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The Best Hampdens? CHAPTER TWO ADDED, now it comes out! "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
I have been studying my 16 size 19 - 23 Jewel Hampdens for some time and see a very interesting design relationship.
1. The "best" are 19 Jewel "Railroad" models with Jeweled motor Barrels and a "perfect 17" jeweling of the movement!
2. The "worst" are the 105 (and such) which have spoiled a perfect 17 with 2 pairs of cap jewels. 1 pair on the Pallet Pivot Jewels ("smokestack") and the other on the Escape wheel Pivot Jewels ("tailpipe").
3. The "Best of the Worst" is the 23 Jewel, which adds the Jeweled Motor barrel to the 21 Jewel movement.

THEN . . . I started taking apart the two significantly "best" 19 Jewel Railways,

 
Posts: 6532 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
The "older model" (model 4) has hidden winding wheels and a separate main Bridge for the main and second wheel. The "newer" model 5 has exposed winding wheels and both designs are 3/4 plate bridge styles.

Incidently, the ONLY thing that is the same wbetween these two watches are the trains. They are IDENTICAL!

First I breezed right through the model 5, loving every minute of the job. Then I started on the model 4 and learned why they did the model 5 (19 Jewel type) after all. The model 5 has about 25 less parts, and it has a true "hanging" motor barrel with jewels, a FIRST in my experience with these watches! (Waltham tried it on the model 1888 and gave up.) The Genius (who must not have told boss Deuber he was making the best RR watch in the world) SUCCEEDED with making a true jeweled Hanging barrel motor WORK RIGHT which virtually eliminates isochronism!! That subject deserves a long dissertation and I will save that for another time!

The Model 4 was a true surprise!

 
Posts: 6532 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
The model 4 on the other hand has a Motor Barrel that is LOCKED to the main plate of the watch! This is a FIRST for me! Eek

What this means is that after you have taken out the gazillion extra parts the model 4 uses for wind and set, you have to actually disassemble the motor barrel from the main plate AFTER all the other stuff is removed!

AND you have to reassemble the motor barrel to the main plate BEFORE installing the main spring!

"Try it you (won't) like it!" This is what it looks like to reassemble the motor. In clockwise order from upper left;
1. Main plate before install
2. Install Winding Wheel with 2 torque lugs to connect to Barrel.
3. Drop in Barrel
4. Screw down Bottom Jewel Plate

Now you are ready to install the mainspring!

 
Posts: 6532 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
If you figure this out, the design forces the bottom jewel mounting plate to also do double duty as a terribly designed bearing "slip" plate for the winding wheel and main barrel when the watch is being wound!

The final two pictures show;
1. The installed main spring Roll Eyes which I had to revise 3 times to prevent slippage! (Tha past watchmaker added a torque stud as the "T" spring just will not work!
2. The motor cover and main driver wheel that rides on the bottom mounted jewel, and pivots on the exposed jewel of the back plate of the movement.

 
Posts: 6532 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
I believe deep in my heart that whoever designed the model 5 was;
A. Genius.
B. Never told J. Deuber what they did.
C. Made the finest RR watch design of the early 20th century . . .
D. Until J. Deuber added his "Smokestack Jewels!

 
Posts: 6532 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Member 328
posted
David,

Great Post!

Simple merchandising doomed the perfect watch. Planned obsolescence or upgrading is essential in a growth orientated consumer economy.

Hence all our products must be improved, supersized, New, ultra and overhyped. There are some great Ball ads encouraging trade in of perfectly sound 18 sz watches for the 20th century model!

Once the consumer is educated to believe that new is better and more is better than less, they had to believe that 21 or 23 jewels were superior.

My personal favorite time keeper is the 19 jewel riverside.

Happy hunting,

Bill Kaoo
 
Posts: 888 | Location: Arroyo Grande, California USA | Registered: February 22, 2004
12-Size Expert
Picture of Robert Schussel
posted
David
Thank you for all of the information.

While many collectors are dismissive of Hampdens quality I think they made many watches that were the equal of Hamilton,Illinois,Waltham,Elgin and Howard. I am less familair with their RR watches but I feel their 23j RR watches are a sight to see.

Yes they produced some garbage near the end but even in 12 size the 19j Paul Revere was comparable to the competitions and artistically often superior.

Bob
 
Posts: 622 | Location: Vallejo, California U.S.A. | Registered: July 10, 2004
IHC Life Member
Picture of Ethan Lipsig
posted
David, please explain to me and the rest of us less-technically adept folks what a "true hanging motor barrel" is, why it was an improvement, and why it was hard to engineer.
 
Posts: 1352 | Location: Pasadena, California USA | Registered: November 11, 2005
posted
Thanks for this great post,I love this type of discussion. Keep the good work.Ken Lynn
 
Posts: 33 | Location: Yorba Linda, California USA | Registered: March 13, 2003
IHC Member 1090
Picture of Edward Kitner
posted
David,
Although I do not completely understand the workings of a watch, I have learned much from your posts.
Would you consider writing a book?

Ed
 
Posts: 1489 | Location: New York State in the USA | Registered: March 04, 2008
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
Ethan, The most pleasing thing to see is when I put a Balance cock/Wheel assembly on a completely "unwound" movement is to see the balance wheel be driven into motion by the escape wheel/Pallet fork only due to the infinitesimal residual wheel pressure of the movement. With movements this good as are the "perfect 17" movements in these model 4 and 5 Hampden watches, the addition of a "hanging motor barrel" (as was done for the model 5 19 Jewel) can virtually eliminate Isochronism.

