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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I acquired this 1940's Elgin. Nice little hacking watch but has a bad balance. I would like to find which Elgin movements might be compatible so I can get a donor balance. I happen to have 2 other Elgin movements (532 and 647 )which look similar. Might these work?
 

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http://cgi.julesborel.com/cgi-bin/matcgi2?ref=V^lWVFV

8/0 staffs comparable with yours. So the Elgin #s you find in the link should work staff wise.

532 is on the list.

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The part number for the Balance Complete in the 539 is 5683, which is also used in the 554, 555, and 556. The 532 uses 5640, and the 647, which also has Incabloc shock protection, is 6451.

I'd look for a naked, but running 554.
 

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watch guys used to replace the staffs
Some still do. But there are many "watchmakers" that will not do a wristwatch staff. My skill level is still not up to it but I will never call myself a watchmaker.

Strictly a clean and oil...basic repair collector here.

The advantage of replacing a staff over dropping in a used complete balance is knowing there is no worn or bent pivots.


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I certainly can't do a staff but I can probably replace a balance myself. Really for me it's whatever is most cost effective. I love to see these watches work again but frankly I'm not going to put more money than it's worth into it.
 

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Some still do. But there are many "watchmakers" that will not do a wristwatch staff. My skill level is still not up to it but I will never call myself a watchmaker.

Strictly a clean and oil...basic repair collector here.

The advantage of replacing a staff over dropping in a used complete balance is knowing there is no worn or bent pivots.


Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk
I cut and replace staffs, also will never refer to myself as a watchmaker...
 

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I certainly can't do a staff but I can probably replace a balance myself. Really for me it's whatever is most cost effective. I love to see these watches work again but frankly I'm not going to put more money than it's worth into it.
Yes, it is unfortunate that today, even a proper cleaning can exceed the value of some of our vintage watches.
 

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Used to be, you got a $70 or $100 watch and you could have it cleaned or get a staff replaced for peanuts.

What happened to this planet?
It's all about supply and demand. In the old days, there were fewer collectors and more watchmakers. In the very old days (before the quartz crisis), watchmakers even serviced pin lever watches. Nowadays, you get strong recommendations along the lines of "not worth it" or an excessively large bill or quote that indicates "I don't really want to/don't have time to work on this watch....."!

It must be time to take up professional watchmaking (or at least servicing)!

Hartmut Richter
 
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