Waltham Pocket watch

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  • #48003
    townhallclock1947
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 8
    • Total Posts: 16

    A few months ago, soon after joining Bobs Course I purchased this Waltham watch the case is very worn but the glass is good. The Idea was to use it as a practice piece,But after looking at it for a few days and seeing that it kept very good time I soon realised that this should be kept until I felt sure enough to tackle it. Sory to ramble on I will now get to the point, Inside it says Providence guaranteed 20 years, No. 1154264. Can anyone tell me any history about these wonderful watches . Looking forward to reading replys. Happy Christmas and New year to all. Clive in Cornwall UK.

    #50391
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    Hi Clive,
    If possible can you post the movement serial number.
    I believe your case was made by Providence Watch Case company in Providence, RI.
    Guaranteed 20 years means that it is gold filled (a base metal sandwiched between two thin sheet of gold).
    I can go on and prove to you how little I actually know about cases or I can send you to a couple of sites where they know what they’re talking about.
    Here’s a great article at NAWCC on case materials and companies with some links to photos etc.
    http://mb.nawcc.org/showwiki.php?title=Case+Material

    Doug Stewart has some good info on case companies and different American watch companies at:
    http://www.pocketwatchrepair.com Just hover your cursor over the menu that says “Watch Information” and look at the drop down menu for cases and companies etc.

    Have fun Clive!
    Bob

    #50392
    clam71
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 8
    • Total Posts: 83

    Hi all (& Bob), My 1st post here. Tips and questions. Got some cerium powder (glass polish) on ebay. GREAT for polishing glass and metal.
    Also bought (ebay) a stereo microscope . Doma model 210. 20X power. Perfect ! Astounding optics for a $70 student thing ! Built-in LED sux though.
    Also have an ultrasonic cleaner on the way. We’ll see how well it works. I dis assembled a parts watch (ebay again) A waltham size 12 movement.
    Cleaned it up as best I could. Staff is intact ! It’s SO COOL to actually SEE the jewels !!! I’m happy with my cleaning and now will attempt to re-assemble
    it. Question… Is mineral oil thin and durable enough to lube the staff and pallet fork mech ? If not, then ??? Anything “off the shelf” ?
    Tip…Somewhere in my kitchen is a part of the mainspring assembly. It went sailing as I took it apart. Next time I’ll sourround it with a plastic bag !!!
    I can hear Bob chuckling…My first beer making attempt was similar.. Watch the pot just before the wort boils. It blew up all over the place ! Sticky mess !
    Also, I’ve found that a thin copper wire with a tiny hook bent to it’s end is perfect for moving those very small parts without damaging them.
    I’m diabetic with the shaky hands. It’s tough to handle tiny delicate stuff ! Any tool I can invent to help…..
    To all here, God bless and happy holidays !

    #50393
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1559

    A happy new year to you too clam71!

    Stereo microscopes a great. I wasn’t aware you could pick them up at that price. I’ll check that one out.

    As for the parts flying all over the place I’m still giving serious thought to setting my tools up and working on the floor and using the bench for catching my parts! Might be easier. Maybe having good, flexible knees for crawling around on all fours should be on the requirements list for becoming a good watchmaker…along with lot’s of patience. I should include that recommendation in the course!

    I’m not sure about mineral oil being thin enough or not and actually know zero about it but I do highly recommend using oil made for watches. Watch oil is made “not to run” all over the movement. It tends to stay in place. Maybe others here have had some experience with mineral oil…I’ve never tried it but my guess is that it’s probably not suitable for watches.

    Enjoy the new year Clam71 and thanks for being up here,
    Bob

    #50394
    stevefitzwater
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 48
    • Total Posts: 385

    Waltham Watches- these are what I am focusing on, slowly I have be accumlating the tools and parts to start repairing and building a collection. No plans on selling any of my “projects” just truely enjoy the history and workmanship that goes into these older watches. Right now I have a few 1890’s and about 30 early 1900’s pickups off ebay. They are simply pieces of art that keep time.

    Mineral Oil is organic and tends to go rancid and sticky as it dries, so I would stay away from it.

    Soon I will be putting up a website with information on Waltham watches, http://www.walthamwatchinfo.com the only intent is to provide “Free” information, I have purchased several archival docments on Waltham Watches, and I am still looking for more as I want to provide a one stop location for service and parts information for Waltham Watches.

    #50395
    stevefitzwater
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 48
    • Total Posts: 385

    Well I disagree that good eyes are required, I have terrible eye sight and with the aid of a digital Camcorder mounted above my work surface, I use my monitor to aid my weak eyes.

    As far as peices flying off… >sigh<.. I am open to any solutions, my practice right now is to cover the item with stretch wrap, I can see through it and it catches everything that "takes off" on its own. I only use it when I am setting "spring loaded" peices, like the stem set spring on a 0/3 Waltham Ruby movement. Chased it around the room several times before I came up with this solution.

    #50396
    clam71
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 8
    • Total Posts: 83

    Thanks tor the tips, folks. Gotta locate some watch oil.
    The stereo microscope is awesome for the price.


    #50397
    clam71
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 8
    • Total Posts: 83

    The above pic shows wear on the escapement wheel pivot hole that would be impossible to see with the naked eye.
    It looks awesome in stereo-vision ! My old Sony Mavica MVC-FD200 can take pics through the eyepiece !
    20X magnification. Just right.

