Recently I got me a small German wristwatch from 1930s.
It was made by Urofa - a company established in Glashuette after the bankrupcy of Deutsche Praezisions-Uhrenfabrik.
Yes, that is a DPUG Glashuette pocket watch I've shown before, and now I'll show the wristwatch made - like - 15 years after.
At first I encountered serious trouble - it's either left thread screw, or jammed screw, or both.
Looking in the pictures - it seemed already cracked, so maybe it was simply jammed and damaged.
Anyway - don't be harsh on me - the destroyed barrel arbor is a final stage of multiple attempts, each and every more and more aggressive.
I tired to turn the remaining screw with a knife, but it would not move, neither left, nor right.
Then I let it down and used a variety of burrs to drill it out, but the burrs would do more damage to the arbor than to the screw. Eventually - you can see a completely destroyed arbor with much of the screw still inside.
Of course, I had to find another arbor, of the very same parameters and... well - how high do you think are the odds?
I checked the web for Urofa 55 parts, but I did not find a barrel arbor readily available.
So I went through my stock and - yes I found a very close match.
Ratchet wheel square - check, pillar plate bearing - check, barrel bridge bearing - check, lower barrel bearing - check, upper barrel bearing…. Nope.
However that's just one bearing, and it was loose, not tight. With lack of proper tools and the hardness of the steel it's made of, loose is better.
What I did is I made a very thin ring to tighten the barrel bearing.
To make it easier, I used an old hour wheel - I found an hour wheel with a tube matching the barrel arbor, filed it down to match the barrel and cut a ring of it.
Second attempt successful. Out of the same tube, so just one hour wheel destroyed during the process.
I started assembling with the keyless works:
Assembling on I could see the barrel was at the correct height, including proper clearance of the center gear.
Notice how nicely the parts cleaned up :)
Swiss lever escapement. Superior quality movement - very nice.
Before installing the pallet fork, I made a run-down test, with beautiful, steady unwinding and great backlash.
The barrel passed the test A+ on the new arbor.
And done. This is a small watch, not much above 2cm size. I don't have anything to measure it at hand - lost it somewhere.
The case is considerably worn.
The luminous paint is nearly complete, and the remaining portion on the hands (not the dial, though) still glows faintly for a short time.
The dial is not-bad, with some surface marks, and all in all it's a pretty nice watch.
And a good catch for $25 ;)
Is this my size? Well - maybe no, but I still wear it at home - I love it!
It runs nicely, with good amplitude and long enough.
So lucky with the barrel arbor. Maybe one day I'll replace it with an original part... When I get one.