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Guys, I couldn't take it anymore my girlfriend could hear my Orient Bambino rotor from across the room and I finally put some silicone grease in there, how screwed is this watch??o_O
 

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The normal oil is Moebius 9010 which is the least viscous oil you will normally use in a watch. The question is, does it still wind itself? If it does, it will probably do so for a very long time. One of the goals behind silicone lubricants is very low vapor pressure, hence they evaporate very slowly.

We use mostly silicone lubes in aerospace for this reason. If you think things evaporate down here on the benign atmosphere of earth, try the hard vacuum of space.

It is possible that it will migrate due to mechanical influences and more grease gets into the works, stopping things. The reason light oil is used is to cut down on the friction so it doesn't get in the way of winding. Think of just tipping the watch back and forth as opposed to being in a winder. If the first works, you are more likely to keep a wind.
 

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It's still spinning as best I can tell, I'm going to give it a couple days to wind down then check and see if the rotor still turns easily. I only applied a small amount and cleaned up after myself before I closed her up so I'm really hoping it doesn't fubar the movement. I guess you can probably get a really cheap replacement movement but that's a lot of effort for a $100 watch!
 

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If it's a ball bearing, then using grease of any kind is not recommended. I'm guessing this won't be a ceramic ball bearing, but those don't get lubricated at all, and tend to be very loud.

Steel ball bearings usually get a very small drop (I would not even call it a drop, more like a smear) of Moebius 9010 so a very light oil. Alternately there are lubricants suspended in solvents that are used for them (Lubeta V106 for example).

Cheers, Al
 

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Hi Al,

...I would not even call it a drop, more like a smear) of Moebius 9010 so a very light oil.
Yes, because ETA recommends almost every nonsense if it only boosts the sales of Swatch-Group member Moebius. The balls will distribute the "like a smear" over the race to form a few nm thin layer, which will evaporate within a couple of days, just enough time to collect some debris, if not carefully cleaned before.

Maybe emulsions leaving solid lubricants like MoS2 or PTFE after evaporating their carrying oil help a little, but I'm not sure, and I'm afraid nobody investigated this yet.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

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Hi Al,


Yes, because ETA recommends almost every nonsense if it only boosts the sales of Swatch-Group member Moebius. The balls will distribute the "like a smear" over the race to form a few nm thin layer, which will evaporate within a couple of days, just enough time to collect some debris, if not carefully cleaned before.

Maybe emulsions leaving solid lubricants like MoS2 or PTFE after evaporating their carrying oil help a little, but I'm not sure, and I'm afraid nobody investigated this yet.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
Yes, it’s all a big conspiracy, thank you for figuring all this out and letting us all know...
 

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Steel ball bearings usually get a very small drop (I would not even call it a drop, more like a smear) of Moebius 9010 so a very light oil.
Out of curiosity, do you apply the oil to one of the races between bearings or on a ball itself?

Maybe emulsions leaving solid lubricants like MoS2 or PTFE after evaporating their carrying oil help a little, but I'm not sure, and I'm afraid nobody investigated this yet.
Interesting idea but I don't think I'd like to have loose solid lube floating around in my watch case, even if it is a lubricant. At best, there are solid lube solutions that adhere to a surface (basically a paint) and that's what we typically use in aerospace. But I don't see a watchmaker applying some to the outer race with an airbrush.

Little known fact: Moly-disulfide doesn't actually work here on earth. It requires an absence of water to work properly. Molycote works because the particles are surrounded by oil which protects it from water vapor. In space, it's the bomb because any water is very quickly drawn away by the hard vacuum of space. I've never seen a constraint that says "we need to wait x hours for the lubricant to dry", it happens very quickly.

If you want a solid film lube to work here in the atmosphere, graphite is the choice, and yes, the do make graphite coatings. Still, I wouldn't want any in a watch case.

I don't have much experience with PTFE; I inherited some small containers of powder from my dad but I haven't seen it used in aerospace so I'm a bit skeptical (although it unplugs my truck's key-locks very well).
 

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Out of curiosity, do you apply the oil to one of the races between bearings or on a ball itself?
I typically apply it directly to the ball, in two spots. One on one side of the bearing, and one opposite.

Interesting idea but I don't think I'd like to have loose solid lube floating around in my watch case, even if it is a lubricant. At best, there are solid lube solutions that adhere to a surface (basically a paint) and that's what we typically use in aerospace. But I don't see a watchmaker applying some to the outer race with an airbrush.
Both the reversing wheels and the rotor bearings in ETA based movements are treated with a lubricating solution at the factory, not oil. The solution for reversing wheels is Lubeta V105, and for rotor bearings it is Lubeta V106. I mentioned the V106 in my first post above.