    #50398
    clam71
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 8
    • Total Posts: 83

    Just grasshopper here. Concerning oiling watches. A while ago I mentioned that I was using mineral oil
    to lube these old pocketwatch movements. I read here, somewhere, that it oxidizes and goes rancid.
    Point taken. Don’t know about the long time stability of mineral oil but It’s not a permanent fix.
    It got my new ebay Riverside to work temporarily so I could evaluate running issues before cleaning.
    But it’s viscous ! Heating up the movement with a hair dryer made a big difference in balance swing !
    So.. bought watch oil (ebay). Getting to realize that proper procedures, time-tested, can’t be fiddled with.
    6539938 16 size Riverside is happily ticking after so many years of neglect and abuse !
    1893 ! How something SO fragile could survive for that long is one of the things why I delve into this hobby.
    The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know !

    #50399
    clam71
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 8
    • Total Posts: 83

    On Dec 28 2010 I mentioned a part flying off the mainspring assembly as I took it apart.
    It was the mainspring drum. I found it tonight on the livingroom rug ! I wish it could talk !
    It would have to have sailed like a frisbee to end up where it was.. It’s intact and undamaged.
    Lucky me….

    #50400
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Bob and Company,
    I purchased a Waltham pocket watch movement from Ebay. It is marked AMERICAN WALTHAM U.S.A. TRAVELER and the serial number is 1365725. The movement runs but the center hand (it only had the hour hand) would not move. I first suspected that the canon pinion gear sleeve wasn’t tight enough so I tightened it up a bit with the staking set. I gauged the depth of the dent by inserting a small drill bit into the sleeve that was a couple of thousandths of an inch smaller than the canon pinion. When I reassembled the the mechanism the fit felt perfect. Unfortunately, the hand still would not move but the rest of the mechanism seemed to be running just fine. My next suspision was that the canon gear was pressed down too far into the pilar plate so I removed it and re-pressed it; this time using a plastic dial protector as a shim to space the bottom of the gear away from the plate. I removed the shim after pressing the canon assembly back in, replaced the other gears, and it still didn’t work. To rule out the center wheel arbor as a problem I removed the gears again, made an imitation hand by cutting a strip out of a sticky note, folded it down the middle, cut a point on one end, and pierced a hole into the “hand” with a needle. I pressed the paper “hand” onto the center wheel arbor and set the movement aside. The paper hand moved just like it was supposed to so I removed it and reassembled the mechanism. Again It would not work.
    I removed the assembly again and looked at the mechanism from the edge. I then noticed a gear that was hidden from the plan view with a steel washer that had a screw in the middle. I removed the screw, washer and gear, and again reassembled the other parts. This time the hand moved like it is supposed to. The gear is the idler gear that connects the castle gear to the setting and speed reduction gears. The castle and clutch gears slide up and down on a square stem but the unit is spring loaded and the spring keeps the unit locked into the setting mode instead of the winding mode. This is what prevented the hand from moving. Since the center wheel arbor was spinning around in the canon sleeve when the watch was running, the canon sleeve was worn and required repinging with the staking set. This however was a symptom and not the underlying problem.
    I have now isolated the problem but I do not know how to correct it. Any ideas?
    David

    #50401
    clam71
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 8
    • Total Posts: 83

    Size ? Tempted to think it was a case/crown adjustment. But the paper hand works.
    No option to cancel reply here so I ramble. Sounds like you have expertise and a lot of
    really neat tools ! Usually isolating the problem is a is 90% of the ordeal.
    Wish I could help ! Your movement dates to 1879 ? WOW !!
    I have a 16S Traveler # 18951477- vintage 1814. Super clean !
    Needs minor tweeking and needs a case equal to it’s remarkable condition.
    Post some pics of the problem area. I’m sure someone here could be helpful.
    Good luck !

    #50402
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Update on Waltham pocket watch,
    I watched the crown and stem video which explained the reverse stem configuration. I looked around the watch movement for the lever and could not find it. I then examined the square stem hole and next to it was a an indentation with a small thin metal tip protruding from the bottom of the indentation. I pulled the metal tip out with a pair of tweezers and it unlocked the crown gear. Problem solved, the hand now moves normally.
    David

    #50403
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Clam71,
    Thanks for the reply. Ebay has a lot of low cost staking sets for sale. You can usually pick up a set with rusted stakes for a very low cost. The set does not have to be a K&D Inverto to work well. Any american made staking set is good but the G-F stakes are made from a slightly larger size of drill rod (3/16) and will not fit in the K&D or Marshal presses. Rust can be cleaned off by turning the stakes in a small lathe with Scotch Brite and motot oil. This will not change the diameter of the stakes. Inox (Viola) tweezers are excellent and cost far less than Dumont. You will still need Dumont #5 tweezers but almost every other job can be done with less expensive tweezers. A nine piece set of Bergeon watchmaker screwdrivers with rotary stand can be purchased for about $90.00 off of Ebay from Lancaster tool supply. A less expensive set can be made to work well if you replace the cheap slot head screws with tiny set screws. This set can be purchased from Finding King for less than $30.00. Instead of spending a lot of money on expensive loupes I use 3.75X drugstore reading glasses and a $150.00 Chinese binocular microscope (Amscope). This workes far better than any loupe I ever tried. Bausch & Lomb loupes are excellent and cost far less than Swiss designer label loupes. High power loupes (over 10X) are virtually useless anyway and you are much better off using a microscope.
    You can have nice tools if you don’t fall into the trap of buying designer label items. Instead buy tools that are suitable to do the job.
    David

    #50404
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Clam71,
    I just read your other posts and you are way ahead of the curve. If you want to see some really nice tools go to YouTube and view the Steffen Pahlow videos. He makes any watch part that can be made (including the case) and has a shop full of Lorch lathes. I would be afraid to guess how much it would cost to outfit a shop equal to his.
    David

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