Author Topic: Master Pocketwatch Thread  (Read 500608 times)

Abslomrob

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Re: Master Pocketwatch Thread
« Reply #1650 on: April 30, 2013, 11:10:45 am »
Watches (like cars) need to be serviced to run well.  And like cars, opening the hood to look at the engine won't do it.  Unlike cars, Watches engines need to be kept extremely clean; a particle of dust small enough to float into the case when you open it is like sand in a car engine.  So if you want your watch to run well, you need to have it properly cleaned, oiled and adjusted by someone with the right tools and skills.  Otherwise, it's not a watch, it's a paperweight.  A cool, steampunky paperweight, but paperweight nonetheless.

The problem nowadays is that time is money, and skilled time is a lot of money.  In many markets, a competent watch repair shop can't afford to do even the most basic service for less then $100, which is often more then the cost of a cheaper chinese mechanical.  Your only choices then are to find a talented hobbyist who will do it for cheaper, accepting the risk that they might accidentally destroy the watch.  I clean watches for my local friends for about $20, for example, so if you're ever in Ottawa... ;)

Xenos

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Re: Master Pocketwatch Thread
« Reply #1651 on: May 06, 2013, 12:52:01 am »
Watches (like cars) need to be serviced to run well.  And like cars, opening the hood to look at the engine won't do it.  Unlike cars, Watches engines need to be kept extremely clean; a particle of dust small enough to float into the case when you open it is like sand in a car engine.  So if you want your watch to run well, you need to have it properly cleaned, oiled and adjusted by someone with the right tools and skills.  Otherwise, it's not a watch, it's a paperweight.  A cool, steampunky paperweight, but paperweight nonetheless.

The problem nowadays is that time is money, and skilled time is a lot of money.  In many markets, a competent watch repair shop can't afford to do even the most basic service for less then $100, which is often more then the cost of a cheaper chinese mechanical.  Your only choices then are to find a talented hobbyist who will do it for cheaper, accepting the risk that they might accidentally destroy the watch.  I clean watches for my local friends for about $20, for example, so if you're ever in Ottawa... ;)

This is the problem I'm running into.  I very much want a good mechanical pocket watch, but I lack the knowhow on how to fix it/service it myself, and the local places what do that sort of thing charge a GODAWEFUL amount for said service.  Oh, I could understand if it needed quite a lot of work, or a total refurbish, but $125 for a cleaning and lube? 

Seems a bit extravagant, that.
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Drew P

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Re: Master Pocketwatch Thread
« Reply #1652 on: May 06, 2013, 02:13:14 am »
I frequent a couple of watch forums and that $125 is very reasonable.
For that to be done properly,the entire watch must be taken completely apart,cleaned,oiled,assembled and tested. Watches contain hundreds of minuscule parts-this is no feat for the average person just because of the amount of time an average person would take to do this.
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Xenos

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Re: Master Pocketwatch Thread
« Reply #1653 on: May 06, 2013, 07:17:26 am »
I frequent a couple of watch forums and that $125 is very reasonable.
For that to be done properly,the entire watch must be taken completely apart,cleaned,oiled,assembled and tested. Watches contain hundreds of minuscule parts-this is no feat for the average person just because of the amount of time an average person would take to do this.

When I can spend the same amount and get three low grade (which is all I have anyway) mechanical watches?  I just seems...  I dunno.

I mean, yeah, if I had my da's Elgin, I'd spend the money-and GLADLY (it's over 100 years old).  But a cleaning and a lube-yes yes, I know total disassembly, all of that-and I know there are A LOT of parts in a watch-more'n I'd ever want to mess with, particularly since they're so very, very tiny.

It just seems to me disproportional.

Then again, what do I know?  I'm just a young skull full of mush.

Abslomrob

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Re: Master Pocketwatch Thread
« Reply #1654 on: May 07, 2013, 07:31:52 pm »
That's the challenge, right?  It doesn't matter how "expensive" the watch is, the amount of time it takes is the same (or in some cases, even longer since speed is a function of familiarity; an unfamiliar movement will take more time).  For me, it takes about 15-30 minutes to disassemble the watch, a half hour or so of time to wash and rinse the parts in an ultrasonic cleaner, another 15-30 minutes to visually inspect, polish, and peg the pieces to ensure that all the dried oil and dirt are removed, and 30-60 minutes to reassemble the pieces.  After that, it goes onto a timing machine for at least an hour to ensure there's a good steady beat and decent amplitude.  So that's 1-2 hours of actual time spent, assuming that nothing is broken or needs to be tweaked/adjusted.  How much do you imagine a trained craftsman makes an hour?  Especially after you factor in the cost of equipment and (if they have an actual shop) the overhead of a building?   Now if you go to (say) india or china, you can probably get those watches serviced for 25-50. 


Richard H

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Re: Master Pocketwatch Thread
« Reply #1656 on: December 21, 2015, 08:12:23 pm »
Hi folks, I found this thread last night and thought I would post a pic of mine, it's fully wound but not working any help would be much appreciated.
it says "SMITH INDUSTRIES, NO JEWELS, UNADJUSTED"



Richard H

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Re: Master Pocketwatch Thread
« Reply #1657 on: December 21, 2015, 10:16:46 pm »
Well the good news is, it's now working, another site seaid spray it with WD40 and hey presto it works!!  ;D

Dr Flonker

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Re: Master Pocketwatch Thread
« Reply #1658 on: April 12, 2016, 12:42:33 am »
Well the good news is, it's now working, another site seaid spray it with WD40 and hey presto it works!!  ;D

Wonder if that'll work on my cheap Chinese movement pocketwatches.  I scammed up a ton of them off Ebay, and they mostly all stopped...

Sir Farthington-Smythe

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Re: Master Pocketwatch Thread
« Reply #1659 on: June 19, 2016, 07:25:54 pm »
Here's mine.  It seems to lose a few minutes every few days, but I like it.  It has a glass on the back as well, so you can see the movement from both sides.  With front and back open, you can see clean through.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 07:28:09 pm by Sir Farthington-Smythe »