974 Stem

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KoDan
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974 Stem

#1 Post by KoDan » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:10 am

G'day all, my lad and I have jumped into the world of pocket watches with a pendant set Hamilton 974. However it's a bit deep.......

https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/search/ ... lton/82459

Watch runs sweetly (hours & hours on a single wind) but it does have a couple of issues, however when we dropped it off at a local watchmaker for a clean and service he quoted over AU$800 - so we decided maybe we should look at it ourselves!

1. It runs a little slow (about 1 sec every 5 min), but adjusting the regulator (either way) makes absolutely no difference to the speed. However it does appear that the the regulator arm is correctly positioned on the balance spring - so I'm a bit stumped here.

2. We can wind the watch but not adjust the time. The pendant steps up and down freely but with no 'spring' return. I thought maybe the stem was broken but when I removed it looks OK. (photo attached)

Googling 'hamilton 974 stem' https://www.google.com/search?q=hamilto ... 0beRyvhKyM shows an example image that matches the stem exactly. But this doesn't really help - because if it isn't broken why doesn't it engage the time adjuster?

Adding to the complexity is that googling suggests that there were many variants of the 974 - so I have obviously no idea if this mechanism is in the original case.

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Sooooo... I'm just wondering if anyone knows if this is *likely* to be the correct stem. If so it means we will need to pull the watch apart to investigate further!

OR.... if it is not the right stem - how the heck do I find out what *is* the correct one?

Cheers :-)
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HandyDan
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Re: 974 Stem

#2 Post by HandyDan » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:31 pm

The stem is actually related to the case, not the movement. The movement is "negative set" so the stem is retained in the case with another part called the stem sleeve. The sleeve holds the stem in the winding position, otherwise the springs in the movement would push the stem out the setting position. The stem and sleeve are a paired set. The depth of the sleeve (held in the pendant tube) can be adjusted to tailor the movement from winding to setting position.

That's often a trial and error situation.

Based on your description it sounds like the movement may have a broken or missing spring inside. The movement should move naturally to the setting position unless the stem sleeve is set too deeply to allow it.

If you have the ability to remove the dial and hands, post a picture of the main plate without the dial in place. That will help diagnose the issue.

1 second every five minutes is 12 seconds an hour or ~2 minutes per day. That's not terrible but it could be better for sure. If adjusting the regulator doesn't change it, then you way want to make sure the regulator pins are actually touching the hairspring. Be careful, it's extremely easy to goof up a hairspring.

Based on your watchmaker's quote... you should find another watchmaker.
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"If women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy" - Red Green

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retroworx
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Re: 974 Stem

#3 Post by retroworx » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:53 am

HandyDan wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:31 pm
Based on your watchmaker's quote... you should find another watchmaker.
Oh my goodness, yes! :o
My vintage watch collection on Instagram: @retroworx
https://www.instagram.com/retroworx/

KoDan
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Re: 974 Stem

#4 Post by KoDan » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:33 am

Thanks all. Yes that makes sense regarding the stem & case, it explains why other stems look much longer. I'm going to have a crack (pun intended) at dis-assembly, after a closer inspection it looks like the hairspring is twisted so that probably explains the lack of regulator adjustment. I've seen the YouTube video on how to correct this so I'll use this as the 'test' to see if I'm capable of this stuff! Worst case I need a new spring, I'm guessing they are available? If that goes OK I'll then have a go at getting to the pendant sleeve mechanism - and then post some more images. :-)

KoDan
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Re: 974 Stem

#5 Post by KoDan » Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:00 am

I am pretty well up to speed as to how the watch works but still am unsure of the pendant set mechanism. On my lads watch there doesn't seem to be any components connecting the case to the stem, yet pulldown videos I've seen on Walthams and another 974 suggest the stem is fixed into the case and separate to the movement. But...the other 974 is slightly different. Not only does it have 974 engraved into the movement (ours doesn't) but ours has an addition screw on the movement next to an engraved arrow at 12 o'clock. Everything else is identical BTW. Loosening this screw allows the entire stem and crown to fall out of the movement and case. When stem reassembled and the screw tightened the watch winds, and although the crown can lift it is is to a physical stop (I'm guessing the screw?) - where it does.......nothing. There is no click nor spring resistance, so I'm wondering if some sort of sprung lever inside the movement is broken or missing. But what I can't figure out how lifting the stem could do.....anything. I can see the stem has flanges that 'could' act as lifting faces, but how can that engage if the stem can simply be pushed in? So if anyone knows if a good video or explanatory link please let me know :-)

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HandyDan
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Re: 974 Stem

#6 Post by HandyDan » Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:26 pm

Now I would definitely want to see the front side of the main plate. I don't think I've seen a positive set 974.
-----------------------
"If women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy" - Red Green

http://hamiltonchronicles.com

https://www.instagram.com/hamiltonchronicles/

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