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  1. 5 points

    My first balance staff!

    Finally got around to cutting my first successful balance staff. It is for a 201 caliber Jaeger-LeCoultre 8-Day aircraft clock. In fact this is the same clock that got me interested in watch repair as a hobby. The first attempt resulted in a pivot being cut off while I was finishing it up, it was complete except for the finishing on the last pivot and it just disappeared. That was with wire rod. Second attempt was with blued wire rod, which I should have been using to begin with. Took my time and ended up with a usable staff. Installed on the balance assembly and it worked!!
  2. 5 points

    Historic watch repair tools

    See this vid of some really amazing historic watch tools enjoy:
  3. 3 points

    Things I learnt the hard way

    I been at this for about a year and I learnt a lot of things the hard way. I don't see any thread about lessons learn the hard way so I'll start here. Tea leave holders are not good parts holders. The two halves don't clamp down hard enough and small parts will slip through. Hairsprings are hard. Mainsprings are fragile. Just because someone been in business for 40 years doesn't mean they can't mislead you about vintage watches. Do you homework and don't only take the seller's word. If you don't know what an expensive vintage watch supposed to look like, don't buy it. You will not save money by buying a bunch of "cheap" watches. You can't (or shouldn't) oil a watch with a single oil and grease. Organizing a lot of parts is hard.
  4. 3 points
    IWC in New York is offering "at no cost" to give you an estimate? Does that include return shipping with insurance if you decline the service quote? If the watch sets, winds and runs, then there aren't likely to be any broken parts--there may be worn parts however. Setting aside the precautions needed for mailing a vintage gold pocket watch across the U.S. I would not do it for the following reasons: 1) Once IWC has the watch, the will quote you for a vintage restoration, not a standard overhaul. Looking at their prices list for wristwatches (its downloadable), I see that the least expensive is $490 for mechanical movement without complications, and goes all the way up tp $2,490. I would imagine that they will charge you a premium price for the restoration of a 105 year old pocket watch. Your guess is as good as mine on this one! 2) I would get clarification on what the procedures are for declining an overhaul. I don't think they can provide you with an estimate without doing some preliminary disassembly, and it seems unlikely to me that this will NOT incur a cost if you then say "no thanks" to moving forward with service after the quote--and they WILL charge you for sending it back. J
  5. 2 points

