I received a 1922 Elgin grade 315 for Christmas that used to belong to my grandfather. It runs, but my father and I couldn't pull out the stem to set it. I took it to a watch repairman who seems to know about pocket watches.
I asked him to fix the stem. When I picked it up a week later, he said he didn't do anything to it other than pull harder. He said it works, but it has to be pulled out REALLY hard. He is right. I can do it, but it seems unnaturally difficult. If I look really close, I can see that the stem might not be coming straight out of the case collar. Maybe it's off-center or leaning, or maybe the collar is warped.
I'm afraid that sometime while I'm pulling REALLY hard on it, I might break something. Pocket watches weren't designed such that you'd have to pull this hard, were they? It's the kind of thing where you have to hold your breath, grit your teeth, and pull with all your strenth, so hard it leaves little grooves in your fingers and hurts. Looking with a magnifying glass, it looks like I can see little teeth marks in the crown like someone tried to pull it up with pliers, hopefully not the jeweler I just took it to.
Is there anything I can do about this? Could this be as simple as just having to realign the movement with the case, or is this a problem inside the movement, or is this a problem with the case?
Thanks very much.