It’s a sad day when you look at your pocket watch and see that it has stopped ticking. The timepiece was made by the finest craftsman in Switzerland. What can be done to fix this? Luckily for you, there are many things that you can do to get the watch back into working order. Whether it just needs a cleaning or some new parts, we’ll show you how to fix your pocket watch so that it is ticking away like clockwork again.
Table of Contents
Why Does My Antique Pocket Watch Stop Ticking?
One of the most common problems with a pocket watch is that it stops ticking. There are many reasons why this may happen, but some of the most common ones are:
The watch needs a cleaning:
Over time, dirt and dust can build up inside the watch and cause it to stop working properly. -The battery has died: Many people think that the watch stops working because it has run out of batteries. However, these watches actually use a different type of power source and don’t require any sort of battery at all. Sometimes the owner just forgot to wind up their timepiece for a few days or weeks and this caused it to stop ticking.
The balance wheel is broken:
If the balance wheel is broken, then the watch will not be able to keep time.
The mainspring has run down:
The mainspring is what powers the watch and if it runs down, the watch will stop ticking.
The cogwheel is damaged:
If there is damage to any of the cogwheels, then the watch will not be able to keep time.
The hands are stuck:
Sometimes, if a person wears their pocket watch too tightly and it moves around quite often, this can cause the hands of the clock to stick inside the front cover of the case. If you open your watch and see that they have become dislodged from the face of the watch, you will need to put them back in their proper place.
The crown is broken:
If the crown is broken or missing, then it cannot be wound up and your timepiece will stop working properly.
How Can I Fix My Pocket Watch?
There are many things that you can do to get your pocket watch ticking again. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- Take it to a professional for repairs
- Remove dust and dirt with cotton swabs
- Wind up your timepiece every 12 hours or so
- Replace broken parts if possible
Other Things You Can Try
Here are even more things that you can do to fix your pocket watch:
- Remove any gunk or grime with a toothpick
- Use vinegar and baking soda to clean the inside of your timepiece, then dry it off thoroughly before putting it back together
- Make sure you are winding up the crown in the correct direction so that there is no damage done when you try and fix it
- If the hands are stuck, you can try to move them by gently tapping on the glass cover of the watch case
- If all else fails, take it to a professional and have them repair it for you.
How much and how often to wind your vintage pocket watch?
It is important to wind your watch every 12 hours or so in order to keep it ticking. If you do not, the mainspring will run down and the watch will stop working. It is also important to make sure that you are winding up the crown in the correct direction, or else you could damage the watch further. If all else fails, you can have a professional repair it for you.
How to Stop a Pocket Watch from Dislodging the Hands?
Here are some tips to stop your pocket watch from dislodging the hands:
- If you find that the hands of your pocket watch keep becoming dislodged, then make sure that you are winding it in the correct direction so as not to cause any damage when trying to fix it.
- You can also try to tap gently on the glass cover of the watch case in order to move the hands back into place.
- If all else fails, take it to a professional and have them repair it for you.
Pocket watches are delicate pieces of machinery that need special care in order to keep ticking away properly. By following the tips in this blog post, you can learn how to fix a pocket watch that has stopped ticking and have it running like new again.
Common Winding Problems
There are many common problems that people face when trying to wind up their pocket watch and get it working again. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Cannot be wound at all
- Winding wheel is stuck
- Hands are not moving properly after winding
- Winding in the wrong direction
- Cannot get crown to stay in position
Cannot be wound at all:
If the watch is not winding at all, then there is likely a problem with one of the gears that are inside. You will need to take it in for repairs or try and fix it yourself if you are know how to do it.
Winding wheel is stuck:
If your winding wheel feels like it has gotten “stuck” on something, what you need to do is remove the back cover of your watch and try and free up the wheel. Be very careful when doing this, as you do not want to damage any of the gears inside.
Hands are not moving properly after winding:
If the hands-on your pocket watch are not moving correctly after you have wound it, then there may be a problem with the mainspring. You can either try and fix it yourself or take it in to get repaired depending on your knowledge of how these watches work internally.
Winding in the wrong direction:
This is especially important if you are trying to wind up your pocket watch manually without using its crown (the little knob that sticks out). If you are winding it in the wrong direction, you can damage the gears inside and make it difficult to get your watch working again.
