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Author Topic: Pocket Watch Repair  (Read 6210 times)
CopperCladGear
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« on: January 15, 2008, 07:56:57 pm »

I acquired a gorgeous pocket watch from my great grandfather. But, undoubtedly because of my luck, it is dire need of repair. Nearest I can tell it needs new crystals for the gears, yes crystals, it's a really old watch. Does anyone know how to repair pocket watches, or can anyone do it at a reasonable price? I'm just about to take photographs of it and pin them up.
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Kabuki
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2008, 08:08:40 pm »

I acquired a gorgeous pocket watch from my great grandfather. But, undoubtedly because of my luck, it is dire need of repair. Nearest I can tell it needs new crystals for the gears, yes crystals, it's a really old watch. Does anyone know how to repair pocket watches, or can anyone do it at a reasonable price? I'm just about to take photographs of it and pin them up.

It is a better idea to take it to a local watchmaker for repair.  I wouldn't want to be liable for shipping of something so emotionally valuable.  Check your telephone book for watchmakers, as well as looking online.  Good luck!
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CopperCladGear
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2008, 08:13:12 pm »

I acquired a gorgeous pocket watch from my great grandfather. But, undoubtedly because of my luck, it is dire need of repair. Nearest I can tell it needs new crystals for the gears, yes crystals, it's a really old watch. Does anyone know how to repair pocket watches, or can anyone do it at a reasonable price? I'm just about to take photographs of it and pin them up.

It is a better idea to take it to a local watchmaker for repair.  I wouldn't want to be liable for shipping of something so emotionally valuable.  Check your telephone book for watchmakers, as well as looking online.  Good luck!


Unfortunately I have. None of them are willing to do it. They say it's not the trouble
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2008, 09:13:46 pm »

Thats garbage. I don't know a Watch repairman that would say that. It sounds like they're lazy or something.

Have you taken the watch to them, or just talked over the phone?

Another thing to do it go to a jewelers shop and see if they have a watch repairman on premises.

I'm kind of lucky to work where there is a repairman, great guy. If you find a watch repairman make friends with them.
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clockdug
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2008, 10:09:56 pm »

Post the pics and then some of the watch people here can give some comments.  I know Harold aka HAC is really good with watches; if he doesn't see the thread pm him.

and just a niggling detail question....did the watch repair people in your area look at the watch, or did you ask them the questions without them seeing the watch?  If you asked the question in the manner you worded it here they may have misunderstood you.  I believe you mean that it needs new jewels for the pivots; crystal has a different meaning than jewel with watches. 
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CopperCladGear
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2008, 11:03:15 pm »

Post the pics and then some of the watch people here can give some comments.  I know Harold aka HAC is really good with watches; if he doesn't see the thread pm him.

and just a niggling detail question....did the watch repair people in your area look at the watch, or did you ask them the questions without them seeing the watch?  If you asked the question in the manner you worded it here they may have misunderstood you.  I believe you mean that it needs new jewels for the pivots; crystal has a different meaning than jewel with watches. 

Yeah, the glass front...I need that too. But you are correct about the jewel pivots.
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CopperCladGear
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2008, 11:08:38 pm »

I just looked up the serial number on the movements. This pocket watch is from 1907.
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Siliconous Skumins
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2008, 11:51:39 pm »

Your not the only one having those troubles, I have three VERY nice pocket watches dating from about 1880s (one may be earlier - need to check on that...), and sadly two of them are non runners (and it would be the two that are the most detailed and beautiful !). Both are missing minute hands (guessing due to similar "cleaning" accidents with a cloth). Two of the three belonged to my great great grandfather, the other I found while renovating a house (contacted the family of the old lady who used to live there, they said "if it doesn't run, just chuck it..."  Roll Eyes  ). Lovely watch too, solid silver with etched face and fine gold inlay, with gold inlaid numerals! (has loose glass front, and two of the gold numerals have been damaged due to rough cleaning) Dated the case to 1882 and made by a well known maker, but workings may be older and fitted into a newer case (can't find details of the workings maker, beautifully crafted though).

