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RyMoeller

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RyMoeller last won the day on July 7

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About RyMoeller

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    WRT Addict

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    Male
  • Location
    California
  • Interests
    Watchmaking (naturally), Aviation, Formula One, and Family

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  1. Interesting. I've not even heard of the Perrelet watch brand until this very post but they have some cool timepieces- I like the "Turbine Family". Often the color of a watch dial is achieved through a chemical process. To repeat it you would need to know what metal is used for the substrate (brass, steel, aluminum, etc.) Anodizing also comes to mind because you can get some vivid really vivid colors.
  2. Very nice collection of watches you've listed there- vintage lot, perfect for this forum; welcome aboard.
  3. RyMoeller

    On the Workbench

    Pics of the chronographs which have crossed my bench. Currently I have pics of a 1967 Omega Speedmaster and a 1940's Universal Geneve Uni-Compax. Enjoy!
  4. What's the magnification level your using? I have a 5x loupe that I lean on and a 10x loupe that pretty much puts my nose into the movement. I think even using the 5x loupe I'm within two or three inches of what I'm working on though and this does create an ergonomics issue. You'll notice if you look around that most watchmaker desks are raised quite high so that you can work on the watch while keeping your back straight. I have a stereo microscope that I just love using for just this reason. The magnification can be adjusted as needed and I'm not leaning far over the work area.
  5. 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.
  6. I second this approach. I'll just add heat can also be used to break down the superglue.
  7. Welcome to the forum.
  8. If "Al" is Al Archer, then the advice is certainly sound. From what I know of Al, he's an exceptional watchmaker and is the go-to guy for Speedmaster repairs. I'd have to agree with most of what was laid out in the two posts. You have to really love the process and be willing to challenge yourself if you want to get good at it. Assume there's always a better way of doing things, then find it. You'll never be happy with your tools either- start with good stuff, replace it with better stuff, and be prepared to make your own. One thing about doing your own work- it's certain to meet your standards.
  9. The dial looks good for it's age. From my experience there is really much that can be done to improve the look of a vintage dial. Often what appears to be dirt is instead oxidation and cannot be removed without changing the appearance of the dial. I would stick to using Rodico and Q-Tips dipped in distilled water. If you do anything, be very careful and work very slow. Keep in mind the printing on the dial is often placed on top of the lacquer and it's the first to go when "cleaning" is attempted.
  10. Well the movement is pretty much back together this evening. I ordered some left hand threaded shoulder screws from Cousins and if I'm lucky one will fit for the Flyback Lever, otherwise I'll need to create a left hand threaded tap, use the tap to create a die, and use the die to create a replacement screw (the original was pretty much destroyed by rust). I'm also missing a properly sized case screw (another item that was rusted beyond salvage). The replacement Stem and pushers are on the way; when they arrive I should be able to wrap this project.
  11. Well, I spent quite a bit of time with it today (about six hours), extracting the rusted shaft of the screw for the Sliding Gear Spring, polishing the other screws, and repairing the Center Wheel and I finally have the base movement back together. The Mainspring was in fine shape, so I reused it. Other than the Center Wheel, the pivots in the going train were untouched by rust. Again, this was a relief because sourcing the various bits of the going train just may be impossible One of the interesting features of an Excelsior Park movement is the Fourth Wheel/Chronograph Driving Wheel arrangement. In most chronographs the Fourth Wheel has an extended pivot that the Chronograph Driving Wheel is mounted on- it's usually a friction fitted. Excelsior Park instead designed a double-decker arrangement where the Fourth Wheel and Chronograph Driving Wheel are both permanently mounted on the same pinion. A separate cock secures the wheel(s) to the Main Plate. Another thing I really like about this movement is how the milled springs and small bridges have little "clover leafs" that extend outward from the edges. These leaves fit into cutouts in the plate and that ensures the bridges and springs are always oriented just right before you screw them down. You can see the leaves extending from the edge of the Pallet Bridge in the picture below. Little things like this also catch my eye- the cap jewels have a small circular trough cut into the bottom of the jewel. I just can't wrap my mind around how that's accomplished with such precision. It took quite a bit of time to get the base movement back together. The plates went through the cleaner multiple times and much elbow grease was needed to remove the rust damage. The screw for the Sliding Gear Spring took about two hours to extract this morning. A lot of other screws were cleaned up with the help of the lathe too. In the end, I don't think I'll have to replace many. The Balance Assembly got quite a lot of attention too. The hairspring was fouled with bits of rust and other muck that must have been carried in by the water that caused all the rust damage. It was cleaned with lighter fluid and a steady hand then went through the cleaner with the top and bottom plate this morning. I do like the design of the entire escapement in this movement also. Excelsior Park movements are some of the earliest Swiss movements I've seen to use an adjustable stud for the hairspring- this makes beat error adjustment quite simple. Here we have a screwless Balance Wheel too and one with an Breguet hairspring. All good stuff. In order to test the movement I needed to assemble the keyless works as well. There's a lot of scarring here but I was able to reuse everything but the Stem. So I finished the day by giving the movement a good wind and popping it on the Timegrapher- Mind you that's the reading at full wind in one position but it's a good starting point.