    Servicing LACO 503 & 501

    Hello All; Got myself three 1950's N.O.S. "Rolled"-Gold Ladies watches from the famous German watch-company LACO. First I like to share some of the LACO watches history; In an attempt to make the German watch-industry independent of the Swiss movement manufactures , Eric Lacher founded in 1933 DUROWE. Eric was the son of Frieda Lacher, the co-founder of the German watchmaker Lacher & Co, or "LACO". Eric intended to not only supply LACO with his DUROWE movements, but other German watchmakers as well. DUROWE grew strongly in the 1930s, with the number of movements produced peaking at 30,000 per month until the outbreak of the Second World War. During the war, DUROWE continued to manufacture movements, in particular the large chronometer-grade movements used in the Beobachtungsuhren (B-Uhr) commissioned by the German government for use by the Luftwaffe, of which LACO was one of five manufacturers. These "Beobachtungsuhren" became very sought-after and are now commanding high prices; Not that I have any of those B-Uhren to service here, but just the fact that DUROWE / LACO was choosen as one the five manufactures to make aviation watches, tells us something about the watch quality they were producing. The DUROWE factory was situated in Pforzheim and was, just like the KASPER factory, leveled with the ground at the end of WW2. However, DUROWE and Laco had recommenced production by 1949. With the assistance of the Marshall plan, a five-story building to house the Laco and DUROWE operations was built which housed more than 1,400 workers by the middle of the 1950s. Production of movements rose to 80,000 per month. The LACO ladies watches I'm going to service are from this period. All the three watch housing and bracelets are made from "Rolled-gold", 20 microns, are brand new (NOS) and are in excellent cosmetic condition. None of the movements do run, however they seem to be intact. Two of the watches do have the 16-jewels DUROWE / LACO 503 movement and one has the DUROWE / LACO 501 movement, which has no jewels. Clearly the 16-jewels movements are of high quality finishing. All the screws do have a high polished finish, so does the top of the ratchet-wheel and trans-wheel. Both wheels do have an immaculate polished "hollow-disc-like" finish. The 503 and 501 are in build-up identical, so I'm only going to describe the servicing of the 503 movement. All the watches do have a hinged back-lid in which the movement houses; With the back-lid hinged open, the movement can be taken out; The hands came off without problems; Around the movement sits a "case", more like a case-ring. The ring has a tube soldered on the side through which the winding-stem runs. The movement itself is held in this ring by two case-screws; With the winding stem pulled and the case-screws removed, the movement comes out at the front. Clear to see on this picture is the highly polished finish of the ratchet-wheel. Once the movement is out, the dial, secured by two dial screws, can be removed; This movement fitted much better in my Bergeon 4039 movement holder than the similar shape Kasper 200 movement. Removed the balance and pallet bridge, but the pallet-fork self was "stuck", that is to say that it was able to swivel from left to right and vv, but I couldn't lift it out of its jewel. I decided to dismantle the movement to the point that I could submerge it in Zippo lighter-fluid, letting the oil, which was holding the pallet-fork, dissolve. Wheel train bridge off; Now I could remove the 4th wheel and the escape wheel. The 3rd wheel was underneath the center-wheel, so I had to flip the movement over to pull the cannon-pinion with the pallet-fork still in situ. Removed the cannon-pinion which left me with the main-plate and the "stuck" pallet-fork; A part of the keyless works was still attached to the main-plate, but that couldn't harm. Left it all a hour soaking; and the pallet-fork came free Removed the rest of the keyless works; Took the main-spring out the barrel; and the balance cap-stone off the main-plate; All the parts are now submerged in Zippo lighter fluid and tomorrow it will be the cleaning of the jewels, cleaning & oiling of the balance cap-stones and hopefully the reassembling........ if all goes well !? To be continued ......
  6. 2 points
    So today, I took a few minutes to make up a timing sheet for myself. It is based on (ok, ALMOST a blatant copy of) the Rolex service timing sheet. I liked the layout so I replicated it in excel. I didn't see another one around so I figured I'd post it up. I am attempting to attach it now- if it fails, PM me and I can email the file out. Let me know if you'd like to make changes, so we can implement improvements for everyone. You can of course adjust it to your liking since it's just excel. Timing Analysis.xlsx
  7. 2 points

    AVIA Marino crystal needed

    Hi Mart crystal arrived this morning and is a perfect fit, see pics regards tonyTony
  8. 2 points
    Hello All; I stumbled on eBay over this little N.O.S. 1940's German Art Deco ladies watch. Cylinder escapement, 6-jewels. It looked in good condition and I couldn't help myself..... Upon reception of the watch, it looked different than on the sellers pictures. That is to say, my wife (for which I bought the watch as a little present) thought it was too small for here liking For me on the other hand, the condition was even better than on the pictures. After opening the back-lid I though it was a modern, recently made watch. A few surface scratches on the outside of the case but inside, it all looked like brand new !! Listening carefully and one could still hear the sounds of the factory echoing in the watch case. The surface rust on the balance was negligible, the seller must have taken that picture from the worst possible angle (perhaps he is a very honest man ) A few winding's and there was life in the balance, be it hesitant, but life nonetheless After the disappointed that my wife didn't like it as much as I did , I did set off to strip this little gem. The watch case consisted of two parts, the upper with the crystal and strap-lugs, and the bottom "box" in which the movement houses. It's a press-fit case. The hands and dial came off without major problems or any damage. The dial had two feet and was held in place by two dial-feet screws (bottom left, top right) The hands were lumed, so were the numbers on the dial. Not sure if this lume is the "bad-stuff"?? With the dial off, the movement finally revealed some of its secrets; First, the ratchet wheel and "the click", the latter consisting of a small wire spring which engages in the ratchet wheel teeth; bottom left arrow. Secondly, the maker of the movement. It turns out that it's made by a company called "Kasper & Co", founded in 1911 in Pforzheim, Germany. Initially the company made elastic bracelets for watches, later added manufacturing of watch cases and from 1932 they produced complete wrist watches. In 1955 they produced their first automatic movement cal.1000, followed by their 2nd automatic movement, cal.1450 in 1964. In ca. 1970 the company ceased to exist. Here their logo from 1939 onward, printed on the front face of the main-plate, top arrow pointing to the logo on the watch; However, the watch was sold under the name "WAP" (?) , as shown on the paper-label. So far, I couldn't find any information on "WAP". Most likely this watch is out the 1940's era ..... First I made sure that any residual tension in the mainspring was removed. Failure to do so and the chances are that the escape-wheel takes off as soon as the balance is removed, potentially ruining the movement. Removed the balance and escape-wheel; both being jeweled on either end. The wheel-train bridge and the barrel-bridge consisted out of one piece; I wasn't able to remove the center wheel as the cannon pinion was still attached to it on the other side. To see is the ratchet wheel and the click on the right; With the main plate flipped over, stripping of the key-less works. The key-less work works quite simple. The winding stem is hold in under spring tension and when turned, the main-spring gets wound. When the crown is pulled & hold out, the hands can be manipulated. The winding stem pops back in once released. The main plate looks in very good condition. Last action for today, removing the main-spring from the barrel; At first glance, all looks in perfect condition, no wear nor any tear ..... This was the easy bit, tomorrow the tricky parts; cleaning of the balance wheel and the cleaning & oiling of the cap-stones....... I hope this all goes well and then the re-assembling .... To be continued .....
  9. 2 points
    and here it is ready to wear.
  10. 2 points
    Through the night I left most parts submerged in Zippo lighter-fluid. This should give the decades old oil a chance to dissolve. All the pivot holes and jewels were separately cleaned with peg-wood. All the pivots, teeth and balance cylinder were inspected with a 10x eye-loupe. Remarkably, after 70 years in storage, everything was 100% ! First up was to re-wind the main-spring back in the barrel, oil the spring, grease the arbor and assemble the barrel. I always hand-wind the main-springs. The top of the balance had some surface discoloring (see picture at the beginning). I remove this by gently stroking the surface with a glass-fiber brush, while the the balance was suspended from a balance-holder. I didn't take any pictures as I didn't want to get distracted during this very delicate operation..... sorry ...... It took however only a few stroke to remove the discoloring. Next up was another delicate operation, the oiling of the balance cap-stone. Two screws on the underside of the balance cock had to be removed without damaging the hairspring nor the very delicate balance-staff pivots. On the left the already cleaned capstone, ready to be oiled. For oiling capstones I used to use a very fine dip watch-oiler, but now I'm using a 0.1mm Rotring pen. This works very well for me, very precise and controlled. With all parts cleaned, inspected and both cap-stones oiled, it was time to demagnetize. I made demagnetizing, after some hard lessons learned, a standard procedure. Of course, a German watch runs best on German oils .... Dr. Tillwich is the name; (BTW; the Swiss- and Russian-watches also seem to like this stuff ....... ) Time to assemble the ratchet wheel underneath the barrel, the wheel-train and a part of the keyless. Don't forget to insert the little screw (or sometimes a push-pin) which goes underneath the barrel-bridge: see the arrow. Won't be the fist time that you line everything nicely up only to discover that you have to undo your hard work again ..... Barrel-, and in this case also the wheel-train bridge back in place, all pivots engaged and lubricated. Here a close up of the back-side of the yoke including the setting wheel; Assembled the keyless works and ratchet "click". Tested functionality ..... Time to install the more delicate parts; the escape wheel and the balance ........ Lo and behold, after a little tension on the main-spring the movement started to run ...... It seemed happy so I decided to go ahead with the dial and hands. There was no work to be done on the dial, so it went straight back on. Replacing the hands was no problem either. I don't expect to get a COSC certificate with this movement, but I hope that, within the next few days, I'll to get it run within a minute per 24 hrs ....... or so ...... As a side-line remark; I found it difficult to get a descent grip on this movement using the Bergeon 4039 movement holder. But it is also the first time I'm working on a tonneau shape movement of this size, so it may well be me ........ Anyway, I managed to get this little gem serviced without doing any damage. Better be, because there is nowhere on this planet a shelf full of spare-parts to be found Now, it's to hope that I can find a lady who is willing to give it wrist time and can appreciate this little 1940's "time capsule". Obviously it needs a new leather strap, but that will be to the new owners taste .... I'll hope that somebody will have some benefit of this write-up, at some point in time .....
  11. 2 points

