Service: Nivada With an AS 1802 Movement

It was impossible to wind this Nivada because it was already wound to the maximum. However, it didn’t run so it was stuck in this position.

Many would call it over-wound, although that’s not an accurate description. You can read more about why an over-wound watch doesn’t exist in this article.

The movement is an AS 1802. It’s an unusual movement because it has a friction pinion on the third wheel and the minute wheel is held under tension by a spring.

Let’s go!


Remove all power from the mainspring. Move the click away from the ratchet wheel and slowly let the crown slip between your thumb and index finger.

Remove the balance assembly, the pallet cock, and the pallet fork.

AS 1802 top plate
The balance assembly, the pallet fork and the pallet cock removed.
AS 1802 balance assembly
Traces of over-oiling underneath the balance wheel. This would have a serious negative effect on timekeeping on its own.

Remove the ratchet wheel and the crown wheel with the crown wheel ring.

The ratchet wheel and the crown wheel with the bushing removed. Again, serious traces of over-oiling around the barrel arbor.

Remove the train-wheel bridge to gain access to the train of wheels.

The train wheel bridge removed and the train of wheels exposed. Notice that there are even signs of over-oiling underneath the train wheel bridge.

Lift the escape wheel, the sweep second wheel, and the fourth wheel.

Remove the barrel bridge and lift the barrel.

The escape wheel, the center wheel, the fourth wheel, and the barrel bridge removed. Notice the pool of old dirty lubrication and a hair around the inside of the bottom barrel arbor hole and barrel cover.

Turn the movement around and start with the minute works.

A huge glob of old, dirty grease in the keyless works. It caused some corrosion and wear on the set lever.

Remove the cannon pinion cover and lift the cannon pinion and the minute wheel. As mentioned, the minute wheel is held under tension by a spring. Take a note so you can reinstall the minute wheel on the correct side of the spring during reassembly.

Remove the set lever spring and lift the setting wheel and the return bar with the return bar spring.

Loosen the set lever screw and remove the winding stem with the clutch wheel and the winding pinion.

That leaves the friction pinion on the third wheel.

I used the green Presto puller. Normally, you use it for cannon pinions, but it works with friction pinions as well. The third wheel will drop on the bench mat as soon as you remove the friction pinion.

The bottom plate completely empty.

Pre-clean the pivot holes and bearing jewels with a peg wood. This way, the hardened grease and dirt are removed as much as possible to be cleaned more efficiently.

Clean all the parts in the watch cleaning machine. Six minutes per bath and the heating chamber will do the trick.


Install the new mainspring. Place the barrel back into position and reinstall the barrel bridge.

Reinstall the escape wheel, the fourth wheel, the third wheel, and the sweep second wheel.

The barrel, the barrel bridge, and the train of wheels reinstalled.

Install the set lever with the set lever screw.

The set lever screw doesn’t fit if you first install the train-wheel bridge. I forgot, so I had to install it twice.

Reinstall the combined bridge/train-wheel bridge.

The combined bridge/train-wheel bridge reinstalled.

Place the ratchet wheel and the crown wheel with its ring into position.

Don’t forget to lubricate the third wheel before you reinstall the crown wheel.

The ratchet wheel and the crown wheel with its ring reinstalled.

Flip the movement around and start with the minute work.

Firstly, the friction pinion. I lubricated it with some Molykote DX and used phosphor bronze tweezers to reinstall it to the third wheel.

Remember to install the minute wheel on the right side of the little spring that keeps it under tension. Install the cannon pinion and place the cannon pinion guard back in position.

Reinstall the winding pinion, the clutch wheel, and the winding stem. Place the return bar with its spring and the setting wheel in position and reinstall the set lever spring.

The minute works (except for the hour wheel) and the keyless works reinstalled.

Flip the movement around and reinstall the pallet fork and the pallet cock. Give the crown a few turns and check if the pallet fork snaps to the next position with the slightest touch.

Reinstall the balance assembly and the watch should begin to run.

Clean and lubricate the jewel holes and the end stones from the upper and lower Incabloc shock blocs.

Install the hour wheel with the dial washer, reinstall the dial and the hands and recase the movement.

What do you think of this Nivada watch? Do you have a similar one in your collection? Let me know in the comments below.

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7 thoughts on “Service: Nivada With an AS 1802 Movement”

  1. Love these watches and have a few in my collection but what I find somewhat disconcerting about some of these vintage pieces and not just Nivadas is that only the the “badged” examples such as Antarctic and other variations get all the attention (and money) whereas the identically cased watches and movement with out the badging tend to be less sought after and largely ignored or devalued by collectors.

  2. Big fan of Nivada watches. I love the history of the Antarctic model’s connection with the 1957/58 International Geophysical Year with lumpy bumpy snowdrift textured dial with bold Arabic deco styles numbers and broad fan shaped hour markers. That watch also used the ETA 1256 movement which I believe was one of the first automatic movements, plus the first anti-magnetic watch that was used by Admiral Byrd while surveying the Antarctic and keeping a watchful eye of the Russians during the Cold War period.
    They also produced a model labeled Antarctic Penguin and it had sort of Flintstone looking deco numbers that was fun. Nivada made some very cool watches that still fly under the collectors’ radar.
    This watch is a classic example of their fondness for the deco elements and better than decent quality.
    I love this site. Well written and explained articles and some of the best info for collectors old and new.
    Keep up the great work.

  3. I just got a Nivada Econom for my girlfriend, the movement look pretty similar. But it has a small second.

    Nice work.

  4. Andrew Sinclair

    Great demo! Am a relative newbie at this lark and find these posts very interesting and informative as well as giving encouragement for me to continue tinkering and learning. More please sir!

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