  12. Oops, hit the "Submit" button instead of the "insert Media" button! So first off- the Operating Lever was badly rusted as was the Flyback Lever and Sliding Gear Spring. These parts are not salvageable. Quite a bit of rust was left on the plate too after removing these bits. That's too bad as the top plate has a nice Geneva Stripe pattern on it. Hopefully I'll be able to clean the residue off. Bits of rust had made their way all throughout the movement. The biggest concern thus far is the Center Wheel though. It had some rust damage on the top pivot. I'm going to try and clean this up but I may have to look for a replacement wheel. Under the dial, the keyless works saw quite a bit of rust staining. Amazingly, almost all of the rust here came from the stem and pushers. The gears for the keyless work, including the had only minor damage. Underneath the top plate was quite a bit of rust residue. The Main Plate had quite a bit of rust staining as well. Some of this will clean up, but the silver plating has been damaged as well so there is only so much that can be done. The chronograph buttons and the stem are in a bad way. This is what they looked like after several hours in Coca-Cola (well, Diet Coke actually). Here's the full inventory of replacement parts needed thus far: Operating Lever Flyback Lever Sliding Gear Spring Minute Recording Jumper Stem I can probably turn replacement shafts for the chronograph pushers on the lathe but since one button was damaged as well (or at least very well worn) I purchased replacements off eBay. A replacement stem is coming from Jules Borel for $13.50 and for $300 I got a lot of New Old Stock parts from a seller on eBay. This included the Operating Lever, Flyback Lever, Sliding Gear Spring, and Minute Recording Jumper plus seventeen additional parts and five coil springs for the pushers. It was a good deal considering most of these parts can't be had from the normal supply houses anymore. So that puts the total cost thus far at $1014.50. I've also put about six hours of work into the project- most of it on cleaning rust and removing rusted screws. This morning I decided to purchase replacement buttons as well even though the cost is a budget breaker. They'll be about $90 a piece but their New Old Stock as well. I should have some more pictures up shortly as I begin reassembly.
  13. Okay, time for an update- I've disassembled the movement and been able to take an inventory of the damaged parts. Things are not quite as bad as they initially looked although there is one area of concern. Here's the pictures:
  14. Ah, thanks for all of the responses thus far! I expected a lot of positive feedback and the community did not disappoint. Of course this being the Watch Repair Forum I'm sure there are a lot of members who think the same way I do, "I saw it was broke, I knew I could fix it. I went to work." I'm really intrigued with the Coca-Cola idea too. I imagine it's the phosphoric acid that works on the rust but I'm a little apprehensive about soaking the movement since it's an aqueous solution- would the steel free of rust fair well if submerged? Incidentally, I've heard that Coca-Cola is also useful for removing oil stains from the garage floor- although I haven't tried that either. A quick update for Wednesday- the Operating Lever screw is in bad shape so I'm letting it soak a bit longer before giving it a second try. Rusty as it is, I might have to cut off the screw head off to release the Operating Lever. This is the first (of several probably) hurdles. You may have figured out that my plan is to restore the watch and with that in mind I've already sourced some of the necessary parts. It appears that the pivots for the Going Train are undamaged and the Balance Assembly is also in good shape. Considering this, I think it's a good candidate for reanimation. This will be a fun project so I'm going to document the progress on the thread here. Projects like this can be long term- especially if parts are unavailable or need to be fabricated (as an example, I'm currently on the fourth iteration of the bezel click for the Favre Leuba on my workbench- the click is unavailable so a replacement has to be fabricated) so this may be a long thread. Based on the comments, most seem to agree that question of whether or not to salvage comes down to the cost of repair measured against market value; the latter must be greater than the former although by how much is debatable. With this in mind, I'll be transparent and detail the cost of repair as I go forward. I'll detail the cost of each part replaced and although my labor is free, I'll try to keep a running total of the hours spent on the project as well. As a starting point we have the cost of the watch- 710 USD when I acquired it in September of last year. A good measure of the top line value of the watch can be ascertained by keeping an eye on the eBay auction here here. This Multichron is almost identical to mine but clearly never went through the laundry. As a disclaimer- I have no affiliation with the seller or the time piece; being an open auction I just figured it's a handy method of determining market value. It will be interesting to see how close the cost of my watch (once restored) comes to the sale price of the auction item.
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