    AS 1158 hairspring help

    That could be hard to tangle out. Think it could be easier if you remove the bridge. Or put an oiler where the crossing is and move it upwards. Hopefully untangle the hairspring. Other then that you will need to find a new balance.
  12. 2 points
    Thanks, if you are into Russian watches you need to take your misses on holiday to Rimini Italy, half way down the strip there is a roundabout on the side of the road there is a patch of grass where they hold an evening market I think it is on a Wednesday, there is a man on there and he must have about 300 Russian watches on his stand...
  13. 2 points
    Hello, Looks like an AP Royal Oak if I'm true (real or fake I dont mind ) I have never rebrushed any of those watches but the method I have used to successfully refurbish my father-in-law's really worn Rolex bracelet (with polished central link) should work I suppose. So here's what I would do ... STEP 1 - remove the bracelet from the watch and put the 2 parts and clasp apart STEP 2 - gently clean with ultrasonic or just bathing it with a cleaning fluid (I use "essence C" but that's a french product denomination) STEP 3 - put some double-sided tape on a perfectly flat surface and stick the bracelet parts on it, downside-down, while checking that all the links are perfectly aligned ... press vigorously and check that not any part can move STEP 4 - gently sand (YES) your bracelet with an abrasive block of really high grade (1200 or higher would be good) until all the big scratches have disappeared ... if some of the scratches remain then consider them as "part of history" of your watch because you dont want to thin your bracelet here ... you just want it to be clean and nice NOTES : - after part 4 your bracelet will look dull and unbrushed but don't worry you will solve that problem later - if the down-side of your bracelet is scratched too (it doesn't seem scratched on your pic but who knows) you just repeat steps 3 and 4 on that side - if the sides of your bracelet have scratches you should do the same process but here you will have to hold the parts with one hand and do the sanding work with the other ... proceed slowly and carefully because you will have to repolish those sides STEP 5 - blow the metal dust which remains on your bracelet after sanding it ... DO NOT scrub it because doing this you would create more thin scratches STEP 6 - clean your bracelet parts again with cleaning fluid and let everything soak or dry everything STEP 7 - repolish the sides of your bracelet, using Cape Cod polish or any other steel polisher you can get ... the best is if you have a dremel (or you can borrow one) and use White Dialux with a felt disc then Blue Dialux with a cotton pad NOTES : - of course you have to proceed both sides of each part of your bracelet - I really dont know how the clasp should be polished ot brushed so just check on the web STEP 8 - clean your bracelet parts again (YES) with cleaning fluid and let everything soak or dry everything STEP 9 - put some new and clean (no steel dust) double-sided tape on "the above" perfectly flat surface and stick the bracelet parts on it, downside-down, while checking that all the links are perfectly aligned ... press vigorously and check that not any part can move STEP 10 - stick a ruler (or a perfectly straight piece of wood, steel or any other material) on your work surface close to one part of your bracelet ... you must check that it is perfectly parallel to the axis of the bracelet part you will work now so take your time and align everything perfectly STEP 11 - take an abrasive block of medium high grade (I'll explain how to choose the grade in a note below) and put it on your bracelet, placing the side of your block against the ruler so that you can use the ruler as a guide to produce perfectly parallel marks STEP 12 - brush the bracelet part slowly and regularly, always proceeding from one end to the other and always on the same direction (I generally brush from the part close to the watchcase to the one that fit to the clasp) ... do as many pass as needed to obtain a perfect brush ... DO NOT apply too much pressure on your sanding block because you DO NOT want to brush the polished chamfers on the sides of your bracelet STEP 13 - repeat the process with the other parts of your bracelet STEP 14 - blow the steel dust, clean again, put back on your watchcase and ENJOY STEP 15 - now if you have done really good work you should think that your watchcase too needs some rebrush/repolish ... but that's another story NOTES : What is really difficult is to figure out which grade of sanding block you should use to get a perfect final brushing. It really depends on the brand and the model of the watch (I didn't redo my wife's vintage DJ Jubilee bracelet the same way than my father-in-law's Daytona bracelet). The best could be to get a piece a clean stainless steel and do as many tests as needed and decide which grade will do the best finish. That's all and hope it helps
  14. 2 points

