Power reserve for the old girls?

Thread: Power reserve for the old girls?

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  1. #1
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    Power reserve for the old girls?

    I just acquired my first vintage piece - an Illinois Model H circa 1929.



    To my faint disappointment the caliber 307 chugged along quite strongly and loudly but ran out of steam after 9 hours. (It can be heard across a quiet room and the beats can be noticeably felt on the wrist).

    Are similar age pocket watches more likely to stay in excellent order, not having been compromised due to miniaturisation efforts?

  2. #2
    Member lysanderxiii's Avatar
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    Re: Power reserve for the old girls?

    The mainspring has taken a set, that's all.
    familiaritas parit contemptum; raritate admiratione wins.- Lucius Apuleius
    est necessry, accurate ad secundo? - Lysander magna
    iustum est horologium - Obscurus Genius

  3. #3
    Member sherwoodschwartz's Avatar
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    Re: Power reserve for the old girls?

    lysanderxiii is probably correct. your mainspring should be of a sufficient health to power the watch for 3x that amount of time. the noise isn't unusual- my 1914 trench watch keeps my wife up at nights. i don't think it's indicative of a problem, but i'm not a watchmaker. i have heard tell of mainsprings that were too strong for the watches they inhabit. i've no idea if this loud ticking is a symptom of that loathsome state, but...stranger things....

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  5. #4
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Power reserve for the old girls?

    Hi Crispy!

    You have a very handsome wristwatch there!

    To answer your questions:

    A mechanical watch should run for at least 36 hours, regardless if it's a wristwatch or pocket watch. Some models of pocket watches were specially-made to run for longer than 36 hours, but these were the exception, rather than the rule. If your watch isn't running for that long, it means it requires a servicing by a watchmaker.

    The loud ticking noise is quite normal. Mechanical watches all let out a rather audiable ticking. My railroad pocket watch sounds like a metronome next to a regular quartz watch! Pocket watches of a smiliar age should keep excellent time.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  6. #5
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    Re: Power reserve for the old girls?

    Sorry I can't help you with your technical problem,but that is a BEAUTIFUL watch.

  7. #6
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    Re: Power reserve for the old girls?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shangas View Post

    The loud ticking noise is quite normal. Mechanical watches all let out a rather audiable ticking. My railroad pocket watch sounds like a metronome next to a regular quartz watch! Pocket watches of a smiliar age should keep excellent time.
    Some people found the noise of mechanical alarm clocks so disturbing that silent escapements were invented. For people who were kept up at night by the noise of their alarm clock there were special escapements where surgical gut or fishing line was substituted for the pins of the pallet. I had one once. They were very silent.

  8. #7
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Power reserve for the old girls?

    I used to have a mechanical alarm-clock. I can relate to how loud the ticking is...but that never bothered me, strangely...
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  9. #8
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    Re: Power reserve for the old girls?

    Thank you all. With regard to the noise level, I was only making a comparative statement - my similar beat rate Gruen is barely audible. The Illinois looks very much like a railroad pocketwatch movement foisted into an itsy-bitsy wrist case with its micrometer adjustment, demaskeening et al. My parents once gave me a supermarket job alarm clock and I couldn't sleep with it in the next room with the door closed

    On its second wind its managed 13 hours of operation and if it runs close to thirty I will be over the moon.

  10. #9
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Power reserve for the old girls?

    Hmmm...that's not good. Has it been serviced recently?
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  11. #10
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    Re: Power reserve for the old girls?

    I love the sound of my 100 year old Ingersoll Dollar watch ticking away in the watch pocket of my jeans. I always know when it is time to wind it again!!
    Rob Sherman NAWCC Ch 106 Pres., Ch 149

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