Those of you looking for guided information on how to repair a pocket watch are without a doubt in the right place. Let’s take a look at how you can fix your own pocket watch.
Pocket watches (or fob watches) carry with them an air of refinement where those who sport this classy watch, really have an old-fashioned yet stylistic trend going for them. Worn on a chain that connects it from inside one’s vest or pocket, this beauty is definitely something that the older generation of men will find timeless. A fob watch conjures up images of men wearing sartorially well-tailored suits with pipes stuck between their teeth. If you have such a watch that just conked off and is in need of mending, then this guide on how to repair your pocket watch will come in handy.
Antique Pocket Watch Repair
A truly unique watch for men, fob watches have somehow survived years of advancing time pieces, not losing out on that vintage and classy aura it encases.
List of Items to Keep On Hand
It is important to have all your tools ready before you start repairing your fob watch. Do not substitute any of them with not recommended things, since it can tamper with the repairing process. Things you’ll need – watch oil, parts tray (it can hold all the small bits and vital parts of a watch, without you misplacing these), tweezers, loupe (small magnifying glass), head vision tool, watchmaker screwdrivers (good quality screwdrivers are a must, to avoid it from damaging or worsening the state of a pocket watch’s parts) and a watch blower. It is good to always have these with you at home, since you never know when you’ll need to get down to restoring your fob watch.
If you’re going to be repairing watches, be it pocket or otherwise, it is important to have a designated workspace that has the right kind of working surface. For those who take such an activity seriously, it is important to have a watchmaker’s bench and a source of light that casts strong but not harsh light. A flexible lamp of some sort will work well, so that you can bring it closer to the open watch face, or push it a little away if it’s too bright. The surface of your workstation should have a material that doesn’t allow pieces of the watch to bounce off or get damaged. Therefore benches with either linoleum or cork finishes will suffice. You could also lay out cheesecloth before you work on the surface. The idea is to also have a working surface that isn’t too low for you to eliminate being constantly hunched over while inspecting the watch’s insides.
Opening the Watch Face
Once you open the fob watch face, you’ll notice what is called the pallet lever. This controls the balance wheel which swings to-and-fro while keeping a track of time in the same fashion as a pendulum. Once you remove the balance wheel, blow air gently at it using the watch blower and not direct breath. Alternate the positions you hold it in and puff at it, since a smooth movement of this must be noticed.
Winding Wheel Irregularities
If time pieces are too old it can cause a slight rusting around the winding wheel, which can over time cause it to stop moving as smoothly as it once did. This may need to be replaced or cleaned thoroughly. Likewise, the crown wheel needs to be looked over as well.
Minute Detail Check-Up
The magnifying glass should be used to zoom in at the balance staff which is the axle epicenter of the balance wheel. If the surfaces of the balance staff where the tapering shafts come in aren’t uniform and scratch free, then the parts may need changing to have it smoothly functioning again. Examine this under a good light so that you don’t miss out on any kinks in your fob watch. If all else fails, visit a trusted time piece repairman to handle your watch especially if it is an antique piece that needs a lot of care and delicate handling.
Balance Wheel Function
Tighten the balance wheel if it doesn’t move smoothly, seeing that it could be doing so because of friction against the underside wheel known as the center wheel. If the balance and case screws are loosened along the inside of the fob watch, screw these back into their placements firmly so that the balance wheel moves without hindrance.
Pocket watches are handed down from one generation to the next, where a lot of them are kept for showpiece sake. To own one is to be ready to make sure it is in working order, more so if you are an avid collector or have a thing for antique-y goods. Update yourself with the different parts of a pocket watch so that you are familiar with what you are working with before attempting to sit down and fix it yourself. Understand the intricacies of such a watch beforehand to become adept at working with it. With luck you’ll be repairing these watches with ease and precision.