ANTIQUE TIME WATCH REPAIR NOTES
This page was designed to show the general public what is inside their watches. When we run across something that is interesting, helpful hints, or common problems and what can be done to solve them, we will post pictures here. We are also working on a large collection of charts and material charts that can be used to identify parts from the original manufacturers. We hope to start scanning these soon.
Importance Of Setting Gear Maintenance
The two pictures above show a Rolex model 3135 gents watch. This watch had never been serviced. The owner started to notice that he was having to make frequent time adjustments. Having never serviced the watch, the oil on the canon pinion, minute wheel and intermediate setting gears became dry. This made it very difficult to set the time and resulted in one of the two intermediate setting gears that engage the clutch to break three teeth.
Rolex watches operate in a very clean and sealed environment. Many owners fail to realize that it is still very important to have their watches serviced and properly maintained. We recommend full service every 3 to 5 years depending on your wearing habits. With proper scheduled service intervals, your Rolex and any other watch will last a lifetime.
23 Jewels What Gives
You have all heard about jewels in your watches. They are little round donut looking pieces of synthetic corundum mostly red in color for most jewels in your watch and white in color for the pallet stones. They are called ruby jewels or sapphire pallet stones, but are in fact the same substance. Synthetic ruby has been produced since well before the turn of the century back in the 1800's. Its use in watches have continued since then because of the ability to control its properties and specifications for use in watches.
The 23 Jewel Bunn Special
The above 3 pictures show a 23 Jewel Bunn Special. The first photo shows the basic 43 component parts taken down for cleaning. The second photo shows the main upper plate of the watch. Notice the large opening in the center of the picture. This opening contains a jewel for the main spring barrel to run in. The third photo shows more of the winding mechanism of the barrel. Notice the large ruby jewel in the center of the photo. This goes on the lower arbor of the main spring barrel. This is what makes this watch a 23 jewel watch, the upper and lower barrel arbor pivots are jeweled.
The first photo above shows the balance wheel and its parts. The balance staff has been replaced therefore, the hairspring, the gold colored roller table and the safety roller have been removed. The center photo shows the Motor Barrel. This is different from regular mainspring barrels wherein the barrel rotates around the barrel arbor. On the motor barrel, the arbor is actually part of the barrel and the entire assembly rotates within the jewel settings of the barrel as the mainspring releases power. The last photo above shows the two lower watch plates.
This picture shows how the motor barrel fits into the upper plate of the 23 jewel Bunn Special. The barrel cover or cap is not installed yet. You can see the white alloy mainspring and the lower jewel assembly how it rides on the barrel arbor. Jewels reduce friction as the watch runs and they also serve to hold oil confined to a specific location so the oil won't spread across the plates of the watch.