Quartz to mechanical pocket watch conversion. V1.0

Back in mid May, I bought a cheap Chinese mechanical pocket watch. To be used as a movement donor, to fix one of my favorite quartz pocket watches that has bit the dust.  The quartz watch is special because it was one my Dad bought me.

I spent two days on ebay searching the watches for a dial/face I liked,  that was easy to read… Many mechanical watches have an unreadable color scheme,  or too much skeletonizing to be readable. 

I do like the dial in the quartz watch, but this process is a LOT easier if I don’t have to change the dial/hands between the movements. Or even remove them from the movements!


The project got shelved at the time. Then I realized how much I like the watch itself… The case is a little lightweight (cheap-ish) but it was nice enough, and went into rotation. Making it harder to canibalize for the other one.   

Every time I though of it, I put it off for various reasons.

Anyway. Today I was swapping watch chains around so I could carry my other mechanical pocket watch, and saw the quartz one on the shelf. Thought, gee wouldn’t it be nice to carry that one. And thinking how long it’s been since I carried the newer mechanical one… 

I thought oh why not, and took them apart right then. 

I always figured this would be a case of the mechanism not fitting, or the dial, or spacing ring etc, and turn out to be a real hassle to figure out.

At this point I did think that if nothing else, if it all went in ok, but the spacer ring didn’t fit, I could build a mount ring, or spacers with Sugru. 

Pulled the back covers first.

Measured the case diameters inside, quartz was 0.06″ smaller… PFFT! close enough!    

Pull plastic spacer rings, screw the crowns off (I need to find finer pliers for the next time, Victorinox Spirit tips were a bit big but worked great– you have to hold the inner shaft on the mech, and turn the crown off of it.) 

The mechanical dial was a touch smaller than the quartz one, but did fit ok. 

The mech. watches plastic ring fit the quartz case well enough, just had to whittle off some spacer nubs on its edge.. 

Room enough that the back plate went on too. 

Hands cleared the front glass. 

All perfect.

Except… 

The mechanical movement is thicker. By a few thousandths. So the stem shaft wouldn’t line up with the hole in the case/spring.  At least, not with out offsetting the dial in the case and binding the hands, and the crowns use.. 

I got that figured out with firm placement of the dial in place, and flexing/slightly bending the stem rod to line up, then starting the threads. Once started and seated it simply flexed the shafts where it needed it. 

Unfortunately…. (saw this coming, didn’t you?)

In the process,  I was handling a bare unprotected mechanical movement. That was running slightly… Somewhere I stopped it wrong, or pressed wrong,  or tweaked something… Ended up with a fine loop double up in the main spring/balance spring. 

Even if I could take it apart (oi.) I doubt I could straighten out the spring and make it work.  And I’d probably never get it back together right. 

So, at that point I had a half installed broken movement.  

I went ahead and finished the install, trimming the the plastic ring, etc.  

It all fits and would work great. If it still worked. Lol. 

So now I just need to order another of those watches to canibalize… A little more careful this time. 

Thankfully I’m only out about $12 on the broken one. It’ll still only be a $24 conversion! 😀 

Only took three pics of the whole process, will take more the next time. 


Mechanical spacer ring in quartz case;



The spring after I was done trying to push the loop out… Yeah. 😦


Advertisements
Categories: Custom, Damages, EDC, Improviser, MacGyver, mechanical, Modifications, New Gear, Sentimental, Sugru, Watches | 1 Comment

Post navigation

One thought on “Quartz to mechanical pocket watch conversion. V1.0

  1. Bummer! But it is nice that you now have it set up for the parts when you get a new watch piece.

Comment On This Post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: