servicing a 140 year old pocket watch

February 7, 2015

cylinder escapement pocket watch (Taschenuhr mit Zylinderhemmung)
This kind of Swiss made ‘LeCoultre Kaliber 9‘ style movement with cylinder escapement was popular from 1830-1875

2015-02-07 00.34.19-1 2015-02-07 00.34.44-1 2015-02-07 00.30.45-1

This beauty of a watch laid for years in a dark corner. I had no experience with watches and didn’t want to demage it for testing. Some months ago I found a mechanical Kienzle travel alarm watch. It has a similar principle and also didn’t tic.

I disassembled it and studied the function. After some hours I got it to work and weeks later I felt ready for the 32mm masterpiece. I had no special tools, so I sharpened my smallest screwdrivers and tweezers to fit in those little screws.

2015-01-09 19.22.002015-01-10 00.32.27

After reading for hours and hours, I knew something about those kind of watches and why mine is not running. There were 4 problems to overcome.

  • The hairspring was in a bad condition. It was sticky  couldn’t swing freely and the spring was loose and not aligned as it should be. Further on it was magnetised and slightly bent at two points.
  • The broken mainspring was not easy to find. I had to look twice in the housing to find the little broken part at the beginning.
  • A Broken bolt made it impossible to wind up the watch

More on the problems later. First I’ll show some photos of the inner living.

Here’s a step by step instruction on disassembling a similar Swissmade watch: http://www.mikrolisk.de/show.php?site=205&chapter=6

2015-02-04 05.00.23_2

Producer unknown

Trying to identify watches of this type is a universal problem.”


Case imprint:  A.G.R. 1875

Dimensions: 32.4 mm width, 40.9 mm to top of winding crown, 9.1 mm depth

Solid silver with gold over lay LOUIS JEANNERET Dial 31.4 mm with carved ornaments

Dial imprint: Argent  935/1000 parts sterling;

Information about pocket watches:  http://www.mikrolisk.de/


Functional principle:



–> Photo of 1904 watchmaking

modern Glashaus watchmaking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwpP_s8LV_Y

Further information:

Servicing the balance

Gear inspection

Over wound spring myth

Antique watches for everyday usage?

Video: Watchmaking, Restoration of movement M. Großmann 3955

Video: Buffing & Polishing


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: