Watchmaking: Servicing a PAM 196

Watchmaking: Servicing a PAM 196

Joined: August 8th, 2007, 10:15 pm

May 28th, 2010, 7:16 pm #1

I was recently sent a PAM 196 for servicing and I thought I would share this servicing with you guys here, so here it is.

Before opening the case, I did a few checks and one was putting it on my timing machine. I noted a problem right away in that the balance amplitude was dropping off very quickly. Here I place the watch dial up on the machine, and the balance amplitude is 292 degrees, so well within the range where it should be:



But here some 10 minutes later, it had dropped off substantially to the 230 degree range. Normally this would take well over 24 hours for this sort of drop, so the watch was not being properly powered:



So it was time to dig in and give the movement a complete overhaul. Here the case back is off and you can see the ETA/Valjoux 7753 movement that powers this model:



Now taking the crown lever off to remove the crown and get the movement out:



Here the movement is out and I'm ready to remove the hands:



This is the movement spacer that also has extensions for the pushers:



So here are a few steps during the process of disassembling the movement (not all steps shown of course). First the dial side:









Now the other side:





Now with most of the chronograph parts off, I'm down to the base movement here:





Here are all the parts in storage trays sorted by their function:



Now some parts in the cleaning baskets ready for the cleaning machine:



Here the baskets are mounted in the cleaning machine and from here the cleaning cycle is all automatic:



With the cleaning done I'm ready to start aseembling the movement.

Here the balance jewels have been lubricated, and I'm making adjustments to the flatness and centering of the balance spring:



Of course a new mainspring is installed as part of the servicing:



Here the base movement is almost back together:



Here is a photo of the pallet fork jewel that I will apply the lubrication to. The surface I will lubricate is the small rectangle at the end of the red arrow:



With the base movement assembled, I perform checks on it's function before going any further:



Here you can see the delta (at the red arrow) which is the variation over 6 positions:



Back to assembling the movement:





Here using the microscope to check some adjustments on the chronograph:



With that done, now back to the dial side for more assembly:







With all the chronograph and quickset date functions working properly, I mount the dial and the hands:



The owner requested that I polish the bezel on this watch so here I have masked it off for polishing using polyamide tape:



With that done, the movement is placed back in the case:



The oscillating weight is fitted:



New gaskets are fitted and the watch is now cased:



Here the watch is going through one of several extended timing checks, and this one is on the final test winder:



And here the watch is in the dry pressure testing machine, and the diver program is selected that will test it in two phases. Phase 1 is a -0.7 Bar vacuum, and Phase 2 is a +10 Bar pressure:



And here the results are in, and the case passed the testing with no problems:



The watch is already back on the wrist of it's owner. Hope you enjoyed seeing how this servicing was done.

Cheers, Al
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Joined: November 24th, 2007, 4:36 am

May 28th, 2010, 7:28 pm #2

latex when working on the inside of watches? The Valjoux movements can be a beast to work on for some watch makers. You may not wish to answer here and I would understand that, but would you mind telling us what you charge to perform such a service? I am very impressed. Thank so much for sharing this.

Boomtown
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Joined: August 8th, 2007, 10:15 pm

May 28th, 2010, 8:11 pm #3

I do wear the finger cots whenever there is a chance I will handle any parts. For the most part I don't touch the parts with my fingers, but every so often there is a need to pick something up - like when flipping the movement over in the holder for example. Also I always wear them when handling a dial as I don't want fingerprints on there that I then have to clean later.

The 7750 family is not a difficult movement to service in my view, but it is time consuming. My charge for overhauling an automatic chronograph is $400. Slightly less for a manual wind chronograph.

If you have any other questions, please let me know.

Cheers, Al
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Joined: October 25th, 2005, 9:59 pm

May 28th, 2010, 8:33 pm #4

I was recently sent a PAM 196 for servicing and I thought I would share this servicing with you guys here, so here it is.

Before opening the case, I did a few checks and one was putting it on my timing machine. I noted a problem right away in that the balance amplitude was dropping off very quickly. Here I place the watch dial up on the machine, and the balance amplitude is 292 degrees, so well within the range where it should be:



But here some 10 minutes later, it had dropped off substantially to the 230 degree range. Normally this would take well over 24 hours for this sort of drop, so the watch was not being properly powered:



So it was time to dig in and give the movement a complete overhaul. Here the case back is off and you can see the ETA/Valjoux 7753 movement that powers this model:



Now taking the crown lever off to remove the crown and get the movement out:



Here the movement is out and I'm ready to remove the hands:



This is the movement spacer that also has extensions for the pushers:



So here are a few steps during the process of disassembling the movement (not all steps shown of course). First the dial side:









Now the other side:





Now with most of the chronograph parts off, I'm down to the base movement here:





Here are all the parts in storage trays sorted by their function:



Now some parts in the cleaning baskets ready for the cleaning machine:



Here the baskets are mounted in the cleaning machine and from here the cleaning cycle is all automatic:



With the cleaning done I'm ready to start aseembling the movement.

