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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/05/2019 in all areas

  1. 14 points
    You may have noticed a few changes - I have removed the Gallery section and the CMS pages app from the site as it costs too much to 'rent' those modules with comparatively very little use by members - it just did not make sense to keep them going. I apologise if this inconveniences or annoys anybody but I think it is better to keep the core of this website to be a discussion forum. The WRT website is costing me a lot of money per month to run and I am making a few changes to help with that - there is a little income from eBay affiliate ads but not enough to cover the cost of hosting and some help from Patrons and for this we are very grateful. The site has over 30GB in uploaded media now!!! And the notification emails generated is quite high too - I have to use a separate company to handle this so that the site doesn't get email black-listed. One of these services suddenly and without notice stopped our service a few months ago and it was a few days before anybody even noticed (password reset emails were no longer working). I did manage to find a new email provider and things have been running smoothly ever since. Getting back to the uploaded media, as mentioned it's over 30GB and this covers images in topics going back several years. I do back this up every night and I backup the site database every hour in order to protect the content should we ever have a disaster I have a Synology NAS here in the office which has a full backup on and I also keep a backup offsite on a cloud service. I have also decided to use Amazon Cloudfront to host all the uploaded media. I am in the process of migrating this content over and you may notice broken images for a very short period during the migration. But ultimately this will maintain and even improve performance of the site. Anyway, all being said, this is a fantastic community and I am fully committed to continuing with it's administration, keeping our little corner of the net alive - Just a little update to let you know what's happening -
  2. 11 points


    Hi guys … I had promised that I would make a « custom decal dial tutorial » on another thread there So here we are … There are many variations of decal dials, the best IMHO being the « negative gilt » dials which gives the best results. The process I’m showing today is aabout how to make a dial with black printings on a one color background. I had a cheap quartz diver waiting in my drawers so I’ll make a Heuer diver hommage based on the 980.016 model (quartz one too). DAY 01 : It’s 4:30 AM (I’m an early bird) and I have 2 hours to kill before a business trip to Paris (I’m French) so I decide I have time enough to begin. The first part of the process is to prepare the dial plate : - stripped it, removing all the lumes bars and dots - soaked the dial for some minutes in acetone to remove the paint - filled the tiny holes where the bars and dots go with cyanolite glue - sand everything flat I sand with 800 and don’t try to get a smooth surface as I want the paint to adhere perfectly to thedial plate. Here is the result … Then I want to spray paint. I make a tube with some painter’s tape, from a « curve » with it and place it on a plastic bottle cap. I want it curved so that I can stick the dial on it without any risk of bstructing the center hole or the date window of the dial plate. So I stick the sanded dial plate on the tape tube. As you can guess from the pic below … that’s not the first time a make an orange dial. Then I place the bottle cap and dial plate on a paper sheet and spray paint in orange. I use street art spray paint as it is « water resistant ». As you can see on the next pic, I don’t try to get a smooth surface, or even to perfectly cover the dial plate at first. I will let this coat dry, sand it with 2000 grade, then spray 1 or 2 coats until I get a perfectly smooth orange dial plate, ready for receiving a decal. So I place the bottle cap and dial under a shooter glass and will let it dry for about 24 hours before sanding and spraying the second paint coat. The 24 hours drying time is really important (though it could depend on the paint you use). The paint I use looks perfectly dry after about 5 hours but if you spray the second coat without waiting enough, that coat won’t perfectly adhere to the first and you could get a granular surface like an orange peel. And here is the dial waiting under the shooter glass. On the right is a « negative gilt » dial (third and last matte varnish coat) On the background there are two Raketa 2609 movements from the 70ies, quietly (really loudly to be honest) ticking for test after I‘ve recently serviced them. Now it’s 5:45 AM so I will have a and go to the train station. I’ll sand the dial plate this evening and spray the second paint coat tomorrow morning. Then sand it in the evening and spray the third coat (if needed) the day after. DAY 02 - DAY 03 : So here's what you get after the first paint coat … doesn't look really good but no matter as there's still some work to do to get a better result. And here's what you get after 3 coats of paint, each one sanded with 2000 grade, to get a perfect finish, flat and smooth. Now the dial plate is eady to receive the decal. DAY 03 : I won’t explain anything about Photoshop and Illustrator here … I’ll only explain how I print my decals. One thing really important, from my own experience, is the definition of the design. I’ve tried several, from 1200ppp to 6000pp and the best results I’ve got on printing decal sheets were with a 4000ppp definition. So all my dial designs are done in 4000ppp. The result is really BIG files … for example an A6 template with 12 dial desings ready to print is about 800Mo. As that dial is black printing only I open it with Photoshop and let the softwre (so ont the printer) deal with the printing quality. My printer is an old Epson Picturemate with a 1200 maximum definition. As the good quality decal sheets are not cheap and as I’m a « skinflint» I often print on A7 sheets … 6 dial designs on one sheet. When printed you should let it dry for about 4 hours then spray 2 really thin coats of matte varnish, letting each coat dry for at least 12 hours (24 hours is better). DAY 04 - DAY 05 : 2 days of speed-hiking with my wife so I didn’t worked on that tuto. You can check on the net what speed-hiking is, but to summarize it’s hiking as fast as you can with really light backpacks, trying not to run (or only short runs). On a good day you can walk 5 to 6 miles/hour … when trained you can walk up to 6,5 miles/hour … and while I trained for my first 62 miles ultra I achieved to walk (no running) up to 6,85 miles/hour (11 km/heure). DAY 06 : Today is Monday 6:00 AM. It’s been 5 days since I begun that tutorial and … my legs ache and all my body is painful (see Day 04 - Day 05) The dial plate is ready and the decal sheet too. You can see that the decal sheet looks matte now. That is because I have sprayed 2 coats of matte varnish on it, to protect the inkjet ink while I’ll soak the decal in water. Of course if you print with a laser you won’t have to spray varnish as the laser inks are (almost) water resistant. First thing to do is to chose the best item on the decal sheet and cut it round. Then you are ready to go. On the next pic you can see all you need now : - dial plate … fixed on a foam board using the dial feets - decal dial … nicely cut round - tweezers - thin and smooth brush (mine’s a watercolor brush) - some « micro set » … or just vhite wine vinegar (it helps the decal to set on the dial plate) - cold water Now you put the decal in cold water and while it soaks you brush some micro-set (or white vinegar) on the dial plate. Then you put the decal on the dial plate. Here you can see why I prefer using clear decal sheets on coloured dial plates … because it’s much easier to « perfectly » positionate the decal, using the central hole and the date-window. When you’re happy with the position of your decal you use a paper tissue to absorb the excess of water. Do that carefully as you don’t want to move the decal on the plate. And here we are … everything worked fine while absorbing the water and the decal position is OK. I’ll let it dry for about 12 hours before I cut the central hole and the date window, before I proceed to the varnish finish. Still Day 06 but 7:00 PM The decal has dried for about 13 hours so now I can proceed on cutting the decal sheet That's what I do then I : - fix it back on the foam board - apply some « micro set » around the center hole, the date-window and the outer diameter - gently press with a paper tissue so that the decal is perfectly applied (no more «air bubbles) And I let dry for 3 hours more Evening … 10:00 PM Now the decal is « perfectly » applied and dried and ready for the finish Last pic for today is after spraying the first coat of glossy varnish I will let it dry for 12 hours, sand it with 2000 grade paper and apply the 2nd coat. DAY 07 : 20:00 AM … only 1 pic today just after finely sanding with 2000 grade the 2nd varnish coat I applied yesterday DAY 08 : Yesterday evening I applied the 3rd and final varnish coat after finelt sanding and cleaning And today I can show you the final result … and say I'm pretty happy That dial is so glossy it’not easy to get a good pic, even on close-up. May I say that me hpone is nit the best at shooting pics (just like me) and the actual dial is much much better that it looks on the pictures below. I hope that you liked that tutorial and that it could be helpfull to members who want to try to build their own watch dials. I’ll try to make better pics with a real camera and a better lens … next week of the week after, after luming the dial together with the hands. Then I will still have to get a case and rework it so that it could be a 980,016 lookalike. Some of you may wonder how much time did I spend to make that dial. It took 8 days to achieve the all process but I spent only 1 hour the first day then only from 15mnm to 5mn the days after. So, apart from the design work on Illustrator and Photoshop (which took me hours), I would say that the whole process is about 2 to 3 hours. I must say that it's not my first try at dial making and I've trained for 2 years now. So if you want to try you should consider spending a few more hours but it's really worth the time spent as at the end you get your unique DIY dial.
  3. 11 points

