The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
October 19, 2017, 10:14:33 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Brassgoggles.co.uk - The Lighter Side Of Steampunk, follow @brasstech for forum technical problems & updates.
 
   Home   Blog Help Rules Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Dad's watches - is it possible to get them working?  (Read 4735 times)
Angelica Needle
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Navigator & Mechanic: RD Susurrus


« on: May 06, 2012, 07:27:55 pm »

A little while back, my Dad mentioned that he couldn't get his pocket watches repaired - one is his Dad's, and one his Grandfather's, and all the regular jewellery shops in his area have told him they're too old to do anything with - one needs a part that (he was told) they don't make any more. Neither go, and I can't seem to even move the hands on the older watch. Obviously they are of huge sentimental value, so I thought if anyone knows how he could get them fixed, it'll be someone on here!

His Grandfather's watch
I'm told it's a very expensive make although I can't see anything to indicate this, and Dad couldn't remember the name of the company - I have nudged him to let me know if he remembers. I would guess it's pre-WW2 and possibly pre-WW1 (his Dad was born in 1901)
Quite a lot of face markings, although you can't see them - the tape (masking!) is to hold the glass face on. Two small dials which seem to have lost their hands. Two little buttons on the top, one of which is labelled 'alarm'. It looks like the back opens, although the tape is across this & the glass will come off if I remove it.  
Case looks like steel - very dark silver colour - with gold or copper hinges/buttons.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

His Dad's watch
Ingersoll: the writing on the face says "Ingersoll Ltd. London. Triumph." A quick Google and they seem to be fairly common. This one is probably 40s-60s I would have thought. The seconds dial is slightly indented into the face.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I can provide more photos if that helps, just let me know what.
Any advice gratefully received, thanks ! Cheesy


« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 07:39:50 pm by Angelica Needle » Logged

The sound of the gentle rattle of china cup on china saucer drives away all demons, a little-known fact.
Terry Pratchett, Snuff
Lady Chrystal
Master Tinkerer
***
Wales Wales


Lady Adventurer, Chronicler


« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2012, 07:35:25 pm »

Have you consulted a watch repair specialist? Most jewellers would be unable to do the necessary restorative work, but a specialist might be able to try.

Whereabouts in the UK are you based? We have a suitable repairman near to us, but that may not be very helpful. Smiley
Logged

"The Chrystal? Ah, now - that would be telling."
.
Angelica Needle
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Navigator & Mechanic: RD Susurrus


« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2012, 08:13:29 pm »

As it happens, my parents just rang, so got some more info!
They took them into a local jewellers and they were sent off to a specialist, but came back with 'nothing we can do with them'.

The older one might be a Longines or company that Longines took over. It is 1930s or earlier. The numbers were once luminous, and it was one of the very early ones that had this. Dad said he did see a serial number somewhere on it, but it may (must) be inside the case.

The Ingersoll watch is 50s.

Logged
Angelica Needle
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Navigator & Mechanic: RD Susurrus


« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2012, 04:24:06 pm »

Dad has sent me this information from a 2009 auction site for a Longines watch - it's not exactly his Grandpa's watch, but very close (slight difference in hands/writing etc)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Description:
Longines Tandem Wind Alarm Pocket Watch, circa 1910
Case: sterling silver, plain, 51 mm, double back, flat bottom edge to form a stand
Dial: enamel, luminescent Arabic numerals, alarm dial at twelve, sub seconds, luminescent kite hands
Movement: tandem wind, alarm sounding from a hammer on inner gong rod, nickel, three finger bridge, 15 jewels
Signed: triple signed Longines, dial also signed Black Starr & Frost

Condition Report*:

Type: Longines Tandem Wind Alarm Pocket Watch
Dial: enamel, luminescent numerals, alarm indicator
Hands; luminous open kites
Metal: sterling silver
Case Info: double hinged back, plain
Case Width: 51 mm
Crystal: glass
Watch Movement: nickel, 15 jewel, three finger bridge, tandem wind, straight line lever, adjusted three positions, pin set for alarm
Circa: 1910
Logged
greensteam
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Steamed up from birth


« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 04:27:05 pm »

My son, Merlin,  is in first year of his watch and clockmakers training, down in Birmingham. He is acquiring lots of  broken watches to practice on. I am surprised that a watch CAN'T be mended. My guess is that your folks were told it wasnt worth it financially.

Logged

So it's every hand to his rope or gun, quick's the word and sharp's the action. After all... Surprise is on our side.
typhonatemybaby
Deck Hand
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2012, 12:30:19 am »

@greensteam: hi mum. Yeah, according to the lecturer that kind of thing happens a lot.



