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  1. 17 points

    Fitting A New Watch Stem.

    When fitting new stems to watches I use these tools :- Digital calipers, Fine grade diamond lap Wire cutter Pin vice Now for fitting. (1) Hold the stem in the pin vice and screw on the crown tightly by hand. (2) With the movement fitted correctly in the case, insert the stem until it locks in place. Now measure the gap between the case and the underside of the stem. In this case it is 2.16mm. (3) Subtract 0.2mm from this size and this will give the amount to remove from the stem. In this case it will be 1.96mm which will give 0.2mm clearance below the crown when fitted to the watch. (4) Now remove the crown from the stem and hold the stem very tightly in the pin vice, then place the pin vice and stem between the jaws of the digital calipers then zero the calipers. (5) Remove the calipers and without touching the zero button set them to minus 1.96mm. THEN RE-ZERO THE CALIPERS AT THIS LENGTH The wire cutters are now used cut off the excess thread leaving a small amount to be filed to the exact length. (6) All that is required now is to dress the stem with the diamond lap a little at a time until the calipers read zero. (7) Finally screw the crown on tightly and it should be ready to fit to the watch without further adjustment. I find that this method cuts down on trial and error. FOR SCREW DOWN CROWNS. A) Screw down the crown tightly onto the case without the stem and measure the distance nbetween the bottom of the crown and the case. B ) Screw the new stem tightly into the crown, then insert into the watch until it engages and locks into the movement. C) Press the crown down firmly as far as it will go and hold it there. D) Using the vernier callipers, measure the distance between the bottom of the crown and the case. E) Subtract the size determined in (D) from the size measured in (A) then subtract a further 0.15mm from this size. This is the amount to shorten the stem by. This should allow the crown to screw full home without compressing the stem too tightly between the movement and the inside of the crown. F) Cut the stem leaving it slightly longer than the size determined in (E), and dress down to size using the diamond lap and vernier callipers as described in the original post. G) Screw the crown onto the shortened stem and check fit and function, before using a tiny spot of Loctite 221 to secure. Click here to view the article
  2. 16 points
  3. 15 points
    ETA 7750 Service Walkthrough The 7750 was first available in 1974, having been one of the first movements to be designed with the aid of a computer. It's hard to believe that the 7750 is still the industry standard movement for chronographs considering it's history. It was developed over 40 years ago by Valjoux, who was then a legendary movement maker that was part of the giant ASUAG conglomerate. But by the end of 1975 production was stopped due to the onslaught of the Quartz Era, and the 7750, along with many other mechanical calibers, was abandoned. Industry demand for this movement was so low that the stock produced in that 1 year manufacturing lasted until 1982! Such was the devastation of cheap Japanese produced quartz watches to Swiss manufactures. History may have forgotten the 7750 except for the local management at Zenith who ignored the orders by Valjoux to destroy the dies and equipment used to manufacture the 7750, instead hiding the equipment away from corporate eyes. You can find many more fascinating facts about this caliber online, and it's well worth the read. ................................................... This walkthrough will be very detailed, and I hope this will give people the courage to tackle this movement. I've serviced quite a few calibers, and this is one of the most beautiful, with a very logical layout. ETA7750 Tech.PDF If you have built your skills with basic movements, and become proficient in servicing them, I would highly recommend this movement to be your first chronograph to tackle. Lets begin. DEMAGNETIZE THE MOVEMENT BEFORE DISASSEMBLY. Remove the Day Indicator and store it in a safe place where it won't be damaged. Unscrew (0.8 Driver) the Jumper Maintaining Plate and remove it. Do the same for the Date Indicator Maintaining Plate Carefully remove the Jumpers Spring, holding it with a piece of pegwood so it doesn't ping away. Next remove the jumpers for the day and date. The jumpers differ from one another, so here is a reference photo so you can see the difference. Remove the Date Indicator and place it in a safe place where it won't be damaged. The last piece to remove on the Date Platform is the Double Corrector Now unscrew (1.4 Driver) the Date Platform and gentle pry it from the movement. Be careful when removing this plate, as there is a fine spring pressed into the plate that can be easily damaged. Here is a reference photo of the screws that hold the Date Platform. Remove the Hour Hammer Spring, once again using the pegwood to hold the spring while removing the tension. Here is a reference photo of the correct orientation of the spring. Remove the Hour Counter Lock. Remove the Hour Hammer Operating Lever. Next is the Hour Hammer, be careful when removing this item so as not to damage the Hour-Counting Wheel. Now remove the Hour-Counting Wheel. Remove the Date Indicator Driving Wheel Remove the Day Star Driving Wheel Then remove the Intermediate Calendar Driving Wheel Remove the Hour Wheel Then the Minute Wheel Remove the Cannon Pinion, which does not require a puller. The last component to be removed on this side of the Main Plate is the Driver Cannon Pinion. To lift the Driver Cannon Pinion I used what Mark used, a set of hand lifter from Horotec (MSA05.007); but you can also use a Presto Tool (30636-1) which will also work well. The dial side of the movement is now complete disassembled. Flip the movement over and unscrew (1.5 Driver) the Oscillating Weight. To remove the Hammer Spring lift it up gently over the automatic work and move it inwards. This will move the tail of the spring in a clockwise motion to the opening in the slots, which will free the spring. Slide out the Clutch Spring. Here is a reference photo of this spring, and it's orientation. Remove the screws (1.4 Driver) for the Automatic Device Bridge, and gently pry it loose. Here is a reference photo of these screws for the bridge. Once the Automatic Bridge has been removed, the two wheels for the automatic work are able to be removed. Below is a reference photo of how the sit inside the bridge. We now begin to disassemble the chronograph section of this movement. Begin with removing the Hammer, 2 Functions. Next remove the Clutch 60s, 2 Functions. Then remove the Minute-counting Wheel, 30min. Remove the Chronograph Wheel 60s, 30min. Gently lift out the Oscillating Pinion, 60s. Here is a reference photo of the orientation of this pinion. Unscrew (1.4 Driver) the Chronograph Bridge and gently pry it off the Train Wheel Bridge. Remove the Ratchet Driving Wheel. Remove the Chronograph Wheel Fiction. Unscrew (1.4 Driver) the Operating Lever, 2 Functions. Unscrew (1.4 Driver) the Lock, 2 Functions. Next remove the Minute-counter Driving Wheel, 30min. Slide out the Operating Lever Spring, 2 Functions. This spring can be fitting in both directions; but only 1 way is correct. Here is a reference photo of it's correct orientation. Remove the Switch. Here I digress from the order the SwissLab document illustrates the order of removal. They show to remove the Chronograph Cam before removing the Hammer Cam Jumper. This in my opinion is not the best way, as all the force from the jumper is pressing on the cam whilst your trying to remove it, and could lead to damage. Instead I move the Chronograph Cam until it reaches the notch as shown in the photo below. Then lift the Hammer Cam Jumper up to the top of the Chronograph Cam, which will release it's tension. Then, just as you removed the previous hammer, rotate the jumper to the opening in the slots, which will free the spring. Now you can unscrew (1.4 Driver) and remove the Chronograph Cam safely without tension on it. RELEASE THE MAINSPRING TENSION Once the tension has been released, unscrew (1.4 Driver) and remove the Balance Cock. Then unscrew (1.4 Driver) the Pallet Bridge and remove the bridge and Pallets. Unscrew (1.2 Driver) and remove the Ratchet Wheel. Then remove the Crown Wheel. Unscrew (1.4 Driver) the Train Wheel Bridge and gently pry it off the Main Plate. Note that one of the screws is under the Operating Lever. This needs to be moved out of the way to access this screw. The last level of this movement contains the train. Here is a reference photo of the wheel locations. Remove the Stop Lever. Remove the Great Wheel. Here is a reference photo of the underneath of this wheel. Remove the Third Wheel. Here is a reference photo of the underneath of this wheel. Remove the Second Wheel. Here is a reference photo of the underneath of this wheel. Note this has the long lower pivot. Remove the Escape Wheel. Here is a reference photo of the underneath of this wheel. Then remove the Barrel. This completes the removal of the train. Flip the movement over so we can complete the disassembly by removing the keyless work. Firstly, release the tension from the Setting Lever Jumper. Then unscrew (1.2 Driver) and remove the Setting Lever Jumper. These are unique screws with pointed ends, and below is a reference photo of them. This will also remove the Intermediate Setting Wheel. Next remove the Setting Wheel Then remove the Yoke. Remove the Setting Lever. Remove the Rocking Bar. Now pull out the Stem. Once the Stem is removed the Winding and Sliding Pinion should fall out of the movement onto your work mat. Disassembly of the 7750 is now complete If you've come this far, congratulation on completing the disassembly. Make sure you pegwood all the jewels and reinstall the Balance back onto the movement for cleaning. Assembly of the movement will be posted as soon as I complete the write-up.
  4. 15 points

