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The M88 Sea Lion that I found at the flea market would not run, so I opened up the back and found the problem...there was a loose screw lodged under the balance wheel, keeping the wheel from spinning. I noticed that the screw went into a hole by the movement's edge and did not seem critical..got the screw out and put it where it belongs. The balance wheel will spin for about five seconds then stops again until the watch is shaken...then runs again for five seconds. It looks like the movement needs a good cleaning...but I am wondering...the golden rule is never touch the balance wheel because it is easy to damage...is it possible that having the screw wedged under the wheel could have damaged it ? How can I tell ? I am just learning to fix watches and am open to suggestions...I am thinking of removing the hands, dial etc and cleaning the movement w/ naptha and then re-lubing movement to see if it will run. ( I have the movement out of the case...removed the stem/crown etc). Thanks

artie in miami
 

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The M88 Sea Lion that I found at the flea market would not run, so I opened up the back and found the problem...there was a loose screw lodged under the balance wheel, keeping the wheel from spinning. I noticed that the screw went into a hole by the movement's edge and did not seem critical..got the screw out and put it where it belongs. The balance wheel will spin for about five seconds then stops again until the watch is shaken...then runs again for five seconds. It looks like the movement needs a good cleaning...but I am wondering...the golden rule is never touch the balance wheel because it is easy to damage...is it possible that having the screw wedged under the wheel could have damaged it ? How can I tell ? I am just learning to fix watches and am open to suggestions...I am thinking of removing the hands, dial etc and cleaning the movement w/ naptha and then re-lubing movement to see if it will run. ( I have the movement out of the case...removed the stem/crown etc). Thanks

artie in miami
Hi Artie,

Since the balance actually works for 5 seconds when shaken, it is probably lust a case of needing a good service. And by that, I mean a complete disassembly, cleaning and inspection of all parts for wear and/or corrosion. Most of the wheels are brass but they sometimes have secondary gears in the hub which are steel or iron and susceptible to rust. These are the most important to check because a microscopic bit of rust or old hardened lubricant can be enough to stop the movement from working properly. Once that's done and ny parts that need replacing have been sourced; the movement can then be reassembled and lubricated according to the oiling charts found in most technical manuals. You can find these by looking for the calibre number on the case back of the watch; it will be in the form of xxxx-xxxx. The calibre is the first 4 digits of that number.

Don't hesitate to ask questions along the way as there are good people here who can help you out :)
 

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Sounds like you are half way there so I'd say go ahead. It can't hurt to try since the balance moves freely (even just for a bit).

Good luck!
 
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