    Current collection

    I have a few more but these are the “keepers” that are in regular rotation Might make a separate projects post but the blue dialed one with no brand name is one I made from parts from eBay after getting inspired to do so by mark’s project.
  4. 10 points

    Adventures in Pad Printing

    Hey guys, I have been working on a project to make my own watch dials over the past few months. I thought I would share my progress with you thus far. It has been an awfully expensive endeavour, and I have yet to reach a final dial but the work is well underway. I have purchased a pad printing machine, speciality inks and pads as well as a custom engraved cliche of my design. Now I’m putting it all together, I have been practing printing on plastic watch crystals, until I have my silver dials complete to print on. Let me know if you have any questions. Cheers
  5. 9 points

    Happy Christmas

    I thought I'd start the ball rolling. Merry Christmas & New Year to all on this wonderful friendly forum. A special thank you to Mark for creating this great friendly place
  6. 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!
  7. 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!"
  8. 8 points
    Hi Cecking through my workshop laptop I came across these PDFs and thought they might be useful to the members new and old alike. I have several more and will post later. Cheers Witschi Training Course.pdf TZIllustratedGlossary (1).pdf handbook_of_watch_and_clock_repairsa.pdf Test and measuring technology mechanical watches.pdf
  9. 8 points

    Seiko 6139-6010 aka "Bruce Lee"

