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Barryw1957

Thos Russell half hunter - Breguet balance required

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Hi all,
I have a Thos Russell half hunter pocket watch that is need of repair. I have been informed by a specialist antique pocket watch repairer that it needs a replacement Breguet balance, which I am led to believe is very scarce....he doesn't have one! The watch movement is 36mm dia slim movement and has a personal inscription with the date of 1923. If anyone is able to help or offer advise I would very much appreciate it. From what I have been told, the existing movement shows a previous attempt to clean it with oil and the balance is now stuck even after being soaked in solution to free it. I assume that the experts among you will recognise the folly in using non-specialist oil and will also know of the solution used to attempt the clean. 
This is a family heirloom so any help would be greatly appreciated.
Regards
Barry

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simon2    75

Can we have some pictures of the front of the movement, please ( without the dial on) A pic of the sticky balance, may help to.

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vinn    255

what is a half hunter  ?.  it is easy  to join the "gallery".  you can send pix.  directly into this forum  without using a site like "photo bucket.".

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simon2    75

A Half hunter pocketwatch has a closing cover on the front of the case, with a small hole in the centre to enable the user to read the time. without opening the cover.

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Pics please.

Thomas Russell is a good company to have a watch by, so don't get rid of your heirloom without a fight. The "Breguet balance" you mention refers more specifically to the type of hairspring used in the balance, and the Breguet hairspring is also referred to as an overcoil spring, the reason being that instead of the spring being at the same level across its surface, from centre to outermost coil, the final coil is actually upraised and reduced in curvature, producing a high degree of accuracy.

The original overcoil idea by Breguet was, and still is, being reworked and modernized, as shown by the 2010 US patent drawing below, where the spring is made of silicon. Most early springs were made of tempered and blued steel, while most modern Breguet hairsprings are made from Nivarox.

 

US patent drawing of Breguet Overcoil balance spring. This patent, from 2010, is for a silicon spring (pic from patentimages.storage.googleapis.com):

US08215828-20120710-D00000.png

When it comes to repairing the balance of your Russell pocket watch, the problem is that these springs cannot generally be had to order, and finding a suitable example, taken from another old watch, will be difficult. With regard to previous attempts to clean and get your watch working using oil, I do know that movements can sometimes be ruined by such cack-handed methods. However, at least pocket watches have more generously sized movements than most wristwatches, so perhaps being less prone to ruination, and hopefully, your watch can be salvaged and turned into a "wearer.":)

 

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Firstly, thanks for the quick replies, I really appreciate your help. It would be great to turn the watch into a "wearer" if possible and I have no intention of moving it on. To start with it belongs to my brother in law and was his granddad's so I don't think I'd be on his Christmas Card list if I sold his family heirloom.

This is the first time I have used Photobucket, so I hope it has worked. Is this what you wanted to see (Simon2)

http://s1262.photobucket.com/user/Barryw1957/media/IMG_3508_zps0kesyi3t.jpg.html?o=0 

Thanks again

Barry

 

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Thanks Enrico,

As I have no knowledge of pocket watch movements, does this mean that I am looking for a Revue Thommen cal. 31-12 movement rather than a Breguet balance, and is it possible to locate whatever may be necessary to repair the watch? Also, if so, what would my next step be?

Many thanks again

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eri231    23

It will be difficult to find a balance and a Breguet hairspring. One solution is to find a movement like yours and take the spare parts you need

regards enrico

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