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zachary_hawk

Broken English lever pivot- pocket watches

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My mother and I have recently taken up watch repair after inheriting some broken pocket watches. We have two watches that are proving rather tricky, both have an English lever which appears to have a broken pivot, it seems that the pivot may have been a jewel since there was some residue in the bearing on one of the watches. I’m very new to this so I’m sorry if I’ve said anything silly so far, please correct me if anything I’ve said is wrong. We haven’t had much luck searching the problem since we’re not strictly sure what we should be searching for, so any help would be appreciated.

I’ve only just realised how to add images, I’m new here too so apologies again! q8Gplgq.jpg

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Hi Zachary,

I hope that You mother is a watcmaker...

Now seriously. Yes, the pivot is broken, and no, it was not a jewel. It was just the same like the other one. Ind I am pritty sure that it was not brokrn before Your attempt to assemble the watch the wrong way...

You should not search for anything as there are no spare parts for this kind of watches. It is like the old wooden carts - the four wheels have their own sizes of bearrings/axes and and no wheel will fit on wrong place.

There is no problem to repair the lever, there are 2 ways:

1. To turn a complete new staff.

2. To repiwot the staff - to drill a hole on place where the pivot was and then tight-fit new pivot in the hole, turn it to size and burnish.

Both will take no more then 30 minutes to an experienced watchmaker... But I am  not sure if there is no other damage. Broken pivots and balance staffs are repairable. Broken stones can be replaced too, but to make it good looking and te same as the other stones is a kind of art... Be aware - stones are werry britle and easy to break!

 

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If, as I suspect, the watch has the balance on the outside of the plate, it is very easy to break the pivot on the pallet lever during disassembly. The end of the balance with the roller table and impulse jewel is in a well in the top plate. The fork of the lever sticks through a slot in the well and fits the impulse jewel to deliver the impulse when the balance swings.

When I disassemble one of these, I first remove the balance cock and balance. Then I turn it upside down and very carefully lift the pillar plate from the top plate. As it begins to separate, I use some pegwood to make sure the lever has fallen out of the pillar plate and has remained with the top plate. This method is totally opposite from that used to open a modern watch, but I have found it works for me every time. BTW, I learned it the hard way after replacing pivots or entire arbors on the levers.

Good luck with it, but I fear it is a job for a skilled watchmaker at this point.

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Yes, this is the correct way to disasemble , and also to assemble this type of movements. Parts must be put on top plate, which is upside down, and then covered with pillar plate... The english type verge mowements also usually must be assembled this way, otherwice 4th wheel will get broken.

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Thanks all for the replies, this is all great info that we can work with! Fortunately (or unfortunately as the case may be) this watch came to us already disassembled so I live in hope that we didn’t cause the damage! 

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