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This is a question for any of you who are familiar with the Model 15 Stainless steel case.
I have a 992b in a Model 15 case that was manufactured in 1959. From the appearence of the case, this watch has seen little use. The bow, however, is not firm when rotated and there is some minor looseness in the bow pins. By looseness in the pins, I mean I can see the outside head of the pins rocking up and down slightly when the bow is rocked from side to side.
The question is this: Is this condition necessarily the result of wear or could this watch have come from the factory this way? Also, is there any adjustment to tighten the bow so it is firm?
From my inspection, I have concluded that bending the bow with bow pliers is not going to tighten the bow, because it appears the pins are seperate components in the bow assembly and they protrude through holes in the bow and the pendant and the pins are retained in place by a retainer of some type which is attached to the end of the pin located inside the pendant.
Can anyone help enlighten me about this subject?
Thanks in advance.
A stainless steel case could have been carried quite a bit and not show much wear. The bow wear will attest to usage of the watch.
Can I assume that the bow is still secure even though it has the wear I previously described?
Welcome aboard Joe!
I agree with Robert, the Stainless Steel Case 15 is a tough one.
My way would not be to use bow pliers. In my opinion all that does is twist the bow out of shape and render it essentially useless to any collector who wants a correct example. Without seeing your case it is difficult to be sure just what is going on. However, those pins in the sides should be tight and not move even the slightest bit.
For a comparison I call your attention to the image below. There you will see the proper shape of the bow and how all the components inter-relate. Compare yours carefully and let us know what you see that is different.
Compare Hamilton Stainless-Steel Case 15...
A recently passed-on watchmaker friend of mine who had been a RR watch inspector corrected this bow problem for me a couple of times. Presuming the pins are original and correct the key is removing the crown and then spreading the tips of the bow pins securely onto the pendant; akin to riveting. He had some special riveting tool for this. I am going on memory; this guy was a wizard.
Thank you Lindell for the welcome and the comments and posting the picture. My bow and case look exactly like the picture you posted.
I chose a 992b with the #15 case for daily wear partly becase the case is very durable.
Question - is wear (i.e. looseness) in the bow pivot pins on the #15 case one of the easier ways to determine how much use the watch has seen? I ask this question because the back of my watch appears to be almost new with the factory circlar finish showing very prominantly and the lack of scratches on the back. However, I know the watch saw use in the 1960's & 70's because there are three watchmaker's service markings on the inside of the back cover from that era.
Also, thank you William for your comments.
William, I think you have given me exactly the information I was hoping to find. When I inspected the bow and pendant assembly on my #15 case, it appeared that a proceedure like that performed by your watchmaker friend was a possibility.
From what you related, I now know that the pin tightening proceedure has been done before, and more importantly, the condition is repairable.
Now, all I need to do is find some way or somebody with the knowledge and the necessay tool to repeat this proceedure on my watch, I'll be ready to go!
Thanks again everybody,
I've repaired a few of these using a combination of methods that include what William mentioned above. Making sure the outer pins are tight and then maintaining the correct space between crown and pandant are each important to preservation and protection.
You may send the watch along and I'll be pleased to take care of whatever I can do. Your only cost is the shipping. Let me know if my efforts might be of help.
A most kind offer, thank you!
Per your reference in your above post, the outer pins are not tight where they pass through the holes in the bow. I know this because I can see the the head of the pins rocking 'slightly' when I rock the bow from side to side indicating, to me, that the pin diameter is smaller than the diameter of the hole in the bow, probably due to wear.
This condition may complicate the repair.
Can we discuss this further via e-mail?
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