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Hi everyone. I am a noob in the mechanical watch world. I found a vintage watch with a Swiss Avia movement. I wanted to give it some help with some oil. Not doing my research, I used household 3-in-1 oil. This is too thick and it bogged down the balance and escapement. Is there any way to clean that out or remedy it in some way? It probably has more value to me than anyone else.

I also tried to find the watch on the internet and didn't really find anything. It says TONY on the dial. The movement is a Swiss Avia 17 jewel with a Ball Watch Company inscription. It is square and tiny, less than 25 mm wide. The bezel is plated with 10k gold. Any helpful knowledge is appreciated.
 

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If you're going to pursue watchmaking, commercial cleaning and rinse solutions are available (typical method is in the cleaning solution once followed by two rinses). Contrary to a lot of non-watchmakers thoughts, adding oil to a nonworking watch is not the correct way to get it running. The name on the dial doesn't always mean anything - it's the manufacturer of the movement. I also wouldn't recommend learning on a small movement - a larger pocket watch movement is easier.
Samantha
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the wise feedback! I will check out some specialty cleaning solution and lubricant. I actually did try to fix a Westclox Scotty pocket watch (without oil), but the jewels for the balance were shot. I did some research on this Avia movement, but never found this exact watch that I have. It's people like me that need people like you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, here's the thing. It was working pretty well before I added the oil. It stopped then. I just thought that I might preserve it and refresh it since it was so old and had probably never been opened. In hindsight, maybe it would have been fine without the oil?
 

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I bet most of us hobbyists have done that at an early point on the learning curve. For me it was bicycle chain lube. Luckily it cleans off with a good solvent.

The thing about watches is that they run best with the right amount of the right oil, in the right places, and nowhere else. I suspect you got oil on the hairspring, which will mess up a watch like nobody's business! But a good solvent should clean it off.

Samantha's right about cleaning and rinse solutions. In the long run, the commercial solutions are just much better than anything you can concoct at home. They seem expensive to beginners, though - $40-50/gallon?

Do you have any books on watch repair? Fried's 'Watch Repairers' Manual' is an excellent choice for that! Lots of pictures, good explanation, not too verbose.
 

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Hi ladies,

strange, nobody would pour salad oil into a coarse lump like a Ferrari engine, but believe that it works well for a filigrane watch movement.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

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I did find a good article that reiterates the importance of placement as you said. I applied the oil straight from the applicator nozel on the bottle. There was one drop (probably too much) that went right over the hairspring, balance, and escapement. Your theory about the hairspring being gummed up now is most likely accurate.
 

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Hi ladies,

strange, nobody would pour salad oil into a coarse lump like a Ferrari engine, but believe that it works well for a filigrane watch movement.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
Nobody?? Really???

 

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Hi ladies,

strange, nobody would pour salad oil into a coarse lump like a Ferrari engine, but believe that it works well for a filigrane watch movement.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
Silly Roland - Salad oil goes in the fuel tank. It's why some diesels give off the haunting aroma of French Fries.
 

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I did find a good article that reiterates the importance of placement as you said. I applied the oil straight from the applicator nozel on the bottle. There was one drop (probably too much) that went right over the hairspring, balance, and escapement. Your theory about the hairspring being gummed up now is most likely accurate.
It's amazing just how little oil a watch really needs. We put little 5-10 microliter droplets of oil in our oil cups, so we can transfer a few nanoliters to just exactly the right spot. Most of the watch oil we buy ends up being discarded after sitting in the cups for a bit.
 

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I'm assuming you put it on top of the cap jewel too.

Look up a fine oiler and see how big the end is, this is how small an amount you need.
Without trying to sound too harsh the amount you used was probably enough for 10 movements not just one jewel on one movement.

Buy a how to book on Watch repairs and a few cheap movements in need of service. You need very few tools to start, tweezers, screwdriver, hand removing tool, oilers, oil and cups, movement holder, rodico, cleaning and rinsing fluid, peg wood.
Everything else is to speed up servicing, make it easier or a shiny luxury.
 

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Top trolling Maaker! Your first message was spot on - plausible enough to get the reactions without being too obvious.

Unfortunately you just went a little over the top with this one;

I did find a good article that reiterates the importance of placement as you said. I applied the oil straight from the applicator nozel on the bottle. There was one drop (probably too much) that went right over the hairspring, balance, and escapement. Your theory about the hairspring being gummed up now is most likely accurate.
But over all it was a splendid effort and I hope you enjoyed the fruits of your trolling. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Top trolling Maaker! Your first message was spot on - plausible enough to get the reactions without being too obvious.

Unfortunately you just went a little over the top with this one;



But over all it was a splendid effort and I hope you enjoyed the fruits of your trolling. :)
Uhh, thanks? I'll just take that as a compliment. To everyone else, thanks for humbly helping out a watch noob.
 
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