Taking apart my first pocket watch

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  • #49557
    gary drainville
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 5
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    So I have taken apart my first pocket watch – a Waltham Equity 16 size 7 jewel. I also have an Elgin 18 size 7 jewel that I’m going to hold off doing anything with for now. I followed the video to disassemble the Waltham and although it isn’t the same watch as in the video I think I did fairly well. The only wall I hit was unwinding the watch without a let down key, so I put the movement back into the case and unwound the watch that way. The trick now is to put it all together and have it running again. I’ll worry about cleaning, etc., later on after I’ve taken the watch apart a few times.

    Gary

    #62559
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    Good thinking Gary!
    Keep us posted and good luck with the assembly,
    Bob

    #62560
    stevefitzwater
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 48
    • Total Posts: 385

    Gary, until I picked up one, I used one of the screwdrivers from my set that fit cross way into the opening, it was not perfect, but I controlled the release of the energy,.

    #62561
    gary drainville
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 5
    • Total Posts: 29

    Hi Steve, I tried that but I couldn’t get it to click – it appeared that it wasn’t engaging anything in there (sorry about my terminology) but the square that the stem fit into was just turning but not doing anything. Maybe I wasn’t applying enough pressure?

    Gary

    #62562
    bernie weishapl
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 58
    • Total Posts: 1218

    Great job. You are on your way.

    #62563
    gary drainville
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 5
    • Total Posts: 29

    Thanks Bernie, I’m really enjoying this – very therapeutic!

    #62564
    stevefitzwater
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 48
    • Total Posts: 385

    Yeah if they are over wound, it can be a hard turn..

    but you found a way to make it work, sounds like your well on your way to getting addicted, just like the rest of us! It is funny, working on a watch seems to calm me also, not sure if it is the focus, or just the challenge of bringing a worn out and tired old watch back to life, but I find myself at my bench more and more, even if it is just tinkering with some of the old parts movements, looking for parts and finding that special case to place a movement that was stripped out of its original case years ago… >sigh< I am waxing poetic like Chris..

    My first watch, I followed the Chicago School of watch makings lesson, and one of the points he makes is, do it over and over again, until you can do it in your sleep, I may not have done it in my sleep, but I was very comfortable breaking the watch down, cleaning it all together, the parts all became familiar, so I could pick through the pile and get what I needed, as opposed to separating them in groups.

    Once I got everything down on a normal watch, the only part that I really take notes on is the keyless works, they all seem to have their own version..

    Oh another tip on those keyless works.. pick up some of the larger ziplock bags (they have 2 gal and 5 gal), if the keyless has one of those retention springs, that like to fly, place the movement into the bag as far as possible and still be able to work on it and remove it inside the bag, that way if the spring “pings Off”, the bag will catch it and you do not have to crawl around on the floor for hours hunting it down!

    #62565
    gary drainville
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 5
    • Total Posts: 29

    I think I see the tension spring – a little triangular wire? I’ll remember using a ziplock bag, thanks for the tip! I’ve already had a part drop out of the movement, I’m thinking it was from the winder, and I was like “now where did you come from?”. I have a few books I’m working with: The Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking, The Pocket Watch by Christopher Barrow, Watch Repairing as a Hobby by D.W. Fletcher, Watch Repair for Beginners by Harold C. Kelly, and a really awesome guide that I thought would just be a list of watch prices that actually has a nice intro to movements, etc., called the Complete Price Guide to Watches issue No. 35 2015 by Engle, Gilbert, and Shugart. I saw a book on the Chicago School of Watchmaking, I might pick that up. So there are a few extra things I discovered I need, pegged, jewel pusher, let down key, ultrasonic cleaner, and I pin? to place oil on parts. Loving this!!

    Gary

    #62566
    maitai11
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 62
    • Total Posts: 428

    Hey Gary,

    I don’t remember introducing myself, so I’ll simply say welcome, and you’re well on your way :)

    Keep on keeping on – and Gary, regarding the fact that watches are all going to be different in one way or another, I once asked Bob Tascione, “Am I to understand that if I watch your video, then I can repair any watch???”

    “Yep,” he replied. All the basic elements are the same. All watches are similar.

    Good luck, and I’ll see you around.

    Best,

    Tim :)

    #62567
    gary drainville
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 5
    • Total Posts: 29

    Thanks Tim – I’ve been following a few of your posts and learning good things here and there, thanks. Well, I was up till the wee hours of the morning and low and behold I had what looked like a gear left over. lol I’m fairly sure I know where it goes – when I wind the watch the winder turns nicely but doesn’t engage with anything. Also, I very very tiny screw grew wings and flew up into the air but luckily landed on my lap. Lots of fun!

    Gary

    #62568
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Gary,
    Fear not, parts left over and missing parts are all part of the learning experience. It is always better to start with practice watches and make your mistakes on them. Like many other things it takes study and practice. As you do this more and more you learn what goes where, which parts fly across the room, and which parts break more easily than other parts. If you want to make an omlet, first you have to break some eggs.
    david

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gary drainvilleTaking apart my first pocket watch