    Screwdriver Sharpening

    I spent the day literally watching paint dry. I was using black lacquer to fill in the engraving on a pocket watch case to make it stand out. I will send pictures when it is finished. In the mean time I was looking for screwdriver sharpening stone holders on the net. The sticker shock was amazing. So i said to myself, "Self" your only watching paint dry, make your own, you have a sharpening stone and some wood. So I made this from scrap wood while watching paint dry. I'm happy with it & it cost nothing. It is perhaps not as pretty as Bergeon but they have enough money.
  5. 15 points
    OK, so me and Mrs H did Christmas day with the family, and then we did Boxing day with the family, and then we were granted a day off so got to relax, and for me that meant I had the chance to tackle a little project that I had acquired as part of a job lot from a long retired watchmaker that had been sitting around in a shed for about 35 years (the job lot, not the watchmaker). Pocket watches are not usually my thing although I do own and use a couple. Orphaned pocket watch movements are even less my thing; but this little baby was in such a state that I couldn't resist the challenge. I don't think I have ever attempted to resurrect anything in quite such a sorry state as this before but it wasn't all bad. The balance was free and with sufficiently little end shake to hint that the pivots were not broken. However, the accumulation of dirt and dried grease obscured just about everything else. The inner coils of the hair spring also looked to be completely filled in with rust/gunk. With the balance cock and balance removed things got a little more interesting. Underneath the grime is a rather nice English Lever escapement with cap jewels on both the pallet and escape wheel pivots. A good sign, but I need to let down any power in the mainspring before I go any further, which means flipping it over and removing the dial as the keyless works are dial side. Not quite so bad under here as the dial has kept the worst of the dirt away. You can see too that both ends of the pallet and escape wheel pivots are capped, and the click spring is a proper cut steel affair, not wire. There is worrying evidence of rust on the steel work though. With the power let down the pallet and escape wheel cock is removed and you can now see the English Lever escapement in all its (rather grubby) glory. What a mess, but through the gunge there are just little hints of quality watchmaking peeping through; the thickness of the 3/4 top plate, and the cut and form of the teeth on the wheels. The top plate comes off taking the entire train and barrel with it as the pivots are seized in their bearings. The main plate is a mess. The under side of the top plate with the train still in place. The barrel has vacated its bearing revealing rust. Not a good sign but it could be worse. The train now removed from the top plate and dropped back into the main plate for a reference shot. The set lever and stem retaining bridge do not look healthy. Again though the set lever spring is cut steel, not wire. Oh yuk!!! The main plate now stripped. The barrel lid, with another nice touch; Geneva stop work, designed to only allow the central portion of the springs torque curve to be utilised thus reducing isochronism. Main plate, top plate, and escapement cock ready for cleaning. Ok, so whilst I was stripping all of this down, the hair spring, removed from the balance has been sitting in some Cola. The result is that the rust has softened and with a little careful tweezer work with a pair of Dumont #5's, most of it has been dislodged. The terminal curve of the Breguet over coil is badly out of shape due to a mishap when trying to unpin it from the rusted steel stud. I'll sort that out later. For now it's back into the pop to see if I can get those coils a little cleaner. Everything cleaned and ready for reassembly. I have a couple of spare jars for my cleaning machine and when I renew the cleaning solutions, the old stuff is kept in the spare jars. Any really heavily soiled movements get a "pre-wash" in the old chemistry so as to prolong the life of the new. With this watch everything was washed in the old gear and then very carefully gone over with peg wood, a G/F scratch brush, and tooth paste on a cotton bud in order to remove all of the staining that the bath didn't touch. All the jewels, bearings, and pinion leaves were also pegged out. Then it all went for another cycle through the old stuff before going through a normal cycle through the fresh chemistry. Main plate dial side prior to reassembly. And train side. Scrubbed up quite well I think. Stem, winding pinion, clutch, and stem retaining bridge reinstalled. Set lever and spring back in place. I haven't removed all of the rust pitting from the stem bridge and the set lever as it was too deep and to take it out would alter the shape too much, but it has been stabilised. The reassembled barrel and Geneva Stop work. I have reused the old main spring for now but made a note of its dimensions in case I choose to replace it. Another (gratuitous) shot of the Stop work as I just love it :-) Barrel and train back in place and things are starting to look fairly healthy. The top plate goes on. Quite a difference compared to the strip down shot from the same angle. The keyless works back in place dial side. And the balance, with reshaped and re-pinned hair spring goes back into place. After about half a dozen attempts to adjust the beat, removing the balance from the cock and turning the hair spring collet each time, and she comes to life!! Everything back in place dial side. And the cleaned up dial goes back on, complete with (broken) hands. And if you ignore the rate error for now (I need to re-pin the hair spring a little shorter), it's actually not a bad performance. As I said at the outset this was a challenge for challenge sake. I really enjoyed doing it and have learned a little bit about quality English watchmaking from the days when we were really rather good at it. I have absolutely no idea what to do with it now though although I want to try and find a bit more about it. Here is what I know; The name on the dial is T Donkin. There was a T Donkin watchmaker in Scarborough but I have no dates (yet) I'm guessing somewhere between about 1890 and 1910. It is a 19 ligne, 19 jewel English Lever escapement movement with capped balance, pallet, and escape wheel pivots (diamond on at least the balance top pivot). It has a screwed, split bi-metalic compensating balance, Breguet over coil hair spring, and Geneva Stop work on the barrel, and a 16200 train. A technical spec that suggests that it was of a reasonably high grade for its day. I still have a couple of issues to address though, the most problematic of which is that it has a slightly bent balance staff pivot. I decided not to tackle this on this occasion as the risk of breaking it whilst trying to straighten it was too great and I desperately wanted to see it running, but I may have a go in the future. I will re-pin the hair spring at the same time to get the rate up to where I can regulate it properly; it is currently about 25 minutes a day slow which is way beyond the range of the regulator. I also need to re-attach one of the dial feet and source some new hands. Then of course there is the question of recasing it. If you have made it this far then thank you for indulging me :-) I hope you have enjoyed it. If anyone can shed any more light on this little old lady I would be very grateful.
  6. 14 points
    Here we go with part 2. Now it's easy to note, that I'm not a professional as the cleaning equipment is only... ehm... semi-professional. Special treatment for the balance and the pallet fork. The equipment for oiling and grease. Inserting the new mainspring. Reassembling the train bridge. Surprise: Much easier than on other watches, the parts fall into correct positions by themselves. Nice. Barrel bridge and ratchet system. The keyless works. Assembling and oiling the Pallet fork. The return of the balance. A drop of oil for the balance and escape wheel stones. Winding up and...it runs! Oops, some adjustment needed. Better. Reassembling the automatic device. Inserting the screws for movement and dial. Time for the cannon pinion and the hour wheel. Bringing back dial and hands (oh, I love those Maxi dials). Back in the case... ...and completed with the automatic device. Some grease for the gasket. Got it. It's called a wrist watch, so it's for the wrist not for the safe.
  7. 14 points


    Well I would definitely start with Moebius 9010 (for train wheels and balance endstones) and 9020 (for train wheels) if you are working on Pocket Watches. Moebius 9415 is a must for Pallet/Escape wheel teeth. A quality silicon grease. Moebius D5 is essential (barrel arbor, motion work). Molycote DX or Moebius 9501 grease for keyless work. Moebius 9501 or 9504 for high friction (e.g. Cannon pinion, Setting lever spring and anything at high friction). Moebius 8200 grease for mainspring. It's a lot but at a minimum get 9010, 9415, D5 and 8200 I hope this helps.
  8. 13 points

    Those Crazy Russians!!! My 1000th post

    I haven't done one of these for a while and as this is my 1000th post I thought I would do something a little less ordinary. As the title says it's one of those crazy Russians, a USSR Sekonda from the 70's sporting a Slava 2428 in all its quirky glory. This one came to me as a non-runner and a preliminary investigation turned up a broken balance pivot so it went into the "to do" box until I could source a replacement, which it turned out I had all along from another watch previously scavenged for parts a while ago, as I discovered during a recent tidy up. So here goes...... Looking a bit sad, a grubby face and a bit of corrosion on the hands, and as already mentioned, not running. Also the date corrector pusher which is above the crown is jammed in. It's obviously seen a bit of wear in its time as the plating to the rear of the case has started to go through. Inside doesn't look too bad. Dirty and dry for sure but I've seen worse. The stem however suggests that things may not be so good further in. Uncased and the dial doesn't look so bad. The hands may need a bit of a spruce up. Oh dear... with the dial off the hint that the stem was giving earlier becomes a grim reality and the reason behind the frozen date corrector is clear. Heavy rust around parts of the date quick set mechanics has seized everything solid. With the day and date wheels out of the way and safely bagged the full extent of the problem can be seen, and maybe it's not quite so bad after all so long as none of the screws shear off as I try to undo them. Success.... all the screws out and nothing stripped. The rusty parts have been carefully rubbed down and are now enjoying a strong cup of tea.....to stabilise the remaining rust deposits. And here is the first quirky bit, all of the date quick set mechanics are mounted on the movement ring, not the movement itself. Strange but true! The movement now flipped, balance cock and barrel bridged removed, and the second and third deviations from the everyday run of the mill design philosophy become apparent; that curiously asymmetric pallet fork, and those tandem main spring barrels. The first of the going train bridges removed .... ... and with the second train bridge and wheels removed, the replacement balance is installed without jewels ready for a spin in the Elma. And here we have all the bits nice and shiny out of the cleaner, with as much of the rust issue dealt with as possible. Is it me or are there a hell of a lot of wheels in this little baby? Both main springs are in good shape so they are greased and rewound into their respective barrels. I don't know if it was strictly necessary but I did take the precaution of keeping the barrels, lids, and arbors together as sets during the cleaning process so that the same bits went back together as came apart. Balance jewels inspected, lubricated, and reinstalled. The hair spring is pleasingly flat, parallel to the balance, and concentric, and once set in motion the balance doesn't seem to want to stop. A good sign... In goes the first set of train wheels along with the idler that couples the twin barrels together. With the first train bridge in place the escape wheel and centre seconds wheel are installed. Second train bridge goes back on followed by the tandem barrels Barrel bridge with all of those amazing coupling wheels to keep everything turning the right way all the way back to the crown wheel and its clearly marked lefty screw. At this point all of the pivots have been oiled and a quick test of the free running of the train is done. A couple of clicks on the ratchet wheel and the escape wheel spins nicely down and then back with just a little recoil. After that the pallet fork goes back in and the pallet stones are lubricated. Typical of many Russian watch movements, the balance cock has a shim. Whether or not these were available in different thicknesses so that end shake could be adjusted I have no idea. I've never had a problem swapping them between watches though which suggests that they are all the same thickness. Balance back in and that lovely moment when it starts to beat again. And then back into its big metal spacer ring come date quick set extension. Time to rebuild the dial side. It's a bit cleaner now. Keyless works back in place. Motion works reinstalled. Incidentally, as can be seen here 5 of the 26 jewels are vertical rollers for the date wheel and 4 are set into the main plate for the date wheel to ride over. Cynical marketing ploy anyone?? The date corrector mechanics are reinstated into the movement ring, all now free running. Most of the rust damage cleaned up reasonably well but there is significant pitting at one end of the spring. If I ever find a donor I will replace the worst affected parts but for now they work and the rust has been stopped. Calender wheels back in place. Date wheel back in place and the day wheel jumper and spring installed. Day wheel drops into place. Dial and hand back on following a clean up and a little fresh black paint in the hands where it was beginning to crack. This is the date corrector pusher and is I suspect the origin for the water ingress that caused the rust damage. It has a little neoprene seal on its back face so that the spring tension should seal it against the inside of the case. It was bone dry and all it would have taken is a little dirt stopping the pusher from closing properly and its an open invite for any contamination that comes along. Now cleaned and re-lubricated with silicon grease it will hopefully keep the water out. Re-cased and ticking away nicely. With the exception of the date corrector pusher issue these are well designed cases. Although they make no claim to water resistance they do use a design similar to that used in the Vostok Amphibia cases, with a thick gasket, a steel back that drops into place, and a threaded clamping ring to hold it all together. Looking a lot happier than when this all started. You can now see the date corrector pusher protruding from the side of the case above the crown so it is definitely sealing against the inside of the case. A new crystal allows the cleaned up dial and hands to look their best. And there is something about the dial layout and hands that just seems so Russian to me. I really like it. And of course the proof of the pudding.... This is dial down. DU was almost the same, only difference was amplitude which fell to 298. The vertical positions showed a tiny bit of beat error, up to 0.4ms, amplitude down to around 275, and slight rate errors, coming in at -5 s/d at one extreme and +3 s/d at the other, quite a respectable result. Maybe those crazy Russians aren't quite so crazy as they first appear. The little design quirks here all add up to a nice piece of engineering. The train wheel layout, and the asymmetrical pallet fork allow for a comparatively large balance wheel for this size movement (thinking about it without the date quick set and the extension ring). The use of 2 main springs running in tandem allows for a more even torque delivery as the springs wind down which should help to reduce isochronism errors, while also making good use of the available space. It all actually makes quite good sense in a kind of lateral thinking sort of a way. If you should be tempted to go for one of these then I would suggest that the earlier USSR ones are the better ones to go for. The later "Made In Russia" versions at some point were updated to a 21600 train, but weren't so well finished, and that date corrector/spacer ring became plastic with the mechanics riveted on, presumably to reduce costs. Bit of a shame if you ask me. If you made it this far then I guess I haven't bored you to sleep. Thanks for reading.
  9. 13 points

