WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just got a Elgin 7 jewel pocket watch off Ebay. Needless to say the watch is in excellent shape. Thing is I'm a total newbie with watches and pocket watches in general. I wound it a little and it fires right up and works fine. My questions are; how many times should I wind it? My Dad used to have a nice pocket watch that was wrecked when he overwound it, I don't want to do that. Also how do you set the time?

Here is the link to ebay for the auction so you can see what type of watch it is: Nice pocket watch Elgin - eBay (item 180549449730 end time Aug-25-10 21:11:23 PDT)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,372 Posts
First thing you need to do is have it serviced. It's very likely the watch hasn't been serviced in years. The watch was made in 1920 and is a grade 311 size 12 watch. It's one of the lower end movements from Elgin. This in no way detracts from the beauty of a pocket watch, but does effect value. I've never seen a dial like this. I believe it to be a replacement to the original porcelain dial. To set the time you need to unscrew the front crystal I believe on this watch. There should be a lever near two o'clock or five o'clock, pull out the lever, you can than use crown to set the time. There are plenty who know much more than me about pocket watches. They will probably chime in soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the reply. I have actually removed the front bezel and I can't see any lever or anything that can be used to set it, the same when I pop the cover on the movement, there doesn't appear to be a lever or anything there either. You can pust the crown down, I tried that but it won't do anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
846 Posts
I can't say for sure, but that looks like a stem set. But before you go pulling on the stem, unscrew the bezel and see if there is a small metal tab that is the tip of a lever that slides out sideways from the dial. No lever, then it is stem set, like a modern watch. You wind it once a day. Pocket watches generally have a short power reserve, usually around 33-35 hours, although there are notable exceptions like 8 day movts, etc. You can't overwind it, but if you continue to apply force to wind it after resistance is felt, you can break parts inside, not the least of which is the mainspring. It's old, so be gentle with it. It also may not have shock protection on the balance, so don't drop it.
If a seller tries to tell you a timepiece is not running or running poorly because it is 'overwound', they either don't have any idea what they're talking about, or are trying to scam you. Get is serviced if you plan to start using it, and you can hand it down to your kids. Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Hmmm...I tried pulling the crown out gently. It didn't come out at all, I pulled on it about as hard as I want to. Any other ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
846 Posts
Sometimes the keyless works, when they have no lube, or have been subjected to moisture, can be stiff, or seize up altogether. I would recommend taking it to a watchmaker, unless anybody else has any ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,259 Posts
Your grade 311 is pendant set. If the crown resists being pulled out it may help wiggle it very gently while pulling. However you should bring it in for a clean and oil as it probably is bone dry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,024 Posts
Send your watch in for a servicing by a competent watchmaker. Also, you might want to send in your pop's pocket-watch (if you still have it) and it might be fixable.

There's no such thing as "overwinding". To LITERALLY overwind a watch, you would have to break the mainspring, the winding-wheel, the click, the winding-stem...that's a lot of things to break. Most likely, he wound it up and the watch was so full of crap (said crap being...dust...dust and...dust) that it just jammed and wouldn't run. This is a common problem with watches which haven't been serviced in a long time and it can be fixed.

Simple, 7j watches are often crown/pendant set (means the same thing). You yank up the crown and turn it to set the hands, and click it back down to keep it at the right time. Just like how you set a wristwatch.

How many times you wind the watch depends on how long the mainspring is. A watch that has been thoroughly serviced should be able to be wound up RIGHT UP...and then left to run. If for whatever reason, your watch doesn't do this, it needs servicing. Usually it takes between 15-20 winds of a watch-crown to wind up a watch fully and once wound, it should run for a day and a half (about 28-36 hours).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,653 Posts
The thing to remember about a service is that it is a fixed cost. All watches of the same type have about the same cost of service Some watch makers routinely replace the mainspring and some do not. The watch makers that do may vary their price to reflect the cost. A service with all synthetic lubricants will be good for 7 to 10 years. When prorated the cost isn't too bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I can't really afford a service right now, But I think I will just leave well enough alone until I can, thanks so much for all the suggestions and education!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Ha, you guys are great! One last time (I know I said I wouldn't) I wiggled the crown a little bit and sure enough it popped up, which allowed me to set the time. I then wound it about 10 turns and I will see how it is for time keeping. I still need to have it cleaned out though, I know a guy that will do that, should phone him and see how much. It's very cool to have a working machine sitting in your hand, I can see the charm of old watches.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top