Trying to find a proper watch repair shop in my region, but not having much luck yet - may have to send them off for repair (but not keen on shipping them off - might not see them again...).  Sad

SS
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 11:54:13 pm by Siliconous Skumins » Logged

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CopperCladGear
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2008, 12:04:52 am »

Your not the only one having those troubles, I have three VERY nice pocket watches dating from about 1880s (one may be earlier - need to check on that...), and sadly two of them are non runners (and it would be the two that are the most detailed and beautiful !). Both are missing minute hands (guessing due to similar "cleaning" accidents with a cloth). Two of the three belonged to my great great grandfather, the other I found while renovating a house (contacted the family of the old lady who used to live there, they said "if it doesn't run, just chuck it..."  Roll Eyes  ). Lovely watch too, solid silver with etched face and fine gold inlay, with gold inlaid numerals! (has loose glass front, and two of the gold numerals have been damaged due to rough cleaning) Dated the case to 1882 and made by a well known maker, but workings may be older and fitted into a newer case (can't find details of the workings maker, beautifully crafted though).

Trying to find a proper watch repair shop in my region, but not having much luck yet - may have to send them off for repair (but not keen on shipping them off - might not see them again...).  Sad

SS

That's my worry, but from what I can tell, this time piece is gonna set me back almost $300. I needs all new jewels, new crystal, new hands (all three), and probably needs to be balanced and cleaned inside out.
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Lord Templeton Augustine
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2008, 12:14:23 am »

The easiest thing to do, will be to simply replace the entire movement.  A nice hand-winding one, of course, though Wink
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Siliconous Skumins
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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2008, 12:18:04 am »


That's my worry, but from what I can tell, this time piece is gonna set me back almost $300.

...And that would be my other worry - how much it will cost me to fix them !  Shocked
Not sure on the value of the watches either....not that it would stop me from having them fixed, just not too keen on spending vastly more than the watches are worth.  Undecided


The easiest thing to do, will be to simply replace the entire movement.  A nice hand-winding one, of course, though Wink

Nah, digital.....in roman numerals though, naturally.  Tongue  (actually, I might pick up an empty watch case and try that...  Grin )

SS
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CopperCladGear
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2008, 12:31:21 am »

The easiest thing to do, will be to simply replace the entire movement.  A nice hand-winding one, of course, though Wink

It's a hand wind as it is.
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CopperCladGear
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2008, 12:32:47 am »


That's my worry, but from what I can tell, this time piece is gonna set me back almost $300.

...And that would be my other worry - how much it will cost me to fix them !  Shocked
Not sure on the value of the watches either....not that it would stop me from having them fixed, just not too keen on spending vastly more than the watches are worth.  Undecided


The easiest thing to do, will be to simply replace the entire movement.  A nice hand-winding one, of course, though Wink

Nah, digital.....in roman numerals though, naturally.  Tongue  (actually, I might pick up an empty watch case and try that...  Grin )

SS

I'll have it done, but I guess I'll have to wait. It has to much sentimental value to not have it done...
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Siliconous Skumins
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2008, 03:45:31 am »


I'll have it done, but I guess I'll have to wait. It has to much sentimental value to not have it done...


Have a search on the internet for any local or nearby Horological Associations & Groups - they should be ale to point you in the direction of a good repair place.

Also this might help, it's a search tool for watch / clock repairs near your location (USA and Canada):

http://www.watch-clock-makers.org/

SS
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Doc Rivets
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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2008, 08:03:39 am »

A good reputable jeweller/wathcmaker should be able to do it, but make sure he does the work in house and not one who sends it out to subcontractors, where it can get "lost".

I had my genuine 1895 Waltham repaired from non running condition to full working order by a local man where I live. He sometimes had to make new parts for it but he enjoyed the work. this is the sort of person you need to look for so ask around.