    Losing my mind!

    EUREKA!!!! ok gents, thank you again to everyone who tried to brain storm this thing with me. I was just about to throw the my my out the window and retire but the fact that the hands stopped in the same position every time was really bugging me. So before finding the bottom of my favorite spirit bottle I gave the new Minotaur mvmt one more look under the microscope with the dial removed. When I looked at the hand wheel it looked like a speck of something in the teeth so I magnified. Nope! Not a speck of anything but rather IT WAS MISSING AN ENTIRE TOOTH! Luckily I had the wheel from the previous mvmt which was perfect. I dropped it in yesterday afternoon and it’s been keeping perfect time ever since. I’m going to give it the rest of today for a full 24 hour run, but I’m pretty certain the missing tooth was the issue. Thank you all, you all are AWESOME!
  15. 2 points
    The beat is adjusted by adjusting the drop of the escape wheel against the side of the cylinder. this should be about 3 - 5 degs. take the spring barrel out, and move the wheels with your finger back and forth till you can get it about the same each way.it may have three dots on the underside of the balance, and one on the lower plate. these show the 5 degrees each side of centre, but as for setting up the watch, this cant really be relied apon, especially if it has had a new staff fitted. will show how far it needs to move anyway. you adjust it by REMOVING THE BALANCE and altering the hairspring collet the direction you think, untill the watch is self starting, or untill you cant stop it in any place.
  16. 2 points
    As a complete novice I am somewhat nervous about offering tips to you experts. However I had occasion to remove the caseback from my GS Mk2 pocket watch. It is so well machined there is virtually no visible joint to put a blade in without scratching it plus I did not know if it was screw on or not. I was thinking I needed a suction device which I don't have. After a few vodkas I came up with the idea of using the suction windscreen mount off my Garmin sat nav. It worked a treat. I also used it on my stepdaughter's Rolex ''replica'' which is tiny and has the authentic style Rolex caseback. I'm sure you guys have tools for every occasion but this tip might just get a hobbyist like myself out of trouble.
  17. 2 points

    Retrofitting a hairspring

    Can be done, Producing the design; ( desired) frequency is the aim. I plan to write and post an article on the forum, a breif explanation of the dynamics of balance wheel, metalurgics of H/S, industrial proccess of H/S production... which I believe shows the way to a repairman's better understanding of what he is doing. Just needs some time, I am old and lazy. Regards.
  18. 2 points

    Timex Assortment #53 Display Case

    A few weeks back I spotted a unique display case from Timex history on Ebay. Yes, it was the 1959 display case where a watch is dropped on and anvil to show how good the watches are shock proof. Now what made this even better is that I already had the catalog page showing this case. So of course I had to buy it. Main issue was that the mechanism that raised and lowered the watch was missing perhaps the most important part. Which was the part that would trip the lever. With a little bit of consultation with a my watchmaker friend a plan was drawn up on how to make the missing part. So with a bit of spring wire solder to a hex nut and some chain, the display is back in working order. Now the next one on the grail list is a display that dips a watch in water to show they are water proof. MOV08666Trim.mp4
  19. 2 points

    Timex M25 what to start first???