Cannot get crown to stay in position:
If you find that the crown on your pocket watch keeps popping out of its place when you are trying to wind it up, then there is likely something wrong with the way it is constructed. In this case, you will need to take it in for repairs.
Is My Old Pocket Watch Damaged?
If you are unsure whether or not your watch is damaged, then here are some common problems to look out for:
- Smoke smell
- Hands do not move properly
- Problems with time keeping e.g. fast/slow etc..
- The hands on the face of the clock seem to be moving slowly or not at all
- The watch has stopped working completely
- There is a strange smell, like smoke, coming from the watch
If you are experiencing any of these problems with your pocket watch, then it is likely that it needs some form of repair. Take it in to a professional or try and fix it yourself if you have some idea of how watches work and what the problem might be.
Smoke smell: If there is a strange, almost smoke like smell coming from your pocket watch, this could mean that some part inside has overheated or even burned out completely. You will need to take it in for repairs as soon as possible before you risk damaging any other parts of the watch.
Hands do not move properly: If the hands on your pocket watch are not moving correctly, this could be a sign that something is wrong with the gears inside. This will need to be fixed by a professional as it can be difficult to do yourself.
Problems with timekeeping: e.g fast/slow etc..: If the time on your pocket watch is not keeping the correct time and seems to be running either too fast or too slow, this could mean that one of its internal springs has become lost. You can try fixing it yourself if you know what these springs look like inside a watch, otherwise take it in for repairs as soon as possible.
The hands-on face of the clock seems to be moving slowly or not at all: This could mean that there is something wrong with the gears inside your watch, and will need to be fixed by a professional.
The watch has stopped working completely: If your pocket watch has stopped working altogether, this is an indication that there is a problem with either the battery or some other internal component. You will need to take it in for repairs as soon as possible.
There is a strange smell, like smoke, coming from the watch: If there is a strange smell coming from your pocket watch, it could mean that one of its internal parts has overheated or even burned out. Take it in for repairs as soon as possible to avoid any further damage.
List of Items to Keep On Hand When Repairing a Pocket Watch:
- A watch press (to open the back of the pocket watch)
- Tweezers and a magnifying glass for handling tiny parts/getting into small spaces.
- Grease to lubricate gears if needed.
- Jeweler’s screwdrivers are in different sizes depending on what you need them for.
- A small brush to clean the watch with.
- Cleaning fluid if needed.
If you are able to, it is also helpful to have a few spare parts on hand in case something needs to be replaced, such as springs or gears. However, if you do not know what these look like or how to replace them, it is best to take your watch in for repairs.
If you are not familiar with how to fix watches, it is best to take your pocket watch in for repairs. Trying to fix something yourself that you do not understand could end up making the problem worse and could even damage the watch beyond repair.
How Do I Take My Pocket Watch In For Repairs?
If you have decided that taking your pocket watch in for repairs is the best option, there are a few things you will need to do first:
- Find a professional who specializes in repairing watches. You can find one by doing a quick Google search or looking through your local Yellow Pages.
- Take the watch with you when you go to see the repairman. This will save them time in trying to identify the model and make of the watch.
- Be prepared to pay for the repairs. Even if your pocket watch is still under warranty, there may be a fee for taking it in to be repaired.
When you take your pocket watch in for repairs, the technician will likely do one of two things:
- Open the watch and try to fix the problem himself.
- Send it off to be repaired by another company.
If the technician tries to open the watch himself, he will likely need a few tools such as a watch press and tweezers in order to do so. He may also need grease if the gears appear to be sticking. If the technician decides to send it off to another company, they will likely fix the watch and then send it back to you. This process can take a few weeks, so be patient.
Frequently Asked Question
Do Pocket Watches Use Batteries?
Yes, pocket watches use batteries. The battery provides power to the watch’s movement, which is the mechanism that keeps track of time. The type of battery used in a pocket watch is typically a silver oxide or lithium-ion battery. These batteries are small and provide a long service life.
By following the tips in this blog post, you can learn how to fix a pocket watch that has stopped ticking and have it running like new again. Just be sure to keep an eye on any common winding problems that may occur and know how to solve them before they become too big of an issue.