I purchased this used Molnija pocket watch on eBay from Hungary. It arrived in working condition, but as usual, I have to take the poor thing apart. And as it turns out, this was not a bad idea after all.
The watch diameter is 44mm, and the movement is stamped “SU” which I guess stands for Soviet Union, but I might be wrong there. The dial says “CCCP”, which is “SSSR” in latin writing, so we know this watch pre-dates Gorbatchow.
From the design, I would place this watch in the 80s, but I might of course be totally wrong.
The watch has 18 jewels – an odd number… but the escape wheel has 4 jewels, and the centre wheel only has a top jewel, but not a bottom jewel. I’d rather have 17
The back of the watch is nicely engraved – all stainless steel.
Time to take the poor thing apart and see how it is made….
First look at the movement - note the little extra bridge for the escapement wheel
Both back and front snap off easily
Before I take the movement out, I remove the hands. The small second hand will pull off with the dial later
The dial is held by two small screws. I loosen those and pull the dial off with the second hand still in place. Our first view of the bottom plate
I let the main spring down by holding the crown and releasing the click with a bit of pegwood
I take off the transmission wheel and barrel wheel screws. As usual, the transmission wheel screw opens clockwise. I very nice touch: the three slits on the screw remind me that it opens the other way
I take out the balance cock screw and loosen the balance cock with my tweezers
Close-up of the impulse pin
The balance wheel with temperature correction screws
The wheel bridge removed
Escapement wheel bridge removed
The pallet lever bridge with jewel
The pallets - the obligatory hair which is glued in is not too unusual - I've seen that before
The escapement wheel - nicely executed, but dirty
The separate escapement wheel bridge - I like the nicely finished and polished screws
Time to move over to the bottom plate - I take the cannon pinion off
No oil was spared - looks like pretty heavy stuff, too - more SAE30 than watch oil
The mechanism that lets you adjust the time on the watch by pulling the crown out
All this needs cleaning and careful oiling, so I'm taking it all apart
This is the screw that you open 1 - 1 1/2 turns to remove the winding shaft. It has to be put back in before the barrel bridge is put on
Some wear around the castle wheel in the barrel bridge
All the parts that can take cleaning fluid (so not the pallet arm) in a glass bowl ready for cleaning
That was easy to take apart, and I was very lucky, no “pingers”, so no parts that flew across the room that required me to crouch on the floor with a magnet.
Overall, a nice quality movement.
Once everything is clean, I will put the watch together in part 2.