    Hello guys. This is my last project – Seiko 6139-6010 aka Bruce Lee. Watch is from ‘69and it is based on the 6139A movement. Nice shot for the 50th Seiko anniversary of first automatic chronograph development. So please see the pictures below from all restoration proces. It took me 3-4 evenings. The watch came to me as non runner. Crystal was scratchy with many chips. Dial was dirty and dusty with signs of water damages. Hands lost their lume. Day calendar was loosen and didn’t work properly. Movement was complete but very dirty and dry – there weren’t any residues of old oil in the jewels. Somewhere were signs of water flood. I dissasembled movement and I gave it a bath in ultrasonic cleaner then i’ve assembled and oiled movement. Star disk od date wheel was repaird with small amouth of resin glue. Movement had tend to stop sometimes. Inspection showed that the tiny chip on the bottom pivot of the escape wheel. It was hard to see it. After replacment movement ran as a champ. I polished the hands cause there was rust and gave them new lume. Dial was cleaned. I didn’t touch the lume on the hours indexes. I was affraid to screw up it. I think now it is quite good despite the fact that the lume does not glow. Orginal crystal was polished but I decide that in the future I will replace it. Case and caseback got some polish works only with polishing paste, not too much cause I didn’t want to loose the sharpnes of orginal edges – as usual I did it. Bracelet was matted with abrasive wool. Everything was mix up and combined and there is the result. After measurments on timegrapher and adjustment it is a nice timekeeper. An amplitude satisfy me as well. Now I am enjoy to wear it. Please let me know what do you think of this restoration project and about my works on it. I appreciate your comment and your spend time. Cheers folks VID_20191016_170551.mp4 VID_20191017_195141.mp4
  10. 8 points
    Have these two on the bench this week, thought it was a funny contrast. The left is the Lemania 5100, perhaps the epitome of industrialization and use of injection molded plastic in a mechanical chronograph; almost the whole chrono mechanism is on the dial side, under an acrylic plate that supports the date rings. Vertical clutch with nylon gearing in it, plastic all over. Extremely reliable however! This one had suffered some sort of chemical exposure in the past, with pock marks in the rhodium plating and harsh staining on the barrel great wheel. Ended up running fine with 11 second delta in 6 positions. The right hand one is a Longines 30CH, one of the most beautiful chronos ever made in my opinion. This one was in fine shape other than a non-original, ugly, and nonfunctional minute counter jumper. The one present in the photo is the replacement I made. This beauty had a whopping 16 second delta, and still hit near 270 degrees amp at 24 hours. Amazing.
  11. 8 points
    First a nice Elgin driver, a "Parkton" I believe. Its been sitting finished so long I can't remember the movement details, but a 670 inside I "think". Next a 1928 Elgin in a "jobbers" case with a 6/0s, Grade 430, seven jewel movement. Finally, a lovely Elgin "Capricorn" with a 714 Shockmaster movement. Michael was a lucky kid in 1962. The movement dates to 1958. RMD
  12. 7 points
    1940 14K rose gold Elgin driver. Polished up well. I upgraded the movement to a 675 from the 559 that came in it. The stretchy bracelet is a very early Speidel that was in amazing condition and polished well also. Her response: "that's pretty." Ho-Hum. RMD
  13. 7 points

    Toilet paper

    Have a laugh at this.
  14. 7 points
    I apologize, but an error has slipped into the assembly sequence of pictures. For detailed info please see the following post: https://www.watchrepairtalk.com/topic/12634-eta-calibre-2472-service-walkthrough/?tab=comments#comment-115897 When I first started out trying to service and repair watches I took a picture of every step, and I really needed those pictures as I didn’t have the knowledge to deduct where the parts should go, how they worked, and how they interacted. Now that I’ve gained some experience, I no longer need all those pictures, but I still need some pictures. For example, it’s very convenient to have pictures of the train of wheels or certain parts of a date complication, and so on. Anyway, I really enjoy taking these pictures as I go and I organize them and keep them on my OneDrive for future use. For this project, servicing my brother’s Atira Plana housing an ETA 2472, I felt it would be fun, interesting and perhaps even useful not only to take the pictures but to edit the pictures adding visual and textual instructions. These pictures are made for my personal use and are not intended as a tutorial or to tell other people how to service an ETA 2472. The pictures simply document how I went about it. Nevertheless, I guess others may find my work useful so I’m happy to share it. There are many ways to service a watch and I’m still learning. That said, I do follow the practices taught on watchrepairlessons.com and they work very well for me! Here are links to my other service walkthroughs here on WRT: Unitas Calibre 6325 Service Walkthrough ETA cal. 2824-2 (17 jewels) disassembly/assembly Vostok 2409 Service Walkthrough ETA Calibre 2472 Disassembly (132 pictures) ETA Calibre 2472 Assembly (131 pictures)
  15. 7 points
    I've got a 1920s Jaeger car clock with platform escapement that I need to make a new balance staff for and tonight I will measure the broken balance staff to get all the critical measurements. Previously I have just made a rough hand drawn sketch of a balance staff but decided it would be nicer if I had a good diagram I could use to write the measurements on and then keep it filed away should I ever have to make another ABEC balance staff. I was thinking of making one up in CAD from scratch but in flicking through Henry Fried's book 'The Watch Makers Manual' I found a perfect diagram. Took a photo of it, did some clean up of it in GIMP and then turned it into a PDF file for easy printing. I have set the PDF to be A4 size. I have attached the PDF and a JPG of the image too as I thought this may be of use to other people. If you haven't already got a copy of Henry's book I do recommend it, as in my opinion it gives the best walk though on making a balance staff using only the equipment an average watchmaker would have in their workshop. Balance Staff.pdf
  16. 7 points

    Finding watch movement spare parts

    I would certainly assume that the following is “old news” to the seasoned among you, but if you’re new (or pretty new, like me) to watch repairing, I think and hope you’ll find the following information useful. As most of you know, finding watch movement spare parts can be pretty trying. Oftentimes, they can’t be bought new as they are obsolete or restricted, and as a hobbyist it is even worse. So, one strategy I intend to use in the future will to buy complete movements on flea markets sold as “for parts/repair”. Even so, finding the exact calibre can take a very long time. I had this problem with a Unitas calibre 6380. I needed a new pallet and an escape wheel. When searching eBay all I found were expensive complete watches. Searching the Internet, I came across a page here on WRT which eventually led me to the page “JBorel Products Watch Parts”, and this page felt like a gift from the watch gods. Using this page, once you’ve located the watch movement part you’re looking for you can, with a simple click, get a list of all other calibres (and sometimes even other brands of calibres) using this exact part. That makes it so much easier to find a donor movement or the part itself if it is not listed, for example on eBay, for the calibre you’re working on. For example, let’s say we need a minute wheel for a Unitas calibre 6380 (just follow the red arrows which indicates a click):
  17. 7 points

    Russian manual wind.

