Cylinder Watch Mechanical Restoration

Both of the pivots on the balance staff were broken, and the cylinder was partially bent out of place (see Fig. 1). First the cylinder is carfully bent back into shape, then the staff assembly is pressed out of the balance wheel (see Fig. 2 and 3).

Bent cylinder watch escapement
Figure 1
Cylinder watch restoration
Figure 2
Cylinder watch repair
Figure 3

The staff is now separated from the wheel (Fig. 4),  plug end pivots are pressed out of the cylinder using a special stake, and now can be measured for patterns to turn new pivots (see Fig. 5).

Cylinder watch repair
Figure 4
Cylinder watch repair
Figure 5

The plates and wheels are now pre-assembled and checked for freedom (See Fig.6).They are then taken apart again, and all of the pivots are inspected. This has revealed that some of the pivots will need to be polished, as signs of wear are apparent. You will also note that there are some nasty dark stains on the brass. I will use a different chemical soaking treatment to attempt to remove these stains as much as possible. The spring barrel is soaked (see Fig. 7) in an attempt to loosen and minimize the stain left from crystalized grease.

Cylinder watch repair
Figure 6
Removing hard grease from mainspring barrel pocket watch
Figure 7
Balance jewels for cylinder escapement
Figure 8
Balance jewels cylinder watch
Figure 9

Work then moves on to repairing the cylinder pivots, making new ones on the lathe (See Fig. 10). You can see the comparison (see Fig.11) of the broken on the right, and the newly turned one on the left.

  1. If you recall, the cylinder portion of the escapement was crushed. I straightened it, but during the installation of one of the plugs, the place were it was bent contained slight fracture. Concerned that this may fail in the future, I decided to go ahead and make a new cylinder on the lathe (see Figs. 12 and 13).
Pivot plug cylinder escapement
Figure 10
Figure 11
Making a new cylinder for pocket watch
Figure 12
Making a new cylinder pocket watch
Figure 13