Antique Pocket Watch repair log: Elgin Father Time Railroad Watch with up-down indicator

Shattered cap jewel

This antique Elgin Father Time Railroad pocket watch came to the shop in relatively good shape, but it had many repair issues. The balance staff had a broken pivot, the lower escape wheel cap jewel was shattered, the lower second hand wheel jewel was cracked, and the seconds hand lower pivot was broken off. So the first task was to turn a new balance staff on the lathe. 

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The next task was repairing the gear (wheel) that runs the seconds hand. The long pivot that the seconds hand fits on is delicate and often found broken on old watches. A very small hole is drilled in the end of the arbor and a small steel plug is turned along with the correct size and length pivot.

The roller jewel was also damaged. Repairing this involves finding the proper size jewel, and cementing in place using shellac. This is done using a special tool to hold the balance over an alcohol burner (so no direct heat is applied to the balance that may cause discoloring), and melting the shellac to fix the jewel in place. 

Once these repairs were complete and tested the watch is completely disassembled, cleaned, reassembled, oiled and timed. The restored movement ran within half a second per day, and within 3 seconds in all six positions. 

Complete and running 

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