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      I subscribed to the watch course a week or so ago. Could not wait to try out what I was learning on a pocket watch. I have been doing a few things with accutron 214’s but had never tried anyting on real mechanical watch. Bought what was supposed to be a lever set hampden on ebay that was also losing 5 minutes every hour. Came in and wasn’t lever set and was regulated as slow as possible. Had it running and keeping time in about two minutes. Decided it was just too nice to practice on and resold it on ebay and bought a lever set Illinois movement that was described as having some movement on balance for $13.00. Thought i had perfect thing to learn on. Got it in wound it up and it kept perfect time. Finally decided that I only paid a little for it so I would practice a bit. Just got through taking off balance and replacing it to see if I could. Well It is running just as it was before I did anything. So far so good.
      I do have question about this movement though. When I got it there was what appears to be a winding stem installed in movement. I thought that was part of the case from what I saw on videos. The part of the stem that extends out of the watch is square shaped and is maybe a half inch long. Seems to be firmly implanted in watch. It is located at the 3 o’clock position so would figure to be hunter movement. I guess what I need to know has someone broken off stem in movement or do I just have odd movement? Also what kind of case would it go in. If I keep working on it and it keeps running I can see myself wanting to put it in case and keeping it.
      Since I am new to forums and course I thought I would tell a bit about myself in case anyone is interested. I’m 57 years old and took my first watch apart when I was about 7. It didn’t survive experience. Just told a friend about course at work. He is also interested in watches but what I was telling him about was the tool that was made in videos to take off hairspring. We used to make the exact same tool to put rolls in a large dryer where I work. Of course our tool was about 3 feet long, 3/4″ thick and about 3 1/2 inches wide. We used split end to raise roll shaft up to place in position and other end was used to pry 81-X chain over drive gears on one side of roll.
      Basically just wanted to say hi to everybody.


        On behalf of myself and, I’m sure all of us here, WELCOME !
        I’m not familiar with the Illinois movements mechanical-wise. I’ve been playing with Walthams exclusively
        so far. My guess is that the winding stem, originally part of the case it was in has bonded itself
        to the movement. Maybe rust ? These are steel parts, after all. Then, again, I could be way off base !
        I’m a novice as well. Expect Bob to help you soon. He’s the master ! And watches this forum often.
        The crown and case are long gone but the stem from the case is locked into it ?
        Only a complete breakdown (very recommended) and thorough inspection will reveal the answer.
        Running these old things without a thorough cleaning can ruin them in a short time.
        Accumulated abrasive debris from over a CENTURY gets into the fast moving tiny parts
        and causes fast damage. Read my other posts here and you’ll know how many issues can come
        up and the need for others here to post their help. Sorry to be verbose here but , hey, that’s me.
        I’ve accumulated some basic vital equipment since I joined.
        An ultrasonic cleaner. Cheap on ebay and works minimally ok. You need one.
        A dial caliper for precise measurements. And the most useful absolutely necessary tool for
        me was an ebay purchase of a stereo microscope. I couldn’t do this stuff without it !
        I bought it brand new for about $80 !! 20X magnification is perfect !
        It’s a Doma model 210. Likely made in China, but the optics are supurb !
        Bob said He wasn’t aware you could buy one for that price. I’ll have to check my ebay purchases
        and see if I can find the seller.
        Another nice thing to hace is a digital camera. I’ve posted several pics with my antique Sony
        Mavica which saves the pics on a floppy disk ! But it can take pics through the microscope.
        VERY useful ! When I breakdown a movement I take pics all along the way.
        I have several movements “canned” for future attention and a folder on my computer with
        serial numbers, pics and notes on each. Kinda went nutz on ebay for a while !

        SO…. I’ve been carrying my first success around for a few weeks now. A lever-set Waltham
        size 18 in a heavy silverode case with a crystal almost an eight inch thick. After cleaning it
        and replacing a broken mainspring (#2203) and nudging the adjustment often, I now have a
        watch made in 1888 which keeps PERFECT time !!! Case not original for the hunter movement,
        but it’s a fine thing which draws inquisitive questions each time I take it out of my pocket for
        a time check ! Ahhh, which is often ! And then I say… I repaired it ! And I know my own hands
        did it. It’s 123 years old !
        It travels by car now. Not horse and buggy. A switch lights the room now. Not a candle.
        Voices and images come from magic boxes. Geeze, there weren’t even telephones then !

        Ahh, well… Guess i’ve said enough…
        Again, welcome.


          Thanks for your reply. I just couldn’t understand how movement could have been removed from case as it is now. Have removed several parts and replaced them as practice and haven’t seen any evidence of rust yet but I would think the opening at crown would be a likely spot for it to develope. Do like your idea about microscope and have been looking for one. I am usually a little nervous about buying from some areas out of country. I have been thinking about a usb microscope to plug into laptop. If I remember right I looked at one that goes to 200X for fairly cheap. Saw someone on nature show on pbs using one and thought it might be good idea. Get in real close plus can take screen shot to save and maybe email or post to explain problem and ask fo help.
          Just got my first cleaning solution in yesterday as well as oil and oilers. So I’m ready to take movement apart and really find out what is going on with stem. Kind of curious about how you decided to concentrate on waltham. I know I started fooling with accutrons at first because I got the manual and it looked like something I could do. I like waltham myself but just was curious how people get interested in one watch over another.
          Anyway thank you for your reply and I’ll try to keep everyone posted on my progress. Have a three day weekend coming up this week so maybe I can get some more done.

