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Author Topic: Sticking Cheap Pocket Watch  (Read 8313 times)
Llrael
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« on: June 13, 2009, 03:28:25 pm »

Ok, my friend got me a pocket watch for my birthday. It's anime merchandise from eBay, so it's as cheap as an extremely cheap thing, and the second hand sticks. It's an intermittent problem; at the mo, it's been running for about 15 minutes without sticking. As it was a gift, and it's also a very nice watch on the outside, I'm inclined to try to fight for it. What I want to know is whether the fight is in vain. It's battery-powered, but we've checked the electrical side of things and that seems fine. Is a bit of WD40 on the hands likely to improve matters, or am I better off gutting it and using it as a necklace?
I appreciate any help you can give me.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2009, 03:30:13 pm by Llrael » Logged

"I asked Mr Lacey if he'd let me work his lovely machine. He hit me with a spanner."
HAC
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HAC_N800
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2009, 04:27:28 pm »

One major point.
  - WD40  is NOT a lubricant. its a water displacer and contact cleaner. It will do more harm than good on a watch.
Seeing as you say its a cheap quarzt movemt, I suspect that its one of three possible problems..
   - a bad impulse motor
   - a damaged or dirty drive wheel (most likely the third wheel)
   - dirty or damaged/improperly installed cannon pinion
   - if your're really lucky, you may simply need a fresh battery.

Those type of movements were not designed for repair, rather you get a new watch. (or IF you can find a suitale movement, you replace it.

Cheers
Harold
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Llrael
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In it for the lulz.


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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2009, 04:46:40 pm »

Really? I didn't know that. I've only ever heard it mentioned as a lubricant (and I come from a family of engineers). Well, you learn something every day! Cheesy
Well, it's been running now for over an hour after having had the hands spun round several times, which is probably good enough, given that I've survived the last year without a watch at all. Still, thanks for your reply, I'll bear that in mind if it gives me trouble again!
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clockdug
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2009, 06:44:38 pm »

I'll elaborate on the WD40 issue a bit.  While WD40 does have some lubricant qualities, it is ENTIRELY wrong for horological uses.  Clocks and watches need lubricants that are stable for long periods of time.  WD40 may get things unstuck for a short period but will quickly dry out and become a gummy paste.  For many clock repair issues the cause is friction caused by abraded metal in pivot holes....and a gummy paste filled with abraded metal is a great way to grind off MORE metal.  Therefore WD40 may get a stuck clock movement working temporarily, but it causes clocks and watches to damage themselves in so doing.

And another nice little present: Harold is absolutely correct that WD40 is a water displacer.  The cleaning solutions that most pro watch and clock repairmen use in their ultrasonic cleaners are water based.  Drop a movement soaked in WD40 into the cleaner and you get to replace all of your pricey cleaning solution.  A lot of repair people claim they raise the repair estimate a LOT if they even smell WD40 due to expected damage to the movement and the PITA of cleaning.
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Llrael
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2009, 09:25:07 am »

Ah, I see. That makes sense. Thanks for the info! I'll store that in my "potentially useful and interesting information" pile, next to square lashing and differential geometry. Cheesy
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Lord.Escher
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2009, 10:40:44 am »

Would powdered graphite be suitable for a mechanical watch? That's a dry lubricant that doesn't gum up... it's often used for locks.
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rogue_designer
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clockwork gypsy


« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2009, 04:07:16 am »

Would powdered graphite be suitable for a mechanical watch? That's a dry lubricant that doesn't gum up... it's often used for locks.

No.

The tolerances are very tight within a watch. Not only could the powder travel to where it is not wanted. But it can actually cause binding.
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HAC
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2009, 05:32:11 am »

Watch oils are very specific to type and use, and in some cases, to individual movements (i.e. a movement manufacturer can specify what lubricants to use)
As an example, here are some lubrcation charts for the 3055 and 3035 Rolex calibres.. The "Lubrifar" mentioned is a mixture of oil and molybdenum bisulfide.





Cheers
Harold
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Gunny001
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2009, 01:42:51 pm »

One major point.
  - WD40  is NOT a lubricant....

It is truly amazing how often I have had to make that self-same point to many people over the years. I usually simply resort to pointing out the product's name - which, of course, stands for 'Water Displacement Formula #40'...
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airship_pilot
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WWW
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2009, 07:31:40 pm »

I worked for some time at a bicycle shop and was suprised at the number of people messing up gears with that garbage when true lube like T-9 of Tri-flow works so much better at the same retail price.
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MechanicalMouse
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2009, 07:44:03 pm »

Really glad I've read this thread. I've been misusing WD40 for years.

There should be some kind of public service anouncement made.
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Burr
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My bark is worse then my bite


« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2009, 05:01:26 am »

Really glad I've read this thread. I've been misusing WD40 for years.

There should be some kind of public service anouncement made.

Certainly for the purposes of people (considering) tinkering with such fine machinery if there are people daubing on those mechanisms. I suppose can get away with spraying WD40 on a lathe bed as it is a reasonably heavy machine, but in a fine watch is clearly not on. I was aware that there were oils for watches and clocks, although our resident experts have opened my eyes now to just how incredibly varied and complex these things can get. I've always admired the work of you folk. Truly impressive.

Has anyone ever tried silicone spray lube on them? I happened to have an unused can of it that I bought for the lathe and never got around to using. Tempting. Anyone willing to lend me an antique watch to try it?
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HAC
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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2009, 07:04:12 pm »

Silicone spray is not a good thing.. It will quite nicely gum up pallet jewels (which really require only the most miniscule bit of lube, correctly placed on the side of the jewel that bears on the escape wheel. I have seen a pocket watch that was silicone sprayed, it required a full dissasemble and clean (three times through the solvent wash!) to get it to the point where it could begin to be repaired (the pallet jewels had become detached, (they are held on to the fork with a very tiny bit of shellac))
  The amounts of lube used in a mechanical watch are very small. One uses a fine flexible needle to place the smallest amount of the correct lube, in the correct place. (the exception being the mainspring barrel, where one uses a fair bit more lube on the mainspring coils).

Cheers
Harold
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Burr
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My bark is worse then my bite


« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2009, 08:15:28 pm »

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

So clearly not for the rest of us ham-fisted types to go in with sprays or start rubbing with oil-soaked cloths or cotton buds. Probably best to practice this sort of thing on a cheap Chinese or old knackered watch before touching anything with sentimental or monetary value (presuming you don't just get a professional to do it).

How much does cleaning, oiling or servicing of a watch (pocket or wrist) cost? What about clocks?
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HAC
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HAC_N800
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2009, 08:21:44 pm »

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

So clearly not for the rest of us ham-fisted types to go in with sprays or start rubbing with oil-soaked cloths or cotton buds. Probably best to practice this sort of thing on a cheap Chinese or old knackered watch before touching anything with sentimental or monetary value (presuming you don't just get a professional to do it).

How much does cleaning, oiling or servicing of a watch (pocket or wrist) cost? What about clocks?

A COA (Cleaning, Oiling and Adjustment) usually starts around $100.00 and can vary depending on exactly how much work is needed. I have seen quotes for a simple clean and oil (where the watch movement is NOT dissasembled, but run through the cleaning machine intact with the last cycle being a "lubrication cycle" ( the cycles being solvent, and something like L&R Solo Lube solution) instead of the final rinse/drying solution) running under $75.00 Normally a watch is dissasembled, the parts run through the cleaning machine, and then re-assembled, and oiled by hadn..

Cheers
Harold
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