was variably unstoppable and easily stopped. Also, a noticeable variation in speed existed when holding the crown during unwinding.
    Diagnosis: The well over 70 year old mainspring is sticking and binding as well as having a "set" (see pictures).

    Fortunately, otto frei stocks mainsprings for hampden-dueber!
    I ordered the "weaker" of the two available figuring that the original was probably over-strong and modern metal is more consistent and reliable.

    So, a nice, white-metal spring got here to replace the old blued-metal one.

    While practicing with the winder, the old spring promptly broke! :oops:

    While the watch was apart, i got the exit pallet cleaned off and re-lubed with 941.

    So, in with the new mainspring and off we go. Very steady tick and no noticeable variation in the tick regardless of movement or position.
    Anticipating a slight gain, i set the regulator back.
    A good guess, as the watch was -10s after 12 hours.

    Feeling really lucky about getting that mainspring out just in time,
    keri
    Хорошее везение!
    “Education is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent”

    -- John Maynard Keynes

  6. #5
    Member Erik_H's Avatar
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    Re: Keri's Dueber Repair

    What is the serial number of the watch movement? You state origin of 1895, but this particular Wadsworth Pilot case was only available 1898 to 1903.
    Erik_H
    Member NAWCC Chapter 149

  7. #6
    Member KeriJane's Avatar
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    Re: Keri's Dueber Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik_H View Post
    What is the serial number of the watch movement? You state origin of 1895, but this particular Wadsworth Pilot case was only available 1898 to 1903.
    Thank you for the information on the case. We were wondering about that.

    The serial number of the movement tracks to 1889-1890.
    GG Anderson emigrated here in 1887, most likely penniless.
    He married in 1895.
    I suspect that the watch may have been a wedding present and/or the case may have been replaced.

    This watch has seen a lot of use in a very dirty environment. (Pettibone-Muligan steel foundry) Perhaps he damaged the original case or upgraded to a gold one after a time.

    Much later, by 1943 when he died (on the way to work in subzero weather!) he apparently had stopped taking care of the watch for some time.

    Thanks again,
    Keri

    PS. He was a hard worker and did quite well, building a new 2-flat in 1904-ish. Interesting that the gold case dates from this period.
    Last edited by KeriJane; August 28th, 2010 at 21:26.

  8. #7
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Keri's Dueber Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by KeriJane View Post
    Hello. I'm Keri and I mostly keep to the Russian Watch section of Watchuseek.
    My location is CHICAGO (ЧИКАГО).


    So here's my questions:
    1- The watch has jewels for the Balance Wheel and ONLY the top plate. I count 6 total. The bottom plate has no jewels. Was this a common upgrade? I'm assuming the watch had no jewels in 1890.

    2- The watch case appears to be made by the The Newport Watch Case Factory (see picture). Do you think that this is the case from 1893-95 or was it replaced at a later date?

    3- As the watch is easily stopped by movement, I'm assuming I over-oiled the balance wheel or should have left the pallet fork pivot dry. (1 jewel, 1 steel) In retrospect, I should have gotten the special pallet stone oil. (I used 9010) Any ideas? Also what would work well on the balance wheel pin / fork area?

    Any suggestions, comments or questions are welcome.
    Thanks in advance.

    Have Fun,
    Keri

    1. Your watch does have jewels to the bottom pivot of the balance.

    The bottom balance pivot is carried on a 'potance' which is attached
    to the top plate and not the dial plate....I can see it through the
    top plate and it also has a screwed in end stone.

    Not having noticed this it's surprising you didn't break or bend the
    bottom pallet pivot when you separated the plates as they have
    a tendancy to catch this potance and the lever needs to be
    maneuvered out carefully when the pivots are just free.

    So your watch has seven jewels to the escapement plus an extra
    four to the top plate giving 11 jewels....not bad quality.

    2. Sorry, I'm clueless when it comes to U.S watch history.

    3. Cleaning should be meticulous, end stones need to be removed,
    cleaned in solvent and rubbed with pegwood until they glisten...
    all holes should be pegged and pivots cleaned with pith until they
    are perfect. Pinion leaves should be cleaned with pointed pegwood until
    they are perfectly clean and you can see your face in the polish.
    Pallet stones and ruby pin should be cleaned until they glisten, these
    have to be handled carefully and pith is recommended.

