Pocket Watch Stem Ring Repair

Thread: Pocket Watch Stem Ring Repair

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  1. #1
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    Apr 2015
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    Pocket Watch Stem Ring Repair

    Hello all,

    Picked up an Elgin hunter case (the moon one) from an antique store for not too much money. It was advertised as “serviced” but I didn’t really believe it and surprise surprise, it stops depending on how you turn it. Already planning on sending it out when I get home but I noticed the ring which attaches the stem to the chain pops off when manipulated just so. Is this intended to happen? A fatal flaw? Easily remedied. I had assumed it would just be a continuously rotating ring.
    Last edited by Hartmut Richter; 1 Week Ago at 23:48.

  2. #2
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Pocket Watch Stem Ring Repair

    No, it's definitely not supposed to do that! You risk losing the watch altogether like that. It sounds as if the watch has serious issues. At worst, it could even have a damaged balance staff which would be a real killer (it would need a replacement and finding a replacement part on such an old watch is hell!). If you are not excessively attached to it already and it isn't a rare, valuable watch, I'd return it and get a refund if that is possible.

    Hartmut Richter

  3. #3
    Member
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    Apr 2015
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    Re: Pocket Watch Stem Ring Repair

    Alas, I bought it with my remaining cash in a country whose exchange rate had tanked in the months I was there. I'm home now so I suppose it goes into the junk drawer. I really liked it because the cover was plain, without the engraving which seems ubiquitous to every single hunter case watch on the auction site. Does anyone know the search terms for such a case?

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  5. #4
    Member
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    Apr 2013
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    Re: Pocket Watch Stem Ring Repair

    I would not let any nay sayers discourage you from looking into fixing that watch.

    Unless it is some one off movement that only 6 were made and the movement was super different then any others made, then chances are you will find any part you need. The great thing about American pocket watches like Elgin or Hamilton or Waltham is that they were mass produced so parts are easy to find.

    The ring is called a bow. To fix your issue, you take it to a watchmaker and he ether uses a bow tightener to crimp the bow into the holes. If he/she cannot fix the current bow then he can replace it with another easily.

    Take your watch to a watchmaker (not a mall battery changer but a person that works on watches) and see. Perhaps a good cleaning(which you should always have done if you cannot verify the fact it was serviced) and a few small parts and off she goes

    Good luck

  6. #5
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    Re: Pocket Watch Stem Ring Repair

    RedOctober28

    Hello. It sounds like the "bow" issue is very easily fixed. These round bows on USA-made watches were designed to be held in place by pressure...they are not a solid ring ( at least, I've never seen one that was solid! ) There's a hand tool that spreads the ring so it'll slip over the case tube...once the ring is in position, the tool is relaxed,and the ring grabs the case. Some cases did have rather shallow areas where the bow set, and slipping bows were not unheard of. Other case styles afforded very deep areas for the bow.

    You may have seen a style of bow used quite frequently on Swiss watches, where--although they featured round bows--they also drilled holes in both ends of the bow and ran a screw all the way through. Works like a charm.

    If you run into any more issues with your Elgin, just mention them here...quite a few folks seem to work on them, and I reckon any problem can be solved.

    Michael.

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