Here the balance jewels have been lubricated, and I'm making adjustments to the flatness and centering of the balance spring:



Of course a new mainspring is installed as part of the servicing:



Here the base movement is almost back together:



Here is a photo of the pallet fork jewel that I will apply the lubrication to. The surface I will lubricate is the small rectangle at the end of the red arrow:



With the base movement assembled, I perform checks on it's function before going any further:



Here you can see the delta (at the red arrow) which is the variation over 6 positions:



Back to assembling the movement:





Here using the microscope to check some adjustments on the chronograph:



With that done, now back to the dial side for more assembly:







With all the chronograph and quickset date functions working properly, I mount the dial and the hands:



The owner requested that I polish the bezel on this watch so here I have masked it off for polishing using polyamide tape:



With that done, the movement is placed back in the case:



The oscillating weight is fitted:



New gaskets are fitted and the watch is now cased:



Here the watch is going through one of several extended timing checks, and this one is on the final test winder:



And here the watch is in the dry pressure testing machine, and the diver program is selected that will test it in two phases. Phase 1 is a -0.7 Bar vacuum, and Phase 2 is a +10 Bar pressure:



And here the results are in, and the case passed the testing with no problems:



The watch is already back on the wrist of it's owner. Hope you enjoyed seeing how this servicing was done.

Cheers, Al
seeing such things. (just recently viewed a Breitling site video on how they clean/recondition watches and the process and equipment used...very professional and of course warranting the cost. Obviously you have all top equipment, like the Wischi (which I had read mentioned in the WUS HEQ forum). Cheers, Al!
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Joined: February 28th, 2006, 10:40 pm

May 28th, 2010, 8:50 pm #5

I was recently sent a PAM 196 for servicing and I thought I would share this servicing with you guys here, so here it is.

Before opening the case, I did a few checks and one was putting it on my timing machine. I noted a problem right away in that the balance amplitude was dropping off very quickly. Here I place the watch dial up on the machine, and the balance amplitude is 292 degrees, so well within the range where it should be:



But here some 10 minutes later, it had dropped off substantially to the 230 degree range. Normally this would take well over 24 hours for this sort of drop, so the watch was not being properly powered:



So it was time to dig in and give the movement a complete overhaul. Here the case back is off and you can see the ETA/Valjoux 7753 movement that powers this model:



Now taking the crown lever off to remove the crown and get the movement out:



Here the movement is out and I'm ready to remove the hands:



This is the movement spacer that also has extensions for the pushers:



So here are a few steps during the process of disassembling the movement (not all steps shown of course). First the dial side:









Now the other side:





Now with most of the chronograph parts off, I'm down to the base movement here:





Here are all the parts in storage trays sorted by their function:



Now some parts in the cleaning baskets ready for the cleaning machine:



Here the baskets are mounted in the cleaning machine and from here the cleaning cycle is all automatic:



With the cleaning done I'm ready to start aseembling the movement.

Here the balance jewels have been lubricated, and I'm making adjustments to the flatness and centering of the balance spring:



Of course a new mainspring is installed as part of the servicing:



Here the base movement is almost back together:



Here is a photo of the pallet fork jewel that I will apply the lubrication to. The surface I will lubricate is the small rectangle at the end of the red arrow:



With the base movement assembled, I perform checks on it's function before going any further:



Here you can see the delta (at the red arrow) which is the variation over 6 positions:



Back to assembling the movement:





Here using the microscope to check some adjustments on the chronograph:



With that done, now back to the dial side for more assembly:







With all the chronograph and quickset date functions working properly, I mount the dial and the hands:



The owner requested that I polish the bezel on this watch so here I have masked it off for polishing using polyamide tape:



With that done, the movement is placed back in the case:



The oscillating weight is fitted:



New gaskets are fitted and the watch is now cased:



Here the watch is going through one of several extended timing checks, and this one is on the final test winder:



And here the watch is in the dry pressure testing machine, and the diver program is selected that will test it in two phases. Phase 1 is a -0.7 Bar vacuum, and Phase 2 is a +10 Bar pressure:



And here the results are in, and the case passed the testing with no problems:



The watch is already back on the wrist of it's owner. Hope you enjoyed seeing how this servicing was done.