    The barrel holes need to also be perfectly clean and should be pegged
    several times with newly sharpened pegwood until when turned
    in the holes there is no more black residue showing on the wood.

    If a watch is in good order, perfectly clean, all holes good and
    pivots polished then it will run with good amplitude even without oil...
    oil can reduce a watches amplitude but is of course necessary
    to negate wear.

  9. #8
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Keri's Dueber Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by Outta Time View Post
    9415 . Never, never oil the pallet fork pivots. They must remain dry, and clean.
    I've never heard of this before and it's contrary to everything I've ever
    read on the subject of oiling pocket watch movements.
    I always oil these pivots and have no problems.

    The roller or 'ruby' pin should never be oiled neither should the
    pallet fork.

  10. #9
    Member KeriJane's Avatar
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    Re: Keri's Dueber Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by radger View Post
    1. Your watch does have jewels to the bottom pivot of the balance.

    The bottom balance pivot is carried on a 'potance' which is attached
    to the top plate and not the dial plate....I can see it through the
    top plate and it also has a screwed in end stone.

    Not having noticed this it's surprising you didn't break or bend the
    bottom pallet pivot when you separated the plates as they have
    a tendancy to catch this potance and the lever needs to be
    maneuvered out carefully when the pivots are just free.

    So your watch has seven jewels to the escapement plus an extra
    four to the top plate giving 11 jewels....not bad quality.

    2. Sorry, I'm clueless when it comes to U.S watch history.

    3. Cleaning should be meticulous, end stones need to be removed,
    cleaned in solvent and rubbed with pegwood until they glisten...
    all holes should be pegged and pivots cleaned with pith until they
    are perfect. Pinion leaves should be cleaned with pointed pegwood until
    they are perfectly clean and you can see your face in the polish.
    Pallet stones and ruby pin should be cleaned until they glisten, these
    have to be handled carefully and pith is recommended.

    The barrel holes need to also be perfectly clean and should be pegged
    several times with newly sharpened pegwood until when turned
    in the holes there is no more black residue showing on the wood.

    If a watch is in good order, perfectly clean, all holes good and
    pivots polished then it will run with good amplitude even without oil...
    oil can reduce a watches amplitude but is of course necessary
    to negate wear.

    Wow! Thank you for the advice.

    Yes, I did notice the "potance" before disassembly and was very cautious during the disassembly and re-assembly. Not breaking any pivots was really high on my priorities. I thought I had counted the top and bottom balance jewels.

    The huge gob of crud was in the great wheel pinion and was very hardened and compressed. All gear teeth were inspected and found straight.

    I'm afraid that I'm not as excellent a cleaner as you.
    All parts were cleaned with strong solvent, given an ultrasonic cleaning in naptha and carefully blown dry with canned air. Pivots holes were cleaned with pith.

    Even trying my hardest to use minimal oil, I almost certainly over-oiled.
    Maybe I should have used a smaller oiler pin.

    Thank you,
    Keri

  11. #10
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: Keri's Dueber Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by KeriJane View Post
    Wow! Thank you for the advice.

    Yes, I did notice the "potance" before disassembly and was very cautious during the disassembly and re-assembly. Not breaking any pivots was really high on my priorities. I thought I had counted the top and bottom balance jewels.

    The huge gob of crud was in the great wheel pinion and was very hardened and compressed. All gear teeth were inspected and found straight.

    I'm afraid that I'm not as excellent a cleaner as you.
    All parts were cleaned with strong solvent, given an ultrasonic cleaning in naptha and carefully blown dry with canned air. Pivots holes were cleaned with pith.

    Even trying my hardest to use minimal oil, I almost certainly over-oiled.
    Maybe I should have used a smaller oiler pin.

    Thank you,
    Keri
    Well done on getting your heirloom watch running again after
    all these years.

    Oiling is an art which is refined through knowledge and practice,
    books have been written on the subject and it would be very
    difficult for me to describe methodology here. I use three different sized
    oilers, the very finest for picking up a tiny drop and oiling the scape
    and pallet pivots. I assemble the balance endstones dry and apply
    the oil to the hole which is then pushed through to the endstone
    with a fine broach.

    It is easy to over-oil but it would be less detrimental to its time keeping
    abilities being a large pocket watch but over oiling a small wrist watch
    can be more obvious when atempting to rate the watch.

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