    Vostok 2416B Amphibia

    This is a bit of a departure for me as I usually like to play with stuff a little more vintage and a little more Swiss. That being said I have done a few vintage Russians in the past and this is a watch that I had been curious about for some time. I picked this one up at a car boot sale last summer for just £3 in a less than wonderful state. As you can see, the seconds hand was off and it was described a not running. It turned out that it did run, just not too well and the hour and minute hands didn't move. Canon pinion anyone? First impression with the back off is pretty encouraging. Still looking good with the rotor off. This is a 31 jewel movement, 10 of the jewels are inside those reverser wheels. Somewhat minimalist under the dial. With the calendar wheel retaining plate off you can access the motion works, the calendar works, and the keyless works. Flipped back over and with the auto-wind bridge out of the way. This is an indirect driven centre seconds hand which has a tension spring to hold the seconds hand pinion in place. This has to be supported when installing the seconds hand otherwise the hand simply pushes the pinion against the spring and won't install. Balance cock removed with the shim that the soviets are so fond of for adjusting end shake. Hair spring is in good shape. With the train and barrel bridges out of the way the going train is revealed in all its glory. Flipped over again to strip out the bottom plate and a problem comes to light. There is some damage to the minute wheel (marked in red ink). Maybe the canon pinion isn't the problem after all? In close up you can see the damaged minute wheel tooth. This I didn't think would be a problem, just replace it..... I thought. Not so easy as it turned out as I couldn't find anyone that could supply a new wheel, and a donor movement proved elusive unless I wanted to spend a fortune on a complete, working watch, which I didn't, so I had to wait for eBay to come up with a spares or repair victim at the right price, which it eventually did. The stripped out main plate with the balance and cock, minus jewels, ready for the cleaning machine. The bottom plate back together again after a good wash cycle in the Elma. At this point I did check the canon pinion anyway and it was as well that I did. There was virtually no transfer of power through to the hands at all so a suitable adjustment was made and a tighter fit achieved. Back in the case and ticking like a champ. The rotor and massive case back gasket back in place. And a much improved trace on the timer. This is with the original mainspring which turned out to be in very good shape requiring just a clean and relube. The trace isn't perfect by any means, but compared with other Russian watches that I have played with (and with it's starting trace), it's pretty good. There is still a hint of a periodic variation that I may investigate at some point but for now I shall just wear it and enjoy it. And here it is on the wrist after a bit of a cosmetic brush up. These are available with many different dial designs, apparently this one is referred to as a "SCUBA Dude". I have worn it for two days now and it has gained about 5 seconds a day so there is a little fine tuning to do to get it right "on the wrist". All in all I'm very pleased with this one. I had been curious about the Amphibia for some time having read a couple of articles detailing its history and design. It also has quite a large following of avid enthusiasts who rate it for both value and robustness. On the value front I can't complain with this one as the total cost to me was just £11 (including the donor). As for ruggedness only time will tell, but the performance so far is very impressive.
  10. 12 points

    Sekonda 19 Jewel (Raketa 2609.ha)

    Just before Christmas I sold (through the good offices of eBay) an absolutely immaculate example of a 19 jewel Sekonda hand winder. I was a little sad to see it go as I don't think I am likely to see another in as good order for some time, and having just serviced it it was running like a champ but I couldn't justify holding on to it. Well, shortly after it had arrived with its new owner I received a message through eBay from the buyer. Huw had contacted me to say how pleased he was with his new acquisition, and did I service watches? as he had another example of one of these that was a little stiff in the winder and gained about a minute per day, and he felt that it maybe could benefit from a bit of a spruce up. I have done quite a few of these so am reasonably comfortable with them so I quoted a price and accepted the commission. A couple of weeks ago Huw's watch arrived so I thought I'd do this as a walk through. Looking well used but not abused, Huw had explained that he bought this not too long ago as a stop gap whilst his other watch (a Sekonda quartz chrono) was out of action with battery issues. First impressions are of a watch that has seen a lot of wrist time in its (probably) 40 years. The Timegrapher trace confirms the rate at roughly +60s/day, and confirms that a service is long over due. With the crystal out of the way the condition of the dial is actually rather good. The shadow to the right of the 7 is a lens fault on my camera, not the dial. With the back removed there is plenty of dirt speckled around the whole movement and everything is bone dry. The good news though is that it doesn't look like anyone has messed anything up inside. You can see the spring clip retainer on the escape wheel end stone (a bit like Seiko Diafix but not quite as clever). You can also see corrosion to the back of the bezel, this watch spent a lot of time on some ones wrist. With the movement out of the case the reason for the stiff winder and all of the dusty crud in the movement is brutally apparent. The outer end of the stem has started to rust causing it to bind in the case, and the resulting rust powder is thick on the inside of the case. These cases are a bit prone to this kind of problem as there is absolutely no attempt to seal them even against dust, let alone water, so even sweat on a hot day can seed the beginnings of a corrosion problem. With the dial off the press fit retaining plate for the motion works is exposed along with the keyless works. There's that little end stone retaining clip again, and the Raketa version of Incabloc on the balance. The rust doesn't seem to have got this far. With the set bridge out of the way though there is a hint of rust in the keyless works. Ouch!!! Just in time me thinks!! Balance and cock removed and the hairspring looks to be in good shape apart from the terminal curve which is off concentric. That will need to be sorted or the regulator will distort the hair spring as it is moved. Here also is the shim that Raketa are fond of using under the balance cock to adjust the balance end shake. A bit further in and plenty of gunge under the ratchet and crown wheels. Train bridge removed to reveal the train layout and a sub-bridge for the 2nd wheel. The main plate stripped with the screws put back in their respective holes. I do this so that screws don't go missing in the cleaning machine and I always know which screw goes where. The stripped main plate dial side. And then with the balance reinstalled (minus jewels) ready for the Elma. After a thorough clean everything is ready for inspection and reassembly..... ....starting with the balance jewels. This is when I check and adjust the hair spring for flatness and concentricity, eyeball the beat, check the end and side shake on the balance, and that everything swings freely. If you leave it until later there is too much other stuff in the way. Once I'm happy with it the balance/cock assembly comes back off until later. There is still a little work to do in this pic as the coils are still not quite concentric. The main spring re-lubricated and back in the barrel. This maybe could have been replaced but it wasn't too bad so went back in to help keep the cost down. Barrel, barrel bridge, 2nd wheel sub-bridge, and train back in place. Pallet fork and bridge installed. You can see the exit pallet poised ready to receive a drop of 941 on its impulse face. Walking the pallet too and fro then distributes the oil to the escape wheel teeth. Drop in the balance and away she goes. The cleaned up and de-rusted keyless works go back in.... ...and then the motion works and cover plate. Dial and hands back on, and ready to re-case. Again, to help keep the cost down I didn't replace the crystal with a new one, however, the original was just a little too deeply scored to easily polish out and there was what looked like a very small fracture. So a quick scout through my spares box and I found a second hand replacement which has cleaned up nicely. And the proof of the pudding ... as they say!! At 230 degrees the amplitude isn't anything to write home about but it is a significant improvement on the starting point. A new mainspring would almost certainly help this up into the high 200's (on the watch Huw bought from me I seem to remember it was 300+), but 230 is certainly usable. It is otherwise a nice clean trace with minimal beat error. It has been running for a week now in which it has gained just under a minute, so after a final tweak to the regulator it will be ready to return to Huw. I like these movements a lot. They are well designed and well executed, and capable of excellent results if looked after. They also seem to turn up quite frequently at the boot fairs. Unfortunately though, the lack of any attempt to keep moisture out of the case does mean that they quite often suffer from corrosion issues, and the relatively low cost (both when they were new, and when they turn up second hand) means that they are often used as a beginner watch smiths practice or learning watch, with the resultant butchery that many of us have dealt out as part of our learning curve. It's a shame in many respects, but then we all have to learn somehow. When you do find one that has survived unmolested though they are very well worth looking after. My thanks to Huw firstly for buying my watch, secondly for asking me to help this one to keep going for a few more years, and finally for allowing me to post his watch on here.
  11. 12 points
    On behalf of "Watch Repair Talk" moderators, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all new members. This is a friendly place with plenty of knowledgeable people who have varying degrees of horological expertise, the great thing is they are willing to share that invaluable knowledge and help one another. To help us keep things running smoothly, I would ask all new members to read the forum rules and place their posts in the correct sections.
  12. 12 points

