Service: Starlon 21 jewels pin pallet movement / M45 / GBF866

A client of mine, Jan, sent me this watch as a present, and it’s been sitting in a drawer for quite some time.

Looks like a normal watch, but what lurks inside is quite unusual …

A pin pallet movement with 21 jewels! Now that is something I haven’t seen before. Pallet fork movements were made for cheap watches, so called “dollar watches”, and Timex used them as well. Cheap to make, and not very accurate, but they work. They don’t tend to have any jewels, and this one has 21! Capped jewels for 3rd, 4th and escape wheel, a luxury most expensive watches don’t have.

I can’t figure out why anyone would construct a movement like this. If you spend all that money on jeweling and jewel caps, why not use a swiss lever? The mind boggles, and I can’t find anything about this movement anywhere.

On top of that, the movement even has a date ring.

The date changer is simple, but effective. The pawl is just a little ring that is pushed by a wire spring (wire spring removed in this photo). Also note that the clutch spring (it’s the same part as the clutch lever) is a proper spring, not a wire spring!

Not badly made. Proper beat error and beat rate regulators, jewel caps everywhere … Note that the click spring could apply for the Geneva seal 😉

The wheel train.

All the parts ready for cleaning.

With everything nice and clean, I start the reassembly.

I normally don’t like pin lever movements, but I could warm to this one.

At 11 o’clock, you can now see the pawl ring and wire spring. Simple, but effective.

Not bad looking – I put on a new crystal as I think this poor little watch deserves it. No less than Swiss made 😉

32 thoughts on “Service: Starlon 21 jewels pin pallet movement / M45 / GBF866

  1. I have one pinlever watch which I love most;but,sadly,it is idle as it needs Balance spring set(hairspring+wheel+bridge).I enquired about the availability of the same but failed.I could not find any BFG866 of its kind for spares.Can anybody help me by sending the needed part to restore my most loved watch?I would remain thankful to one who would help me.

  2. I have one pin lever like this , and was impressed with the values of it, worked very fine.After some tweak, it has better values than my rolex.
    Its very stable.

    It makes me remember a clock , they dont use jewls but thye run for years and pretty well….lets see how i behaves, but looks very strong.

  3. I have one pin lever like this , and was impressed with the values of it, worked very fine.After some tweak, it has better values than my rolex.
    Its very stable

  4. Do you recall the stats from the timegrapher, like from an old photo or something? I’m curious to know. It’s an interesting movement and cool looking piece.

  5. Could it be that they (Starlon) had the same situation as Oris and even though swiss they were not allowed to produce swiss lever movements as they were from the German speaking part. So they produced higher quality pin pallets as Oris did.
    Assuming that this was before 1966 as that when I think the ban was ended.

    • My Aunt bought me a watch with this BFG 866 movement when I was a schoolboy in 1963. You could hear it ticking three desks away, it only had one jewel, though.
      You could be right about the Swiss ban on lever movements, but it may be more to do with marketing. A watch with 21 jewels might be considered by the purchaser as better than one with15 or 17, I’ve seen pin pallet watches with 23 jewels, some of which were just pressed into drillings in the plates, performing no function.

  6. Hi ive been sorting out my watches and found a couple that might be worth finding out about,,, These all belonged to my dad and im thinking of selling them
    your help and knowledge would really be of help

    Kind Regards

    1: Jaeger Lecoulter
    Back of case GS/TP P50290
    Inside of back case , scratched on: 3426012 can not read much of the ofter Numbers not sure if they are right , P8/V/177/,??

    On movement Swiss Made , Jaeger Lecoulter
    46712 M

    2: Altair automatic 25 jewels

    3: sekonda 19 jewels

    4: starlon executive automatic

    • We don’t really do valuations. Also, don’t sell your father’s watches. Keep them, maintain them, cherish them. Unless he beat you up as a kid 😉

  7. This is amazing to see people finding Starlon watches, as it was my grandfather who created and owned the company! We have recently uncovered boxes of various parts, from assembled movements, to hands, to the faces, to complete watches. He died before I was born, but it’s really interesting to see posts such as this.

  8. I’ve just stumbled upon this brand of watch on eBay and they seem to be rather scarce.. on eBay anyway… 3 for sale WW…. The one came across initially has a crown aswell as the name on the dial and i wondered if they had Rolex links??? Hence my web search….

      • Please dont Start beh ave as an imbecile, iam not interested in comedy. The PIn lever hás easly 320 degrees, and is ver stable in all positions, my Rolex hardly more than 280, if my Rolex hás a problemas bits a factor y problem, cause it hás been always like that. By the way when they are on the table Rolex is more accurate but when i use it Pin lever. Is far more accurate than my Rolex. I use a sound software tjat can read the watch in a more real mode and feel the stability of the watch, the PIn lever is far more stasble than the Rolex. Dial up on the table is a little different cause Rolex. Havê a different rate, but watches are to be used on the wrist, and that PIB leves is far more accurate than the Rolex. i never remember havê to regulate the time in the PIn lever used it for months,

  9. i won a watch45 years ago and sold it and after 45 years bought another 17 jewels its a swine to put together . ron.

  10. The click spring design and arrangement and balance cock look identical to the design of the one in my Smiths / Ingersoll watch from the 50s… could they be related?

  11. That’s a really nice looking watch, simple design with a nice aged look to it. The novel movement just makes it more interesting.
    Would you dare to expose it to water though?

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