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Fixing a cheap fob watch?

 
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I have a pocket watch that keeps poor time.  

It ticks for a while, then stops.  It never stops at the same place (or same place relative to the other hands) so I think it's something wrong inside, not with the hands being bent.  It's also been getting worse.  It used to go fine for hours before losing time.  But now it won't go a whole minute without stopping.  

It's a cheap thing I got off Etsy 10 years ago, but I like the case a lot.  So I want to take it apart and see if I can poke it or replace the inside.  I would also like to replace the face if I can.

The important thing to note is that it is manual - wind up - no battery.  I can't wear a battery watch.  

What do I do to fix it?
 
r ranson
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If I can get it open, I also need to change it so that the 12 isn't at the rose.  It should be 90 degrees to it for ease of reading.

 
r ranson
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ops.  I bent the hands trying to get it out of the case.

But I found a huge family of dust bunnies inside the case.  
 
r ranson
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I got it out of the case, rebent the hands so they cannot touch eachother.  

Cleaned the bunnies and dust out of the works with an air blower for a camera.  I added an extremely small bit of oil to the pivot points of the places that are sluggish.  They seem to be doing much better.

Here comes the problem - vocabulary.  I don't have it.

There is a round thing that goes back and forth acting like a pendulum.  It has an independent spring to make it go back and forth more.  Connected to that is what I'm calling a governor.  This is a thing with two arms that pivots at a point.  This job is to slow down the wheel that is connected to the mainspring so that the doesn't unwind at once.  It unwinds at a predictable pace of X amount per one second.  That wheel that is connected to the mainspring has lots of fingers and the place where the governor touches those fingers has some sort of resin on it.

When it stops, one of the arms (the one I can't get to easily) isn't touching the fingers where it should.  It's always the same arm of the governor.  But it's not always the same finger of the wheel.  

I'm a bit stumped on how to fix this.  
 
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Seems like I remember dear hubby tinkering with some old watches.  I hope you don't mind if I pop in with some Youtube help:

I don't know anything about these as I have not watched them. Though I hope they will help you.

This one says: Enroll in the free watch repair basics course:  https://www.ticktockpro.com/free2.htm










 
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r ranson wrote:Here comes the problem - vocabulary.  I don't have it.


I studied a little bit of watchmaking, not enough to be an expert but I can help a little.  What you're describing is the escapement mechanism, and you described its function perfectly, it allows the mainspring's stored power to escape a little at a time (once per second if it's working perfectly!) instead of all at once.  Does it look something like this?



r ranson wrote:There is a round thing that goes back and forth acting like a pendulum.  It has an independent spring to make it go back and forth more.  


This is the balance wheel and hairspring.  Hairsprings, if faulty, are a pain to fix, they behave so unruly.  Let's hope that's not the problem!

r ranson wrote:Connected to that is what I'm calling a governor.  This is a thing with two arms that pivots at a point.  That wheel that is connected to the mainspring has lots of fingers and the place where the governor touches those fingers has some sort of resin on it.


I think this is the pallet fork, and that resin (I think it's a jewel, just like the pivot points) is there by design, it doesn't wear like metal would.  

r ranson wrote:When it stops, one of the arms (the one I can't get to easily) isn't touching the fingers where it should.  It's always the same arm of the governor.  But it's not always the same finger of the wheel.


Unfortunately I'm of little use to address this without visually inspecting it myself, and even then there's no promises.  It sounds like the pallet fork isn't properly moving in one direction, so it may be out of alignment.  

Hope that helps!
 
r ranson
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Yes.  That is exactly what I'm trying to describe.

It stops when the fork touches ... see blue circle in picture below.

The finger on the escape wheel and the pallet fork on that side don't seem to be on the same... plane?  plain?  lined up correctly, so it jams on the back of the red thing.  
123.JPG
[Thumbnail for 123.JPG]
 
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r ranson wrote:The finger on the escape wheel and the pallet fork on that side don't seem to be on the same... plane?  plain?  lined up correctly, so it jams on the back of the red thing.  



Yeah, you were descriptive enough for me to guess that it was out of alignment, i.e. not in the same plane.  Common culprits are the pivot points and the installation of the pinions (the ends of the shaft) in them.  They can be dirty or worn, but there can also be any number of bizarre faults- experienced watchmakers still occasionally see faults they've never seen before.  

Unfortunately that's about as much as I can help, on account of my distance and inexperience.  Best of luck on your project.  I'll keep an eye on the thread if you have anything more to report.
 
r ranson
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The next step is to find out if it is possible to buy new watch guts (for less than a new fob watch).

I've been looking at new fob watches but they all have the 12 at the "top" or near the (set the time and wind it up knob).  But when I take my watch out of my pocket and open it, I hold it so that the 9-o'clock is at the top.  If you look at antique fob watches, about half of them are that way up.  

I also haven't found a case that I like as much as this one yet.

So what's the word I can whisper to google to find "manual, I wind every day, no batteries, watch guts that work"?  
 
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r ranson wrote:The next step is to find out if it is possible to buy new watch guts (for less than a new fob watch).

I've been looking at new fob watches but they all have the 12 at the "top" or near the (set the time and wind it up knob).  But when I take my watch out of my pocket and open it, I hold it so that the 9-o'clock is at the top.  If you look at antique fob watches, about half of them are that way up.  

I also haven't found a case that I like as much as this one yet.

So what's the word I can whisper to google to find "manual, I wind every day, no batteries, watch guts that work"?  



You're looking for a manual movement.  The three types of movements are manual, automatic, and quartz.  Manual movements are the rarest nowadays.  Automatic timepieces have a free-spinning weight that winds the mainspring as it's being moved or carried.  Quartz timepieces are battery powered.  Also important to understand: manual and automatic are both "mechanical", the only difference is how they're wound.  So if it says "mechanical", you need to dig deeper, because odds are it's probably automatic.  You can also search for "hand wind", some websites market manual movements that way.

I don't know the best places to look for pocket watches, but you'll always find old watches on eBay.
 
r ranson
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As much as I love this watch, I'm going to admit defeat... for now.  

It's going in my bedside drawer.

I love the case and it was a great deal of fun taking it apart and seeing how it ticks.  I'm pretty certain it needs new guts and I'm not finding anything in my price range (either guts or a new watch) so I'm going to put it aside for an unknown future moment when the solution presents itself.  

Thanks everyone for your help with this.  
 
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Interesting that you cannot wear an electric watch. Mine drove me crazy with itching skin under the watch. I’ve discovered that I’m hypersensitive to Electromagnetic frequencies/fields. These emanate from all manner of modern things... cell phones, portable phones (very bad) clock radios, cars etc.. My story Is too long to relate here. The EMF’s were inflicting so much pain in body - random pains - Thankfully, between my homeopath and I we were able to figure out what was wrong, and she has been providing me with a remedy that makes my immune system more able to withstand this electrical onslaught , which is only going to get worse with the installation of 5G networks. This is a crime against humanity and all life on earth. Bees won’t return to a hive if a portable phone is left there.

For the uninitiated in homeopathy, it is not to be confused with naturopathy. VERY different protocols. I found a good one and she has been alive saver for me. I started seeing her a decade ago when I was an unhealthy trainwreck. Now at 76, I’m active  and no longer require any meds.
 
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