Wilane Brac 40 Pin Lever Rescued
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  1. #1
    Member thoth's Avatar
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    Wilane Brac 40 Pin Lever Rescued

    So I was going through my drawer of projects and came across this one. No crystal. Not running. Seconds hand pressed and bent.

    Started with getting the junk off the dial. Dish soap and warm water gently across the dial with a cotton swab. Came off clean with no paint loss or issues. Straightened out the seconds hand then stripped down the movement.



    Dipped the hairspring. Pegged the holes then into the ultrasonic. Used pithwood on the pivots then put it back together. Oiled the pivots and then put the whole watch back together.

    Found the right size crystal in my drawers and a leather strap for a solid lug. The crystal and band are probably worth more than the watch....but I did this to prove a point.





    Just because a watch is a pin lever does not mean it is just junk when it stops running. I have read that a few times and I was one who thought the same way....but I was wrong. There is a certain level of pride you feel when you bring a watch that would have been called junk back to life.



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  2. #2
    Member bsshog40's Avatar
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    Re: Wilane Brac 40 Pin Lever Rescued

    Good job! Looks nice!
    thoth likes this.
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  3. #3
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Wilane Brac 40 Pin Lever Rescued

    Nice work, and a worthwhile experiment. Please report back on how it holds up over time. Some concerns that I have read about pin lever movements are not necessarily focused on whether they can be made to run again, but whether they will run well and/or consistently once they have experienced significant wear.
    -- Dan (formerly known as @badbackdan)
    ------- @oldwatchdan on Instagram -------

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  5. #4
    Member thoth's Avatar
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    Re: Wilane Brac 40 Pin Lever Rescued

    Will do. I am curious about that too.

  6. #5
    Member YuriyV's Avatar
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    Re: Wilane Brac 40 Pin Lever Rescued

    Very nice!
    Vintage Zodiac addict.

  7. #6
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    Re: Wilane Brac 40 Pin Lever Rescued

    Niiiice :) Any photos of disassembled movement?
    Chaos is my focus

  8. #7
    Member Border-Reiver's Avatar
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    Re: Wilane Brac 40 Pin Lever Rescued

    The movement has been made by BRAC, in Breitenbach, Switzerland. The company has been founded in 1904 (watch movements and metal components). They are still around today, working in the field of plastic parts. In their company history, they are mentioning their date of foundation, but mainly that they have switched production into plastic already in 1928. No mention of anything about watchmaking (or rather movement making) before that. They say that the have 'diversified' into plastic in 1928 (first Swiss company applying plastic injection moulding). Perhaps the movement making was continued in another company.

    And now, someone comes along and gets an old pin-lever movement of theirs back into operation. You could get in contact with them, perhaps they will complete their company history and stop being ashamed of having made 'pin-levers' for a while.

    They were and still are located close to the Swiss-French-German border-triangle, far away from the famous places of Swiss watchmaking. Whatever, that's an extremely nice watch to have, especially in running condition and could give BRAC a reason to appropriately recognize their roots.

    Movement, as you said, is a BRAC cal. 40 (sweep second) from the 1950s. Dr. Ranfft mentiones something 'ingenious': one simple part replaces setting-lever spring, yoke, and yoke spring (I have absolutely no clue what that means. Was that the reason that it was simple to fix that thing?).

    Unusual f = 17280 A/h. And you certainly know it has a power reserve of only 27h, before you take it apart again...

    Wilane? Is that the Wilane Watch Co from New Haven, Conn.?
    Last edited by Border-Reiver; November 13th, 2017 at 11:04.

  9. #8
    Member thoth's Avatar
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    Re: Wilane Brac 40 Pin Lever Rescued

    Sadly I did not get pics of the movement apart but if I have to do it again, I will. On an interesting side of it, the canon pinion is just set onto a tube that is attached to the plate. The seconds pinion runs up the tube but cant be removed without removing the wheel attached at the bottom. The top of the pinion has a ring, so to speak, that is the full outer diameter of the tube it runs through. So in manufacturing the pinion is loaded from the front and the wheel is pressed onto the pinion. That wheel is directly driven off of the train, almost like the reverse of how you see many sweep seconds driven with the wheel mounted to the top above the plates to drive the pinion, the wheel is part of the seconds pinion but within the watch.