    Omega 861 Speedmaster Mark II

    Hello All; On my desk landed a 1975 Omega Speedmaster professional Mark II. It was in a sorry state and water ingress was suspected. The last services were quite a few years ago, mid '80's towards the '90's. Those services were performed by a watchmaker working for a local highly reputable jeweler with a glossy facade. Instead of using the proper tools (a guide-ring) to replace the glass, for ease or necessity the official seal-ring was taken out and the glass was placed using a black sealing-kit. The back-cover received the same treatment, instead of the correct O-ring, the O-ring groove was filled with the same black sealing kit and the cover was thereafter closed. By a stroke of luck, the Omega was replaced by another watch and has for 20+ years been stored in a drawer; until recently. The owners current watch was sent away for a service and the Omega had to fill the gap. Unfortunately the Omega came in contact with water. The owner suspected water ingress and as soon as his current watch was back from servicing, the Omega was sent to me. Though time, the black sealing kit has eaten away the printed Tachograph-ring and made its way onto the edge of the dial. The task on hand; a full service of the movement, installation of a new mineral glass and replacing all seals. Perhaps some new luster to the watch-case........ Whether I show the full restoration of the watch-case needs to be seen, but I like to start off with a walk-through of the 861 movement. Two Omega 861 manuals were of enormous help; Omega 861 service manual.pdf Omega 861.pdf I printed them out and best is to read and cross reference both manuals before starting. Each manual contains important information, not necessarily mentioned in the other manual ! Once the information is combined, then there is enough information to do a proper service. For chronographs like this one, I replace each screw after the component has been removed. This avoids screw mix-ups, but can cause some problems too ...... read installing the pallet-fork bridge. Without any further ado; Here is the watch as I received it; Luckily the inside looked pretty okay and no visual signs of water. BTW, the black sealing kit on the back was already replace by a proper O-ring. Took some Watch-O-Scope shots (lift angle 50 degrees) Dial up: Dial down; Crown Up; Crown down, this one was harder to get due to a weak signal; All in all, not too bad.......... at least not "devastating" differences in the four positions. The movement is attached to the case with two clamps and a spacer ring. Remove those plus the winding stem and the movement can be taken out. Clearly visible is the black sealing-kit around the dial edges, starting from 5 till 10-o-clock. Pay special attention when removing the little hands, these have different tube sizes. I stored them separately, each in their own container; Left, Bottom and Right. Taking ample pictures was a great help to me as well. I had to consult them a few times during the assembly. Another remark I like to make is that the movement doesn't sit comfortable in an universal movement-holder. The movement-holder I used was a Bergeon 4040 and with great care it can be done, but later I've spotted on eBay Omega 861 movement holders for reasonable prices ..... On the picture below, the Joke 1774 has been removed. This exposes and give access to the click (see arrow). The main-spring can now be disarmed. Next is the hammer-spring 1734; it sits on two center-pins and has to be lifted at its heel. The hammer 1728 sits on a post and can be lifted straight off. Remove coupling spring 1731 and coupling yoke 1724. Be aware of the eccentric screw, it clearly has a different shape. I left the unit (wheel bridge 1716 and coupling wheel 1712) in one piece. Later I dismantled the unit and attention has to be paid which way around the coupling wheel is mounted. Removed the plastic blocking lever 1726 and blocking lever spring 1733: in the manuals different names and number are used for seemingly the same item. One end of the spring has a "hook". This "hook" has to face upwards against the blocking lever. Next to remove is the cam-jumper 1845. Next is the chronograph bridge 1037. The manuals are not very clear if one does this for the first time. Underneath and fixed to the bridge is a thin spring for the minute recording jumper. This spring will come together with the chronograph bridge. The spring pushes against the minute recording jumper 1767, which is attached to a post underneath the bridge. While lifting the chronograph bridge, the jumper 1767 may, or may not come as well. I my case, all lifted in one piece. By turning the bridge around, it all becomes clear .... Das "Aha Erlebnis" ;-) Remove chronograph runner 1705, minute recording runner 1708 and intermediate wheel for minute recording runner (1714); note which way around of the wheel ! Remove operating lever 1841, operating lever-spring 1842 and connecting lever 1840. Attention: The operating lever 1841 sits under tension. After I removed the screw and attempted to lift the lever 1841, the connecting lever 1840 had its personal launch ...... luckily not that far ...... Remove operating lever 1720. In my case, the "Glossy Facade Watchmaker" left a surprise; the top screw was sheared off right under the screw-head and screwed in by literally one thread (red arrow, picture above). I later attempted the remove the remaining stud, but no success. After consulting the owner and this being the second, more a guiding screw, the decision was taken to repeat the GFW-trick. The screw held for many years, so hopes are it will do it again. Remove (and note position) upper cam for hammer 1844, remove lower cam for coupling clutch 1843, remove stem for "Zero pusher" by undoing the screw, remove bolt-spring 1752 and bolt 1759. Carefully, use Rodeco, remove fragile friction spring for chronograph runner 1735. Carefully remove the driving wheel 1710; I managed to lift it using two hand-levers. I then removed the balance & bridge, the pallet fork-bridge & pallet and the escape wheel bridge & escape wheel. Flip the movement over; Remove bracket for operating lever 1784 (note position), remove hour hammer spring 1794 (not described in both manuals, note how it engages) and remove hour recorder stop lever 1750. Be aware: as soon as lever 1750 is lifted, spring for stop lever 1793 will jump free !! Remove spring for stop lever 1793, remove switch mounted 1779. Watch out !! Little screw at tail end is an eccentric (see arrow above) ...... do not touch !! Remove hour recorder bridge 1775; Remove hour hammer 1783, hour recorder runner 1788. Next is, according to the manual, removal of the friction spring for driving pinion 1792 and driving pinion 1791. I did this according to the manual, but found out that the removal of the friction spring 1792 and driving pinion 1791 can be done (much easier) later when the main-spring barrel is removed. Remove support bridge for dial 1776. Remove hour wheel and keyless works, note the two intermediate wheels. Remove canon-pinion. Flip movement over; Remove barrel bridge. Note crown wheel and click are underneath barrel bridge. Also note that ratchet wheel lays on top of the barrel. Remove wheel train; Open barrel and note spring position; Note arbor position; Install new spring; Install arbor, grease/oil and close barrel. Mount driving pinion for hour recorder 1791 and friction spring 1792. Grease as per manual. Service crown wheel and click. In my case the little screw of the crown wheel center was too tight and deemed not worth the risk. Applied some oil in the wheel groove. Now as for replacing the screws after each removed component; During the assembling I encountered a problem placing the pallet fork bridge and good pivot engagement of the pallet fork. After quite a few nerve-wrecking attempts, I noticed that a replaced screw on the other side of the main-plate stood proud of the main-plate and prevented the pallet bridge to seat. Once corrected, all fell in place ....... Assembling of the chronograph is the reverse of the above. Greasing / oiling is done as per attached manuals. Below; the movement is back together, running and all functions work ..... Tomorrow adjustment of the daily rate & bear error. As said, I may or may not follow up on the case restoration. Cleaning the dial is another challenge ....... Hope this walk through is to somebody of any use ....... ;-) Roland.
  13. 12 points
    So it's been a few months since I posted here...but I've been regularly checking in. Hi Mark and Geo! So as a few of you know, I have a hobby of building watches. The one thing I hated was relying on some of the very few companies that actually print dials. Here is the USA there are only a handful that do this type of work! I was lucky enough to find an antique dial printing machine on eBay. It was just a vessel to move the dial from printing plate to paint application. I found a willing company to "Fill in the Blanks!" I won't name them here because I don't want to seem like I'm Selling this company! Anyway, they were a very big help when it came to me having questions. The sales, engineering and billing staff were first rate! They helped me pick the proper printing pads, helping me design and then produce my printing plates and then help me choose the proper ink and also recommended how to prepare the inks, pads and thinners to get the best results! So, here I am....First try at printing a dial.... I designed the dial myself using a free online software. The dial is printed in 3 stages. The first step was printing the hour chapter. Then, the second step was to print the sub seconds chapter. Lastly, I printed the name of the manufacturer that I will be using for this build. This was more of a proof of concept to me...Now, I can't wait to try new designs and styles! And, Now I have more control of what I build! That's very important to me...Cheers!
  14. 12 points
    Greetings all! My first post here so I'll try to start with a good one... I've been fixing and servicing watches full time for a few years now but this one that came in recently is probably one of my biggest saves. It belongs to a guy called Paul who's a pretty serious Seiko collector and sends me a couple of watches each month for servicing. He spotted this 6105-8000 on ebay which appeared to be in good cosmetic condition but was listed as non-running / needs a service - There was no picture of the movement with the seller saying the back was too tight and he didn't have a case back tool. Paul took a chance on it but when it arrived the case back was only hand tight and this is what he was greeted with - Now obviously Paul wasn't happy with what he'd bought and was going to raise a case with ebay, but in the end he decided to keep it and send it to me to see if it could be saved. Now I mentioned that Paul is into his Seiko's but he's also a great customer. When he sends a watch that needs a new crystal for example he sources it first before he sends it to me which then saves me having a partially finished watch on the bench while I search for a crystal and then wait for it to be delivered. Most customers won't even think about this but if you fix watches or cars or whatever for a living and a customer comes in with all the parts needed it saves you so much time and hassle. With this one he had a good stash of 6105 parts so they were sent with the watch - So onto the strip down... The dial side wasn't too bad but pretty much all of the screws on the train side were rusted in place, so the movement was placed in a tub of penetrating oil and the tub was placed in the ultrasonic cleaner to agitate the oil. It spent about an hour in the cleaner like this and soaked in the oil for 24h - So after soaking for 24h it was time to start the strip down. The auto winding bridge came off easily enough but the train wheel bridge screws were very tight and I couldn't get enough grip on my Bergeon screwdriver, so I used an electricians terminal screwdriver and ground the tip down to size on an oil stone for a bit more torque on those stubborn screws - The click spring had dissolved with rust and turning the screw on the ratchet wheel only turned the mainspring so it was out with the Dremmel - The strip down wasn't totally straightforward as the heads on two of the screws had corroded away. One of the screws was on the train bridge but there's still two other screws holding it in place so not a problem and the other one was the dial foot screw, again not something that is critical to how the movement performs. The main thing was that the main plate could be salvaged as this is the one movement part that isn't readily available. With everything stripped it was back into the cleaner again and then inspection. Obviously a lot of parts would be replaced but it wasn't as bad as I'd initially anticipated. The parts above the mainspring in this next picture are all reused and below it are the scrap parts - From the state of the movement I suspect it had suffered a crown gasket failure, taken some water on board and was then left dial-up for the movement to soak for a few years, as evidenced by the back of the movement being a rusty mess and yet the front and dial were pretty much unscathed. The state of the train wheels would back this up with the top pivots being corroded yet the bottom ones were fine. The balance was the same and I thought I might at least be able to save the hairspring but there was some rust or rust residue on it and it was beyond mine and my cleaning machines ability to remove it. Not a problem I thought as Paul had supplied a complete nos balance but it wasn't going to be so easy - I tried straightening it out and got it looking like this - Not bad but far from perfect but when viewed from a different angle it looked like this - I've fixed a few bent hairsprings before but twisted ones are beyond my ability, so it was into my own spares stash to harvest a hairspring from a 6139. The only thing left to do now was to put it all back together - The movement scrubbed up pretty well cosmetically but the amplitude was only 200 degrees dial up and there was around 30s variation over four positions. I tried a different barrel and mainspring from a 6309 that was previously putting out around 230 but it made zero difference. I then went about pressing out the fourth wheel and barrel arbour bushings from the train bridge and replacing them with the bushings from the 6309 movement, and the third wheel bushing was replaced with one from a 6139 (the 3rd wheel bushing from the 6309 was a smaller o/d so not interchangable) but still no difference. At this stage I was getting kind of tired with it - I could have bought a new mainspring and/or complete balance in an attempt to improve the amplitude but it was running again and keeping reasonable time for a 47 year old watch, plus I'd already spent around 4x the time on it than I would on a regular 6105 service, so all that was left was to relume the hands and bezel pip (the dial lume was in good condition so wasn't touched), fit the new crystal and get it cased up. I also fitted the nos crown that was supplied and was glad to see it passed a 60m pressure test - If you know your 6105's you'll notice that the hour and minute hands aren't correct and are the same as what you'd find on a 6139-6002, but it appears that Seiko fitted these hands to 6105's when they came in for service. I know that Paul is currently trying to source the correct original hands and when he does then I'm sure I'll see this watch again for them to be fitted, but I'm pretty happy to see how it's turned out regardless. If you've got this far then thanks for reading! David.
  15. 11 points

    Some Of My Watch Lathes

    I have been collecting and restoring these machines since 1970. david
  16. 11 points

    First time lumed dial..