Cheers, Al
That means I am not giving you enough work!

I saw that Panerai in your shop and you did a phenomenal job bringing it back to its glory. That Tag you serviced would also have tales to tell.

It is nice to have access to a talented watchmaker who will work on automatic chronographs as well as quartz movements. Lots of 6138 and 6139 owners who should learn about Al's services.
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Joined: May 27th, 2008, 11:04 am

May 28th, 2010, 10:16 pm #6

I was recently sent a PAM 196 for servicing and I thought I would share this servicing with you guys here, so here it is.

Before opening the case, I did a few checks and one was putting it on my timing machine. I noted a problem right away in that the balance amplitude was dropping off very quickly. Here I place the watch dial up on the machine, and the balance amplitude is 292 degrees, so well within the range where it should be:



But here some 10 minutes later, it had dropped off substantially to the 230 degree range. Normally this would take well over 24 hours for this sort of drop, so the watch was not being properly powered:



So it was time to dig in and give the movement a complete overhaul. Here the case back is off and you can see the ETA/Valjoux 7753 movement that powers this model:



Now taking the crown lever off to remove the crown and get the movement out:



Here the movement is out and I'm ready to remove the hands:



This is the movement spacer that also has extensions for the pushers:



So here are a few steps during the process of disassembling the movement (not all steps shown of course). First the dial side:









Now the other side:





Now with most of the chronograph parts off, I'm down to the base movement here:





Here are all the parts in storage trays sorted by their function:



Now some parts in the cleaning baskets ready for the cleaning machine:



Here the baskets are mounted in the cleaning machine and from here the cleaning cycle is all automatic:



With the cleaning done I'm ready to start aseembling the movement.

Here the balance jewels have been lubricated, and I'm making adjustments to the flatness and centering of the balance spring:



Of course a new mainspring is installed as part of the servicing:



Here the base movement is almost back together:



Here is a photo of the pallet fork jewel that I will apply the lubrication to. The surface I will lubricate is the small rectangle at the end of the red arrow:



With the base movement assembled, I perform checks on it's function before going any further:



Here you can see the delta (at the red arrow) which is the variation over 6 positions:



Back to assembling the movement:





Here using the microscope to check some adjustments on the chronograph:



With that done, now back to the dial side for more assembly:







With all the chronograph and quickset date functions working properly, I mount the dial and the hands:



The owner requested that I polish the bezel on this watch so here I have masked it off for polishing using polyamide tape:



With that done, the movement is placed back in the case:



The oscillating weight is fitted:



New gaskets are fitted and the watch is now cased:



Here the watch is going through one of several extended timing checks, and this one is on the final test winder:



And here the watch is in the dry pressure testing machine, and the diver program is selected that will test it in two phases. Phase 1 is a -0.7 Bar vacuum, and Phase 2 is a +10 Bar pressure:



And here the results are in, and the case passed the testing with no problems:



The watch is already back on the wrist of it's owner. Hope you enjoyed seeing how this servicing was done.

Cheers, Al
very interesting and you take good macro shots as well. Sorry if this is a stupid question (knowing me it probably is ) but are mainsprings generic or specific to the make and model?

Thanks for posting!

Stephen
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Joined: November 24th, 2007, 4:36 am

May 29th, 2010, 4:03 am #7

I do wear the finger cots whenever there is a chance I will handle any parts. For the most part I don't touch the parts with my fingers, but every so often there is a need to pick something up - like when flipping the movement over in the holder for example. Also I always wear them when handling a dial as I don't want fingerprints on there that I then have to clean later.

The 7750 family is not a difficult movement to service in my view, but it is time consuming. My charge for overhauling an automatic chronograph is $400. Slightly less for a manual wind chronograph.

If you have any other questions, please let me know.

Cheers, Al
dials in the past. My watchmaker here in FL has huge hands and fingers, but they do not sweat, so he can get away without using the latex 'rubbers' most of the time, but smudged dials do drive him nuts. It is the time consumption that gets him worked up with Valjoux and Zenith El Primero movements. I don't know how he does that minute work with those big fingers! Thanks, again.

Boomtown
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Joined: January 19th, 2010, 10:45 pm

May 29th, 2010, 4:47 am #8

I was recently sent a PAM 196 for servicing and I thought I would share this servicing with you guys here, so here it is.

