It’s time for another Pontiac on WahaWatches. This time it’s a Pontiac Palmares. This is a gold plated model and the diameter is 34.5 mm without the crown. The watch didn’t keep time and the crystal needed to be replaced.
The movement is a Peseux 320. A hand winding movement with 17 jewels. This particular one has a fixed stud holder so I’d date this watch to be from the late 1950s.
As always, it’s important to remove any power from the mainspring. This to prevent damage when you’re working on the escapement or train wheel later on. You can do this by winding the crown slightly forward and hold it between your thumb and index finger. Then move the click away from the ratchet wheel while you hold the crown. Allow the crown to unwind slowly between your fingers.
When the crown is missing or the stem is broken, that doesn’t work. In those cases, you can fit a screwdriver to the ratchet wheel screw and turn it clockwise.
When the power is removed, you can lift the balance and the pallets. I immediately remove the hour wheel and the cannon pinion on the dial side of the movement.
Then, I remove the ratchet wheel and the crown wheel. The crown wheel is often fitted with a reverse fretted screw. That means you need to screw it clockwise to loosen. In this case, two little screws that have “normal” thread secure the crown wheel.
I remove the barrel bridge and I notice that there is some dirt around the barrel arbor. The substance is hard and sticky. This will cause the main spring to unwind in an irregular way. It’s at least part of the problem of the watch not keeping time.
Hardened lubrication like this needs to be removed as much as possible with a peg wood.
Then I remove the train wheel bridge, the wheels, and the main barrel. Remember to open the main barrel and remove the main spring and the arbor. This way you can check the mainspring and clean and lubricate it. If it doesn’t pass inspection you can order a new main spring.
Flip the movement to the dial side and start removing the rest of the motion works and the keyless works.
I put the parts in the watch cleaning machine with 3 baths and a heater container. I leave the parts for 6 minutes in every stage of the cleaning process.
I start with assembling the main barrel again. I use Moebius 8200 for the mainspring and Moebius HP1300 for the barrel arbors. Then the escape wheel, 4th wheel, 3rd wheel, and the center wheel. The center wheel post receives a tiny bit of HP1300.
Then I install the train wheel bridge and the barrel bridge. I lubricate the bearing jewels with Moebius 9010 except for the center wheel. Lubricate the center wheel with HP1300.
The ratchet wheel and the crown wheel are fitted back on the barrel bridge.
With this side of the movement ready so far, I flip it to the other side. First are the crown wheel and the castle wheel. I lubricate a couple of connecting bits with Moebius 9501. I also lubricate the winding stem and fit it into the movement.
Then the return bar and its spring. After that, I install the setting wheel and the minute wheel. Don’t forget to lubricate the bearing jewel before you replace the minute wheel. Finally, I install the set lever bridge and test all the workings.
I lubricate all the bearing jewels with 9010 except for the pallets bearing jewel. That one isn’t lubricated at all.
Flip the movement back to install the pallets. I lubricate the pallets exit stone with Moebius 9415. Hold the pallet cock with a peg wood and give the crown a couple winds. Try to guide the pallet and its pin toward the right location with your tweezers.
The pallets should flick into the next position with the slightest touch. Hold it with the peg wood while screwing it down.
At last, fit the balance and the movement should come back alive. It’s a good idea to clean the Incabloc cap stones and jewel holes separately.
I always lubricate the cap stones with Moebius 9010.
The Pontiac Palmares runs with an amplitude of 305 degrees, rate of +4 sec, and a beat error of 0.3 m/s. It’s fit to be enjoyed for at least another decade.
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Founder & editor of WahaWatches. I’ve been collecting watches for years. My favourite part is to pull them to bits.