    I'm very satisfied with how this dial turned out. I'm building and Elgin pocket watch conversion into wristwatch and wanted a vintage military dial look. I had recently purchased a lume kit but hadn't had the chance to use it yet. I design the dial with bold outlined numerals for the purpose of filling with lume. It really turned out better than I ever hoped! The first dial I did turned out very acceptable, except that I had another issue with it and had to start over. I learned quite a bit just from doing that one dial. Once I had the printing plate made I repainted the original Elgin dial to a flat white. I then Inked the plate and printed the new dial. Once everything was dry I then slowly added the lume using a 100 - 0 paintbrush which is about the size of a watch Oiler. I went around the dial 4 times adding a layer little by little. I'm very surprised just how much Lume this process adds. The markers have a nice three-dimensional heft to them...
  17. 11 points

    The precision of a Precisionist

    I haven't worn my Bulova Precisionist for, probably, over a couple of years. It's been sat in a case, along with others of my collection, ticking gently away. Anyway, I thought I'd get it on the wrist today - what with the clocks going back an hour this weekend. I took it out of the case and checked the time against the atomic clock - it was exactly, to the second, one hour fast. In other words, though not changed to compensate for changes in BST and back over two years or so, it had otherwise kept completely accurate time. The second hand is sweeping as smoothly as you would expect from a Precisionist. I think that's pretty good, and also a tribute to the Bulova brand. This is one of a very few quartz watches that I own and, I have to say, it's a beauty.
  18. 11 points
    This is the first installment of what I hope will be a series of updates on my experience at the York Time Institute. In Lesson 1 of the Chicago School of Watchmaking's Master Watchmaking Shop Training and Job Guides, Thomas B. Sweazey says, The second sentence of this quote spells out the ethos of the York Time Institute as expressed by its director Daniel Neid. "Dan" is firmly committed to the idea that his students will not only be able to make repairs from stock parts but also, if necessary, be able to make parts when necessary. Not only that he will also be able to understand all the different mechanisms that go to make up the complete watch--including but not restricted to casemaking. My experience so far is that Mr. Neid not only has the knowledge but the tools to put paid to this claim--we shall see. I hope to be able to provide vignettes of how much I will be able to learn and put to practice. For now I am totally amazed--one might say overwhelmed--by not only Dans knowledge of current practices but his avid knowledge of the history of the techniques and tool of this honorable and difficult craft. He has an absolutely amazing array of tools, many of them very rare and practically unattainable. I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon inspecting a multitude of watchmakers lathes; ranging from small bow-driven lathes to modern motor driven ones. Add in a huge number of examples of all the tools mentioned in the Chicago School's manual. He not only has examples of modern tools but their predecessors that date back well into the 19th century. I am looking forward to the chance to try them--especially the bow and treadle-driven lathes. We spent several hours today examining measuring devices, many of them factory pieces once used at places like Hamilton, Waltham and Bulova factories. It is amazing how many kinds of devices have been developed to perform the many types of measurements required for watchmaking. Again, I was overwhelmed and am looking forward to trying some of them. Dan has a good rationale for spending a good amount of time inspecting the tools of the trade: he says it will be invaluable for being able to identify tools at various kinds of sales such as estate sales, yard sales (yes many of his tools have come from such sources). The student (like me) will be able to sometimes get great bargains by being to identify a tool that perhaps its owner doesn't recognize. The other students confirm that they have, in fact, put their knowledge to acquiring lots of interesting pieces themselves. We work in close quarters in a shop chock-a-block full of watchmaking tools and a huge inventory of parts. I once spent some time at sea on a nuclear submarine every facet of which serves some importance towards its mission. It was like living inside a machine. I get this same feeling at the institute. The close quarters serves to create an espirit de corps that I hope I will be able to share someday. The students are inculcate with sense of being a "breed apart" from the ordinary person and take pride in their work. It's also informal but serious and sometimes not so serious. Dan seems to be a good psychologist recognizing emotional ups and downs that can accompany success and defeat. The former receives praise but a gentle reminder to keep focused and not to let them swell the head. The latter is met with the reassurance that our foulups and fumbles are a necessary part of the learning experience; the even experienced students and masters loose parts and break things--underscoring the need to be able to make what one does not have or has lost or destoryed. When we get into a dudgeon over repeated failures Dan says, "Go take a break and don't let it get under your skin." Because it is through failures and even catastrophes that one really learns. One must develop patience and take the time to get the task right. He pays attention to how our tools are organized by task and frequency of use. He helps his students acquire their tools from the least expensive sources--though considerable expanses will be incurred event the. Though students are encouraged try out his many tools and devices to further direct acquisitions by the student. I just bought a nice lathe with complete sets collets. I will spend some of my time restoring it to mint condition. And its not jjust Dan, the other students are willing pitch in by selling the beginner some ot their surplus tool at very reasonable prices. I too donated to the Institute several of my supplies to the general pool can be of help to all students. We are constantly being giving spot tests to see what we've learned. For now my tests are ones of recognition. I'm getting tired to I'll cut this short by showing you a couple pictures of my bench. It's an old bench as you can see with a place for a treadle on the left. I love the feeling that I am working where generations of watchmakers worked before me. My I do them honor and justice. My bench is the one in the middle with my laptop on it. Today they are indispensable for research.
  19. 10 points

    Lew & Me

    Here is my cat "Lew" helping me adjust a pocket watch and adding a hair to places one should never be.
  20. 10 points
    I got this Seiko 6139-6002 for pennies on the dollar albeit it was not working, in poor physical condition and with missing and damaged parts. I used after-market parts to “restore” this watch to a portion of its lost glory. This will go down as one of my favorite repair and restoration projects.
  21. 10 points

    Venus 178 Breitling Navitimer

    A few months back, I purchased online this Breitling Navitimer for a fair price despite the fact that the watch was non-functioning at the time. I did this without seeing the movement which was a bit of a risk as there was the possibility the insides were rusted out, but the price was right and the I figured I could resell the case and dial if the rest turned out to be a disaster. Things looked bad when I received the watch as it wouldn't run at all and the pushers were jammed. I noted on inspection that the dial didn't sit flush either which caused me quite a bit of concern. Removing the caseback revealed one of the case screws had broken off and gummed up the works. Extracting the screw head brought the watch back to life and allowed the chronograph to function properly as well. Knowing I would need to extract the remains of the broken screw from the plate in order to properly secure the movement and seeing that the watch clearly had not been serviced in a while, I added it to my queue. It would be a few months before I would have time to work on it, but I must admit to being anxious. I don't often work with watches of this vintage that aren't terribly weathered but the dial and hands here were in quite good condition. Removing these gave my heart palpitations but with a bit of patience and caution I was able to get to the engine without damaging any of the paint. The video Mark posted earlier of a Navitimer service was a quite a help also as I was a bit stumped when it came to removing the bezel. The watch movement is a Venus 178 which is a fine manual wind chronograph movement that was produced in the 1950's and 1960's. Contemporary chronographs movements would be the Valjoux 72 and Lemania CH27. Disassembly was pretty straight forward. The chronograph mechanism is bolted piecemeal to the barrel plate so each lever needed to be removed separately. I would remove each spring first to release tension then proceed with the removal of the accompanying lever. Each screw was then returned to its hole so that I wouldn't mix them up later. Pictures were taken throughout the process for reference. The dial side received the same treatment for the hour recorder and keyless works. I had assumed I would need to dissolve the broken screw in a bath of alum in order to remove it from the plate but found this not to be the case. Once the barrel plate was removed, enough threads poked above the main plate to allow me to grab it with my tweezers and slowly unscrew the remainder. I have an old L & R machine for cleaning movements, so the parts were separated and packed in small baskets before undergoing a cleaning in the appropriate solvent and rinse. The case, caseback, and pushers were cleaned separately in small ultrasonic cleaner. Since the shafts of the pushers are not the same length I snapped a pic before disassembly for later reference. Following cleaning, each piece was inspected under the loupe before reassembly. I can't stress the importance of this step! Reassembly was the reverse of disassembly. I referred heavily to the images taken during the disassembly process and also used the published technical sheets and representative Esemble-O-Graf. Before reassembling the chronograph the base movement was completed and properly adjusted. Despite having already procured a replacement, I reused the original mainspring as it seemed to have quite a bit of life still in it. My assessment turned out to be correct when I placed the base movement on the timegrapher and discovered the amplitude was fairly high. This is not a problem I've had before but since the watch had a full wind I felt there wasn't much need to replace the spring with a weaker one. The beat error was initially on the high side (3.1ms) but a bit of adjustment brought that down. I suppose I would be remiss if I didn't point out that adjusting the beat error was difficult as there is no beat corrector and the Breguet hairspring sits so low that it's difficult to see the position of the roller jewel. Assembly of the chronograph mechanism is laborious as each piece needs to be checked for movement and properly lubricated before moving on to the next. I had inadvertently mixed up a few screws on the dial said which added another hour of labor to the job as well. The toughest bit was the actuating lever for the hour recorder- it passes from one side of the plate to the other and likes to fall out when you try to thread the screw to secure it. Otherwise reassembly went as I hoped- no parts lost or left over! I cleaned the dial and slide rule with a bit of Rodico. The slide rule is set in the bezel before the crystal is dropped in. A new crystal was needed as well since the original was damaged beyond repair. Lastly, a replacement case screw was procured to reset the movement and a crystal press was used to reset the crystal and caseback. I added a black leather band as the expanding bracelet wasn't really my taste. For my next chronograph project I'm hoping for a Valjoux 72 movement or perhaps an Excelsior Park EP40. We'll see what comes along though.
  22. 10 points

