Service: Thomas Russell & Son pocket watch

This is another one of my friend Mick’s watches. Very early 20th century, and a central second pocket watch! It’s a keyless movement, and it even has a hacking second. 7 jewels will do the trick, as that covers the most important places where you want to see one.

It’s ticking, but barely, and it is in bad need of a service. Too much oil, and a very poor amplitude.

There are also fingerprints on the plate, and they need removing, as they will become permanent if left on their own. When it comes to brass and watches, there is one rule: don’t touch!

Nice looking bottom plate. No wire springs, nicely made movement.

The hairspring is in good shape – the only problem is dirt and lubrication.

Coming out of the watch cleaning machine, all looks nice and shiny. Time for reassembly.

I’m using latex finger gloves to protect the brass. One touch with your bare hands, and you have a fingerprint. Just at 6 o’clock on top of my thumb, the little wire that goes around the balance wheel to stop the balance for the hacking second feature.

Shiny! And ticking …

The bottom plate looks beautiful, too.

Nice enameled dial, too.

The movement goes back into the case.

The minute hand is a bit too loose, so I tighten it with the staking set.

Lovely watch, definitely not your run-of-the-mill granddad pocket watch. This is meant to be a precision instrument, and it has the looks of it.


12 thoughts on “Service: Thomas Russell & Son pocket watch

  1. I have a Thomas Russell & Son pocket watch. Serial number 90842. Have been looking for the age, but no luck. Can you help me?

  2. What do you use to clean your pocket watches?
    And also i have a Thomas Russell which the shaft on Balance Wheel broke, and possibly Mainspring gone. Is it hard to get parts?

  3. How interesting! I have the same watch in hand right now with a serial number just 78 units earlier. This is in a Dennison 10ct gold plated case and is immaculate. I’ve been playing with the hacking feature while trying to confirm the date.

  4. Lovely watch & very interesting to see the stages/process of stripping, cleaning and reassembling. Wow!
    I have a very similar watch to this one that I inherited. Any idea on value? It winds and sets well, strong action & keeps excellent time. Issue is that the start/stop function doesn’t seem to work. Is this a big job to correct? Solid silver case. Chester hallmark for 1899. Case number is 188294. Movement number is 189932 and engraved ‘Tho Russell & Sons Makers to the Queen Liverpool.’ Silver case and inner dust cover open and close tightly. Crystal/glass is mint-no chips.Enamel (?) dial has a couple of faint hairline ‘cracks’. ‘Gold’ metal stem top. ‘Gold’ hands (look original & not damaged.) Sweeping long seconds had ‘black’ metal & also undamaged. Roman numerals with outside ring of numbers running from ‘300’ at the 12 o’clock & every ’25’ thereafter (25, 50, 75, 100 etc.) Dial also marked ‘Chronograph Centre Seconds by Thomas Russell & Sons 189932.’
    Any help, advice you can give as to value and if it is worth getting fixed/serviced etc, I’d be really grateful!
    Kindest regards,

    • Hi Dave, it may be six years since you asked this question but I wonder if you have an answer – I’ve just inherited a Russells pocket watch and have the same conundrum…

  5. Pingback: Service: Thomas Russell & Son pocket watch, ca. 1906

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