SERVICE & REPAIR: Roskopf Pocket Watch Pin-pallet Escapement

Georges Frederic Roskopf was a watchmaker during the mid-1800s. He developed the pin-pallet escapement (an easily and cheaply manufactured escapement used in inexpensive watches). His objective was to produce an affordable decent quality pocket watch, and that he did. This example is a plain, utilitarian, practical, and serviceable watch. Built well enough to be restored to good working condition some 150 years after it was made.

It had 8 jewels: upper and lower balance hole/cap, lever and escape wheel. The mainspring was protected from breakage by employing a hook that slipped inside the barrel if wound up too much.

Interesting to note is that the immensely cheap and popular Timex mechanical wristwatch (made from the early 1950s-1970s) that also used a pin-pallet escapement we’re so poorly made that it is almost impossible to service or repair them.

The thick heavy brass plates and wheels are cleaned and inspected. New pins replaced old worn pins on the pallet. The watch was stem wound, but finger set. This watch was set by moving the hands with one’s finger depositing oils, leaving the heavy green corrosion at the tip of the minute hand (see picture below). After pivot and bushing polish, the watch comes to life and runs strong.

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