Home Forums General Discussion Forum Ladies Swiss Cylinder Pocket Watch Problem

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      Over the past few months I have been working on this pocket watch. I have replaced a small metal disc with a proper endstone which had been fitted under the balance wheel. I have had great difficulty finding another endstone to replace the top one which was cracked quite badly. Everything has been cleaned, checked and put back together. The watch runs perfectly face down but when I try it face up it stops. The spring is not touching anywhere it shouldnt, the watch is in beat, the pivots on the balance staff are in great shape, there is no visible wear or distortion to the cylinder, the balance has adequate end shake, I have tried the balance with the hairspring and escape wheel removed and it runs freely in any position. what have I missed?
      I have been working on this watch over a period of 3 months and I so badly want to set fire to it and smash it up with one of my old guitars in a Jimi Hendrix style, but it is a customers watch and I dont think they would appreciate it :(
      Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)
      Paul. (With much less hair than when I started this watch!)


        hey less hair Paul, this is less hair William, did you check all the clearances? the balance possibly touching the escape wheel? escape wheel bent ? ect… I am going there as you have already isolated the problem area with what you have done. Have fun, William

        Bob Tascione

          Hi Paul,
          I believe William is right on target. Escape wheel to cylinder fouling is a very common problem with cylinders. I too would check the plane of the escape wheel to make sure it’s perfect. If it looks good then you might try removing the balance and check the freedom of the escape wheel using a blower in dial up and dial down positions. If all looks well then there is a good chance that either the escape wheel and/or the cylinder has too much end shake (I’m not talking about shake or drop of the tooth inside and outside the cylinder). From what you said in your post my guess would be the problem is with cylinder end shake. With those small ladies cylinder watches there is often a fine line between enough end shake and too much. Even .1mm too much could be enough to cause problems. You said that you had difficulty locating a correct jewel to fit. Is it possible that what you used isn’t seated all the way down and is allowing the balance to drop down a bit too far in the dial up position? This could easily result in tooth/cylinder fouling by allowing the escape wheel arm (the support for the stalk that the tooth sits on) to hit the lower portion of the cylinder slot (passage) . Also if the balance cock is bent out slightly this too would increase the shake. If it is the jewel placement then getting it back into place would be the fix. If excessive shake isn’t the case but you can determine that fouling is the problem then raising or lowering one or more plugs will allow for adjustment. When replacing tampons (plugs) you often need to make some depth adjustments to eliminate fouling. The fact that the balance took out both end stones but didn’t break either pivot may mean that one or both of the tampons got knocked in a little. Especially if the cylinder/plug fit was a bit loose. This of course would result in some extra end shake in which case a plug depth adjustment should take care of things.
          If the escape wheel is a little out of whack then only one or two of the arms supporting the teeth may be slightly fouling. This can be difficult to detect. Getting a good dial up edge view at high mag at eye level with the bench top may reveal the fouling. It’s difficult with those smaller watches though. A little trick that I use is putting a white sheet of paper vertically behind the watch and then reflect some light off of it. You’ll see the light cutting out between the tooth and cylinder if there is contact. You may need to adjust things just a hair or so (pun intended!)

          Hope this helps a bit Paul.
          Please let us know,


            Thanks guys,
            it is so nice to have something else to check, I will be having another go today so will let you know what happens.

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