Service: Salvos Star Pocket Watch

Here is something unusual – a Salvos Star pocket watch. 0 jewels. Yes, zero. Not one. And it ticks!

Salvos watches were made in Jura, Switzerland. The plate is just a bit of sheet brass, and so are the bridges. Let’s take it apart and have a peek, as this is quite interesting. The watch has a pin pallet escapement.

With the back removed, you can see the balance and wheel bridges

The hands come off …

The dial is held in place by a small screw below 6 o’clock. First peek into the movement – that’ll make your eyes water!

I said no jewels …

Bridges removed. I still have the movement in the case as I haven’t discovered yet how to remove the crown and I don’t want to break anything. At this point, I have already removed the screw that holds the crown / winding shaft in place and could have removed it

The barrel

Still no reason not to give this watch some respect – only due to its age – so everything goes into the cleaning solution


Here you can admire the pin pallets in all their beauty

Balance and balance bridge – marvel the fact that somebody actually balanced it – see the little boreholes …

Start of the assembly – I’m using Moebius D-5 everywhere, apart from the balance pivots, which get Moebius 9020.

View of the balance and escapement – the screw on top of the balance shaft can be used to adjust the balance end shake.

Top plate assembled – note that the balance bridge also holds the pallet shaft.  If you look at the hairspring, you can see that it has a “knot” in it. I take it out, removed it, and alas, we have a good amplitude!

As the screw that holds the winding shaft into place is under the dial, you have to put the movement into the case before putting the dial on.

And everything is back in place.

Surprisingly enough, the watch doesn’t perform too badly. Properly adjusted, it keeps time to within a minute a day – better than I would have expected. Oddly enough, there are no markings whatsoever anywhere – I would have at least expected “Adjusted to 5 positions” somewhere 😉

17 thoughts on “Service: Salvos Star Pocket Watch

  1. I bought a Salvos pocket watch recently. It works perfectly and keeps good time. I use as a pocket watch in my trouser pocket at
    attached to the belt loop. I think its really good. The seller thought it was 1920’s,does that sound right? It has a little press down lever to adjust the time. paid £35 for it.

  2. Alarm clock style, reminds me of the old Smiths / Ingersoll pocket watches of the 1950 to 70s, also cheap, no jewels but very robust, the conical balance pivots wear unevenly but can be re pointed in a lathe to restore some accuracy and amplitude. Cristian did well to get it running at all. Some people do collect these inexpensive watches, including Timex with their “V-conic escapement”

  3. My recently acquired Salvos Star actually says “Made in Germany” under the seconds dial. Strongly suggests it’s not Swiss.

  4. I have a salvos in its box the label of which says 7’6 [seven shillings and sixpence] watch salvos manufacturing co duke st London EC 3 .It came with a 5 year guarantee,don’t think it had ever been seriously used.It keeps perfect time on the rare occasion I wind it. Does not say star on the dial just salvos and foreign under the sub seconds which led me to believe it german but now I suppose it’s swiss,very interesting thank you.

  5. Hi, nice work.
    You say you used oil watch, buat what kind of oil is it? (I mean, brand, viscosity, etc).

  6. Probably made in Germany – foreign on the dial was favoured after wars rather than Germany. I had one of the old alarm clocks years back – Salvos Waka

  7. Were you able to regulate it to a decent level of accuracy Christian?

    I have dismantled and reassembled two pin pallet movements and they both have rather low balance amplitude. I wonder if it is a feature of the type of design. Both of mine keep reasonable time for simple cheap movements. One to about twenty seconds a day and the other to a touch over 30 seconds. I haven’t worn either of them, so I have no idea how they work on the wrist. They might be worse – I don’t know.

    • Hi Tony,

      Godawful 😉 Put on the timegrapher, it looks like someone is spitting at the screen. Without any jewels, the tolerances of the movement are quite bad, and a pin lever doesn’t help, either.

      20 to 30 seconds a day is great – I’ve never worn mine, but I would expect a couple of minutes a day.

      I have an alarm clock with a similar construction, and that also keeps time to within half a minute a day or so.

  8. Pingback: Salvos Star - has anyone ever hear of this watch?

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