Your standard pocket watch, may at this point in history, have seen many miles. I find it rather humorous to often be confronted by folks taking for granted the many years of service offered by this time piece, with no thought what so ever to the cycle of sound mechanical operation. They are phenomenal machines, and that's why I love them, but they do suffer if they are not serviced and cared for well.

The favours you can do your antique pocket watch are many. My standard suggestion to clients is to have it restored or at least have some sort of conservation work done; then retire it to a display case. Of course, with a nice vest and Grampa's old watch fob, a sunny Sunday trip to the church picnic would not be out of order. The watch would likely appreciate getting out for some fresh air after all winter penned up under that glass dome.16s pocket watch

Certainly, using the collectable for the purpose it was intended is just fine. My point is that if you owned a nice car of similar vintage that you had lovingly restored, you'd no sooner think of using it to drive to work and back year round, than fly it to Mars. If you treat your collectable or keepsake like the fine piece of history that it is, it will likely not require any further maintenance for many years. Just be aware that mainsprings have been known to fracture during lightning storms, and accidents of all kinds must be guarded against.

It's advisable to have a special place to hang the watch where it can be safe from accidental quick trips to the floor. Failing that, a small, soft cloth pouch inside a safety deposit box, is not out of line. Many of these mementos are hard to replace. A big mistake many people make is in not documenting the dial, case, and movement on film with close up "full frame" photos. If the piece ever goes missing you will have an excellent reference of what has been lost and be well armed to go about replacing what you have lost with something of similar aesthetic appeal and value.

Often there are major repairs to be done in the pocket watch that still runs well and keeps great time. One of the common but fussy repairs is the replacement of the pallet arbour. The wear at this point often prevents good running due to power loss or bad timekeeping from erratic or poor power transfer to the balance wheel. This wear occurs after many thousands of hours operation. It is remarkable that it takes so many years for this arbour to wear, as it isn't part of the lubrication plan in regular servicing. It isn't lubricated because the lubrication at that point, is apt to change too much as it breaks down and adversely affects the timekeeping.

pocket watch pendant button repairAnother common mechanism needing repair is the plunger that acts to push the stem into winding and returns the crown to setting position. Eventually the winding and setting crown at rest will spin without winding the watch, but can be depressed to set the crown wheel into the winding pinion to crank it up for another day.

If a watch runs 24 hours a day 7 days a week, it puts in 8760 hours of operation per year. I usually recommend a cleaning would be in order every three years or 26280 hours. I think we'd be hard pressed to find any other machine to run so well on so little maintenance. Please try and break down the cost of a proper servicing in terms of hours of operation. That way, the cost of a traditional watch servicing, where it is stripped down, hand cleaned, de-greased and reassembled, lubricated and timed will seem like quite a bargain. I believe it's an extraordinary bargain, given that if it is done properly, the watch will continue to run well for so many more years. As well, you'll have the added bendfit of having an old piece that continues to grow in value...if you can ever bear to part with it to reap the profit gained that is!

If you have questions or trouble with your pocket watch, drop me a note and I will do my best to see that your concerns are addressed promptly.