Bow Plugs

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  • #49168
    chris mabbott
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    I need to replace some missing winding post, bow plugs.. I remember seeing some of these very rare replacement items years ago but seeing as I didn’t need them at that time, I basically ignored them..

    My questions to the panel are….

    1. Does anyone have any specs on these, sizes, design specs, etc…

    2. What material should be used to make new ones?

    3. How are they held in place once made, soldered, glued etc

    I don’t think they can be press fitted into place because it’s a cone shaped hole…

    Any info would be very useful…. :ugeek:

    #58984
    arutha
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    Well here is my “learning something new” for today, I didn’t even know such things existed!
    If I was filling that hole and had a cone either side I would turn up a “nut and bolt” kinda thing but instead of the hex ends you would have cone ends, this is then screwed together with a little loctite to make sure it doesn’t come undone, and then finished to hide the fact it was ever not part of the case.
    Come on Chris, what have you already decided to do but just thought you would throw the question out in case a better idea might come up ;)
    Paul.

    #58985
    chris mabbott
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    I hear ya Paul, and yes, you’re absolutely correct, they are normally…88.335% of the time, always present, and in those instances when they are missing, we assume that the enlarged holes are from excessive wear. In fact, the plugs are an actual sacrificial wear piece and are designed to be replaced. Not in all cases mind you. I’m not sure when manufacturers ceased using them, but I’m sure it was to get consumers to spend more money on a new case… They would do that to us? Go figure 😆

    Anyhow, up until a few years ago, they could still be found, but have possibly been vacuumed up in the recent gold rush for watch parts/tools etc. I wish now that I had paid more attention to their design. The only way I see is to solder them in place..

    I think I know what you mean, but I may be wrong, but, if you put a nut and bolt through the post, it would interfere with the winding stem and sleeve… If i’m interpreting your idea correctly Paul, if not, my apologies, and trust me, I’m not holding back the surprise finale 😆

    #58986
    bernie weishapl
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    What amazes me Chris is I think you are absolutely right. I bought a couple of movements for 16s cases I had. I asked him why he only sold movements? He said he could make more money selling the cases for the gold and silver, then selling the movements than selling the watches complete. He said he makes great money especially with gold cases and the movements are just a bonus. 😡 I told him there are a lot of us out here that want to preserve antique watches. He said he knew but he said he can’t make any money selling watches complete but can make more than double selling like he is. I just told him that was sad. 😥

    #58987
    arutha
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    Chris,
    I guess I didn’t understand the question, I thought you wanted to just plug the holes and it might be a key wind watch, I am sorry, being a bit of a numpty lately :(
    In that case you would just be turning up two drilled brass cones which could be glued in place although I am sure the bow would help to keep them there? If you had a good fit you could use a small amount of solder, once polished you wouldn’t know the solder was there without telling someone when they looked with a glass.

    Bernie,
    It is still happening now, even when only £10 can be made on the price paid for a gold watch case you know its going for scrap, its such a shame but for the people doing it who are just trying to feed their families, how do you tell them to stop? Unless the price of gold drops there aint going to be many gold cases left :(
    I was reading an article in the BHI journal about a guy working in a London jewlers after the war. They were buying enamelled gold cased verge pocket watches for the scrap gold as it was in such short supply just after the war. They would rip the movement out, smash the enameling off and melt it down to be made into new jewelry. He said they did this to hundreds of them and this was just 1 shop! You only have to look at pocket watch movements on e-bay now to see how many are knocking about without cases.
    I think if someone were to set themselves up as a case maker they could make a pretty penny now.
    Paul.

    #58988
    chris mabbott
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    Yes, I don’t really see any other way, than glue or solder. They are not held in by the bow pressure because they stay put when the bow is removed. Then again, solder is kind of permanent, as in it needs to be melted out, and these were, I think, sacrificial plugs, so they were made to be replaced.. Maybe, hopefully, someone has an example they can share..

    It’s a shame about all those cases, and really, gold filled cases don’t have a lot of gold in them, 25 yrs being the highest, so you would need many to make it profitable. Then you have the fees to pay to the smelter, who is maybe honest enough to tell you exactly how much gold you have.. so in the end, you’re not going to be a well off person..

    Here’s a perfect example of gold overpricing. The watch is not a particularly sought after model, the dial, while uncommon, would possibly fetch $150 at auction.. so 7k for about 38-40 dwt of gold….. dream on durango.. although, with common sense on the decline……

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=301269181339

    #58989
    arutha
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    The only other way i can think of getting a tight fit without using glue or solder would be to drill or mill out the holes so they are straight sided and not coned, you could then just punch in brass tube to the required length from each side (friction tight) so as not to interfere with the winding stem. Basically like doing a big clock bush? This would also make them easily replaceable in the future.
    Paul.

    #58990
    chris mabbott
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    That’s a good idea Paul, I’ll put that one at the top of my list that only contains your idea :D Thanks buddy..

    #58991
    arutha
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    Glad I could help mate, if you do go for it then please let me know how it turns out and if you should ever find an original plug you can send it to me so I can make some up for you if you dont fancy doing it yourself.
    Paul. :)

    #58992
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
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    Not sure what those bow plugs would be Chris. Do you have something with a pic that you can show?
    The Dennison Safety Bow was inserted into this type of arrangement but didn’t appear until the early 1900s. Different designs popped up occasionally to help ‘theft proof’ (thief’s were able to twist the watches off of the bow) the cases but I think Dennisons design was the first that became popular.
    Here are a few pics of bows and their arrangements.



    #58993
    chris mabbott
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    Bob, if you look at the second photo I posted, you can see how these “plugs” were replaceable. The one in the photo has no visible form of solder around the circumference and is open into the post.. I see on the examples you posted that no of them have this feature, although I know only some manufacturers used them, possibly this is why they’re so hard to find replacements.. I think they also used the inserts to repair worn bow holes. They came in the same material as the cases..

    If you like Bob you can just send me a few of those cases that you show, I’ll give them a very good home with some lovely movements :D

    #58994
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
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    Sorry Chris,
    Didn’t see that pic. I think what you’re looking for are also known as bow bushes and pendant bushes. I think Bergeon or Boley? carries them. Let me check real quick and I’ll get back with you.
    Bob

    #58995
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
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    Hey Chris,
    It was Boley. Try these URLs,
    http://boley.de/en/shop/408.pocket-watch-bow-bushes
    http://www.panirai.com/parts.html
    Probably other places too.

    Bob

    #58996
    chris mabbott
    Participant
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    Those are the babies Bob, fantastic.. thanks, yes my terminology is way off base… Bushes, of course, not plugs 😆

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