This is a solvent with a form of lubrication in it. When the solvent carrier evaporates, it leaves behind a solid lubricant in a thin film that is distributed through the item being treated. If over applied or excess solution is not properly removed before drying, the residue left behind is a white waxy material. If properly applied, it works very well.

Cheers, Al
 

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Hi Al,

hopefully you didn't get me wrong. I'd never recommend a professional not to follow any manufacturer advice. Even if it were completely nuts, you might get warranty troubles if you tell your customer that you left the ball bearing dry.

But this is no forum to discuss crazy customer-protection legislation. We have the freedom to discuss the sense or nonsense of lubrication methods, and even to kill our watches with the wrong measures. Consumer protection inhibits progress, and we have the tiny chance to create a certain counter weight.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

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Hi Al,

hopefully you didn't get me wrong. I'd never recommend a professional not to follow any manufacturer advice. Even if it were completely nuts, you might get warranty troubles if you tell your customer that you left the ball bearing dry.

But this is no forum to discuss crazy customer-protection legislation. We have the freedom to discuss the sense or nonsense of lubrication methods, and even to kill our watches with the wrong measures. Consumer protection inhibits progress, and we have the tiny chance to create a certain counter weight.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
Are you familiar with the damping test for ball bearing rotors? If so, have you experimented in testing the time the rotor swings with no oil, small amount of 9010, larger amount of 9010, or other lubricants?
 

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Hi Al,

Are you familiar with the damping test for ball bearing rotors?
Definitely double no. But I suspect that even ETA did't according investigations, and if yes, with which result? I'm pretty satisfied that my daily thingy meanwhile ran some 40 years with dry ball bearing and even dry reversers (except the oiled lever bearings). No noticable wear on any of these parts, and dry reversers (again: only lever bearings oiled) provided smooth manual winding over the whole service intervals. When I then read, how many ETA 2524s need new reversers after few years or have a rattling rotor, either I did fine or my watch is a miracle.

Consider that today's knowledge about lubrication is still almost completely based on experiments. And if I have better success than average with my individiual experiment, I'm happy, because I'm too old to start another 40-years experiment.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

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Are you familiar with the damping test for ball bearing rotors? If so, have you experimented in testing the time the rotor swings with no oil, small amount of 9010, larger amount of 9010, or other lubricants?
I've seen your posts and they are maybe one of the most informative sets of information here on the site or on OF. As a rote amateur, I never would have considered such a test.

Now, about those numbers....????

Pshaw, I'm sure I can find them somewhere on the wild wild web (or not).
 

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I've seen your posts and they are maybe one of the most informative sets of information here on the site or on OF. As a rote amateur, I never would have considered such a test.

Now, about those numbers....????

Pshaw, I'm sure I can find them somewhere on the wild wild web (or not).
I would encourage you to do your own testing and find out what happens. Lubrication of these parts is maybe a little tricky, so it's no surprise that some just leave it dry or whatever. In my experience if you get the right lubrication in the right amount, the time of the damping test will be longer than without any lubrication. Too much, and the time will drop off substantially.

Of course, cleanliness in the movement parts and work environment are critical, and is the biggest issue I see with both amateur watchmakers and many professionals.

Cheers, Al
 

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Hi Al,

Yes, I think there's a word they use for gaining knowledge through experiments...I think they call it science. :)
Yes, this was common oppinion nearly always. There was only a very short periode when few nuts like me expected more from science than just conserving experiences: The last 100 years, negligible compared with always, but pretty efficient. Maybe not all changed to the better, but the change from jungle drums to smart phones was not that bad.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

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Well, when I was working as an engineer for a bearing company, experiments (life testing) done at our research facility were a critical part of confirmation of the development of any new product. This is what allowed us to confirm that internal geometry changes and changes in steel alloys, could more than double the loads a given bearing could carry, reducing size and weight in all kinds of applications, from the bearings in the cars people drive, to military and aerospace applications.

And of course the number one reason for failure of bearings was improper lubrication, followed by improper installation.

Cheers, Al
 

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Hi Al,

yes, thats well done engineerig, and hopefully normal: Using research results to redesign something, and verifying the success by experiments.

What I wanted to point out is that experiments alone are no efficent way to improve or even create things. Better is when science provides a model which can predict how particular measures work, and then verify the used model by few experiments, or improve the model if necessary.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 
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