    I picked this little Russian up and was enamored by the dial. When it arrived I discovered it had the stout Vostok 2209 movement. I found it was a very clean movement and only needed to be adjust for timing just a bit. The dial that had my attention looked to be silver plated copper with a rather dirty looking patina. The dial isn't engraved as I had hoped, but was stamped with the pattern formed during that process. I wanted to make that pattern pop so I painted the entire dial flat black and used thinner to remove paint only from the top surfaces. Was a bit tricky to accomplish but I think it came out great. Next I turned my attention to the hands. Somene had put a shiny black varnish on the hands as contrast, no lume was present. So I cleaned that of and since I didn't have any white paint, I used liquid white out. I know this is probably blasphemous, but it's a totally temporary solution until I get some lume I like. Placing the hands back on was a bit tricky as the fit was incredibly tight and tough to accomplish with my huge sausage fingers. I have a black leather strap on order for it. Very pleased with the results. Thank you for reading this.
  18. 7 points
    Hi Nickelsilver, Your knowledge of horology has never seized to amaze me. We are lucky to have access to you through this forum. Thank you for staying tuned with us. Best wishes.
  19. 7 points

    Pocket Watches I have Repaired

    Decided to take a shot of the pocket watches I have repaired. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
  20. 7 points

    Why do Collectors HATE Timex Watches?

    Hearsay and misinformation is why I replied to that video. If you are going to present yourself as someone with knowledge or a level of expertise you better have your facts straight. Well that is unless you are running for political office. Peace and happiness!
  21. 7 points
    OK, here are the bad boys. The curving ones I have go from 00 to 5, the lifting ones from 00 to 4. The example hairspring would be about right for a deck watch- very big, and the largest of both sets worked well. You can see in the 4th pic that the end of the lifting tweezers can be adjusted for the thickness of the spring (red circle) and how far it pushes (screw in blue circle). I just did a simple overcoil, there are many shapes, here the goal was to get the curve to follow one of the spirals more or less imagining in our imaginary watch that would be where the regulator lies.
  22. 7 points
    Like most of us, I look for perfection and oiling cap jewels with a regular oiler take a lot of practice and patience. I found myself having to reclean and re-oil over and over before I could approve my work. So, I decided to invest in an automatic oiler for this purpose and although very expensive I think it was worth every penny, and I was so happy about it that I decided to make a video about it. Please bear with me though as this was my very first attempt at video editing.
  23. 7 points

    Thank you Rogart63

    If i have the parts i am willing to share. I can't use them in a lifetime. And lots of the movements are in bad shape .But some parts look fine. Could be hard to sell if i can't guarantee they are 100% perfect either. So as we all tinker with watches in here and can inspect the parts i send. It's nice to help out . Some other time it's maybe me that is searching for some hard to find part.
  24. 7 points

    Is it salvageable?

