Adventures with Dollar Pocket Watches

Vintage Pocket Watch Discussion Forum
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
indyago
Posts: 1382
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:59 am

Adventures with Dollar Pocket Watches

#1 Post by indyago » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:19 am

Unfortunately, my free time to tear down, clean, lubricate and reassemble watches has been limited the last few months. I am in the beginning phases. I live vicariously through Ben, Doug, Stan, and others here.

I thought I would share the results of about 3 hours last night with a Ingraham Dollar Pocket from the Teens or Twenties.

I have done some basic movement work with partial dis-assembly but, haven't done a complete tear down and service. So, I thought I would start on a larger scale with a more inexpensive movement. An old dollar watch that was frozen tight seemed to be a good start to get a feel for the basics without the risk of ruining an otherwise good movement.

I have read that the single bridge design of these could be quite frustrating to re-assemble. But, I took care to study how everything fit together so as to be ready when everything would need to slip into place at once.

The dis-assembly went very smoothly, especially with how simplistic these movements were designed. I cleaned the parts and pithed out the non-jewelled holes.(These inexpensive movements were not jewelled.) I looked for excessive wear but, under my average magnification things didn't really look all that bad.

The oiling went well, I was very careful to not get any stray oil near the hairspring.

So, now for the big question: Could I get it all back together?

I really didn't have trouble with the wheels, they could really only fit one way to "complete the circuit", so to speak. But, repositioning the escape and balance wheel was a bit more challenging. Taking care to not damage the hairspring while wrangling the balance into place took the most time of the entire process.

But, all in all, it went back the same way it came apart. Now to test my work. I check the balance to see that everything is spinning freely and watch the power transfer throughout the movement. Everything moves more effortlessly than I had imagined!

But, when I then go to wind the mainspring to see what would happen, the mainspring spun freely in the barrel..........Arghh......

Apparently, one end of the spring was weak or, already broken and I didn't realize it. But, regardless, the end effect was the same. No power.........

But, I wasn't that discouraged. Actually, I came away from the first total tear down with a very positive outlook. The escape and balance were what concerned me most and that went smoothly. So, now I just need to find another test subject that has a good mainspring to advance my experience on.

I am going to photo-document the next foray. I have at least two more similar watches to experiment with.) I really hadn't expected to get completely through the process in one sitting, as I did. It is rare for me to have that much interrupted time for such endeavors.

Rob
Rob

"Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." (John Wayne)

User avatar
GLADIATOR
Posts: 2667
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:32 am
Location: Spain - Costa Blanca

Re: Adventures with Dollar Pocket Watches

#2 Post by GLADIATOR » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:10 am

Have you ever seen an Ingram dollar watch with a paper (cardboard) face??
"We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done."
Visit Here:http://highercailber.com/
Adam R Harris

User avatar
indyago
Posts: 1382
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:59 am

Re: Adventures with Dollar Pocket Watches

#3 Post by indyago » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:26 am

Adam, I have not. But, I have seen photos before. Many interesting variations in these inexpensive models. Was it a an Ingraham that you purchased from Stan that had the paper dial?
Rob

"Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." (John Wayne)

User avatar
GLADIATOR
Posts: 2667
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:32 am
Location: Spain - Costa Blanca

The Watch that made the $ Famous

#4 Post by GLADIATOR » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:44 am

Yes, It was from Stan.
I try to purchase all early and unusual watches.
That watch will be going to NAWCC.

It is from 1918 and runs well:
Pictures by Stan (for watch)

Image

Image

Image

Got the advert too from 1913

Image

And even more amazing the box - with strict rules on 'how to sell a $1 watch'

Image

Image

Image

Image

All destined for the museum in Pennsylvania
"We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done."
Visit Here:http://highercailber.com/
Adam R Harris

User avatar
HandyDan
Posts: 2455
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:34 am
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Adventures with Dollar Pocket Watches

#5 Post by HandyDan » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:16 am

I've done a similar project with my Grandmothers Ingersoll. Getting four sets of pivots to line up is really tricky (try a 748 movement sometime) but with a bigger movement it wasn't too bad. The escape mechanism and balance wheel is really a fascinating layout (no pallet fork).

Mainsprings aren't hard to change but first you'd have to find one.
-----------------------
"If women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy" - Red Green

http://hamiltonchronicles.com

User avatar
indyago
Posts: 1382
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:59 am

Re: Adventures with Dollar Pocket Watches

#6 Post by indyago » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:27 am

Yeah, Dan, the design for the dollar watches was very basic and straight forward. The size does help a bit in lining everything up.

I am surprised at how sturdy the construction of the movement is. I expected it would be quite delicate knowing that it was a inexpensive, mass produced item. The balance and escape seem quite rugged for what I would have imagined.

I have no idea where to find or, how to even get a number for a mainspring. I don't imagine many exist, based on the fact the manufacturer wanted you to throw the broken ones out and buy another.....
:)
Rob

"Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." (John Wayne)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests