Pocket watch just arrived. It puts the hair in "hairspring"
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Thread: Pocket watch just arrived. It puts the hair in "hairspring"

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  1. #1
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    Pocket watch just arrived. It puts the hair in "hairspring"

    Got this watch for €12.50 on eBay. Still amazed that an entire mechanical watch can be bought for so little money, but I found a little stowaway near the balance wheel.

    Watch runs great but I will be disassembling it and picking off the hair.

    Does anyone have any tips for disassembling the auto winding bridge? I'd like to try and convert this to hand-winding (not sure how useful an automatic winder is in a pocket watch). Do I start with the rotor screw or do I try and unscrew the bridge holding screw and take it off in one piece?
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  2. #2
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    From another angle. Not bashing the watch mind you, just amused to make such a find in a brand new watch. Amazingly it runs fine!

    Just yesterday I opened my Seiko 5 to regulate it, and a tiny wool fiber fell into the balance wheel and started dragging on the base plate. I couldn't figure out why the amplitude had practically vanished until I spotted the culprit under high magnification. Had to untangle it from the hairspring with tweezers. So I wonder what a hair that big would do to this watch if left there and it dislodges at some point.
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    Last edited by LMF5000; 1 Week Ago at 18:19.

  3. #3
    Member Steve0's Avatar
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    Re: Pocket watch just arrived. It puts the hair in "hairspring"

    Were it mine, I would first attempt to tweeze it out. Maybe even with some tape; tightly reverse wound on the tweezers for a soft, sticky, firm grip vs yanking it and it braking off. Almost looks like a brush bristle...but could be human gray hair.

    Good luck!
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  5. #4
    Mod. Russian, China Mech. Chascomm's Avatar
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    Re: Pocket watch just arrived. It puts the hair in "hairspring"

    I think that it would probably be easier to remove (and perhaps later re-install) the auto module if the rotor was removed first. Also, it looks like the hair may be wrapped around the rotor hub, so this should take care of the other problem.

    And I agree that an auto-winding movement is kind of pointless for a pocket watch. Keep the extra parts just in case you buy a wristwatch with a poorly-winding Tongji movement. This rotor looks a bit heavier than some.
    Chascomm
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  6. #5
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    Re: Pocket watch just arrived. It puts the hair in "hairspring"

    The hair was removed just fine. I also took off the rotor and winding bridge, Name:  IMG_20200106_220059.jpg
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Size:  2.24 MBbut the back bridge isn't skeletonised, so not much more things became visible. In short there wasn't much benefit to leaving it off so I put it back on. Gave it its first full hand-winding and... the rotor doesn't even spin with the spring at full wind. It's now been 18 hours and the rotor still doesn't turn so easily. Is that characteristic of these movements? When I had the same thing as a wristwatch many years ago I remember having problems keeping it running with wrist power alone (but never had a problem keeping my seiko 5 running with similar activity)

    Yesterday (before doing any of this) I wanted to test how effective the winder was, so with the watch completely depleted I set it to 12:00, put it in my pocket, walked up and down one flight of stairs (3 meters), and took a few steps around the building, then left it on the desk. It stopped at 1:00 - so 3 minutes of walking resulted in 1 hour of running time. Not bad for a pocket watch.
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  7. #6
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    Re: Pocket watch just arrived. It puts the hair in "hairspring"

    Here's a pic with gear positioning before reassembly. That center pinion (turned by the rotor) is tiny! (Toothpick for scale in the background) Name:  IMG_20200106_220854.jpg
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Size:  2.22 MB

    The winding stem seems to be a little bent, and the hollow shaft at the top of the watch seems to be a fair bit larger than the winding stem, so the crown is free to bend everywhere when winding. Is there anything I can do about it? I was thinking maybe wind tape around the stem to make it self-center in the shaft a little better.
    Last edited by LMF5000; 1 Week Ago at 18:34.

  8. #7
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    So, I decided to check accuracy with a stopwatch over a 15- hour period. The results were (wait for it)...

    -150 seconds per day!

    Hope there's enough travel in the regulator to sort that out! 😁

  9. #8
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    Turns out the regulator arm was bent upwards and the pin that grabs the hairspring spring in the regulator wasn't grabbing the spring. I tried straightening the pin but it broke off. So I bent the hairspring out a little so that the outer coil would make constant contact with the other part of the regulator. Now the timegrapher app on my phone has it ticking to within +/-5 seconds a day. Will see how well-regulated it really is over time.
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