    Well, I've pretty much wrapped up this project. The replacement chronograph pushers (buttons) arrived last week and needed a bit of adjustment before they could be installed. As you can see from the picture below, the shaft of the pusher which acts on the Flyback Lever was a bit long and needed to be turned down on the lathe then re-threaded. The lot of Excelsior Park parts which I purchased earlier included replacement coil springs for the pushers which was just perfect as the spring for the Flyback Lever was quite rusty. The replacement is pictured below. I found it was easiest to case the movement first, then install the pushers. While doing this I noticed there was a part missing from the keyless works. Worried that I had lost something irreplaceable, I went back over my images taken during disassembly and discovered the missing bit wasn't there when I started. The missing piece belongs to the setting lever assembly- although what exactly it's purpose is I'm not sure. Perhaps it provides stability when applying the clutch. I noted the keyless works seems to function properly without the part so maybe it's just the appendix of an EP40 movement. I've circled the area with the missing bit below and added a linked image from the Watchguy's image archive which shows exactly what is missing. If I ever do find the missing part, I'll probably have to give my right arm to purchase it. I replaced the Flyback Lever and Operating Lever, both of which secured the pushers to the movement. The Flyback Lever is secured with a left-hand thread shouldered screw. The original screw was destroyed by rust but I found a suitable replacement; it doesn't have the three slots cut into the head so I added a dab of blue paint to distinguish the screw. I still need to find a large case screw to replace the original which was also destroyed. I needed to adjust some of the eccentrics in order to get the chronograph working just right. It's a pity too because those eccentrics had perfect heads on them until they were galled by my screwdriver. That will serve as a reminder to review the section in George Daniel's book on screwdriver sharpening. I cleaned up the dial with a bit of water and a Q-Tip but as you can see I lost some of the tachymetre around 3 o'clock from my efforts. The text came away without effort so I stopped any further efforts to improve the dial. The Hour, Minute, and Minute Recording hands all had oxidation damage. I scrapped the rust away with an oiler and Rodico and applied a coat of varnish to the luminous paint to keep it from crumbling. I think I could have polished and re-blued the hands (which would have been the "correct" solution) but opted to keep the scarred look; it's a reminder of what this watch has been through. By the way- blued steel hands on a white dial is just a fantastic look. They look black against the dial when viewed straight on, but when the light hits them just right they shimmer with the deepest blue. I tried to catch an image of the effect with my camera but just couldn't do it justice. A high dome acrylic crystal completed the job. So far, so good. The movement has kept time for the past twenty-four hours without issue. Once I've found a strap for it, I'll take it out on the town and then make final adjustments if need be. I think I got lucky on this one as the water damage wasn't as great as it could have been and I was able to find all of the replacement parts at a reasonable cost. Only the pushers broke my budget but I'm happy with the new buttons. I still have some NOS parts left over which I can hold onto or flip later to offset the cost of repair.
  25. 7 points
    Hello All, This is my first post so I thought I would show a little finishing technique I learnt a while back. It basically turns the ratchet or crown wheel into a matte/ frosted finish. It was popular back in the day with some high end companies and still looks good in my opinion. I'll run through how it's done and try answer your questions as best as possible. What you need: 1. glass plate 2. Micron paper in various grits. 20 and 12 will do. 3. Tetrabor 800 grit/ mesh 4. Ultrasonic or cleaning machine 5. rodico First thing first, you have to flatten your ratchet wheel. To do this I use some lapping paper on glass. I start on a 20 micron and rub the ratchet wheel with my finger in a figure 8 pattern or circular or however I feel. (we arent trying to achieve black polishing flatness) If you are worried you can set up a jig to hold the ratchet wheel. but I often find using your finger will suffice. Once happy, move onto a 12 or 9 micron and do the same. At this point it is imperative to clean the wheel so that you remove all the grit from the paper that may be stuck between the teeth. So chuck it in an ultrasonic or your cleaning machine. Next place some tetrabor onto your plate, no need to add oil or water. place wheel onto plate and start rubbing it in. Generally it doesn't take to long no longer than a min or so. Doesn't hurt to check the piece to see how the finish is developing. if you want to check you can dab it with rodico, very carefully to remove the tetrabor. Do NOT wipe with a tissue or anything, this finish scratches so easy its crazy!! you can always chuck it through the ultrasonic (carefully) to see how the pattern is going. Its the checking and chasing that one last scratch which takes up the most time. The slightest bit of dust or dirt on the glass plate will scratch the wheel. You can always blue the wheel after, it comes out with an interesting tone when blued with this finish. This technique is fairly hard and does take some time to get good at, because it's just so easy to scratch and because of this scratches stand out against the matte surface. I'll try answer questions as best as possible. I try and post interesting stuff on Instagram regularly at least 3 to 4 times a week. obr_horology is my account on insta. its just time consuming to post (slow at typing) I plan on doing a youtube video in the coming weeks to better explain it. I learnt this from Henrick Korpela. Check him out if you haven't heard of him. He also writes in the AWCI and gives away a lot of info. Thanks O
  26. 7 points

    A lovely little lusina

    My father recently asked if I would service his wrist watch which he bought from the NAAFI at RAF Akrtiri in Cyprus during his national service days. The watch came to me as ticking, but the oil on the keyless works had gummed up like tar, making it almost impossible to wind without fear of doing some damage. Anyway, here are a few before and after photos. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  27. 6 points

    How do you keep your bench tidy ?

    Hi In order to get a sembelance of order on the bench I build this tool holder, both tool holders rotate to enable easy access to the screw drivers, the flat bladed ones on the left and cross points on the left. My clock let down tools are fitted to the rear, probes etc down the sides. Saves scrabbling in a tin. heavy clock tools are stoed in two IKEA drawer units. Keeps the place tidy, untill I start working.
  28. 6 points

    Watch of Today

    My Heritage jump hour arrived yesterday. Looks great and runs like a champ. I opened the case to look for dirt, turns out it was just surface discoloration on the backside of the dial, no worries! This also has an actual glass Crystal, no acrylic for Heritage I guess, lol.
  29. 6 points

    Watch of Today

    Since I've already featured the wristwatch I'm wearing today, I'll highlight today's pocket watch. It's a 1913 South Bend 16s. It has gold inlaid engravings on the movement and the jewels are in gold settings. The dial is double sunk and it's in a chrome plated, salesman's case with an exhibition back. I haven't had to touch this watch since I bought it other than to polish the crystals. One of my favorites.
  30. 6 points

    Gillett and Johnston Grandmother clock

    I picked up my latest project today, listed on Ebay yesterday as a Victorian Grandmother clock, The clock is certainly not Victorian it dates from 1924 this can be pinpointed quite accurately because it has a two train full Westminster strike movement utilising a locking differential gear although patent applied for in 1920 its first use by Gillett in a commercial clock was around 1924, this clock movement is stamped with the Gillett and Johnston trademark, some time in 1924 F.W Elliott purchased Gillett and subsequent production was stamped Elliott. I already own a couple of Gillett and Johnston two train Westminster clocks one a small spring driven platform escapement mantle clock and the other a twin fusee bracket clock, I have wanted one of the weight driven variety for a while but auction prices and dealer prices are too high for my pocket. I took a gamble on the clock because the ebay listing gave scant details and poor pictures and the elderly seller could only say that the clock had been inherited many years ago from her aunt because no one else in the family had wanted it, but a few things helped make up my mind that the clock was a Gillet and Johnston, although the ebay listing did not show the pendulum it did show the flat pendulum rod, this is a very distinct feature of later Gillett clocks from around 1920 onwards which used a patented Invar self temperature compensating pendulum as seen in the picture I have taken below, the pendulum bob is a lead antimony alloy. The other clue to its maker is in the unsigned engraved dial, in nearly all engraved Gillett dials the motif is a basket of flowers in the central portion of the dial this features on longcase and bracket clocks they made and is considered as a unofficial trademark amongst collectors very few Gillett and Johnston dials of this period are signed because most of their production wasn't sold directly to the public, but through retail jewellers and a plaque featured on the dial for the retailer to engrave their company name onto, and any dial actually signed Gillett and Johnston would be unusual. The Movement is typical of Gillett and Johnston production of the time being of high quality, with thick plates, deadbeat escapement, with beat adjustment on the crutch and maintaining power on the going train, the weights are of brass cased lead, the strike, chime weight is very heavy weighing 26 pounds, as with all two train Westminster they do require a lot of power to run. The clock is very dirty and I shall be cleaning it some time soon so shall post pictures of the cleaning and also explain how the two train striking system works.
  31. 6 points


