How to repair a pocket watch?
by Ayesha Ghazanfar on Dec 02, 2020
Pocket watches always look elegant and solid, emphasizing the status of the owner. Despite the fact that wrist watches are now more popular, pocket watches continue to be used by a large number of people of different ages. Naturally, over the years, old mechanisms may stop working properly, after which the watch need repair.
The essence of pocket watch repair
Having received a pocket watch for repair, the master usually performs a detailed inspection and diagnostics at the beginning to identify the cause of the malfunction. The reason can be both from the mechanical side and concerning only the watch case. The most frequent breakdowns in a pocket watch:
- Broken parts (second wheel, balance, etc.)
- Broken plant spring
- Lagging behind real-time
- Deformation of the case or glass
- Damage to hands or clockwork
Features of pocket watch repair
As a rule, the repair of pocket watches is not much different from the repair of watches worn on the hand. They have similar mechanisms, and the main difference between them is the presence of a special cover that protects the dial from damage. The lid is opened with a button, the built-in spring opens it easily, and you can quickly and conveniently check the time.
Lid breakage is one of the most common malfunctions in pocket watches. The cause may be a bent pin securing the cover to the body, or a crack in the bushing that the pin fits into. Many people try to solve the problem on their own, but often this leads to an even more aggravated malfunction, so you should still contact the professionals who will competently approach the troubleshooting, and soon your pocket watch will look like new again. In addition to a breakdown in the lid, a malfunction can also affect the mechanism. Dust and dirt, as well as water, can cause your favorite watch to stop working.
Pocket watch repair
Pocket watches date back to the 17th century, when the first movement was invented. They were the first watch that could fit in a pocket. Despite the emergence of wristwatches, pocket watches are still popular. Many people find that it is much more convenient to carry a watch in their pocket than on their hands, where they can break at any time, which will lead to the need to repair the watch and unnecessary financial costs.
Initially, the watch was wound with a key, but now a manual or automatic winding is used. They were sold with a chain that could be attached to a piece of clothing. Experts with many years of experience know exactly how to restore a pocket watch after a breakdown and return it to its neat appearance.
If the dial has shifted, experts will help to return it to its original position. A variety of chains and covers are available. If they are darkened, then they can be polished. For particularly precise, fragile mechanisms, they are cleaned using ultrasound.Usually, mechanics repair the pocket watch in the following ways:
- polishing and restoration of the appearance of antique watches
- glass replacement, manufacturing, and polishing - of any shape
- replacement and repair of spare parts and components
- adjustment and fine-tuning
- cleaning, washing - of internal and external elements, from the mainspring to the case
- checking and restoring the geometry and tightness of the case.
How to repair a pocket watch on your own?
Pocket watches carry a special sophistication, imbued with the spirit of something ancient, far from the modern world, and, therefore, spotless and pure. Once upon a time, such watches were the privilege of aristocrats, who carried them on a chain and kept them in their pockets. Today, pocket watches can be considered a relic since almost no one uses them anymore. However, among collectors, there are many lovers of this antiquity, which was once a symbol of wealth and power, and today it is a simple memory of those distant times. Even when a pocket watch fails, this trouble is easy to help. You can repair a pocket watch yourself, just have the necessary tools at hand, as well as a repair manual.
For repairs you will need: oil, a special tray where you will put the parts of the mechanism, tweezers, a magnifying glass, and a screwdriver used by the watchmakers. If you have all this, then you can safely proceed. But it is worth recalling that repairing a watch is a rather detailed work that requires a certain skill, a lot of free space, and good lighting. And yet, to repair complex mechanisms, you need to at least understand them. Otherwise, the repair can lead to the accessory’s final death. You can follow these steps:
Opening the case
As soon as you open the watch case, you will notice a lever that controls the balance of the wheel. It swings back and forth like a pendulum. As soon as you remove the balance wheel, blow on this lever to clear it of dust. But, do not get carried away too much because too much airflow can disrupt the mechanism.
If the watch is very old (and this is most likely the case because modern watches rarely break down), then the metal parts will be rusty, which again can affect the accuracy of the movement since rust will slow down the precise movement of the mechanism. Therefore, rusty parts are best replaced or carefully cleaned, which only professionals can do.
Small parts are repaired using a magnifying glass. As a rule, over time, the elements responsible for the correct operation of the mechanisms are subject to minor damage in the form of scratches. You may need a complete replacement of these parts.
Wheel of balance
If the balance wheel does not move smoothly, you can tighten it. The uneven movement may be due to friction between the lower part of the wheel and the central part of the mechanism. If the balance and case screws are loose on the watch’s inside, screw them back in so that the balance wheel moves correctly.
As a rule, pocket watches are relics and passed down from generation to generation. In order to properly repair them, it is better not to risk it and turn to a watch workshop, whose specialists will make the heart of the accessory beat again.
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