          Bob Tascione

            Good to see you up here c_kelly!

            I too am 57 but can only say that for about 4 more hours.
            Would agree with Clam71s diagnosis and remedy. Could very well be wrong but I don’t remember any Illinois movement that would have the stem as an integral part of the movement. This is called a male stem and can be found on some 1883 Walthams and some Elgin movements and it would make sense that Illinois also made them. My minds just drawing a blank right now. I’ll check around to see what I can find out about it. How does the end of the stem look under magnification? Could be a broken off stem or someone may have jammed something in there to wind it while out of its case. Would be interested to know what you find out upon disassembly. Also those stereo microscopes are really nice to work with once you get used to them. I still haven’t tried the one that John has yet but from what he has said about it in earlier posts it sure sounds like a great buy.
            Please keep us posted and let us know what you find out about that stem…and Welcome to the forum!


              @c_Kelly + Bob A USB microscope might be a cool thing. Too much fuss for me though.
              I get short of temper with cables and wires all about my workplace.
              I won’t even work on these things while wearing a long sleeved shirt.
              I’ve given myself a moniker… Mr. SNAG ! I can make a snarl from almost nothing.
              As far as my affinity with Walthams, It all started last year when I took my
              deceast Father’s watch back to my house and contemplated fixing it myself.
              While gathering info, I stumbled upon Bob’s course on youtube. (yeah, bob,
              that’s how it happened) I’m still watching those vids and learning..
              I was looking on ebay for parts for Dad’s watch and buying things that couldn’t
              help me. One thing led to another, and I now have almost 15 Waltham movements
              18s, 16s, 12s . I’ve always wanted a genuine antique pocket watch for decades !
              I remember about 30 years ago I went to the mall with my newely wedded wife and
              in the jewelery store window there was a beautiful old pocketwatch in perfect
              condition. The price ? $2500 !!! Out of my league ! Fast forward to now.
              Ebay has changed the antiques and collectables game. But, there is a finite time
              to get what you want even on ebay. It may last for several years but sooner or
              later the “wanters” buy out the seller’s inventories and then if demand outlasts
              supplies the prices will skyrocket. Or, they’ll fall flat as newer generations
              of folks have no desire for the antiques of a certain kind.
              The old wooden tube radios are a good example. Not many there anymore.
              Prices going up.

              I’ve just re-dis-assembled my new OLD 18s waltham #2672918 vintage 1885.
              Bought it about 2 weeks ago, cleaned it (very dirty but good staff) and it kept
              good time for a few days but petered out. Gotta re-inspect parts.
              I knew corrosion and rust had affected some parts but I figured I’d run it in
              for a few days and break it down again to see what happened.

              I think I’ve come to the point of needing a jeweler’s lathe.
              Had a bid on a nice one…4 minutes left…$81 bux.. I waited for the last
              minute and bid $200 bux. I felt pretty confident that was gonna be mine.
              Auction ended… $214 bux and I lost ! And THAT’S without any collets !!!

              Ahh, well… Anyway…

              I post a pic of the fork in this 1885 as an example of why you just can’t really
              SEE details from a loop. This is 20X magnification. Wish I had a 50X option.

              Focus is not optimal but on the long shaft side the pivot has pits from rust.
              No way to polish out these but I’d be happy if I could make it smooth.
              After all, it’s not gonna be used non-stop daily for years but only to be
              displayed at those special occasions or archived to be passed on to kin.

              My 18S 3949617 vintage 1888 is perfect ! A mainspring replacement and a good
              cleaning and lube brought it back to life. The mainspring likely broke early
              in this movement’s life and it was kept in a friendly place for SO many years.
              I wear it daily. It’s timekeeping is astonishing ! A few seconds in 24 hours !
              A lever set. The precision of the manusacture od such tiny parts SO long ago
              …The screw which holds the hairpring ! Microscopic ! But perfect.

              Bob ! Where can I get the youth that you have ?


                Bob, just thinking… If I spun this fork in a lathe, what are the chances that a jewel or 2 might fly into oblivion ?


