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Pocket Watch Fusee Chain Broken Please Advise.


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hi all,after recently looking through some draws,i came across my grandfathers silver pocket watch.i wound the watch up and it ran perfectly for about 23 hours.when i came to rewind it the fusee chain has snapped,is it likely that i have wound the watch to much for this to happen and is it likely to be expensive to repair.ps the watch is hallmarked chester 1891.any advise greatly appreciated.

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:o Yes fusee chains are very prone to snapping with age. Earlier in the year I bought a verge watch and the chain snapped. Luckly I found a watch repairer who serviced and replaced the fusee chain. He also told me the best way to wind one of these watches is when you open the back hold it so you can see the fusee and just before it gets to the end, stop winding. If you can find a good watch repairer it will be worth having repaired. (It cost me £120 for full service and new chain)

Good luck

:D Rabbit

Edited by Rabbit
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  • 4 weeks later...

Get out a no.2 magnifying glass and look at the links in the chain. Simply a work of art! Considering they were made in gas or candle lit workshops in days before electricity you have to take your hat off to them. I brought a fusee watch with a broken chain off fleabay. I was going to try repairing it myself but it turned out the hook was broken at one end too. Now I am trying to source a replacement chain. Unfortunately the escapement lever is broken too but I've found some old watch genius repair man who will replace the snapped pivot for 60 quid. Most of these watches can be repaired but due to the nature of the craftsmanship its normally more than the watch is actually worth. Yours being your grandfathers watch the sentimental value outweighs the repair costs. Mine was a anniversary present from the mrs so I'll have to fix it or face the wrath of my wifes mouth!

Good luck,



Check out the watch fairs. Do a search on google and you'll find out where and when they are held.

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  • 1 month later...

I have just repaired my broken fusee chain. Not easy! Ended up having to use a old pocket watch spring for the replacement broken links. Took 2 attempts as I managed to ping a nearly finished link across the room!

Check out this photo I took.....




The problem with a watch that has been sitting is the steel of the chain rests on the brass or gold plate of the moments fusee cone & spring barrel. This causes chemical reactions in dissimular metals and rust too occur. Also if they are stored in damp conditions that will cause rust. A method I found that works is to dip the movement into a cup of tea before taking it apart or winding it then rinse it off under distilled/demineralized water stops them snapping. The answer is do not wind them until they have been serviced first unfortunately as it is expensive to repair a fusee chain.

I do have a perfect 7 5/8" chain spare if that turns out to be the length you need. Also you need to know the width, depth & link distances to be certain it will fit. Only want what I paid which is 15 GBP + postage if it'll help. You'll need to take a few measurements with a micrometer first.



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