Waltham Vanguard 23j 1948 gaining... does it need a clean?
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Thread: Waltham Vanguard 23j 1948 gaining... does it need a clean?

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  1. #1
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    Waltham Vanguard 23j 1948 gaining... does it need a clean?

    I apologies for a beginner’s question; the 23j Vanguard that I just acquired is gaining far more than it ought to - around four minutes a day.

    The regulator is about in the middle. It did not start right away but did so after about four winds and a twist, as one does with a chronometer.

    I am unwilling to start tinkering.

    My experience with verge watches is that excessive gaining is a sign that a watch needs a clean and re-oiling. Is that the case here?

    Serial number is 33371840

    bubba48 and badbackdan like this.

  2. #2
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: Waltham Vanguard 23j 1948 gaining... does it need a clean?

    Rules of thumb. Watches without known service history and not tested always need servicing. Hairsprings can get moved in transport or pick up oil which affects timing. Your movement appears clean but yes, as friction in the wheel train increases from drying oil and dirt, the impulse to the balance wheel weakens creating shorter swings and hence faster running.

    Pithy will shoot me down for all of the above and those who can enlarge your photo more might have more specific comments.

  3. #3
    Member pithy's Avatar
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    Re: Waltham Vanguard 23j 1948 gaining... does it need a clean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mirius View Post
    Rules of thumb. Watches without known service history and not tested always need servicing. Hairsprings can get moved in transport or pick up oil which affects timing. Your movement appears clean but yes, as friction in the wheel train increases from drying oil and dirt, the impulse to the balance wheel weakens creating shorter swings and hence faster running.

    Pithy will shoot me down for all of the above and those who can enlarge your photo more might have more specific comments.
    You poor dear flower!

    Do you require some extra nurturing?
    Mirius likes this.
    Courtesy of ULF.

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  5. #4
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    Thank you very much, Mirius. Off it goes, for a clean and an oiling.

    I bought it as a “first step” into the - to-me - mysterious world of American railroad watches, as a more “financially viable” way to take an interest in precision timekeepers than Admiralty deck watches, where I am never, ever, going to be able to afford an Usher and Cole with Bonniksen’s carousel escapement, so there was no point in starting.😉
    busmatt likes this.

  6. #5
    Member bamadadof3's Avatar
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    Re: Waltham Vanguard 23j 1948 gaining... does it need a clean?

    Nice pocket watch and I agree its a fun way to collect at a cheaper click! High quality pocket watches have always seemed like bargains to me but the fun was learning how they work and taking them apart.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #6
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    Re: Waltham Vanguard 23j 1948 gaining... does it need a clean?

    Methersgate...'you chose wisely...'! This Vanguard is one of Waltham's later Models, and your's certainly looks to be in unusually nice condition...I've seen my share of these, and they can be quite well-worn.

    Once this watch is Serviced, I reckon it should run to within, say, +/- 5 seconds / day. In any Country other than the US, this Waltham would have been called a pocket chronometer.

    You might be interested in doing a little internet searching @ the history of the Vanguard...earlier Models were especially finely-finished, and featured some of Waltham's fanciest damaskeening and 'flourishes', although your's is almost certainly among the best timekeeper's the Massachusetts firm ever made.

    A very nice example. Michael.
    busmatt and badbackdan like this.

  8. #7
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    Thank you, Michael. The watch is now in the safe hands of the best local repairer and I expect to see it again in a few months’ time (speed of turn around is not his strong suit, but care, accuracy and respect for the original are!).

    I have found Jim Schneider’s wonderful 1892 website and am starting to read around the subject.

    http://www.model92.com/home-2

    These watches are “less common” here in Britain, but they had a following amongst long distance yachtsmen in the pre-GPS era because they will hold time better than a detent chronometer in a small boat that jumps around a bit! Since sailing and using antique navigation instruments are amongst my hobbies I have a pretext for adding two more high quality railroad watches to make the “ideal” set of three.
    Michael Maddan likes this.

  9. #8
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    Re: Waltham Vanguard 23j 1948 gaining... does it need a clean?

    The Waltham Vanguard came back a few days ago and its behaviour is now almost above reproach. It loses six to eight seconds a day in present weather conditions.
    Paleotime likes this.

  10. #9
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Waltham Vanguard 23j 1948 gaining... does it need a clean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Methersgate View Post
    The Waltham Vanguard came back a few days ago and its behaviour is now almost above reproach. It loses six to eight seconds a day in present weather conditions.
    It looks like it might be fun to tinker with that fine regulator just a bit.
    -- Dan (formerly known as @badbackdan)
    ------- @oldwatchdan on Instagram -------

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