@Angelica Needle

Regarding the Longines piece I would have to agree: based on a  look at the picture of the movement you posted and the notes on some of the technical specifications, this seems to be a fairly good piece. Of course, as you noted they may be of different models, or perhaps the dial design changed between the production of those two watches. I cant speculate on whether the movement is the same one in both of course. As you said, there is no confirmation on the dial of your watch to tell us this. Of course, i've only been studying a year, so my word may not be much use to you.

I wonder if you could show a picture of the movement of either watch?  Also, I dont suppose that you could tell me which watch it is that requires the no longer made component? ( did they specify what part would need replacement?)

If you really want these repaired then go to http://www.bhi.co.uk/repairer.html to find a Horologist ( repairer of watches, clocks, chronometers etc) in your area. They are the people to go to and all proffessional members should be reliable. You might also try the Antiquarian Horological Society, but they generally deal with stuff like turret clocks and incredibly old pieces, so that perhaps is less likely to yield a result.
Logged
Angelica Needle
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Navigator & Mechanic: RD Susurrus


« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 08:55:27 pm »

Thanks for your reply!

I'm afraid I don't know which and what part was unobtainable. I've forwarded the question to Dad Smiley
I wonder if it was not 'financially viable' or just a case of 'too much hassle' ? Wink (I've had that with a ring I wanted recarved, which took 6 months of being told it had been sent off, & then that the jeweller was ill, before, finally, 'they couldn't do it' and they couldn't recommend anyone who could. Went direct to a place in B'ham's jewellery quarter & got it sorted very quickly for half the price quoted by the first place.) I notice there's a Stratford place on the BHI list, and 3 in/around B'ham - do you, as a student, have any communication with any of these at all? - ie. any you could recommend? My parents are based in Devon, but the watches are currently with me Smiley

I have managed to open the backs of both watches.

The Ingersoll is very enclosed. It has a number written inside: 604EM I think, but otherwise not much to see.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
The older watch is absolutely beautiful!! I think the number in this one is 407506.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Logged
Angelica Needle
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Navigator & Mechanic: RD Susurrus


« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 09:12:21 pm »

This looks like it, albeit somewhat more battered!

Rare Early Zenith Alarm Gunmetal Pocket watch C1920
http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/rare-early-zenith-alarm-gunmetal-pocket-watch

After seeing this, I checked for numbers inside the cases: - 15265, matching inside both. There's also what looks like scratched handwriting, but I can't decipher it. Could be initials, definitely a 4, possibly a P or Y. I can barely get the light on it to see it with a magnifying glass, though, so can't photograph it.


ETA: or this http://www.cjbalm.com/watches/watch165.htm
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 09:21:09 pm by Angelica Needle » Logged
typhonatemybaby
Deck Hand
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2012, 05:51:26 pm »

ah!

I found this on ebay not five minutes before cheking this thread and seeing your replies: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WWI-Period-Gun-Metal-ZENITH-Alarm-Pocket-Watch-/120907635201?_trksid=p4340.m1374&_trkparms=algo%3DPI.WATCH%26its%3DC%252BS%26itu%3DUCC%26otn%3D5%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D8320354266106475967

It appears to be of the same design as yours, and the same brand, Zenith. The scratches on the case may be an old horologists mark to show they'd serviced it ( this practice is now discouraged), or something added in the factory. Perhaps your grandfather got it during WW1?

 I really cant diagnose anything without actually seeing it. It could be anything from corrosion to a major mechanical failure. If I were to hazard an educated guess I would say that the corrosion evident on the dial has affect the motion of one of the wheels in the train but the lack of dirt or signs of this on the movement makes me doubt this. Does it wind freely? when you turn the watch from side to side does the balance oscillate? it may be that someone has shaken the watch vigorously or it has received a shock and it has become damaged and has begun to wobble instead of making rotational oscillations


Re: the BHI.  I can ask my tutor about watch houses. I'm not personally in contact with any who do services, though. If you needed someone in scotland I might be able to recommend some. That may have to wait a little while though because exams are coming up next week and revision is a priority right now. I shall ask as soon as I have the oppurtunity. I would expect that you could find someone to service the zenith. depends on where you are situated really.

you likely wont find anyone to repair the ingersoll I'm sad to say. It almost certainly contains a component known as a "pin pallet escapement" which is a cheap version of thishttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lever_escapement  and I would doubt that any watchmaker would be willing to work on it, and even if they would they would probably charge you several times the price of the watch. If you really looked hard you might find someone, but It wouldnt be financially worth it for you or for them. I'm sorry I cant give you more help for that watch. I myself have a fairly similar watch which runs adequately.
Logged
Angelica Needle
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Navigator & Mechanic: RD Susurrus


« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2012, 02:26:36 pm »

Thanks for your reply. Will try to get someone to have a look at it when I get a chance!
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.12 seconds with 17 queries.