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Author Topic: how do I set the time?  (Read 1497 times)
Otto Von Pifka
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goggles? they're here somewhere.....


« on: May 07, 2010, 07:49:20 am »

I inherited this key wind rockford (1880) from my dad, I can't find any levers or extra key shafts to set the time on it.





help me Harrold Kenobi, you're my only hope! Cheesy
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Abslomrob
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2010, 02:18:35 pm »

This is what's known as a "key set" watch.  That means that you use the winding key to set it.  If you look closely, you'll notice that there is a shallow square protrusion on the shaft that holds the minute and second hands; your winding key should fit over that and allow you to (gently!) turn the hands.  You're actually turning the minute gear directly, which in turn will drive the hour hand.  Ideally, you should do this when the watch isn't running, because you'll be putting a bit of energy into the main gear system, which can cause the balance wheel to overbank if you're turning it clockwise.
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All my vintages are at http://www.abslomrob.com
Otto Von Pifka
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


goggles? they're here somewhere.....


« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2010, 04:44:26 am »

thank you! now that you point it out it seems so obvious.

live and learn. Wink
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SPBrewer
Zeppelin Captain
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Sky Pirate Brewer


« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2010, 03:03:49 am »

What a beauty!  Once my PC gets back from the shop I'll share photos of mine.
Say,  Since some many of us have valuable pocket watches, perhaps we should start a database showing who owns which make and serial number watch.  Then, encase of theft or forgeries we will be better protected.  (I can't believe, as a Pirate, I'm saying this!) Smiley

                                                   The Sky Pirate
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The Sky Pirate
Captain of the "Queen Victoria's Revenge"

Abslomrob
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2010, 03:08:42 am »

Depending on the watch, you'll probably find that such databases already exist.  For american pocket watches especially, check out the NAWCC forums (http://mb.nawcc.org); there's a fair number of suprisingly extensive databases, and they're always interested in new info.
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watch_guy
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2010, 07:54:06 am »

Ideally, you should do this when the watch isn't running, because you'll be putting a bit of energy into the main gear system, which can cause the balance wheel to overbank if you're turning it clockwise.

It's no more a concern on a keywind than it is on a stem wind watch.

There's absolutely no harm in setting a keywind exactly as you would a stem wind-backwards or forwards, running or stopped, it makes no difference.
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Abslomrob
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2010, 12:44:04 pm »

The risk of knocking the banking pins is a real concern if you're setting the time forward on a fully-wound watch, and the chances of that disloding the impulse pin is greater on an older watch because the shellac is liable to be weaker.
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watch_guy
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2010, 02:43:25 am »

On a watch in good order with a good, strong balance action(280 degrees or so) and a tight canon pinion, perhaps this is a concern.

It's very unusual in my experience to have 130+ year old watch that's been sitting, not running and unserviced, for 50+ years that can get anywhere near 280 degrees. Most old, unserviced watches, in my experience, will 180 degrees at the most, and many even less than that. Even with a tight canon pinion, you're going to be hard pressed to get enough energy into the balance in a dirty watch for it to overbank. With a clean watch and fresh mainspring, as well as a tight canon pinion, you could perhaps get enough to overbank. The canon pinion shouldn't be that tight, though, and the watchmaker who serviced it should have fixed that.

If you want to set your keywinds not running, you're certainly not hurting anything. My experience with the 40+ freshly serviced and well running keywinds currently in my collection(representing all the major American manufacturers), and the others that have passed through my hands is that this just isn't an issue. And, yes, my keywinds do get wound, set, and worn regularly(I wear a keywind most days).
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Abslomrob
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2010, 04:24:38 am »

Oh I won't argue that it'd take a fairly rare situation to actually see damage from setting the time, but on a 100+ year old watch, it's a question of how much risk are you willing to accept?   

As for your other points, a watch that's been sitting unserviced for 50+ years shouldn't be run without a full service, period.  After that, assuming the pivots aren't scored, the jewels aren't cracked and the mainspring has been replaced with a suitable new one, the only thing that would prevent it from running as well as when it was new would be the hairspring damage.  Springs tend to become less springy over time, which tends to increase the amplitude.

The mainspring tends to be the real problem though.  If you're replacing it with an suitable NOS spring, you're probably fine, but even then, you're going to get a LOT more amplitude on a new fully wound spring then you will even after an hour or so of running.  And yes, the canon pinion shouldn't be too tight, but on old watches the problem tends to be that it's too loose, and the watchmaker has to tighten it.  One common "shortcut" for that is to insert a piece of bristle or hair to increase the tension.  Works a treat, but its not the most "reliable" method, and you'll find the tightness will vary (especially if the center pinion is a bit rough).
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watch_guy
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2010, 06:05:58 am »

I'm not going to disagree that a watch generally shouldn't be run without a full service.

With that said, any running watch that comes across my bench for service gets wound and put on the timing machine. This saves a lot of time(and a lot of repeated assembly/disassembly) by allowing me to spot problem areas to pay attention to while I have the watch apart. I can't imagine servicing a watch without a timing machine printout to have as guidance.

With all due respect, Rob, you only show one keywind on your website that you've serviced. My experience with multiple ones is that the canon pinion actually tends to be too tight rather than too loose. Keywind canon pinions are "touchy" to get right. Most of them(with the exception of "modern" keywinds like the Waltham '83) aren't "pinched". The "pinch", like most American PWs(with the exception of the 992B) have, tends to hold the tension correct even with a lot of wear. By contrast, the relatively straight sided KW canon pinions wear, and then watchmaker tighten them too tighly(which is very easy to do). On probably half of the KWs I service, I find that I actually have to broach the canon pinion to get an amount of tension I'm comfortable with. Only about 1 out of 15 needs to be tightened.

Even so, the tight ones on an unserviced watch aren't tight enough to cause overbanking. They probably would if the watch were freshly serviced, but, there again, a proper service should also include fixing a canon pinion that's too tight.
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