About a decade ago, Mom gave me a couple of her old watches, in addition to the Waltham pocket watch her grandfather had carried. Hers were a pair of Elgin Marlenes, from the mid-50s, TINY things, and yet, of course, just as much watches as any of my others. Watching a ladies watch from that period run, tiny as it is, is fascinating.
One of the most important lessons she taught me, when I'd say that I didn't want to try something I'd never done before, was, "Nobody was born knowing how." With that in mind, I've learned all sorts of things by doing, including, now, watch tinkering. In 2012, for the anniversary of her passing, I decided to take on a challenge: to COA one of her itty-bitty watches.
The movement is an Elgin 702, from about 1956 or so. It's 20/0 size, 17
jewels, part of the 700 series introduced at the same time as the men's
711 series of 13/0 movements. But so SMALL!!!! The barrel is the
smaller than the crown on a pocket watch! Heck the whole movement is
smaller than an 18s balance wheel!
Just to take it down, I had to stone the edges of my smallest screwdriver to make it small enough to turn the set lever screw and remove the stem!
Okay, first the train. In order to put it all into a package that small, they put the 3rd and 4th wheel lower jewels on a different level from the rest, so you have to sneak the escape wheel in underneath the platform they sit on. Surprisingly it only took a little fiddling to get everything in place.
Then the barrel bridge and accompanying bits.
Next, the keyless works.
The pallet took the usual fiddling to get back into place, but once in, with a few turns on the crown, it snaps back and forth with the lightest nudge of the banking pins. Time to put the balance back in!
And off it took! Nice amplitude, too. Now to replace the dial and hands...
And recase it. All done.
Love you, Mom.