Stem and Sleeve Problem

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  • #48108
    byjwr1
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 13
    • Total Posts: 34

    Hello Bob and Fellow Members

    I am currently in the process of restoring an Elgin size 18, 7 jewel, grade73, 1889 vintage pocket watch with stem wind
    and time set. The movement serial number is 3969324. I dis-assembled, cleaned and oiled and re-assembled this watch
    and It is now in good running condition.

    My problem is with the sleeve and stem assembly! When I install the movement in the case, with the stem in the wind
    or time set position, the hands turn. I did view Bob’s training video on this subject, but, the winding system is different
    than on the video. I do have a sleeve wrench and I tried adjusting the sleeve, but, It did not correct the problem.To make this more complicated, when the movement is removed from the case, I can make the stem wind the main spring or set the time.

    I would appreciate receiving your input/help or tips that might help correct the problem!

    Thank You

    BYJWR1

    #50844
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    Hi BYJWR1,
    If you haven’t already tried the following you may find it helpful in diagnosing the problem. Case the movement again without the dial and try viewing the winding/setting mechanism in action to see if something is catching or dragging. If everything looks good and you’ve tried moving the case sleeve down towards the movement but it still won’t move into winding mode then your problem my be with your crown hitting the pendant too soon. This will keep it from activating winding. If it’s possible to lower the sleeve more but when you do the stem won’t move down far enough to click into place then this may well be the problem.
    Another way to check would be to remove the crown and activate the stem with a pin vise with the movement in the case and dial in place. I prefer viewing everything in action though. Your choice.
    That would probably be the first thing I would check.
    Hope this helps BYJWR1…please let us know what happens and we can go from there if necessary.

    Bob

    #50845
    byjwr1
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 13
    • Total Posts: 34

    Hello Bob,

    Thanks for the tips! I rechecked and I believe the problem is with the crown hitting the pendant too soon and not
    allowing the stem to actvate the (main spring) winding. I can move the sleeve down a little more, but, the stem
    wont move down far enough to click in place. I tried activating the stem with a pin vise, unfortunately, the pin
    vises that I have are not small enough in diameter to allow it to move into the pendant.

    I beleive the stem is not long enough to actavate the wind. Are there any other adjustments that can be
    made with out trying to find a longer stem? Please let me know!

    Thanks Again

    BYJWR1

    #50846
    byjwr1
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 13
    • Total Posts: 34

    Hello Bob and Fellow Members

    Bob, thanks again for your reply on Thursday, Oct., 13th! Also, Please note my reply back to you on Oct.,13th.
    Please let me if the only answer to my stem problem is to try and find a longer stem that will fit the sleeve.
    If so, can you recommend a good supply source?

    I am also wondering how this PW Watch ended up with a stem that is too short. Perhaps (1889 vintage) in the last
    112 years someone needed a longer stem and swooped it out.

    I will appreciate any input that you can give me on the above!

    Thank You

    BYJWR

    #50847
    wingman
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 34
    • Total Posts: 91

    I am currently overhauling the exact same Elgin watch, only 1894. My watch is working pretty well in that area. Would it help you if I took measurements of my watch stem?

    Steve

    #50848
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    Hi BYJWR,
    Sorry, I didn’t realize you had responded to my last post.
    It’s possible that the stem was broken or lost over the years and replaced with a new one. It’s also possible that the crown was replaced. You may want to check to see if there is anything like a burr or other material built up on the crown where it makes contact with the pendant. If necessary material from the underside of the crown can usually be removed to allow more travel. This is commonly done in a lathe and is best performed with the help of a crown chuck, which is just a chuck that fits the shape of the crown and aids in truing and clamping without marring or damaging it. Before doing this repair though you may want to check that the movement fits tightly in it’s case. If there is a little extra room then it may be pushed away from the pendant enough to prevent the stem from reaching far enough into the movement to activate winding.
    If you need to buy a new stem for an old pocket watch they can still be ordered from some supply houses such as Ofrei. Ordering stems for older pocket watches can be a little tricky but you may find this page http://www.ofrei.com/page398.html with photos for particular watch cases helpful in identifying what you need.
    If your stem appears to be correct when compared to the photos but has just been cut too short for your crown then you can order the same as what you have and cut the length down to whatever length is needed. If it’s clearly the wrong stem for your case then Steves offer in his post may be of help when ordering.
    Hope this is helpful BYJWR!
    Bob

    #50849
    byjwr1
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 13
    • Total Posts: 34

    Hello Bob and Steve,

    Thanks for your replies! Steve, I appreciate your offer and I would like to have the stem measurements of the
    watch that you are overhauling!

    THANKS AGAIN

    John

    BYJWR1

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