The Hanging motor barrel design allows for the driving motor barrel part pulled by the main spring to power the movement to be a "hanging" part with no axial restraint. Only the two jewels that are locating the barrel arbor are used to allow it to unwind the spring with a smooth, uninterrupted motion that delivers a constant pressure on the wheel train unaltered by any "stick slip" at the working end. It is in effect "floating".

This works with the understanding that the main spring is good enough so the resultant motor pressure at the escape wheel pallet fork interface is virtually constant through the wind cycle of the system.

On these two watches I describe in this thread, the model 5 has this feature. That explains the exposed winding wheels.
 
Posts: 6532 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Life Member
Picture of Ethan Lipsig
posted
Thanks!
 
Posts: 1352 | Location: Pasadena, California USA | Registered: November 11, 2005
12-Size Expert
Picture of Robert Schussel
posted
David
Would it be possible to show a regular motor barrel and a hanging motor barrel
Thanks
Bob
 
Posts: 622 | Location: Vallejo, California U.S.A. | Registered: July 10, 2004
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
Today, While cleaning and restoring an 18 size 23 Jewel Hampden 2 - tone "Special Railway" I see clearly why Mr Deuber got such a nasty response from Mr. Ball about "smokestack jewels"! This 18 size 17 Jewel Grade watch has 6 WASTED JEWELS ADDED for SHOW only! Technically it is not even "RR" grade" because it has a brass escape wheel! It skates out on that one because it is 1898 vintage. 4 of the 6 jewels are the "customary" extra caps for the pallet fork and escape wheel pivots that most watchmakers clunked on to their watches to boost public morale. But Mr. Deuber in his infinite wisdom went one step further and JEWELED the mainspring winding arbor! A most useless and in fact risky modification! Here's the story. (Robert this is the antithesis of a "hanging barrel!)

 
Posts: 6532 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
The below collage show in upper left corner the mainspring arbor and the winding wheel, then views of the main plate arbor jewel from the top side and the inside showing where the winding wheel is located. The fourth picture is the arbor jewel on the barrel bridge. The "collage program" clipped some of the words, but the story remains clear.

 
Posts: 6532 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
These are two views of the winding arbor mounted into the jewels as assembled in the watch.

 
Posts: 6532 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
IHC Life Member
Picture of David Abbe
posted
So as you can see, the arbor is "fully jeweled" to reduce operator stress whilst winding the watch. Than while the watch is running, the "Jeweled" arbor is not rotating at all in the jewels as it is locked by the click holding the winding wheel. SO . . . meanwhile, the motor barrel is still rotating against two metal to metal bearings between it and the arbor while powering the watch. A severe shock can and will damage the jewels that are holding up this whole stressed and heavy mess of parts and spring. That will tilt the arbor and lock the motor possibly damaging the main wheel too. I find these jewels as "pretty" . . . USELESS!!!!!

 
Posts: 6532 | Location: Southern California in the USA | Registered: July 19, 2007
Picture of David A. Vasarab
posted
To all members: I want this guy to work on my watches!!!!!
 
Posts: 79 | Location: Parma, Northern Ohio USA | Registered: January 02, 2006
Picture of David A. Vasarab
posted
Excellent information David! Thanks.
 
Posts: 79 | Location: Parma, Northern Ohio USA | Registered: January 02, 2006
IHC Member 172
posted
Dave,
Excellent information with beautifuly narrated photos. Thank you.

Ray
 
Posts: 1569 | Location: Rancho Cucamonga, California USA | Registered: December 20, 2006
IHC Member 1110
posted
Dave, great work!I also have the 5th. model 19J Railway.How about that HUGE engraved jewel setting on the motor barrel ratchet wheel.No other manufacturer can top that one IMHO.I personally believe that jeweled barrel 19J watches are ideal.I have and often carry an '08 model 19 J Riverside, if I don't forget to wind it, it NEVER needs to be reset.It's that accurate!Thanks for the great posts....Ted Brown.
 
Posts: 1220 | Location: Lebanon, Connecticut USA | Registered: March 28, 2008
posted
Wow, I have to say that is quite wonderful work David. I really enjoyed reading and looking at the photos you posted. My one and only Hampden thus far is a 19 Jewel aviator!
 
Posts: 88 | Location: Portland, Oregon in the USA | Registered: May 25, 2010
Picture of Chris Hughes
posted
The Aviator is a 12 size so I'm guessing it has a different design than the 16 size 19 jewel Railways David is talking about in tins thread.
 
Posts: 311 | Location: Portland, Oregon in the USA | Registered: February 07, 2010
Picture of Chris Hughes
posted
I haven't found a 104 that meets my condition and price requirements, but I did just purchase a 19j 16s Railway. It's a model 5 like the ones that David discusses in this thread. I'll post some pictures when it gets here.
 
Posts: 311 | Location: Portland, Oregon in the USA | Registered: February 07, 2010
posted
Did other manufacturers of railroad watches build 19 jewel 16s watches with a jewelled barrel or was Hampton alone in building the "perfect 17" plus a the jewelled barrel?
 
Posts: 293 | Location: Vancouver, Washington, USA | Registered: May 19, 2005
posted
answered my own question. At least Keystone Howard and Illinois had a 19 jewel watch with a jewelled barrel. Maybe more so apparently not uncommon.
 
Posts: 293 | Location: Vancouver, Washington, USA | Registered: May 19, 2005
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