Doc
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Lopt
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« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2008, 06:14:44 am »

Trying to find a proper watch repair shop in my region, but not having much luck yet - may have to send them off for repair (but not keen on shipping them off - might not see them again...).  Sad

SS

What county?
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Siliconous Skumins
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« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2008, 07:04:54 am »

Trying to find a proper watch repair shop in my region, but not having much luck yet - may have to send them off for repair (but not keen on shipping them off - might not see them again...).  Sad

SS

What county?

Tyneside - Newcastle / Gateshead / Sunderland areas.  I found a few places in Newcastle city centre, but non of them were willing to work on antique watches that were worth something / or didn't do watch repairs (clocks only). Haven't looked at Durham yet, might be something there, but it's a bit of a journey without knowing where to look.

Think I might have possible lead on something, have a few contact details I need to work through. One place is in Hexham, not exactly local, but I know the area well, so will be checking that one shortly.

SS
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Lopt
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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2008, 07:37:39 am »

non of them were willing to work on antique watches that were worth something

And people wonder why the craft's dying.
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NazT
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« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2008, 09:44:30 am »

And people wonder why the craft's dying.

Agreed... Mind you I got my not so expensive but still quite old and nice pocket watch repaired as it had a busted crystal.  That cost me the better part of £40!  t'was a decent crystal replacement tho and not some plastic one. 

I think the trouble is that to get a decent pocket watch repaired you NEED to pay a fairly substantial price to get the quality, and I dont think most people can be bothered.  Cry
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Kabuki
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« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2008, 11:41:07 pm »

Still can't find a watchmaker?  That really sucks.  As to the cost....  When I had my Bourquin repaired earlier this year, it was cleaned and had the balance staff, hairspring and one jewel all replaced.  The total cost was $160.
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Lucifargundam
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« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2009, 04:49:53 am »

i have a modern pocketwatch and it wont move! it doesnt look like the gears are off or anything(you can see them through a window on both sides). Last time i took it to a repairman, he wanted 20-40 bucks(dollars, 60 euros???) JUST TO LOOK AT IT.... damn cheapskates....
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HAC
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« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2009, 03:37:39 pm »

Most of those modern pocket watches , especially the skeleton ones or those with the display backs (including the french sounding "Charles Hubert") use cheap Chinese movements,  almots no quality control, and impossible to get parts for. Most repairmen won't even look at them, as they were not deosgned to be repaired, but rather replaced.
 As far as to why it won;t work, could be lots of things, but one of the most common I;ve see with these is a banking problem, or a problem with the hairspring or keyless works.
The movements really are pretty poor in terms of finish. I've seen them with human hair and fingerprints inside..

Sorry about the watch, but, sadly its not an uncommon thimng with these watches..

Cheers
Harold
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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2009, 12:50:47 am »

when i was a wee young lad,I had a couple of old watches that were "stuck" and after looking at some working ones,I decided to play with "de little spinning veel". I'd used a toothpick or a small paint brush and just slowly worked the wheel to spin. Mind you,being very young w/nothing to do,I spent many,many minutes doing this. Sometimes continuing another day or while I watched TV,etc. (Damned boring childhood.) And low and behold! the darn thing started ticking by itself. Now,I had tried this afterwards w/several other watches and most of the time it worked. I just don't have that much patience anymore. Now whatever happened to those watches?...probably what happened to most of my "junk",my mother threw them out. ("well,I haven't seen you touch those in so long I thought you didn't want them anymore"...ARGH!!!) Sorry.   Maybe,I'll try this technique again on a rainy,cold day. Who knows,maybe I can resurrect the dead once again. Did I just say that out loud?!? Shocked
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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2009, 02:00:49 am »

*cough* im a watchmaker, I was made redundant a while back, I was thinking about setting up a home workshop and starting a business
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HAC
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« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2009, 02:04:21 am »

*cough* im a watchmaker, I was made redundant a while back, I was thinking about setting up a home workshop and starting a business
Good idea.. far too few watchmakers about these days..

Cheers
Harold
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