Author Options:

Need help with antique pocket watch repair? Answered

My Great-Grandfather's old pocket watch has been my latest interest... however there are some parts that are broken.... I have done internet searches which have gave no results for the parts needed..... Does anyone know where to find these parts?

I know that the parts are: Balance wheel
                                             Jewel bearing

Although I know these parts I cannot source then affordably in the U.K.
If anyone can help me, I am really interested in fixing the watch and restoring it to working order.



6 years ago

That hairspring on the balance is toast so unless you have the right tools to vibrate a new one ,your going to have to find a parts watch of the same manufacture. Also you will need to check the balance staff and make sure it is in good condition, otherwise it will need to be restaffed and poised. Not an easy task unless you know what you are doing Poising is tricky to the untrained. Your pallet fork also looks toasted no jewels but if you were skilled you could shellac some new ones in but again it takes more than just shellac you have to adjust the depth of the jewels to contact the escape wheel in the proper way.
You might be better off letting an expert take care of this but that could be costly depending on who made the watch and the availability of parts. Is this an American pocket watch? If so parts can be easy to found.
As for Aeray advise on the age of the watchmaker is shouldn't matter as long as they have been well trained.


7 years ago

Have you tried ebay for sourcing your parts? I have found it to be one of the best places to gather parts and materials for horology work. I learned horology from my dad by watching him and by reading old books he had around the house.
If you are interested in learning the art of horology and clock making and repair I have come across a good site that carries 84 horology and clock making books on dvd-rom at: http://www.dawnapproaches.com/horology.html that I have purchased and recommend as I use them all the time. Literally thousands of pages of horology resources and old out of print horology books. It will be keeping me busy for quite some time needless to say and it is a good resource that would help you learn so you can repair and restore everything yourself.


7 years ago

What is "affordably" over the value of the watch ? There are plenty of sources for such parts in the UK, but the right parts are going to cost money, and time, and tools.

Taking up horology with an heirloom was probably a bad idea. Get down to the library and start reading up. There is also a very vague chance a local amateur MIGHT help you.



7 years ago

I highly recommend NOT messing with this on your own, although it appears that I am too late. When I need watch work done (I own or am responsible for a few valuable antique watches) I always seek out the oldest and preferably semi-retired horologist I can find. Horology is a dying art, and you can learn a lot from the oldsters by simply showing an interest and asking questions. They'll be happy to answer, and thrilled that someone is taking an interest. If you're really in to it, ask if you can help out, or at least sit it on some repairs.

My rule of thumb would be that the age of the watch minus the age of the horologist should be less than thirty.

I repeat: these are not mechanisms that you should tinker with on your own, or with only 'net info to go on. If you don't know where to get parts (or how to make your own, as is often the case) please, please, find someone to consult with in person.