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Routine Hairspring Work

by Jordan Ficklin

I don’t know how this sort of thing happens, but it does. I had to correct a bend in a hairspring today.

The red arrow indicates a point where the coils of the hairspring are touching.
The blue arrow indicates where the gentle bend in the spring is (approx 90 degrees from the touching point.) You can click on the photos if you want to see them a little larger.

And this is the hairspring after I made the correction.

Truth is I just wanted to play with my new digital microscope. It takes pretty decent photos. Don’t you think?

And just for fun: anybody know what caliber this balance belongs to.? Should be a pretty easy one.

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  1. Peter
    Posted June 29, 2012 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    Is it from a Rolex 3135?

    How on earth did the spring get bent like that anyway???!?

  2. J.Peter
    Posted June 29, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    No, not a 3135. I don’t know how it got bent. I didn’t do it.

  3. Ryan
    Posted June 30, 2012 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    2130! Flat, no stud!

  4. J.MItterando
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    I don’t think I have EVER seen this before. Nor has my Grandfather. Only thing I can think of is a botched cleaning by a novice?

  5. davestanda
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    you don’t have to be a novice for a screwdriver to slip…it happens to the best of us

  6. J.Peter
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Very true, but if you are suggesting that the hairspring may have become bent by a screwdriver that slipped, why didn’t they repair the damage then instead of waiting until the next time service came due? The coils are touching and I don’t see how it could have kept time at all in the meantime. In this instance I don’t really suspect an individual for the damage. I can’t explain it however.

  7. AlexisDelon
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    nice work on the hairspring, it still remains a nightmare for me sometimes.

  8. DTW
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Not a 3135 no overcoil. Right here’s my guess, someone has freed the stud for some reason, possiably to regulate the microstella’s judging by the state of them, and then the stud has shot hrough a few coils and have tried to wind it out with a fine oiler. Seen it done.

  9. david
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    2030? Also the 2nd and 3rd coils over the arm are a bit close ;7)

  10. david
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I ment the arm on the left, that’ll teach me to try to be clever ­čÖü

  11. CJ
    Posted August 25, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    What digital microscope are you using? Does it take video as well?

  12. J.Peter
    Posted August 25, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    We use a donolite. It does take video also, but I will say, video quality is only so-so. It is great for inspection, but not for working. They make another version with a longer working distance but it is still too short to work under and with the manual focus a bit tricky. Works well for the inspection work and for documentation photos.

  13. davestanda
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink


  14. Posted January 15, 2013 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Hi Dave,

    The JosephBulova School of Watchmaking Training Manual has a chapter dedicated to hairspring manipulations. Another excellent resource, although a much heavier read, is Jendritzki’s Watch Adjustment.

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