How can I fix a broken watch?
August 15, 2009 11:52 AM   Subscribe

The little ball thinger (that's the technical term!) fell out of my pocket watch! Why, and what do I do now?

I purchased a very lovely pocket watch a few weeks ago as a gift, and have been winding it every day as I wait to be able to pass the gift on.

However, this morning, I went to wind it, and when turning the ball at the top, I didn't feel the (very slight) resistance that I normally felt when winding it. Thinking it possibly got stuck between the "winding" and "time set" settings, I pulled the ball up a little bit...only to have it fall out.

Is there anything...anything at all...that I can do to try and fix this? I live in the boonies and even if I were able to find anybody that could fix this, the price would likely be astronomical. And there isn't enough time to return the watch before my trip (when I'm giving it away), so I'd like to avoid that option as well.

Additionally, why on earth did this happen, and what can I (and the recipient) do to avoid this happening in the future?

The watch is a Charles-Hubert, model 3674, if that helps at all.

Thank you so much, any advice would be awesome.
posted by Evil Chicken of Doom to Technology (4 answers total)
I think the ball thinger is the "winding stem".
posted by hattifattener at 12:05 PM on August 15, 2009

You bought a cheap watch. It broke. Be thankful it didn't break after you offered it as a gift. Try to think of a different gift for the same amount of money. Return the watch and get your money back.
posted by torquemaniac at 12:38 PM on August 15, 2009

It sounds like the crown (your ball thingy) or the winding stem (what your ball thingy rotates) broke. You cannot fix this yourself. It needs to be replaced, preferably by a professional. If you're interested, you can find a qualified watchmaker at the American Watch and Clock Maker Institute .
posted by reverend cuttle at 1:44 PM on August 15, 2009

From a quick googling, it seems Charles-Hubert Paris (aka Unitron Enterprise Corporation, El Monte, CA) has a life-time warranty against defects. Since having someone fix it will cost you more than the watch is worth, getting another gift and then returning it is probably the most cost-effective alternative.
posted by effbot at 2:48 PM on August 15, 2009

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