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Timex movement clean and lube

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Revision as of 06:11, 28 February 2009 by Nathan (Talk | contribs)

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Servicing a mechanical pinlever, Generic instructions for cleaning a Timex pinlever mechanical. Most "overwound" "wound too tight" or similar mechanical watches are just dirty. Timex are particularly easy to clean, since little disassembly is needed. These instructions will work with slight modification for other pinlever watches, especially with similar 2 plate designs.

Tools: Case knife Jeweler's screwdrivers Cleaner Watch oil Oiler

I'd use household ammonia for about 5-10 minutes, followed by Ronsenall lighter fluid as frist and second rinse. I personally use L and R cleaning fluids in an L and R machine, but that's a bit extreme for normal people (I work on a couple of watches a week, and do mostly jeweled movements). Frequently Ronsenall itself will work, but sometimes it won't remove heavy deposits. Some have reported success with shampooo and water.

Remove the back, remove the stem. Most Timex movements have a lever holding the stem, and you just back off the screw that holds the lever, don't completely remove it. Other movements may have a screw or button close to where the stem enters the movement--buttons get pushed, screws get backed out while trying to wiggle the stem out--stop when the stem comes out, you don't want to completely undo this screw.

Remove the second hand if it's got one. I use a hand puller, it can be done with screwdrivers or tweezers. Before you remove hands, cut a slot in a piece of paper, and slide it over the dial and under the hands, with the post for the hands in the slot. Try very hard to avoid bending the second hand pivot when you pull up--I'd use 2 screwdrivers.

Remove the dial, leaving the hands attached. Timex dials are held on by tabs that bend over the movement plate. Others may have posts that go through the plate with screws either at the top of the movement or along the side. (Adapting these instructions to other watches you probably want to remove the minute hand first, most are built differently than Timex)

I prefer to start with a partially wound watch, if it is fully wound, that's OK.

The official Timex procedure says to remove the balance, but unless you're used to working with watches I think this step is more trouble than it is worth. I've had success with no further disassembly during cleaning, now I back the balance screw off a bit. For pinlever watches with a balance cock, I will remove that. To remove the balance you'll need to remove the little tapered brass peg where the hairspring attaches to the plate of the watch. Push the thin side, then remove with tweezers, don't lose it.

Put the rest of the movement (as well as the balance if you've removed it) in the cleaner, ans swish it around for 5-10 minutes. If you use ammonia, follow with a Ronsenall rinse. The watch can sit in Ronsenall for a long time, don't go too long in Ammonia, it will attack brass or copper parts. Dry thoroughly.

If you did not remove the balance, remove the balance screw now. Fill it 3/4 full with watch oil. Fill the cup on the other side of the balance with about the same amount of oil--This will be the hardest part if you didn't remove the balance. Be really careful so you don't damage the hairspring, but you should be able to get just enough clearance to get oil into that cup.

Replace the balance, and get the balance screw in but not tight. The impulse peg of the balance wheel has to be on the same side as the fork--If you completely removed the balance you can rotate it around where it needs to be before you re-pin the hairspring, otherwise you just have to be careful. Tighten the balance screw so there is no play in the balance, but NO FARTHER!) If you removed the balance, repin the hairspring-This is easier if you use a bit of cleaning putty or similar to hold the balance in place.

The watch should start here, although the balance might not swing very far without oil. (This assumes the watch was wound when you started) If it doesn't start, make sure the balance screw isn't too tight, and see gently turn the balance in both directions--If you feel any resistance, stop--You've probably got the fork and impulse pin on opposite sides.

Oil all the pivots on both sides, with the smallest drops of oil you can. Oil the impulse pin on the balance, and 3 teeth of the escape wheel. Don't oil the other movement gears, but do oil the gears on the outside of the plate and the ones the stem touches. The movement should be running well at this point, with at LEAST 1/2 turn of the balance at each cycle. I'd let it run for 20 minutes or so.

Set the hands to exactly midnight and replace the dial. Replace the second hand Temporarily install the stem, set the watch and make sure the hands don't drag or foul on anything. Remove the stem, re-case the movement, re-install the stem.

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