Help never before seen ballance

Home Forums General Discussion Forum Help never before seen ballance

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #49495
    blondfellow
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 22
    • Total Posts: 60


    Call me ignorant but I have only been addicted to horology for just under two years but i have not come across this type of balance before the wheel is plastic the there is no jewel. Can any one enlighten me and I need a replacement as this one is damaged.

    #62045
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    Are you certain that it’s plastic and not alloy?

    It’s a cylinder type escapement and they’re a PITB to change or find parts for.. Must be a euro watch from around 1900-1910 something..
    They were sold, generally, as a low cost watch, kinda like a bic lighter, they break, you chuck it, as the cost for repair outweighed the value of the watch.

    The pivot sinks were usually brass/steel, or a brass/tin plate that acted as a cap jewel.

    You need a special punch or punch set to remove the cylinder plug..

    The balance is, I believe, a punched out type that was poised by small holes drilled on the underside, if poised at all.

    Good luck in finding parts, very very difficult. It’s something that you’ll have to make parts for unfortunately..

    #62046
    blondfellow
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 22
    • Total Posts: 60


    I thought of making a new pivot Chris but looks too complicated for me. It come in a very nice case I will be able to retro fit another movement in.

    #62047
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    You see this a lot, when someone would purchase a pocket watch, it was usually at a jewelers or some such shop. You could choose a movement and a case individually.

    In most cases (no pun intended) the buyer would choose an inexpensive movement, and a more expensive case. Obviously it was the case that was on display when worn and not the movement.

    I think you’re right, I would do the same, restoring the watch would not be worth your expense as its value ( unless someone’s family heirloom ) is not high as a collectible.

    #62048
    bernie weishapl
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 58
    • Total Posts: 1218

    Had one of those about 20 yrs ago. Had a old watchmaker who helped me a lot when I got started look at it and told me it isn’t worth his time to fix it. He said he couldn’t find parts for it then I would guess now it would be impossible.

    #62049
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Chris is correct, it is a cylinder escapement and it will be a brass balance wheel but it is a very strangley shaped balance wheel! As both Bernie and Chris have stated, you cant just buy parts off the shelf, these things were all hand finished so even if you did find a similar movement for spares, nothing would fit without some work to make it fit. The other thing to point out is even if you did get the pivot fixed on the cylinder,as it is un-jewelled, all of the watch pivots will need burnishing and I can pretty much guarantee it will need at least a couple of bushes.
    As you have already said, use the case for something nice and put the movement in your “to sell on ebay” pile :)
    Paul.

    #62050
    blondfellow
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 22
    • Total Posts: 60

    Thanks guys, I will find a movement for the case but will not sell the old one. i will keep it to remind me not to buy without seeing the movement

    #62051
    blondfellow
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 22
    • Total Posts: 60

    Bugger this, it is a good watch so I have decided to make a new balance staff. It will be my first job on the lathe let alone making a balance staff. I will film the process and post it for you, if it works. If it dose not work I may post the video as what not to do. This is what you call “jumping into the deep end” Wish me luck mates.

    #62052
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Blondfellow,
    I have never seen a balance wheel that looked like that before. The picture looks a little fuzzy on my end and I cannot get enough detail to see what is broken. What exactly is wrong with it? There would not be any money made fixing it but it looks like an interesting project if you decided to do so.
    david

    #62053
    gerene
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 16
    • Total Posts: 377

    Very strange balance indeed. Wonder why it has teeth like a pin pallet escape wheel.

    Jan

    #62054
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Blondfellow,
    If the problem is a broken pivot you might want to consider repivoting the thing. Since you were considering making a new staff anyway, you would have nothing to lose if you screw it up and get the hole off center. Replacing a staff always runs the risk of damaging the balance wheel as well as any of the other parts that have to come off the balance assembly. The movement in the picture is an older movement and the balance arms should be a lot more robust then the ones on modern watches. The arms on modern watches are a notch away from tinfoil and will bend if you breathe wrong.
    A repoviting tool is a basic drill jig with a cup center to capture the end of the pivot and guide the drill bit on center. Sometimes you can buy one off of the internet when they come up for sale. If you feel up to it you can make your own using an olive hole jewel as your drill bushing. The tool does not have to be pretty or fancy, it only needs to capture the end of the staff and guide the drill bit on center.
    david

    #62055
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Just to make sure you know what you are taking on, this is not an ordinary balance staff, it is a cylinder. It is a hollow tube that hast two “slots” cut into it. The pivots are small bits of pivot steel which are very gently tapered and pushed in to the cylinder each end. The edges of the slots have to be ground to a fairly precise angle or it will not work well on the escape wheel.
    It is not impossible, just bloody difficult. If you have never made anything like this before I would suggest you do some research first as there is more to these cylinders than first meets the eye.
    Oh, and I forgot to mention the inside of the cylinder needs to be polished too.
    If you do decide to give it a try I wish you all the luck in the world. I would love nothing more than for you to be successful and prove me wrong :)
    Paul.

    #62056
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    @gerene wrote:

    Very strange balance indeed. Wonder why it has teeth like a pin pallet escape wheel.

    Jan

    Jan, they aren’t teeth, they’re supposed to resemble the weighted screws on a proper bi-metallic balance wheel. On the top side, they are rounded, like the screws.
    What you’re seeing here is the flat bottom side. This is a punch out, none compensated “balance wheel copy” ….kinda.

    This is a very low cost watch, what would be considered a dollar watch. They were made in the cheapest, simplest, mass produced way, hence the stamped out balance wheel.

    #62057
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Where were they made? I have never seen one before but the people on your side of the world seem to have seen at least a few of them. A hollow staff? I never heard of that ever. Wow, some movement designer had a few unique ideas when they were thinking about this. Designing a balance wheel that can be manufactured with a hit from a stamping press is definitely a cost cutting idea. A progressive die in a press could easily stamp out 120 ready to assemble balance wheels per minute. As cheap as it is, a lot of thought went into designing that thing.
    david

    #62058
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    David,

    I’m not sure when cylinder escapements were actually implemented, but I have a couple of Swiss watches from the late 18th that use this system, and they are 17-19 jewel models. So this system was also used on higher grade movements, but without the mass produced punched out fake compensated balance wheel.

    They have a unique ticking sounds from the lever type, and I’m also not sure why the lever became more popular, although I’m sure there was a valid reason.

    The hollow staff, or cylinder, mates with a crown type escape wheel, the escape teeth face upwards. It does eliminate the pallet from the chain, so you would think that it would be more accurate, one less link..

    Just to reiterate what Paul mentions… These had an insert type taper pivot stub, if the pivot broke, you could punch out the little pivot stub from the hollow cylinder, and quickly make another, rather than a more intricate staff.
    The down side is that many of these actually break the cylinder, then you have a big problem as it is very difficult to
    manufacture an exact replacement that correctly mates with the escape teeth.
    I posted one on here some time ago, you might be able to see that one, which also had a broken cylinder, so basically a lot of work, or IMHO toast 😆

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
blondfellowHelp never before seen ballance