    Building An Eta 6498 Watch

    Hi I've just joined the forum so by way of an introduction and where I am in this hobby, I'm posting this build of a 6498. It's not a full walkthrough but this forum seems the best place for it. I usually work on older watches but have been meaning to have a go at one of these for some time and received a 20% discount offer from PayPal so I picked up an ETA6498-1, dial and hands on eBay. The case came from elsewhere. There are loads of people selling these as kits to build your own watch. This is just about the most basic movement you can buy, with no complications. There are two calibres in the family, the 6497 has the sub second counter opposite the crown so at 9 O’clock and the 6498 sub seconds is at 6 O’clock which I prefer but, the two calibres are very similar with many shared parts. Servicing one of these simple ETAs is probably not a bad way to start. I didn’t do that but, thought it might be nice to work with a new movement for a change and play with the Etachron system. To the best of my knowledge, these movements come in four grades: Standard; Elabore; Top and Chronometer. The lower two grades are easy to buy so that's what I have. The top two are not so readily available. It’s big at 36.6 mm diameter so, minimum case size must be 41-42 mm diameter as that’s a case wall of 2 mm only. People use these in cases much bigger than that but, I chose a 42 mm case as my wrist is only 6.75”. Here’s the spec for my grade and a bare movement picture (in its plastic case) next to a very dirty Omega 565 spares movement which is 28 mm diameter. Manual wind, 46 hour reserve 17 jewel and Incabloc shock protection with Etachron system. 18000 A/h (2.5 Hz) frequency It’s possible to buy these in a foil sealed pack (I think packed with an inert gas) and use straight from that pack but most, like mine, are sold ‘loose packed’ so should be serviced before use. I will do that and also see if I can improve a little on the way it runs straight out of the box. ETA publish a set of service instructions for this calibre with types of oils and an assembly sequence and the pdf is readily available. I more or less follow that assembly sequence. For the performance, to set a datum, I wound the movement, let it run for a day and then tested the 24H and 0H conditions. The CH, 6H and 9H are the only specified test positions for this calibre but, I tested over all six positions. Results as follows: Amplitude: max 290 degrees at 0H and min of 220 degrees at 24H. Six position delta: at both 0H and 24H of 18 seconds. Beat error under 0.4 milliseconds. These are pretty good and almost chronometer spec so I will try and get within that, being delta of 12 seconds at 0H and 15 seconds at 24H. On the older Omega movements such as the 5xx series, some are chronometer rated (e.g. 561) and some are not (e.g. 565). I remember looking at the parts commonality between these some time ago and I’m pretty sure that there were no differences in the critical parts so, those usually will come close to that spec. On this 6498, the balance and balance spring seem to be the major differences to guarantee chronometer spec for the better movements. Well, I have the cheaper one so, we’ll see. First is to line up all the big screwdrivers as these started as pocket watch calibres so, all the screws are big for me. Stripped and cleaned, the parts are these and this shows this is a simple movement. The parts are in seven groups working from the right. This is not a blow by blow account but I took some pictures to show how it goes together. These are all the pieces. 1. Plate with balance still mounted. 2. Incablocs and second wheel/cannon pinion. 3. Mainspring, barrel, ratchet wheel, crown wheel, click and barrel bridge. 4. Keyless works. 5. Train wheels and bridge. 6. Pallet fork and bridge. 7. Case clamp screws and hour wheel. First to go on are the Incablocs. I don’t know what reflection is being picked up on the machined parts of the plate but there is no discolouration at all in reality. For those in the know, I have the curb pins wide open as I am adjusting concentricity and centering of the hairspring between them. Really, for me to improve this movement performance, I can adjust the wheel shakes and try for the best configuration of the hairspring so, I spent a little time here. No poising of the balance at this time. Nice to have an adjustable stud carrier to set the beat error. This Etachron system is quite clever and it’s pretty new for me. It certainly reduces the amount of hairspring work which is not my favourite. I know it's not universally liked but it seems pretty neat to me. I end up with a very slight turn on the stud holder after some playing and am happy so, close up the curb pins again for final tweaking when it’s on the timing machine. Second wheel and cannon pinion fitted. Mainspring mounted in barrel and the complete barrel and barrel bridge mounted with its three screws, not forgetting to fit the setting lever screw first (!) which must go in before the bridge. Ratchet wheel, click and crown wheel fitted. It’s quite an attractive finish and the blued screws are a nice contrast. Turning over and the keyless works are fitted. I was a little generous with the grease here. This side of the plate is not so well finished but will be hidden under the dial so not so critical. Nice that there are holes in the minute wheel to allow the train oiling later. Here the rest of the train is shown, third, fourth and escape wheels. And now the train bridge mounted with its two screws. A little bit of wheel shake checking here but, it’s very good. Then the fork and bridge are fitted. That bridge is not the most attractive but it’s usually obscured by the balance. Checked the fork locking and so on here and no adjustment needed. Finally, the balance goes back in and the movement lives again. I let it run for 15 minutes and then removed the balance to oil the pallet jewels with 9415 (out of interest, I'm only using Fixodrop on the escape wheel and pallet jewels). This is an easy job on such a big movement but trickier for me on a very small ladies calibre. I have an Omega 684 in my wife's watch which is about 2/3 of the 565 size. After running for 24 hours again, I made some tweaks to the curb pins to equalize the horizontal and vertical running a bit better. Now, the six position delta is 10 seconds at both 0H and 24H so, I’m very happy with that. This really is a terrific movement for the money in my opinion. Bit more to follow later with (huge) case, dial etc. Hope some of this is of interest. Cheers, Chris
  23. 10 points
    I purchased a cheap Chinese crystal press when I took up watch repairing/refurbishing a few years ago, this was one of the lever operated type with nylon dies. This has served me very well, but there are some jobs that a screw type of press is far better for because of the more sensitive control. Being a canny Scot, I kept an eye on eBay for a second hand Robur or Horotec and stumbled across this antique home made press for £14 delivered. The engineer in me immediately saw the potential, all it needed was stripped down, modified to take new dies and repainted. The other thing that was required was a set of new aluminium dies, so after a search on AliExpress I purchased these for £26 delivered from China. Right, down to business. (1) Modify the lower die holder to accept the 6mm threaded alloy dies. (2) Make an adaptor to fit the bottom of the ram with a 6mm thread to take the dies. (3) Machine the lower end of the pillar to give clearance for the largest die. (4) Accurise the dies to ensure that the faces are parallel. Many were slightly out of truth. (5) Remove paint and rust from press, paint and polish. (6) Reassemble. Total cost of complete set £40.................well pleased!
  24. 10 points

    Stereo Microscope

    Influenced by Lawson's post 'Carl Zeiss - Eye Mag Pro' I bought a cheaper 6x 350mm pair of Galilean binoculars from China. These are intended for dental use but any dentist trying to use a 6x magnification mutst have control of the head position far better than I can manage. The viewed object was wobbling by about 50% of the 45 mm field of view. The optical quality is excellent and so I have turned them into a binocular microscope using a heavy duty flexible support with standard end pieces as sold for microphones. Here in the bench mode with a Benson Aquatite movement - ample working distance. The only work that was needed is shown: a support that fits firmly into the mike clip and a pair of eye cups with adaptor rings to match the eyepieces of the binoculars. Here mounted on my lathe base-board for some micro-drilling.
  25. 9 points

    Unitas 6497 Custom Watch

    Hey folks, I'd like to share a watch I put together for my Brother's birthday. The movement is a pretty old Unitas 6497 which I picked up from the widow of a watchmaker a year or so back, the plates have been skeletonised and I'm pretty sure this was a once off job by the watchmaker. The mainplate is brass, and the decorated bridge plates appear to have been plated (quite crudely, when inspected under a loupe). The movement is keeping great time now that it is serviced. I made an attempt at a logo using the film-free transfer technique Mark has used in a couple of recent Youtube videos. The logo didn't adhere very well to the dial, not particularly happy with it. In person and to the naked eye it looks pretty good I think. The case is a 41mm case I picked up from Ofrei, who I sourced the dial and hands from also. Hope ye like it!
  26. 9 points

    Something to lighten the day.

    Four Catholic men and a Catholic woman were having coffee. The first Catholic man tells his friends, "My son is a priest, when he walks into a room, everyone calls him 'Father'." The second Catholic man chirps, "My son is a Bishop. When he walks into a room people call him 'Your Grace'." The third Catholic gent says, "My son is a Cardinal. When he enters a room everyone says 'Your Eminence'." The fourth Catholic man then says, "My son is the Pope. When he walks into a room people call him 'Your Holiness'." Since the lone Catholic woman was sipping her coffee in silence, the four men give her a subtle, "Well....?" She proudly replies, "I have a daughter, slim, tall, 38D breast, 24" waist and 34" hips. When she walks into a room, people say, "Oh My God!"
  27. 9 points

    Showing off. My new workshop setup

    Thought I would show off my new workshop. It has taken my the best part of 6 months to construct the building, then fit it all out, but finally have the space I wanted. It's a 6.5x3m building, split in half with office/watch workshop in one half and machine room in the other.
  28. 9 points

    Trolls, Spammers & One-timers.....

    Very true. And I do feel very uncomfortable forcing people to introduce themselves before interacting in other areas. But I am willing to listen - this is a membership site and we all have a stake in it's success. The reason why I have never forced introductions in the past is because people should have choice - new members have a choice to introduce themselves as well as existing members have a choice to simply ignore their questions. I must say - I am a little disappointed that this is an issue as the original intent of this forum was to be a help towards others with less knowledge as well as a community where all levels of horologists and enthusiasts could come together and simply be - and be relaxed. With that in mind - I have a solution, and it is a very very simple one. .... 1. I am not going to enforce an introduction policy, but I will make it more clear that members of this site will consider it polite if people do so first. ( I will work on making this prominent in the welcome email and I will make this clear with a information box at the top of the forum which only new members will be able to see). 2. If a new member posts a question without introducing themselves then, and here's the simple part, existing members who may be offended by this do not have to participate in that thread. We even have an ignore function on this forum if you feel that strongly about it. 3. Any member, both new or old who harasses new members, and it's reported to me, will be warned - persistent harassment's will result in a ban. A Word Of Encouragement... One-hitters who don't even reply sometimes are extremely annoying. Especially if you have crafted a three paragraph response with pictures and the OP does not even acknowledge your reply. It sucks. BUT - remember this. This is a public forum which gets indexed by search engines. Your replies are never a waste of time - it's all good content which will be read many hundreds or thousands of time - there is no telling how many people you will have eventually helped - with this in mind, it does not even matter who starts the conversation, your replies and the passing on of knowledge will stay on this site for people to find for years to come. It's not a waste of time.
  29. 9 points

    Smiths Ty

    Just finished refurbing a tired Smiths TY believed to be from 1965: Before: After: Case, dial & hands cleaned. Crystal polished. Movement serviced & broken click spring replaced (thanks to John at Obsolete Clock & Watch Parts). New strap. The timegrapher readings were a little variable, however it kept good time all weekend. I am getting a bit of a thing for Smiths (the watches, not the designer-misery band from the 1980's) and have got myself a 1960 Astral to do after the next Seiko.
  30. 9 points
    it's the flight rated configuration because I'm a huge fan of spaceflight.
  31. 9 points
    Since I joined this forum I've moved half a dozen times. Each time I have to fit what I have to work on watches and whatever little space that's available. This time I'm in the smallest place yet (460sqft.) but have the perfect little niche in the corner for all of my watch making tools, supplies, books, Etc. All that and a South facing window plus, I can keep an eye on my beloved car that sits right in front of that window
  32. 9 points

    Stop-motion repair

  33. 9 points

    Showing off the workbench I just made

    Like a proud father, I feel the urge to show off my latest creation. We recently moved to a new house which finally gave me the space to have an office/workshop. I have been working on a tiny little homemade bench the past few years and have been dreaming of a proper bench. Sadly the ready made ones I wanted are way out of my league. My design goals were: Affordable versatile Free standing (i rent the house and cant drill bolts into the walls) Sturdy I got the original inspiration from Dan Spitz. http://danspitz.com/for-sale/ His concept is to make stunning workbench tops. You then supply the legs. However at £2,000 for the top, there was that budget thing again. I did however steal his idea (I don't actually know if he or someone else came up with it) of the routed groove along the edge. It has already proved to be a godsend in terms of catching small screws, and the odd tool. I decided to add a perspex screen on the back and down one side as I am notoriously rubbish at not flicking click springs etc across the room. So, the basics. Worktop: 40mm solid Beech kitchen work surface from Ebay 2000mm x 620mm - £85 Legs: Steel workbench legs from Machine Mart about £40 including shipping Bench support: 2 L shaped steel struts from an old Victorian bed. £5.00 from a salvage yard, cleaned up with an angle grinder then polished. Struts: 30mm square steel tubing from steel merchant £20.00 Danish oil for bare wood: £5.00 (four coats on either side) £20 for bolts and screws. So I made the whole thing for well under £200. The top is extremely heavy and I haven't totally managed to eradicate minimal side movement and ideally I would bolt it to the wall but as I said I can't. Still it isn't going anywhere and I love it. Of course you don't have to make it 2m long but I wanted somewhere for my lathe. I am building a perspex divider to protect the workbench from cuttings from the lathe. Anyway, I hope it might give some of you some ideas.
  34. 9 points

