Bristol Watch Co.

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  • #49214
    bernie weishapl
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    Had a guy bring in a seth thomas clock today to be restored. He also brought in a pocket watch with it. It is a Bristol Watch Co. The balance staff is broken and will need replaced for sure and the mainspring doesn’t feel right. The hairsping is pinned in a small arm. It looks to be ok. So guessing it will have to be replaced. Now I can see a problem from the get go. I can’t seem to find a staff for it as well as the mainspring. If I am understanding my studies on this it is really a swiss watch sold as a american watch. I also found out that in the 1860’s, 1870’s that this was a pretty common practice and the market was swamped with them. So with that being said where might I look and maybe find parts? The problem I have is I don’t have time to make the staff as I am under water with clocks. All of a sudden I am inundated with clocks and have about 28 or more waiting. Thus the reason I am looking for parts. Also if the mainspring is bad don’t want to spend the time with the staff. I did find a couple on ebay but all have broken staffs. Oh well.

    #59342
    arutha
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    I think you are correct Bernie, that does look swiss. Have you had the movement out yet as it looks like a fusee movement? I also noticed the winding arbor should have a little shroud around it which is held in place with three screws, it looks a bit like a top hat but open ended to get the key in and its purpose was to stop you leaning the key at an angle as you wind it up. most of these type of watches were all hand finished, I am pretty sure, although Bob may have to correct me, that you wouldn’t find a standard “off the shelf” balance staff to fit that watch. You might have better luck looking for a mainspring with some of the english suppliers? If you look in parts and suppliers I listed a lot of English supply companies.
    Sorry I can’t help much.
    Paul.

    #59343
    bernie weishapl
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    Thanks Paul. I will give that a look see.

    #59344
    chris mabbott
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    Hey Bernie,

    You can waste a lot of time looking for parts for these things buddy, especially the euro models. As Paul says, these were on a production line of hand finishers, so no two watches are 100% identical.

    Way I see it you have two options.
    1. Make a new staff
    2. Repivot the old staff..

    The mainspring you can get away with using any type of similar proportions. You may have to modify the end but that’s easy. As long as height and length are equal on the new spring, you will be able to regulate the watch..

    I had hair before I started looking for parts for early Swiss watches 😆

    #59345
    bernie weishapl
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    Thanks Chris. I will decide to maybe do the staff if I can find a spring that may fit or make one fit. He may not want to spend the money with having to fit a mainspring and make a staff. Next question is just thinking about this I am estimating somewhere between 12 to 15 hrs which brings me to the deal that I would need to charge from $240 to $300 plus parts. Am I out of line or am I to low?

    #59346
    tmac1956
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    Bernie:

    It’s all about how much emotional stock this guy has in the piece. If it has emotional worth to the owner then he will probably pay what it takes to fix it – if its a junk piece then probably not.

    Just my 2C
    Later,
    Tom

    #59347
    bernie weishapl
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    Well I will give my estimate to him when he calls me back. Not sure he is going to go for it but it is what it is.

    #59348
    mclark3617
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    well I do have that drawer full of staffs,, if you give me some dimensions I can see what i have for you.

    #59349
    bernie weishapl
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    Mclark3617 I will do that. He hasn’t got back to me yet if he is going to go ahead with the repair. I left him a message so will let you know.

    #59350
    mclark3617
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    well Ive spent the last week cleaning out a flooded basement,,,but I plan on going through that drawer and cataloging what I have with drawings and dimensions.. then I can just send a list by email and you could maybe even find something close that you only have to modify a bit.

    #59351
    bernie weishapl
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    Thanks I appreciate it.

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bernie weishaplBristol Watch Co.