    The wheel that drives the watch is actually mounted to the bottom of the mainspring barrel and drives through a cut out in the main plate. When the cannon pinion just slipped off I was wondering how it worked as usually that is a big sign of an issue. So in the instance of these movements, oiling the cannon is beneficial to allow for smoother running where as the usual is to never oil the pinion. Well that is what I was always told not to do.

    I did not know that about the power reserve and A\h. Thank you for that! I can report that in 12 hours it is about 30 seconds slow. I did set the regulator to the middle so if it stays within 1 min in 24 hours I can adjust it a bit better but I will not expect better than 45 sec per day. Anything under 2 would be awesome. I don't have a timing machine so right now I am going by eye and phone. I may use an app that I have to see what the A\h is.

    My bestfit shows appx 87 calibres.

  10. #9
    Member Border-Reiver's Avatar
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    Re: Wilane Brac 40 Pin Lever Rescued

    Quote Originally Posted by thoth View Post
    Sadly I did not get pics of the movement apart but if I have to do it again, I will. On an interesting side of it, the canon pinion is just set onto a tube that is attached to the plate. The seconds pinion runs up the tube but cant be removed without removing the wheel attached at the bottom. The top of the pinion has a ring, so to speak, that is the full outer diameter of the tube it runs through. So in manufacturing the pinion is loaded from the front and the wheel is pressed onto the pinion. That wheel is directly driven off of the train, almost like the reverse of how you see many sweep seconds driven with the wheel mounted to the top above the plates to drive the pinion, the wheel is part of the seconds pinion but within the watch.

    The wheel that drives the watch is actually mounted to the bottom of the mainspring barrel and drives through a cut out in the main plate. When the cannon pinion just slipped off I was wondering how it worked as usually that is a big sign of an issue. So in the instance of these movements, oiling the cannon is beneficial to allow for smoother running where as the usual is to never oil the pinion. Well that is what I was always told not to do.

    I did not know that about the power reserve and A\h. Thank you for that! I can report that in 12 hours it is about 30 seconds slow. I did set the regulator to the middle so if it stays within 1 min in 24 hours I can adjust it a bit better but I will not expect better than 45 sec per day. Anything under 2 would be awesome. I don't have a timing machine so right now I am going by eye and phone. I may use an app that I have to see what the A\h is.

    My bestfit shows appx 87 calibres.
    If you are really interested in a timegrapher or time scale or whatever you want to call it, and if you have enough occasions to work with it, get the real thing (for a change, this is one of the very, very few things in watchmaking where something halfway usable comes from China, also in comparison to the price you have to pay for a professional one). Stay as far away as you can from any apps, as far as you would stay away from a fake Timex watch. I don't want to mention all the disadvantages.

    I have one of the popular multifunctional timegraphers bought on eBay (only get one locally, not from China directly). I have compared that thing with the professional device of my watchmaker, all indications corretly shown. Anyway, good enough for the ambitious watch collector. It also comes with a decent microphone, another problematic thing with all the apps around.

    Here is a nice video from our friend 'watchguy.co.uk' (I have exactly the same model). He is a real expert, and if he works with it, it should be good for any amateur. Once you have one, you dont want to miss it again. It's real fun and you can use it in many ways, not just to set a watch in beat (or correct any beat error, easy or more difficult, depending on the movement- and regulation type). You can check how the amplitude changes as the power runs down etc.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcCKrioYKMo

    If shipped from the USA, the price should be around $150 to $170. Look at eBay, if interested, with keyword for 'timegrapher 1000'.
    thoth likes this.

  11. #10
    Member thoth's Avatar
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    Re: Wilane Brac 40 Pin Lever Rescued

    I have thought about one of those before. They seem good to me and the watchmaker I use to go to uses one of them. I use the wildspectra app usually and a very quiet room. I will probably pick one up once I don't spend all my money on a watch.
    Border-Reiver likes this.

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