    Jenny Caribbean Shown Some Love

    This was a rather unexpected purchase for me a few weeks back, a Jenny Caribbean 1500 dating from around 1969. The Jenny Caribbean 1000 is (arguably) the first watch rated to a depth of 1000 metres, this is the slightly larger by 2mm, 42mm Caribbean 1500 It was offered to me by a friend and at the time I knew nothing about Jenny's. Luckily there is plenty of information regarding their history here and on the Internet and I really liked the look of this watch (I love vintage divers) My friend sent me the watch to look over and at the price I got it for, couldn't refuse! Although it was running it wasn't in the best of health, gaining around 10-15minutes a day and randomly stopping. Hand setting, date changing were all fine and being an ETA movement I knew it shouldn't be a problem to put right. The case, bezel, hands & dial were all in good condition apart from a small mark on the dial from a previous service I presume. So, after handing over the cash I set about making her ship shape. I bought a new barrel/mainspring and a new set of gaskets, 4 in total & into Jenny I dived The bezel clipped off nice and easy, revealing the screw down retaining ring. Now I had to make a tool to unscrew the retaining ring. I had a couple of spare bits for my Jaxa wrench and set about grinding them down with my Dremmel. Crude but perfectly effective. The ring was unscrewed with no drama and revealed the first gasket that was a perished mess. With the ring removed I was able to lift the 5mm thick acrylic crystal revealing the next 2 gaskets that were in good condition. To release the movement you have to separate the stem which is a split stem. This was done by inserting a pair of side cutters between the case and crown and slowly closing the jaws allowing the bevel of the side cutters to safely separate the 2 halves. At this point I encountered a problem, the movement wouldn't budge. It was jammed solid into the case. This was rather unexpected as every bit of information I had about the Jenny's suggested the movement ring on these dries out and shrinks...Not this one, it was solid! So I put a new blade in my scalpel and started cutting around the edge of the movement ring. It is a metal ring encapsulated in a rubber type material. After half an hour or so, there was movement. Finally I had the movement out and realised by the remnants of goo stuck to the case, the movement ring had bonded itself to the case. Maybe through heat, I have no idea? Here you can see where it was attached to the case. With the hard part out of the way I continued to disassemble everything including the ETA 2724 movement. The ETA 2724 was ETA's first high beat (28k) movement and this is indicated on the dial by the words "Hi Swing" It was bone dry and plenty of dirt flowing around. This hadn't seen a service for a long time! Everything ready for cleaning. Dial cleaned using cotton bud a mild soapy water. Really difficult to capture the beauty of this dial, it has little reflective speckles in it and reflects wonderfully. Everything cleaned and ready for assembly. I stripped all the rubber material from the movement ring and replaced it with tape. New gaskets fitted And here she is. The movement has been regulated and is running superbly accurate. I will pick up a nicer strap for it when I get a chance. It's been pressure tested to 100 metres as the machine I use only go's that that. I will take it for the 1000 metre test though, I'm confident it will pass It's a shame I cant capture the real beauty of this watch. Such a lovely dial and the bezel compliments it perfectly I love my Jenny!
  35. 9 points

    Oris big crown pointer

    Can't stop wearing it !
  36. 9 points

    Lemania 1873

    One of my favorite chronographs to work on is the Lemania, here is one I overhauled at home two weeks ago for a friend, the hammer had been 'over adjusted' by a watchmaker in the past resulting in not resetting the heart cams correctly, I enjoy micro mechanics and made a replacement with oversized hammers and contact surfaces to allow proper adjustment to be made. The pic on the rodico is it close to completion, spent a little more time on the finish to allow it to 'blend in' as it was a display back, other pic is the completed movement. Time consuming but was a nice rewarding job to work on.
  37. 9 points

    Latest refurbishment.

    I thought I would work on something a bit bigger than a watch for a change. My sixteen year old Triumph Daytona is now as fresh as the day she came off the production line and ready to go?
  38. 9 points
    Sometimes with old movements after you go through the normal cleaning cycles including pegging the jewels, you still find old oil that has turned to hard varnish left in the oil sinks. This has happened to me on a few occasions and I started thinking there has to be an easier way than soaking in acetone and going through the pegging process again. A couple of weeks ago I was at the dentist and found the answer in my mouth............the ultrasonic probe. When returned home, I fired up my iPad and started searching eBay for a second hand dental unit and got lucky. I managed to get the unit for my initial bid of £40 complete with five new sterile probes. It was only after buying it I realised it had to be plumbed into a water supply, and I didn't think my good lady would fancy a hose connection in the kitchen, and I certainly didn't fancy cleaning watch movements in the garden. The problem was solved by purchasing a 5ltr garden sprayer for £8. Now that I had all the kit it was time to try it out, so an old movement plate was found with the necessary hard residue in the jewel. The result to say the least was staging, a gentle clean lasting about 10-20 seconds per side and the jewels were spotless. I just love lateral thinking! Below are some pictures to let you see the setup and the results. I only cleaned two of the jewels in the plate. The complete setup. The control box. Water must be flowing when in use, and don't touch the brass with the probe. Two jewels cleaned. Spotless!
  39. 9 points
    Seiko 7S26A Complete Service Background I have a good friend, a brother in Christ Jesus, who I've known for many years. He knows I've embarked on retraining myself for a new career in Watchmaking, and seen my first two restored watches. He told me that his old faithful Seiko 5, which he's worn everyday for 12 years, has recently had issues. Occasionally it will advance rapidly in time (up to an hour in a few seconds) and then just keep ticking away normally. I told him I'd be happy to take a look at it, and put it on my ACEtimer Timegrapher. The pattern on the screen looked like a B-52 drop in Nam (stupid me forgot to take a photo), and I told him that his watch definitely needed an inspection and service. So started my research on what the problem might be. After reading a "Practical Watchmaking", and the many forums that I've read, I was pretty sure it was the Pallet Fork ... either very dirty or damaged stones, or a broken/damaged fork pivot. So onward to the service... Disassembly One unusual aspect of this watch is the crown ... or lack there of, more to the point. I suppose since this is an automatic watch, they thought it didn't need to be wound. This watch also has a display back, so extra special care not to mark any of the plates, or damage screw heads! The first issue you'll face when working on a 7S26A Movement, is how to get the stem out! It isn't obvious at all, and there is a little trick. The crown needs to be pushed all the way in to expose the push plate (it is hidden in the other crown positions). I took this photo once the movement was out to best illustrate where to push. Remove the Hands, Dial and Oscillating Weight (2.0mm Screwdriver). Gently lever up one end of the circlip and carefully work your way around. You then should be able to raise the circlip up the length of the shaft without it pinging off. Remove the Day Wheel and the four screws holding the Date Dial Guard. (Use a 1.40mm Screwdriver, and this driver is good of all the screws from now on; bar one.) NOTE ORANGE ARROW: Seiko Special Tool needed for the 0.98mm Philipshead Screw (Part Number: S-921) I had to journey down to my nearest Seiko Distributor and grab one ... cost was AU$24.00 Here's a closer look at the troublesome screw. Remove Date Jumper, and note that the Date Drivewheel lips over the top of the plate. Remove all the motion work, and pull the Cannon Pinion Remove the tension from the Mainspring. Remove the Ratchet Wheel and the Second Reduction Wheel and Pinion. (remember the Reduction Wheel has a reverse thread) Unscrew the Balance Cock and remove the Balance. Also unscrew the Pellet Cock and remove the Pellet Fork. BINGO! Found the problem with my friends watch. The top pivot on the fork is broken. Easy fix with a replacement fork :) Remove the Barrel/Train Wheel Bridge Remove the Click, then the Barrel. Remove the Fourth Wheel, Third Wheel and Escapement. Unscrew the Centre Wheel Bridge and remove the Centre Wheel Now to the Keyless Work. Remove the Setting Lever Spring Remove the Yoke and the Setting Lever Pull the Stem out, and the Clutch and Intermediate Wheel will fall away. Lastly, pull the black plastic location ring off. ... and now it's bath time!!! I hope this has been of help to you guys. I'll post the Assembly steps in this thread tomorrow morning.
  40. 9 points
    Tissot 2403 Service Walkthrough What is it with me and small movements?! I seem to attract them in absurd numbers. Oh well, here's another one to push my Zeiss optics to the limit, a Tissot 2403. My brother's father-in-law found this at the local rubbish tip, thrown away and unloved :( Upon initial inspection the condition looked dirty but not marked up, Canon Pinion felt good when setting the hands, and it seemed to wind smoothly. But alas it wasn't running at all. So to the bench I go, and de-case this little gem of a find. It removes like many ladies fashion watches, with the movement cradled in the Caseback. I removed it from the Caseback, and it looked remarkably clean. So I gave it a close inspection to see if there was something obvious that was stopping the movement. First thing that stood out, and is common on these types of movements, is the lack of a Crown Seal. As you can see there is a lot of contamination along the Stem, including nylon fibres ... perhaps from the sleeve of a sweater. I continued to look and found more of these fibres near the Balance. Continuing my inspection it was obvious that this watch was in desperate need of a complete service. Note the condition of the jewels. But besides a strip and clean, I couldn't see anything else wrong with it. No rust, nothing bent or broken; just some contamination stopping it from running. It's sad to see we live in such a throw away society today, 50 or 60 years ago this would have never been discarded on a tip. Ok, time to bring this watch back to life. First step as always, release the tension from the Mainspring, and remove the Balance and Pallets. Now the Balance and Pallet Fork safe, we can remove the Keyless Work. Start by removing the Hour Wheel, then the Setting Lever Spring. Then remove the Yoke and Setting Lever. Be sure to secure the Yoke Spring with Pegwood and note is orientation. Then remove the Minute Wheel and Setting Wheel. Then pull the Stem, and remove the Sliding Pinion and Winding Pinion. Flip it over and remove the Ratchet Wheel and Crown Wheel. Then you can remove the Mainspring and Train Bridges. As you can see, even if this watch was running, it would have not been giving accurate time. All the jewel holes are filthy! Here is a reference shot of the train on the 2403. Now, if you had good eyes you might have seen it. The object that stopped this watch from running. You guessed it ... a nylon fibre has found it's way into the wheels of the train, and gotten jammed between the Intermediate and Third Wheel. So know the mystery is solved, it's just a simple matter of cleaning and re-assembly. To Be Continued ......
  41. 9 points
    Sorry for the delay with the progress report, but this has been one of these three steps forward and two steps backward jobs. It transpired that there were more issues than I first thought. To reiterate the obvious problems:- Centre Second Fourth Wheel - The gear wheel was off the shaft. Escape Wheel - The wheel was off the shaft. Auto Reversing Wheel - In bits. Oscillating Weight Bearing - In bits. Intermediate Ratchet Wheel - Separated. Intermediate Date Wheel - Separated. Lume on minute hand damaged Lume on dial stained with oil. The watch as received. I eventually worked out how so many components were in bits that come assembled from Omega. The watchmaker before me had tried to clean surface rust off virtually everything except the balance assembly, by soaking in rust remover which is phosphoric acid. This resulted in not only rust, but steel being eaten away allowing the wheels to fall off the shafts and pivots having a rough finish and being reduced in size. I had two attempts at assembling the watch, but unfortunately kept finding other damage. The eventual parts list required was:- Escape Wheel Centre Seconds Fourth Wheel Auto Reverser Wheel Bearing For Oscilating Weight Intermediate Ratchet Wheel Intermediate Wheel Escapement Lever Barrel Arbour Intermediate Date Wheel Ratchet Driving Wheel Third Wheel Cannon Pinion With Driving Wheel Mainspring Total Cost £320 (not helped by postage on multiple orders) THE ASSEMBLY. Starting point, the bare main plate. Keyless work assembled. Barrel bridge with wheels and click spring in place. Click plate fitted. Barrel, ratchet wheel, intermediate wheel, and barrel bridge assembly fitted. Escape wheel, third wheel and fourth centre second wheel positioned. Wheel train bridge fitted. Pallet fork and pallet bridge fitted. Date mechanism and cannon pinion with driving wheel in place. Date jumper located. Date ring retaining plates fitted. Wheel train and revering wheel located in the automatic device framework. Automatic device lower bridge fitted. Auxiliary reverser fitted. Oscillating weight bearing fitted. (I had to make a tool to tighten the nut) Oscillating weight fitted to automatic device framework, held by the three screws in the centre. Completed automatic device ready for fitting to movement. Balance assembly and oscillating weight assembly fitted to movement. Dial and re- lumed hands fitted. The new lume certainly works! Movement cased and running strongly. The scrap. The result! That's All Folks!
  42. 8 points

