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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all! Me again with another movement question!
Does this look any good to you guys?
I can't seem to find a model number on it so I don't really know :(
Any answers are welcome!!
36587425_10212196250438566_5491275696942612480_n.jpg
 

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BFG 866 (or something of that family), manufactured by Baumgartner, Switzerland, assembly and finishing by Agon, also in Switzerland, supplied to Fingerhut Products Co, USA.

It is a very cheap, single jewel, pin-lever movement produced in vast quantities and found in entry-level watches made in many countries from the 1960s (I think) through to early 1980s.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I found the dial of the watch to be attractive to me, and I was wondering if you thought personally that it was worth about 60 USD?
 

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It won't last a long time?
It has already ;-) (if it is currently running). But to answer your question seriously; as tough as these movements are when new, it will suffer the effects of friction more than a fully-jewelled movement. And although it is fully serviceable, it was made with the expectation of being disposable.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the replies, everyone! Seems to be not worth it at all!

Please help me though, because I'm new to the technicalities of movements.
What makes the "pin-lever" undesirable?
 

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As others said, pin lever movements are usually low quality. Don't expect great timing. Any service would cost more than the value of the watch.

Not all low quality movement watches equate to being junk. There are plenty of well made Timex that hold a value. Servicing options are limited but available.

If you buy one buy it for the funky look of the watch or just some interesting look. Buy it for fun. The only real value is the entertainment value.

Don't think that $60 is over priced for all pin lever watches. They can be worth anything from $1 (if it has a nice band) to 200-300. I have some crazy prices on the bay for watches that were considered nothing but throwaway 20 years ago. As with any watch, look at the price trends for what you like and stay in the reasonable range.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As others said, pin lever movements are usually low quality. Don't expect great timing. Any service would cost more than the value of the watch.

Not all low quality movement watches equate to being junk. There are plenty of well made Timex that hold a value. Servicing options are limited but available.

If you buy one buy it for the funky look of the watch or just some interesting look. Buy it for fun. The only real value is the entertainment value.

Don't think that $60 is over priced for all pin lever watches. They can be worth anything from $1 (if it has a nice band) to 200-300. I have some crazy prices on the bay for watches that were considered nothing but throwaway 20 years ago. As with any watch, look at the price trends for what you like and stay in the reasonable range.

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Thanks for the replies guys, I appreciate all the comments!

Thoth, I like that way of thinking, definitely, but my biggest concern with this particular watch is it lasting long enough :)

ALSO, what alternative is there to pin lever movements? What do modern watches use?

Thanks again!
 

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Modern...Swiss lever. Omega Coaxial. Vintage....Duplex....Cylinder....rack and lever...english lever.

Look up about watch escapements. So many in the past and so many defunct.

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Thanks for the replies guys, I appreciate all the comments!

Thoth, I like that way of thinking, definitely, but my biggest concern with this particular watch is it lasting long enough :)

ALSO, what alternative is there to pin lever movements? What do modern watches use?

Thanks again!
A practical problem with the pin-lever watches is that watchmakers often refuse to service them. We hear many stories about an owner taking a pin-lever watch to a watchmaker because the watch isn't running well, and the watchmaker says "it's not worth it to service that movement". Because the moving parts are very susceptible to wear, even if a watchmaker cleans and lubricates the movement, the movement may still not run very well, so I can understand why many watchmakers don't want to get involved.
 

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What do modern watches use?
Basic answer....a battery.

Otherwise you are asking the escapement used and honestly the lever escapement has been used for going on almost 200 years. So modern....more like most widely used and the most reliable for a very long time.

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What do modern watches use?
Mostly lever escapements with jeweled pallets. Also, since pin-lever movements were designed to be inexpensive, they also have steel bearing surfaces instead of jewel bearings.
 

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Hi there,

pin levers, where steel pins are literally nailed into thin sheet metal, are the cheapest way to realize an escapement, and therefore this is applied in cheap movements. But it is the inferior production quality, not the pin-lever principle which makes them inaccurate. The equation pinlever = cheap + inaccurate is simply wrong.

For instance Kienzle made some calibres with ruby pins like this
bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Kienzle 060a1

Kienzle_060a22-3.jpg

With the plane lift surfaces and a club-teeth wheel it works precisely like a pallet lever escapement, and as the pins can't be adjusted like pallets, this even requires a higher production precision.

And Uwersi realized ruby pins as thin as 0.1mm in a 21 jewel movement like this
bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Uwersi 57/8(pin-lever, SC, CLD)

Uwersi_57_8PSCCLD-2.jpg

This provides low friction, and this movement runs as smooth and accurate as a Swiss lever with comparable production quality.

Finally Oris made even pin-lever chronometers. Unfortunately they are rare, and so I have no pics yet.

But not only such exceptional examples make pin levers collectible. Long before the famous Zenith 135 was designed, Roskopf made the movement center free for a big barrel or a big balance. And in many rather cheap pinlevers design features are met which make the designs of most top-grade movements rather boring.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

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Hi there,

pin levers, where steel pins are literally nailed into thin sheet metal, are the cheapest way to realize an escapement, and therefore this is applied in cheap movements. But it is the inferior production quality, not the pin-lever principle which makes them inaccurate. The equation pinlever = cheap + inaccurate is simply wrong.

For instance Kienzle made some calibres with ruby pins like this
bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Kienzle 060a1

View attachment 13275363

With the plane lift surfaces and a club-teeth wheel it works precisely like a pallet lever escapement, and as the pins can't be adjusted like pallets, this even requires a higher production precision.

And Uwersi realized ruby pins as thin as 0.1mm in a 21 jewel movement like this
bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Uwersi 57/8(pin-lever, SC, CLD)

View attachment 13275377

This provides low friction, and this movement runs as smooth and accurate as a Swiss lever with comparable production quality.

Finally Oris made even pin-lever chronometers. Unfortunately they are rare, and so I have no pics yet.

But not only such exceptional examples make pin levers collectible. Long before the famous Zenith 135 was designed, Roskopf made the movement center free for a big barrel or a big balance. And in many rather cheap pinlevers design features are met which make the designs of most top-grade movements rather boring.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
You have to agree though that the large majority of pin lever movements are inaccurate and cheap in function and design. You can use an example of some high grade pin lever movements but these are not what most people are presented with in most pin lever watches.

There are cheap innacurate lever escapements. But the large volume of mass production pin lever movements are 1 to no jewel watches. Even on the lower end of lever movements the numbers fall in favor of 7 jewels plus.

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I have a Manson with the same movement. The dial is attractive, the movement is crude and it's a loud ticker. I think I paid less than $10 for it. I keep it in my collection because it's from an era (middle 1950s through the 70s) when everyone and his dog was sourcing movements and/or watches they could have made with their name on. It could be considered a "Timex effect". Timex showed that there was a huge market at the low end, and everyone scrambled to get a piece of it.

I have one of those Mansons with the 1 jewel movement. It also says fingerhut on it. Lol I would never pay $60 for it. I didn't pay nothing for mine and I would presume that's pretty close to the value of one. Lol
So how much did you pay?
 
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