Elgin 18 Stops Running after 3 hours

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  • #48113
    wingman
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 34
    • Total Posts: 91

    I have overhauled the Elgin 18 Grade 73 and it runs and seems to keep time, however it will only run 3 hours. I found this to be the problem before I overhauled the watch. The old mainspring looked set. So it was replaced. Everything on the watch looks like it should be fine except perhaps the new mainspring that I installed. As this was my first attempt at watch repair and and my spring winder is not the greatest, I managed to send the spring across the room several times and it usually got tied in a knot each time before getting it into the barrel. Is this the problem? Or is there another reason for only running 3 hours?

    Steve

    #50856
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1553

    Hi Steve,
    Just a guess but you might check to see if your barrel is tilted (worn hole in cap or barrel) and that the barrel cap is on correctly and is seated all the way down in the barrel recess. Could be dragging under the barrel bridge or possibly the top of the barrel is hitting something. Worth a try.
    Let us know what you find out.
    Bob

    #50857
    wingman
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 34
    • Total Posts: 91

    Thanks Bob
    Good point. I’ll have a look at that. Something else I noticed. When I wind the watch it seems to wind for a bit then something slips. It doesn’t seem to completely unwind just a slight skip and won’t wind completely. I will remove the barrel and see what I can determine.

    Steve

    #50858
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1553

    Hi Steve,
    Knowing now that you’re not getting a complete wind, I would have to say the problem is either a slipping mainspring (not connected to arbor or barrel) or a broken one. Your barrel probably makes about one complete rotation every 6 hours or so. The small amount of power left in the spring after silpping could possibly be enough for half a turn or so of the barrel. That would be the 3 hours running time you’re getting out of it.
    Let us know what you find out Steve,
    Bob

    #50859
    byjwr1
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 13
    • Total Posts: 34

    Hello Wingman,

    Approx. 4 or 5 weeks ago I worked on an Elgin size 18 key wind pocket watch with simular problems. The
    cover of the main spring barrel cap/cover would pop open causing two problems as follows.

    Problem number 1 — The click spring would not hold the click in place. This caused the click to slip under
    and tilt the barrel.

    Problem number 2 — The loose cover also caused the main spring to disconnect/unhook on the barrel end.

    It took me several attempts to seat the cover so that it would not pop open. The watch now winds and runs
    fine!

    I hope this helps.

    BYJWR1

    #50860
    wingman
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 34
    • Total Posts: 91

    Thanks for your comments and assistance. Bob you were correct. The new main spring had broken about 1/2 way out from the arbor. Its amazing that it ran at all. I guess I had abused the spring sufficiently enough to weaken the spring. As I mentioned it flew around the room about 4 times in my attempt to wind it into the spring winder. Thankfully I bought two.

    Steve

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wingmanElgin 18 Stops Running after 3 hours