    so quick history, Timex had the #24 and decided to add the date feature and thus the #25. Which is built much like the 24 but with a few mods. fast forward tot he 70's and they had the bright idea ( I blame the bean counters) that they could make the movement for less money by changing the click. Yeah they changed it alright and made it out of a thin bit of spring steel and it is the first part to wear. Also the they elongated the shaft of the fourth wheel. This allowed for the movements to be fitted into deeper cases and other such changes they were making at the time. All in all the method Timex used was to have a base model that could be added on to add other features to the watch. They even did did with the cases latter on. Well you see I have too much Timex in my head.:)
  20. 2 points

    Watch Repair Training

    Good for you. I'm sure you will be a great intrest to you. When I started, I took up an apprenticeship back in the early 70's, it was 5 years then another two as an improver. I was very lucky as the workshop was well equipped and everything was at hand. My master was also extremely good in all aspects of horology, which helped me to gain the experience I have today. You will never stop learning.
  21. 2 points

    ETA 251.262

  22. 2 points

    D. I. Y. Watch Timing Machine.

    I've already posted this on another popular watch forum, but I think it better fits here. I'm sorry if this post get too lengthy due to all the images. Hey everyone! I would like to share a project that I've been working on for a while. After a few different variations, I think that this is my final design for the time being. Project background: For many in this hobby, applications like Toolwatch are great because they allow you to determine daily rate, but it doesn't provide anything beyond that. Those of us who enjoy tinkering with watches should have a way to also check the amplitude and beat error. Sure, I could have purchased a timegrapher from China but I thought it would be a fun project to attempt constructing one myself (with the help of several resources). I used these microphone stand plans for reference and made some changes. There are also plans for a DIY pre-amp on the Watch-O-Scope website, but I followed the instructions from my good friend Guido (also posting on this thread) and modified a PYLE pre-amp by removing a capacitor from one channel and replacing the electrolytic capacitor with a ceramic capacitor on the same channel. The first iteration gave promising results but I wasn't entirely pleased with it. It seemed like the audio levels were somewhat inconsistent and I would get a ringing or echoing noise depending on the amount of pressure against the piezo disk (the contact microphone element). After some discussion with a friend, we came to the conclusion that many professional timing stands never have direct pressure against the piezo element - instead, the metal clamp that holds the watch is coupled with the piezo using a different piece of metal that transfers the vibrations. We came up with these sketches for a better design. Completed and polished pin before attaching it to the piezo. Pin installed. Soldered some thin cables from broken earbuds to a 3.5mm connector mounted in the stand. The results are good. Now it's time to add a copper plate to the back to reduce electromagnetic interference. Another good idea is to add some felt so I don't scratch any crystals when testing the dial down position. Finally, the build is complete! I'll admit that this might not be the most beautiful creation, but it's definitely functional and it does exactly what I need it to do. I have ideas for further improvements, but they are not necessary and are really just a challenge to get the cleanest audio signal (there's still quite a bit of static). Waveform from Watch-O-Scope (highly recommended software, made by a fellow WUS user). This is amazing software that I pair this microphone stand with. An alternative is TG Timer, but Watch-O-Scope definitely is the better option. Quick audio recording I made: Test Recording #1 - Mega.nz
  23. 1 point

    Swatch 2840 oiling advice

    The ETA 2840 - made exclusively for Swatch watches - is a simplified version of the ETA 2824-2. So, yes, if you follow any advice on the 2824 and apply it to your 2840 you can't go far wrong.
  24. 1 point
    Lovely job Roland. You may have figured this out, but what you have there appears to be a Kasper cal 200 https://17jewels.info/movements-en/movements-k-en/movements-k-kasper-en/879-kasper-200-neu.html Amazingly, if you’d had any problems with any parts, then Cousins has a pretty good selection!! Hopefully you’ll find someone to appreciate it as it has many years life left!
  25. 1 point
    I want to thank everyone for the advice. Yes it was a snap on back. It was hard to see the notch even with a 10x loupe. There was a cover under the first cover. The cover was a tight fit and hard to get off and back on. kind regards.