    Favre-Leuba 253 Service

    Hey all, Here is my first Service Walkthrough for servicing the Favre-Leuba 253 movement. I found it easier to do this in a word processor and save it as a PDF rather than trying to make it into a giant post. I hope that's ok. I welcome any and all constructive criticism of the document. FL_253_Service.pdf
  43. 8 points

    Servicing my Rolex 5513, calibre 1520

    Here a little walkthrough the servicing of my Rolex 5513, calibre 1520. Sorry for the funny english, I'm no native speaker. I'm not a professional watchmaker, this is only amateur-work. I start by opening the case, taking off the automatic device and disassemble it. Now I remove the movement and take off hands and dial. Removing the cannon pinion. Now it's time for the balance and the pallet fork. Continuing disassembling with ratchet and train wheels. Next one is the barrel bridge. I decided to use a new mainspring. Now it's time for the keyless works. On the other side of the movement the spring for stopping the balance. Removing the screws for the movement and the dial. And reassemble the balance for protection reasons. Ok, everything taken apart, ready for cleaning. Best regards Erik
  44. 8 points

    Need Feedback my microwatches

    All links and content removed. We take a dim view here of members who sign up with a sole agenda for promoting their wares, much much better to become an established and respected member of the community by contributing in a meaningful way like everybody else does
  45. 8 points

    My new workspace.

    Well after a year of building my skills and discovering good tools vs bad, I finally have a workspace that is comfortable and large enough to lay out all of my tools properly. A lot of advice I gleaned from Mark and this board so thanks to all Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  46. 8 points

    Watch of Today

    I've been working my way through the various chronograph calibres over the past year and picked up this beautiful Favre Leuba off eBay just a short time back. The movement wasn't named but I figured it was a Valjoux VZH and I haven't had the chance to do a Valjoux service just yet. Turned out to be a Valjoux 71 which is the older bigger brother of the famed Valjoux 72. I couldn't be happier- this one is going to clean up nice I think.
  47. 8 points

    Oiling Pallet Pivots

    Ask a lubrication related question and you will get as many different answers as you do responses. However, here is my take on it. Consider the amount of movement and the forces involved at the pallet fork pivot compared to elsewhere in the watch, and weigh up the pro's and con's for leaving it dry. The torque at the pallet fork pivot is probably less than anywhere else in the movement, and the angle of rotation of the pivot in the jewel is something like 5 to 10 degrees. As a result the rate of wear through friction at this point is minimal and so any advantage (from a friction wear perspective) of oiling the pivot is also minimal. On the other hand, because the torque is so small at this point, the effect of drag on the pivot caused by the viscosity of the oil becomes significant, sapping the energy that should be being transferred from the escape wheel to the balance wheel and robbing you of balance amplitude, with a corresponding drop in consistency of rate. So put simply, if you oil it it may last a little longer but the watch won't keep very good time, if you leave it dry it may not last as long but the watch will perform better. I have heard of watchmakers who compromise by merely wiping the pivot with oil so as to leave the thinnest of films on it before installing it. I don't know of any research into the benefits / pitfalls of this approach. Other opinions may differ
  48. 8 points

    Lapping a Speedmaster MkII case

    I have over the years refinished a few Speedmaster MkII cases for friends. They are fun to work on as they are,usually quite beat up och the surfaces have been polished a few times to many. Last week a friend of mine told me that there was a 1970 MkII for sale on a Swedish auction site. I was born 1970 so this watch I just had to have! On Sunday when the auction was about to close the website where the auction was held started to act up and I could not log on......... About thirty seconds before it closed the webpage loaded and I was able to submit my offer....then it was down again......did I win or not!!??, I waited for the usual confirmation mail when you have won an object and five minutes later I had mail, -Yesssssss..... The watch arrived On Tuesday and looked like this: Not to bad, but the sunburst was gone and the top surface had......"straight graining" .....I guess the previous owner used a abrasive rotating mop or something! The case was practically free of deeper scratches and dings so a good prospect for a lapping session! The case was stripped and I started with the sides: I do this part in my small Boley lathe with 90mm discs that I have made and a small tiltable table to set the angle. Depending on the geometry of the case you can either slide the case directly on the table or use a adaptor to get the right angle - in this case no adaptor was used. First run on one side done: First disc is 400P so you have to be careful, especially with the start/edge where the case can grip the disc - and you do NOT want this as you will have a case with scratches in places they where not intended to be! After 400P I move up to 1000P and finally a last run with 2000P. This usually gets the surface almost up to mirror finish but,a quick final touch with a mop gives it,that final shine. When the surfaces are flat and when needed polished, it is time to grain the sides and lapp the sunburstpattern on the top. This is done in a small mill I have with a tiltable spindle using a 305mm rotating disc and another home made tiltable table. For this case I use a 120P paper so you really have to take it slow and be sure all the angles are set up correct or the disc will chew material in places you do nor want it to! The result I was not 100% pleased! There where some spots there the graining did not go al the way up to the grained edge around the glass. This was obvious in the pictures and reflections in some angles on the wrist - I relapped to top surface.... Some grease from my fingers on the chamfer in the pictures but the graining is better now! I am waiting for a NOS dial and crown - when they get here I will strip and clean the movement as well.
  49. 8 points

    Omega Speedmaster Professional

    I recently completed work on the timepiece that actually got me interested in watchmaking. I purchased the movement (in pieces) for a vintage Omega Speedmaster a few months back and have been diligently working on putting it back together. It was a pricey endeavor but what I've learned from the experience is invaluable and having the watch ticking away in hand at the end of the project was reward enough. I picked up the movement in February and knew it was missing some parts. I counted the minute recording wheel and hour recording wheel as bits that were missing but also couldn't locate the minute recording pawl and pawl bridge. It turns out they were inside of the semi assembled movement but unfortunately I didn't realize that until I had already ordered replacements- oops! Included with the movement was the front case, hour, minute, and sweep second hands, and some spare parts the previous owner had acquired. He warned me that the watch hadn't worked properly before it was disassembled but I had confidence that I could sort it out. First thing I set to do was assemble as much of the movement as possible to determine what else was missing and what may be broken. It became apparent quickly that there were many screws gone! There weren't many parts missing other than those I've already noted but I did manage to lose the click spring when it shot away from my tweezers. I've since become more adept at dealing with wire springs and don't attack any of them without two hands. When breaking down the movement for cleaning I discovered that the chronograph blocking lever screw had been broken off in the plate. Extracting the remains of the screw from the plate was actually easier than procuring a replacement screw. I placed the plate in a solution of alum and warm water over night and the screw was eaten away. The steel posts and eccentrics in the plate I protected from the alum with silicon caulk which I later removed with a bit of pegwood. After cleaning, I began reassembling the watch but was stopped short when I discovered the mainspring barrel gear teeth were damaged. I replacement was ordered straight away. Now I was ready to assemble the movement. I made sure to inspect all jewels and pivots before putting the gear train together. And I was rewarded with an exceptionally well beating movement. This was a relief since I've spent more than enough time on my previous projects straightening hairsprings, truing balances, and correcting beat errors. Next the chronograph layer came together. This takes quite a while since there are so many bits to lubricate and test the motion of before moving on to the next bit. Also, with so many screws missing I had to stop several times to order replacements. Below is the movement prior to final adjustment. A screw is missing at the top and the chronograph bridge screw isn't correct but it gets the job done. I discovered that the previous owner had already procured the missing hour recording wheel so that saved me a bit trouble. And the dial side came together quickly. The hour recording wheel is turned directly by the barrel and the blocking lever wasn't set properly before I put the dial on so the hour recorder creeped which required me to go back and remove the dial and re-adjust the blocking lever. I'll remember the importance of that adjustment the next time I do a chronograph repair! I needed to purchase a replacement dial and a full set of hands as well. I could have reused the hour and minute hands that came with the movement but since they were scuffed and faded and wouldn't have matched the other four hands I sold them to pay for a whole new set. It's not something I regret though because with the new dial and hands the watch looks about good as new. The case I had was missing the caseback and pushers but I found a gentleman who was selling the case (with pushers) and caseback together so I purchased the lot. I also procured a replacement dust cover since that turned out to be missing as well. No point in doing a job unless it's done right I suppose. And there you go! I'm quite happy with the result here. It was expensive but I now have a complete and fully functioning Speedmaster. The chronograph worked without a hitch and the watch has kept impeccable time too. It took quite a long time to get this one together but the patience has really paid off. I really love working on chronograph movements and am hoping to do a Venus or Valjoux soon but my next project is a bit more eclectic- a Cinderella watch by US Time from the 1960's! This will be my first pin pallet service. (excitement!)
  50. 8 points

    3D Printed Tourbillon Watch

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