Before opening the case, I did a few checks and one was putting it on my timing machine. I noted a problem right away in that the balance amplitude was dropping off very quickly. Here I place the watch dial up on the machine, and the balance amplitude is 292 degrees, so well within the range where it should be:



But here some 10 minutes later, it had dropped off substantially to the 230 degree range. Normally this would take well over 24 hours for this sort of drop, so the watch was not being properly powered:



So it was time to dig in and give the movement a complete overhaul. Here the case back is off and you can see the ETA/Valjoux 7753 movement that powers this model:



Now taking the crown lever off to remove the crown and get the movement out:



Here the movement is out and I'm ready to remove the hands:



This is the movement spacer that also has extensions for the pushers:



So here are a few steps during the process of disassembling the movement (not all steps shown of course). First the dial side:









Now the other side:





Now with most of the chronograph parts off, I'm down to the base movement here:





Here are all the parts in storage trays sorted by their function:



Now some parts in the cleaning baskets ready for the cleaning machine:



Here the baskets are mounted in the cleaning machine and from here the cleaning cycle is all automatic:



With the cleaning done I'm ready to start aseembling the movement.

Here the balance jewels have been lubricated, and I'm making adjustments to the flatness and centering of the balance spring:



Of course a new mainspring is installed as part of the servicing:



Here the base movement is almost back together:



Here is a photo of the pallet fork jewel that I will apply the lubrication to. The surface I will lubricate is the small rectangle at the end of the red arrow:



With the base movement assembled, I perform checks on it's function before going any further:



Here you can see the delta (at the red arrow) which is the variation over 6 positions:



Back to assembling the movement:





Here using the microscope to check some adjustments on the chronograph:



With that done, now back to the dial side for more assembly:







With all the chronograph and quickset date functions working properly, I mount the dial and the hands:



The owner requested that I polish the bezel on this watch so here I have masked it off for polishing using polyamide tape:



With that done, the movement is placed back in the case:



The oscillating weight is fitted:



New gaskets are fitted and the watch is now cased:



Here the watch is going through one of several extended timing checks, and this one is on the final test winder:



And here the watch is in the dry pressure testing machine, and the diver program is selected that will test it in two phases. Phase 1 is a -0.7 Bar vacuum, and Phase 2 is a +10 Bar pressure:



And here the results are in, and the case passed the testing with no problems:



The watch is already back on the wrist of it's owner. Hope you enjoyed seeing how this servicing was done.

Cheers, Al
Hi Al, thanks for the glimpse into how a service goes.
Big treat for me to see this in action. I would love to see this live someday.
I look forward to sending you my babies for servicing some day. I know how they will be cared for in advance.

Cheers, Dave.
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Joined: August 8th, 2007, 10:15 pm

May 29th, 2010, 12:01 pm #9

very interesting and you take good macro shots as well. Sorry if this is a stupid question (knowing me it probably is ) but are mainsprings generic or specific to the make and model?

Thanks for posting!

Stephen
The length of the spring, height, and thickness are all specific to a certain caliber. That's not to say some springs aren't the same in different watches, but generally speaking I order the springs by the movement caliber, in particular for modern movements.

Cheers, Al
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Joined: February 28th, 2006, 10:40 pm

May 29th, 2010, 9:09 pm #10

The movement is essentially the same as another calibre with a 70 hour power reserve. The big difference in the 30 hours difference in the two calibres has to do with the mainsprings. So, if Al were not to order the Blancpain specific mainspring his watch would have a 70 hour power reserve versus the 100 hour his Blancpain is supposed to have.

Al also ordered a mainspring for my vintage Grand Seiko and it is just slightly different from the original spec for the watch. We are trying to get some new parts for this Grand Seiko but it has been a trying experience and we may have to use some slightly out of spec parts and see how it plays out.

This is going to be a bit of a rant of mine in an upcoming post. Whereas Swatch is very good for providing parts to Al, Richemont and Seiko are not much help. Whereas you can send a vintage Omega, Vacheron Constatin etc to the head office and get a restoration... well good luck doing that with a Seiko.

This is a concern with me with my new Grand Seiko. Am I going to have trouble getting parts for it in 10-15 years? This is a contrast to Omega where you can send in an early 1970s Proplof and it will come back all restored or you can order the parts from Omega. My recent corresepondence with Omega has been amazing. This is in contrast with Seiko where they have been no help at all to Al in his search for various parts.

Just something to discuss and debate. As Seiko tries to move upmarket they need to bear in mind that the watch itself is only part of what commands that premium price. Having talented watchmakers on staff who can restore vintage in-house products and knowledge and access to parts from the back catalogue is part of that package as well. Unless things change I may not buy another $5000 and up Seiko.
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