    Hi all ,an old watchmaker friend of mine he is 76 and still goes to work as a watchmaker everyday . Imagine his knowledge .Anyway on with the topic . As you all know sometimes when you service a watch it doesn't matter what you do the amplitude would be nice another 5 or 10 degrees higher .Peter (that's his name ) told me to get an old piece of ladies watch mainspring and cut it about 2 inches long and wire it to a piece of pegwood leaving an inch hanging past the end .Get a hold of the pallet fork with a holder of some sort ,tweezers will do if your steady enough and burnish inside of the folk where the impulse jewel makes contact . This works amazingly as it polishes the inside and gives an uninterrupted smooth passing of the impulse jewel .Takes a bit of time but it works . I wanted to make videos of him doing some great stuff and upload but he won't let me Anyway give it a shot .
  32. 6 points

    Crystal polishing example

    Beginners often ask about where to find this or that crystal, as it happens replacing is cheap and easy as long they are just flat round ones. But the crystal may not be found as generic, or can be expensive, or hard to find. So good old polishing is needed. Here again my technique key points: Crystal mounted on case, that will make it so much easier and safe to handle. Caseback removed, check below why. Jeweller's motor or other rotary tool with a fixed stand. You really want a screen like a carton box. Plastic roundel from a credit card as big as its size allows. 600 grit wet paper. No other grit is needed, as it will lose abrasiveness already after 20 seconds of use and become comparable to finer grades. Try to got directly over the deepest scratches, but without insisting too long (as in 5 seconds max) so to not dig valleys. Find the right compromise regarding the work angle, going flatly is good, but isn't even reasonable to try to sand the entire surface even. Look at the white streaks from inside the glass while working. You will see if you're getting right at the scratch or nick because if so the defect will show up in contrast Be patient with the paper stage. After a while it becomes hard to see if all scratches are gone, but you must remove them all before going to the next step. You should have made a mental note or drawing of where the defects are, rinse it up and observe at different angles. In difficult cases you may need to replace paper once or twice. Crystal will look now very foggy, that is normal Once happy refit caseback and crown, or rodico in the tube. The diamond paste is much more messy and you don't want that inside the case. Mount an hard felt wheel like 7 or even 10 cm dia, 2cm thick, place 1 cm of diamond paste (No. 10 or 14 good, but others work too) on the section toward you while keeping the crystal horizontal. Let the wheel grab the compound one bit a time, keep well pressed up and go over until all pase is used and you can present the entire surface to the wheel, rotate the watch and collect the past on the other side, place it on the crystal again on the other side. You can't do more than 30 - 40 seconds of work before adding fresh paste. Usually I do 4 or 5 passes like that. When working with paste is almost impossible to see the result with cleaning up. Clean with dishwasher detergent, dry it and observe well. Very likely you will notice some small defects, up to you if you want to go back to paper, concentrating on the spot only. Final polishing can be done switching to another wheel and finer paste, no less that 10 as these have no practical effect. Cerium oxide is another option but I didn't try it extensively so far. Below what I did today in about 20 minutes. The central scratch was quite deep. No final polishing or cleaning yet.
  33. 6 points

