Home Forums General Discussion Forum Gears that don’t move? Reply To: Gears that don’t move?

Bob Tascione

    Hi WatchFixer,
    Yes starting with a larger movement is a very good idea. Also full plate and 3/4 plate movements are harder to assemble than say, a finger bridge movement.

    Lot’s of excellent suggestions here from everybody on movement assembly.

    If you’re asking if there’s a way to place all of the gears into the bottom plate and keep them straight while putting the top plate on without having to adjust the gears then yes and no.

    First the Yes: When assembling watches in the factory they do sometimes use small fixtures or bars with notches to hold the arbors upright and in place. You see this in modern clock manufacturing. I don’t remember which one but I did see a video up on youtube of cuckoo clocks being assembled at the factory using these locating fixtures. Each assembly fixture is made for one particular movement or caliber.

    The No : As far as I know, for the average watch repairmen like us the answer is pretty much no unless you get lucky. You will need to set the top plate on and work the pivots into the holes as suggested by everyone above. I usually use the same method as Jim and use a fine tipped tweezers and just tap arbors or if I don’t have enough room to reach an arbor I gently grab the edge of a gear and tilt it up or down until the pivot moves into place. The plate will drop slightly but suddenly every time a pivot lines up with a hole. Your idea of making some wire tools with handles is also a very good one.
    It can take a little practice but you’ll get the hang of it I’m sure. Still, it’s easier to practice with a larger movement if possible.
    Hope this helps WatchFixer,