What's wrong with this broken watch?

Thread: What's wrong with this broken watch?

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  1. #1
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    What's wrong with this broken watch?

    I just purchased a very pretty 1884 Waltham movement that doesn't run and I'm playing around with it with the light-hearted goal of fixing it if possible (I'm not deluding myself as to prospects of success). I believe there are only two serious problems. The less serious of the two is that the hair spring is pretty rusty...although the balance still spins back and forth crudely. Doubtlessly, it would require work (replacement) to operate at a reasonable level. The more serious is confusing however. The third wheel (the one that connects the fourth "seconds hand" wheel and the second "hour-hand" wheel) is loose. It falls out of its socket off the side far enough to disengage the gear from the first wheel. It appears that it is also loose vertically, not just laterally, in that is slides up and down in its socket (thus slightly falling out of the jewel, but not so much that it slides around inside the watch).

    What could possibly cause this? Obviously, I need to get in there with a magnifier or loop or something, but I was curious if anyone has any thoughts on this. It seems weird. I would expect a stem to either sit tight or be broken and disengage entirely, but not to sit loosely.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Keith W; January 13th, 2013 at 04:34. Reason: clarity

  2. #2
    Member radger's Avatar
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    Re: What's wrong with this broken watch?

    The third wheel should sit in its jewels with only the slightest of play or endshake movement.
    Reasons why it might be so loose are broken or very worn pivot/s, broken or incorrectly seated
    jewels.

    The rusty hairspring might turn out to be the most serious problem also a rusty hairspring suggests
    rust could be present on other steel components such as pivots etc.

    Rusty old watch movements are not the best on which to learn watch repair, buy yourself a working movement
    and learn the basics first on that. Put the old Waltham away in a drawer for another day.
    Last edited by radger; January 13th, 2013 at 10:52.

  3. #3
    pej
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    Re: What's wrong with this broken watch?

    I agree with radger, the best way to learn watch repair is just to buy a large job lot online with some working cheap 17j movements.. It's a shame to start tinkering on nice movements as the first ones are pretty tough to put back together..

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  5. #4
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    Re: What's wrong with this broken watch?

    Okay, thanks. I'll scout around for other movements.

    Cheers!

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