    Heads Up re Shock springs for Rotary

    I recently put up a post about a Rotary watch that needed a new shock spring. Just a heads up it looks like the latest caliber of Rotary watches have Seiko movements fitted. The error I made was I thought the springs were KIF Trior BUT they are not although they look very similar they are a unique spring for Seiko's. Spot the difference see pics attached. I have found one from a donor movement. KIF shock springs.pdf
  34. 6 points
    Hello, everybody. I wanted to share my restoration stories that I have done for a long time and thrown into my archive. First I discussed the Atomic Mars 71 Brand using Valjoux 7734. As it was seen, scratch and dial is broken. To begin with, I tried to brush the Case as Brushed and make it the first day. If it is decorated, I polished and re-painted the indexes (with acrylic paint). I usually do this in three layers so that the paint is not deleted in a short time. I replaced the case buttons and tubes with aftermarket buttons. Since the condition of the dial was in very poor condition, I had it re-painted. The quality is not so good. In Turkey, unfortunately, not doing the job well. Caliber 7734 (Valjoux) is a special and robust mechanism for me. With good maintenance and lubrication, you can reduce deflection values up to 3-4 seconds per day. I added a short timelapse video about it :) As a result, such a result came before us. Thank you Taskin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKH6yTKUfpM
  35. 6 points
    I picked this vintage Timex Marlin up from a pawn shop for $10. It began ticking as soon as I wound it up which is always a good sign. The metallic brown dial and hidden lug case caught my eye, but the Crystal was quite rough, thankfully it wasn't cracked. Sadly it's wearing one of those atrocious expansion bracelets, so that will be ditched ASAP! This was my first time decoding the dial numbers, very useful information there. After a thorough sanding and polish the Crystal looks great! According to the catalog page, it looks like it originally came with a mesh band, I'll have to look for one.
  36. 6 points
    For those that don't know the Shortt Free Pendulum clocks were made from the 1920s to the late 1950s and were the most accurate clocks made between the 1920s and 1940s. Only 100 of these clocks were made and they were sent around the world to observatories and anywhere else that needed the most precise time keeping. Very simply describing the clock it had a master unit that ran in a vacuum and a slave unit that synchronised to the master free pendulum unit and then could send timing signals to any number of other slave clock units. The Perth Observatory which is now run by volunteers has 2 of these clocks Number 11 that was made in 1926 and after serving time at the Royal Observatory, Greeenwich to 1940, then it went to Edinburgh in 1941 for the duration of the war and then back to Greenwich in 1946 and then to Perth Obervatory in 1960. The other clock Short clock that is at the Perth Observatory is number 94 which was ordered by the observatory in 1956 and delivered in 1957. Besides these 2 clocks the observatory has a number of other significant clocks that they are wanting to get running after decades of static display. The president of my association had been in talks with them for some time to service and repair these clocks and started doing so a few months back, but has only just in the last few weeks started working on the Shortt clock. It had been 'fiddled' with by people he didn't know what they were doing and besides being gummed up solid for reasons only known to the person that did it they had put paint over the ends of the friction plate on the centre wheel so it could no longer slip. On boxing day he got the slave clock ticking after fabricating a new gathering wire and jewel and stripping and cleaning the whole movement, but it still needs some adjusting. I went to visit him yesterday to have a look and bring my reference book 'Synchronome Masters of Electrical Timekeeping' by Brober Miles that was only just published to help him out with some of the items he was a bit lite on with information. Whilst I was there I took some photos which I thought may interest people. Dials of Slave Clock Couple of the inside of the slave unit Apologies for this photo but I couldn't get a good picture with the sun shining through the window, but this is the vaccum chamber for the free pendulum Stand alone slave dial. I've got more photos and a slow mo video showing the pendulum being given its impulse but this is the limit I can upload to one post. This is a very special rare clock, but once it is finished then number 94 will get the same treatment. Number 11 is a type A model whilst 94 is the simpler type B model.
  37. 6 points

    Before and after

    Got this 1950's Timex Mercury running and relumed hands with new second hand. Seems to be keeping good time also. Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk
  38. 6 points

    DOXA Searambler 1968 project

    Hello to you all folks, thought I should share this story with you ,,,, Then I finally completed my big project "Doxa Searambler 300T from 1968" which I have been working on from March 11 to June 27 this year, for about 14 weeks. And I have to say very happy, although I have not yet managed to find a good solution on the BoR link. Have been in contact with the Doxa factory via an acquaintance who is AD in Sweden, so let's see what gets there. But anyway, here's the story: Bought this on March 11 in miserable condition, see photo 1. It was pretty messed up after been worn after 50 years of use as a professional dive watch, so all of the marks were gone on the bezel ring, the glass was scratched, really needed a service, see photo 2 and 3. Some had also tried to change the casetube and crown without knowing how to do this. And should rather been doing things they fully master insted. The casetube was inserted with an wrong angel into the case, so the result was that the crown did not enter the movment right. See photo 4. To fix this, the old casetube had to be drilled out / pulled out. This one was not fastend good enought, so I could just pulled it out. If this is done right, they is stuck like hell. .. See photo 4. you can see the red line that shows the correct angle into the case, while the casetube that was mounted befor was incorrectly angeled into the case, see the blue line. A incorrect crown was also inserted, the original crown is 6.92 mm in diameter and 4.60 mm high, stem thread is 0.9 mm. The one sitting here was far too small and is completely wrong compared to the original. The dial was very spotty and had lots of marks after many dives. And that the lume had got the greyish color. See photo 5. So full dismantling was needed, stripping everything, movment out, glass out, bezel ring dismantled from the case, cleaning of all parts. So when everything was cleaned up, the build-up could begin. First the old case tube had to be drilled and pulled out, so it was dismantled, and the new casetube was inserted with a crown. See photo 6. Found a crown that is quite similar in appearance and about the same size. Doxa is known to have very little parts to these olde watch available unfortunately. So finding original casetube with crown seems like a pretty impossible task. See photo 6. Did service work on the movment, ETA 2783, no parts had to be replaced, just a little tightening of canon pinion, because it was a little loose in motion. Painted bezel ring by original colors. See photo 7. When it comes to the dial, I wanted a crisp and fresh dial, so I chose to use an friend of mine who is an specialist in restoring dials, and who is the real magician when it comes to repaint of dials. See for yourself....See photo 8. Lumes on the hands and indexes was put on by me, had to mix ut a certain light cream color lume to match ut the right patina. Also managed to source a glass made according to original spec. which was fitted. Then after about 3 months, all parts were mounted in place, the work was installed, the test round was done with brilliant results. And I could finally take this piece of jewelry on my arm ... See photo 9. Beautiful!!! Go...Go....Switzerland !!!
  39. 6 points

