Saturday, December 10, 2011

Walp, I broke one


I got to work on my second Unloved Watch today, and it did not go as planned. Perhaps I got cocky from the great success I had with my first one.

This one is a real working man's watch from the 1950's or, perhaps, 1960's. Rather handsome stainless-steel case, AS 1130 "Wehrmachtswerk" movement with sub-seconds, relatively plain dial and hands. Some oxidation on the hands, and someone else had been practicing on the movement because it was pretty scratched up. It did run, however.

Disassembly was easy, a bit easier even than the Citizen since it's a bit bigger. The order was different than on the Citizen, though; the mainspring wheel came off first, the train bridge second, the barrel bridge and mainspring barrel next. On the other hand, the antishock was Incabloc, which was a good deal easier to deal with than the one on the Citizen, and there weren't any redundant cap jewels.

Curious detail: the pallet jewels were clear rather than the usual pink.

Cleaning and oiling went just as with the Citizen. I managed to open the mainspring barrel on this one, and dropped a couple of very small drops of Microgliss there, before reassembling. The movement was pretty dirty; had to use Rodico a lot to get stains out.

Then I assembled it. The clutch wheel assembly gave me a bit of grief, as the stem is sandwiched between the barrel bridge and the pillar plate, and it was a bit tricky to get everything to stay put. Nowhere near as hard as the date jumper spring on the Citizen though. Eventually everything was back in.

It didn't run.

I looked at it again, and discovered that the escapement wheel wasn't properly seated. Disassemble and try to get it seated. It won't go. Examine under a loupe.

Blast it.

Turns out I had broken the pivot on it somewhere along the line, presumably during reassembly. It's also conceivable that it was somewhat damaged to start with and I just finished it off; as stated, the movement looked a bit dinged-up and scratched. In any case, that staff is kaputt.

It was a learning experience though, and fortunately the movement is a pretty common one. I figure I'll come across a broken one sooner or later, and can grab the escapement wheel from that.

Live and learn, as they say. And back to the drawing board.


  1. I know that disheartened feeling well! I also know that you won't let it keep you down - so I will offer you congratulations instead of condolences! :) Being a pocket watch guy I rarely make use of my wristwatch parts stash, so if I happen to have a spare then it is all yours (I'll message you on GH). Regarding the pallet stones, that is fairly common. You probably already know that both ruby and sapphire are used in watch movements and also that they are both actually corundum. Trace amounts of minerals cause the different colors, and any color other than red/pink is considered sapphire. You will also come across hole jewels from time to time that are clear sapphire rather than red or pink ruby.

  2. Nah, I'm not too bummed about it. I was expecting to break something sooner rather than later. I figure that breaking things sort of comes with the territory, like losing things and not being able to fix things like you expected. So in a way I'm relieved to have gotten my first breaking-something experience over with. And I'll be more careful next time.

    And yep, I did know about ruby and corundum; I understand that the only reason they use ruby rather than sapphire is that they're prettier and, perhaps, a bit easier to see.

    Thank you very much for offering to send me a replacement if you have one. I truly appreciate it.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.