                  Thanks to everyone and their kind replies. Have been busy for the last weekend on so. My watch did have what appeared to be piece jammed in to wind it up without case. Have managed to take it apart and put it back together and it still runs and keeps time under a glass to keep it as clean as I can without a case. After working on Accutrons some of those screws seemed huge. Was a whole lot easier on my nerves. I’m still trying to get some of the basic tools Got my oil and oilers in recently and and now trying to get mainspring grease. Hard to buy everything at once. Friend at work has been keeping me busy with some of his watches, mostly finding right batteries, but he also found old 214 diamond dial he wants me to redo and change out on his. Enjoy doing that sort of thing but with work I kind of run short of time.
                  I was hoping someone did have experience with the usb microscope. I keep laptop handy while I work on watches. Can quickly refer to the course or in the case of accutrons the tech manual. Also handy in finding parts as today I am looking for crystal for old Benrus wristwatch from the 40’s. Thanks again

                  Bob Tascione

                    Hey Clam71,
                    I didn’t realize you had posted another post right after posting your microscope pic.
                    If the jewels are cemented in ok with shellac you shouldn’t have a problem. Looks like those pivots could use a good polishing! That microscope does a nice job.
                    Also…C_Kelly,…I sent the following links to another member yesterday and thought you may find them helpful too if you haven’t already seen them.
                    The first one is an interesting video you can watch of a USB camera in action. It’s a few years old but worth watching. The second one has a few different types of cameras.



                    Hope this helps,


                      Bob: half kidding about flying jewells but if it CAN happen it will to me !
                      Hopefully just finished final touches on an 1885 Waltham.
                      I have my 1887 ticking along side of it and 2 hours later they’re still synchronized to the second !
                      Gonna search my ebay purchases and hopefully find where I got that microscope.
                      Will post…


                          Geeze. It’s a month after my last post about the stereo microscope and the dood is still selling them !
                          Again, NO WIRES as in USB. You can take it from place to place and it’s self contained.
                          The optics are incredible for such a cheap thing ! 20X magnification is just about right for our needs !
                          NO plastic optics, GLASS !! I’m thrilled with it ! Minimal investment for a really nice tool that is
                          STAND ALONE ! Drawbacks ? The built in LED light sucks and you need a camera to take pics.
                          With a USB cam attached to your ‘puter it’s a keystroke to get a pic.
                          It’s clumsey with my ‘scope to get a pic with the digital camera but taking pics is secondary to
                          actually seeing , WIRE-SNAG FREE– while playing with the tiny parts.
                          My highest reccomendations for this thing. I have no affiliation with the seller of these.
                          Just a very satisfied guy !


                            Hi All,
                            Been awhile since my last contact with you all. laptop died and lost lots of info and been busy reloading new harddrive. Have also started to work on several wristwatches. Got in a Bulova 7AP yesterday that had me confused for a bit. When I checked it out it was obvious that balance was not seated properly as it would not move and just looked misaligned. I loosened cock and reseated balance. Movement returned but when I gave watch a gentle shake it started to run but backwards very fast, for a very short time. Rubbed my eyes, scratched my head and tried it again and sub second hand went backwards. Took watch apart as practice, also found mainspring to be broken, put it back together, gave it a shake and ran forward at what seems proper speed for a second or two. (Still need to get mainspring which I am searching for now) Just curious as to why it might have been running backwards in the first place. Is it possible that since balance wasn’t seated properly another wheel was also out and when I gave it a shake the balance pushed escapement wheel the wrong way?? Never seen a watch run backwards before and was wondering what could have caused such a thing.

                            Bob Tascione

                              Hi c_kelly,
                              Sorry about that hard drive. Not fun at all.
                              Running backwards for a few seconds is fairly common after a mainspring lets go. Just a guess here but maybe a sudden release of power causes the spring to overshoot its neutral point and wind a bit in the opposite direction. A little like when a movement is allowed to run down with the pallet removed. The escape wheel will spin until all mainspring power is expended and due to inertia will continue to spin a bit more causing the mainspring to wind slightly in the opposite direction. After stopping the escape wheel will then spin for a few seconds in the opposite direction.


                                Hi all,
                                Have marked the stereo microscope link on ebay to watch so I can think about it. Have also just finished cleaning and repairing my first mechanical wristwatch. I had picked up a Gruen 401 off ebay to fix. Seller said it did not run. Came to me with a mangled hairspring, broken balance staff and broken part on the setting mechanism. Got a 401c from Dashto that had the parts i needed except for hairspring. I hate hairsprings by the way. Will explain that in a minute. Got some more Gruen movements cheap later. Now I took all the good parts I had, cleaned them and put them on 401 base as it’s setting mechanism wasn’t broken. I thought about just putting everything on 400 but little screw that releases setting stem worried me. Anyway put everything together and gently manipulated pallet fork and everything seemed to work. So now I was going crazy wanting to see if it would run. Could not find good balance complete. Finally decided that I had those junk movement and some hairsprings looked like they would fit. First one I took off and put on my balance worked until I tightned up balance cock. Looked close and saw I had not completely seated the stud in cock. As I was trying to fix that my wife let our pet bird out and it landed on my head at just the wrong time. Hairspring sort of looked like a funnel then. Tried another but when I saw it that spring was bent so that it rubbed on the balance which caused balance to stop. Tonight tried last spring that I thought might fit. Watch has been running for two hours now. Bit fast but I haven’t tried to regulate it at all. Was a lot of fun but now that it is running I have to find some extra parts to get that bulova going.

                                Bob Tascione

                                  Hey C_Kelly,
                                  Really sorry about the hairspring but the part about the bird landing on your head…now that’s funny!
                                  Will have to put that on the “things to avoid having around the shop” list.

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