    Had to Remove a Screw

    Had the head of screw strip off the mainspring barrel arbour. Tried to use a bergeon screw extractor and failed. So I set the arbour up in a lathe and graved a small cone center. Then I used circuit board drills and progressively drilled out the center. And after two broken bits, I finally got the insides loose. Then I went on my Stereo Microscope and picked out loose parts using rodico and a small pink screwdriver. All worked well. Now to find a new screw. The main mission was to replace a broken mainspring. And here is the broken mainspring. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
  40. 6 points

    Dial foot soldering

    Hi Working on a seiko 7009A today, a bit of a wreck. Dial loose intermediate date wheel u/s, all back up and running but had to sort out the dial so I dug out the dial foot machine build a couple of years ago, as you can see by the pics it still works and no marking on the dial. It was build from readily available parts. The power source is a car battery charger which plugs into the unit. the probe is the carbon center core from a battery. I belive it goes under the heading of cold soldering, basicaly it provides an arc at the bottom of the dial foot wire where you place some flux and bits of solder. the resulting arc melts the solder and attaches the foot wire. Any body interested can find the details on the net. The origionator of this particular design was one Dirk Fassbender the details he put on the net are still there or alternativly there is a book, Quartz watch retro fitting by Wesley R Door, available in America but not so easy over here in the uk. I have some pictures I copied from the net that give the basics. All it is is a transformer providing the Arc not hard to build and a very hand tool to have in your collection..
  41. 6 points

    First watch

    Just wanted to share that I finished building my first watch. It runs on a Miyota 8215. Here is a picture.
  42. 6 points

    Made Another Balance Staff

    Cut another balance staff for an old British Pocket watch. Again used a piece of blued steel and cut 90% of the staff before breaking it off and flipping it around to finish the rolled table end and the lower pivot.Measuring the upper jewel hole with a pivot gauge. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
  43. 6 points

    Thank you Rogart63

    Today this package from sweeden came in mail, containing 11blacd escapement wheel, donor @rogart63 . Following fourteen years of in to do box I will hopefuly bring my bulova snorkel back to life and soon, I will post a picture of it on watch of today thread. Thank you Rogart63 for this gift, very precious to me. In appreciation of your generosity and in your name, I make sure to pass on three winding stems to the novices and three balance staffs to experienced learners. I have no problem shipping small parts.
  44. 6 points

    ETA Resources

    Just thought I should post some links here from ETA Costumer support. They are quite informative and gives you something to do on a rainy summer day. The first one is to their Dictionary, here you can find all their definitions and even how things works, like the escapement and so on. https://www.eta.ch/dictionary/dictionary.html The other ones are movement specific ETA 2892A2 https://www.eta.ch/swisslab/2892a2/2892a2.html ETA 7750 https://www.eta.ch/swisslab/7750/7750.html ETA 6497 https://www.eta.ch/swisslab/6497/6947.html ETA 251.471 https://www.eta.ch/swisslab/251471/251471.html When you go there the first time you probably need to get flash.. look up in the left corner. After loading it is just to start exploring the information.
  45. 6 points
    Blue steel can't be cut with a jeweler's saw but can be filed. That used to be how they checked the repivoting exam for clocks back in the day- saw bites, fail, file doesn't bite, fail. The commercially available blue steel bars watch and clockmakers typically use is very hit or miss. The nomial size is often way off (not such a big problem), and the heat treatment can vary between too soft, uneven, or sometimes actually ok. I have some and use it for pins and such. For staffs, stems, pinions- anything from steel- I use oil hardening steel in its annealed state. The standard in Switzerland is Sandvik 20AP, probably not so easy to find in small quantities elsewhere. In the U.S. O1 would be the closest thing (and is a fine steel for watch parts). Parts get hardened and tempered after machining, with generally the last 0.01mm or removed in finishing for bearing surfaces. For a staff I cut everything right to size except the pivots which are a good 0.10mm oversized, and I leave the taper for the roller table straight and oversized. After heat treatment, holding on the now straight roller diameter the top pivot is brought to 0.01mm over final size, the surfaces polished, rivet formed. Flip around and do lower pivot, roller taper, polish. Finally finish pivots in jacot. Heat treatment is a little different than most books or schools teach. I use an iron tube welded to a long thin bar. These are actually CO2 or N2O cartridges from selzer or whipped cream bottles with the neck cut off (about the size of the first two digits of an index finger). This gets filled about 1/3 with fine wood charcoal powder, parts go in, filled the rest of the way. The whole thing is torch heated until glowing orange, then the contents dumped in oil. The parts fished out with a magnet, and they are a nice grey color and very clean. After cleaning off the oil they are blued in a pan of fine brass filings over an alcohol lamp. With the above method there is rarely any deformation of even long thin parts, and no pitting.
  46. 6 points

    Watch of Today

    Picked up this Sandoz Alarm watch, a bit big for my wrist, but it has a certain retro charm
  47. 5 points

    Tesco Shopping

  48. 5 points

    Watch of Today

    So, today im putting some mileage on my newly acquired 1963, West German manufactured, Timex backset electric. I purchased it as a parts donor for another watch, but it was working when I opened the package from the mail and, well it looks great for a nearly 60 year old watch. So, here it is. Jerseymo says the chrome case models are getting rare. Happy to revive some history.
  49. 5 points

    My first Contribution - Heuer

    Hello All, this is my first contribution to this thread. I have been doing the lessons for sometime and thought that it is time I meet some of you! 1972 Heuer "Viceroy" Autavia fitted with a NOS Corfam band vintage Heuer buckle.
  50. 5 points

    Watch of Today

    Cyma Watersport with a R420 bumper GF case. Guessing from the 50s or 60s?? Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
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