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Author Topic: I fixed my mom's (Mom's dad's actually) pocket watch but....  (Read 1518 times)
Lugeria Burnette
Deck Hand
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United States United States


« on: January 19, 2010, 04:41:20 pm »

Alright, my parents were in a car accident (Mom's alright, dad is still in hospital) and this lovely pocket watch was left in the cold and wet for three weeks in the crashed car...

I got it out yesterday and repaired it (by magic, I have no idea what I am actually doing.) It keeps time when wound and it does so brilliantly... but it keeps getting unwound really fast...

It's a Waltham... How many times do I need to wind it and how often? I am going to return it to her (and maybe get the honor of carrying it, seeing as they were keeping it in the trunk of a car) but I want to make sure it is being properly taken care of. It's a lovely little watch. I did six turns yesterday night at 12 PM and it seems to have stopped around 1:30. Is that normal?

(I count a turn as as far as my finger and thumb can go... It's probably more like 90 degree turns, definately not 360 turns... There are little bars that stop me from doing full turns... I can get a picture of it if I need)

I just did 24 (quarter)turns with the pin up and that is as far as it will easily go... I know not to force it... Well, anyone else that knows... I would appreciate some help ASAPI.  have to leave to go to the hospital and see my dad soon... I should be able to check a bit from there
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Finnlock
Officer
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United States United States


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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2010, 08:05:27 pm »

Hello Lugeria,

 With most manual wind mechanical watches you need to wind them till you can not wind them any farther. depending on which model it is it can very a good deal, but from your description this can be any where between 30 and 40 winds for a simple time only pocket watch.
This is the point where the mainspring ( which supplies the power) is fully wound and in most american pocket watches
should run for 32-38 hours of accurate time keeping, it will run longer be not well. This means you must wind the pocket watch once (1) per day. It's best to set a time for this, either when you get up, or before you go to bed.

One thing to be aware of, as you wind a watch like this, it is common for the winding to become harder as the resistance is building on the mainspring, you should wind till you feel a "stop" this is the point where the crown no longer turns. This can be scary to find for some people as they are affraid to break something, so go slowly untill you find it.

 I hope this helps, if you need any help or have any questions, I'll gladly do my best.

Finnlock

p.s. I'm a watchmaker IRL Smiley
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dman762000
Zeppelin Admiral
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United States United States


Captain of the pirate Airship Aurelia


« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2010, 12:05:09 am »

If it has been wet it would probably be a good idea to find a watchsmith and have them give it a good clean and oil. Regular oil that you might have will not work as watch oil is a special blend. The clean and oil will remove any remnants of moisture from the watch and any rust that may have begun to corrode the parts. This is especially important for the mainspring and any other springs in it as they are commonly made from a spring steel which will rust to no end and will cause the springs to break very easily. Time is of the utmost importance as the springs are very thin and can rust through in a matter of days at the most.
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Lugeria Burnette
Deck Hand
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United States United States


« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2010, 06:57:28 am »

No, nothing inside was wet, I opened it up. Just the face was damp and the glass. I air dried it. I couldn't afford to take it anywhere even if I had to... I would love to get it a check up but I haven't even taken myself to a doctor in 4 years. Haha.

According to your description though, if it were going to rust, it would have done so already... It was in the open car trunk for 3 weeks... and in the trunk longer than that. It's running well... It seems to get off time by about 15 seconds every ten hours... I've been watching it. It's been running all day and is off by about thirty seconds.

Thank you both, if either of you have any more suggestions for it's general upkeep (that doesn't cost much as I have nothing (Literally zero)) I would be delighted.
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Abslomrob
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Canada Canada



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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2010, 03:50:00 am »

Not to scare you, but if the watch has been exposed to moisture and humidity, you need to stop winding it and put it aside until you or someone else has the resources to have it properly serviced.  The reason is that you have a bunch of tiny pins (smaller then a sewing needle) that rotate in brass or crystal bushings at up to (or over) 100rpm.  The only thing that keeps the pin from being worn completely off is the tiny drop of high-quality watch oil in the bushings, and if that oil leaks away (which is likely if the watch was exposed to moisture) or gets any kind of dirt or rust particle in it, it's like rubbing sandpaper on the pin. At 100rpm.  It won't last long.
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agent036
Gunner
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United States United States



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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2010, 04:01:20 pm »

p.s. I'm a watchmaker IRL Smiley

I tip my hat to a fellow horologist.
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