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Everything posted by AndyHull

  1. Polish that crystal and you will double its value.
  2. The cheapest brand new version of this watch that I can find on ebay today, is a remarkable £6.11 - with free shipping in the UK. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/001Classic-Automatic-Auto-Mechanical-Wristwatch-Black-Belt-Silver-Shell-wX/202771370401?hash=item2f361d91a1:g:m-YAAOSwRmNdVVvS If you ever need parts for a Chinese standard movement, I can't think of a cheaper way to get them. Of course this does mean that there is absolutely no financial imperative to ever fix one of these, since the cost of looking at it, far outweighs its monetary value. Great fun to pull apart and put back together to see what makes it tick though.
  3. Possibly *something*, most likely a jewel, is worn ovoid (egg shaped), or partially gummed up, so things are fine until a pivot drops in to the worn part of the ovoid hole, or sticks on the gunk, whereupon the relative geometry of the gears change, as pivot ends are no longer parallel, or running true and free. Clean and check the balance jewels, the fork jewels and the escape wheel jewels, under high magnification, also check the end shake of these components. Clean and re-check their pivots too. Also check the hairspring is completely flat, as if not, it may be able to foul on something, but only in certain positions.
  4. No aspersions need be cast, deep fried cockroaches are real. This from Wikipedia for example. "... The cockroaches are fried twice in a wok of hot oil, which makes them crispy with soft innards that are like cottage cheese.[92][93] Fried cockroaches are ground and sold as pills for stomach, heart and liver diseases.[94] A cockroach recipe from Formosa (Taiwan) specifies salting and frying cockroaches after removing the head and entrails.[95]In traditional and homeopathic medicine..." I'm pretty adventurous in terms of what I will eat, and in my travels, have tried some strange stuff over the years, including seal meat, ostrich, crickets and kangaroo (not all at the same sitting of course). If offered deep fried cockroaches, based on that description, I might be tempted, though not as a solution to any internal medical issues. As to the cause of the demise of the key-less work of Russian watches, I suspect the lack of proper sealing of the stem is probably a major contributor. On those watches that I have seen this problem (not all Russian), there was evidence of corrosion or ingress of crud, both of which could lead to binding and stripping of teeth. Metallurgy may also be a factor, particularly if the cause is a snapped spring but I suspect that poor case construction is a more common reason. Lack of servicing is also likely to be a common cause, since grease tends to turn to tar if not regularly replaced, and once in this state, the wearer will tend to simply put more pressure on the winder in the hope of "freeing it up", which is obviously not a good idea.
  5. Continuing the Chinese theme, a "Winner" from the ever expanding pile of junk that comes with job lots of watches. This is a pretty standard Chinese Standard movement, all be it the skeletonized version. Most of the parts from this would therefore fit in the automatics from the previous post. It arrived in a completely gummed up condition, with the winder mechanism and keyless work jammed up with waxy crud, but responded well to a strip and clean. The case is "interesting" (i.e. in my opinion, pot ugly, and huge), and is held together with four screws that wouldn't look out of place securing the wires in a mains plug. It has the cheap feel of plated pot metal, and the plating is pretty thin, since the watch looks little used, but the "silver" plating on the reverse is starting to show signs of wearing down to the copper plated base layer on top of the frying pan alloy underneath. This may be a factory fitted feature however, the plating may have left the factory like this, and if so, it would compliment the free thumb prints that were generously added to the inside of the watch by the assembler. I am not however really in a position to comment, as when I was re-casing the thing after cleaning and servicing, I fumbled the top half of the case, and grabbed it with my un-gloved hand as it shot rapidly across the bench in a failed attempt to smash itself on the floor. It was only once I had the mechanism back in place and the thing screwed shut that I realised that I too had autographed the thing by placing a nice big greasy splodge slap bang in the middle of the inside of the glass with my fat thumb. I did however take the time to strip it back down and remove the evidence. So what do you get for your not very much money, you may be wondering. Well, there are the lumed hands I suppose, but strangely, no lume on the dial, which would make reading it the dark a little bit hit and miss I suspect. You also get a 20mm "stainless" metal bracelet of similar quality to the case, which I have removed and substituted with a NOS white leather band, which hasn't really done much to improve the look of the thing I must admit. You do however get surprisingly good rock solid performance. I guess that is to be expected from a reasonably well finished Chinese standard movement. It 'aint exactly COSC, but I feel with a little more tinkering I might get close. Dial up. Dial down. Would I ever bee seen wearing the thing? Well I guess that depends on how much you paid me, but the fee would be a lot more than the cost of the watch. It does however make for a worthy addition to the 404 club. What I will say, is that you can pick up a Winner automatic, new, shipped from China for around £10.00, (search "winner" "automatic" for many others, for example these..) so if you want a new, cheap watch to tear apart and put back together, these are on a par with the HMTs in terms of cost, and are very easy to work on. Furthermore if you hunt through the junk lots on ebay, you can get them for next to nothing, so spare parts are extremely cheap, but quality is variable. What you learn from fixing one of these, you can apply to most other watches, and despite my reservations, the mechanisms actually look not too bad, or at least, not terrible, in terms of quality, and are reasonably attractive in terms of finish. Its just a shame, the same could not be said of the case.
  6. I presume by that, you mean that they would survive a nuclear apocalypse, rather than that they are tasty when fried in a wok. EDIT: I forgot to mention it also needed the winding pinion replaced as there were teeth missing. I also shortened the stem to the correct length, and re-polished the crystal, so it now looks a whole lot better. I'll finish adjusting and regulating it tomorrow. The Eden-matic (from the same job-lot) is also going nicely. The pair of them can then join the 404 club.
  7. I sorted another one of these 19 Jewel Raketa 2609HA based Sekondas a while back. This latest one was in a job lot, and as well as the usual layers of filth, it was missing its stem and crown. The dial had a bunch of nasty black and grey dots and scratches, the majority of which which were carefully masked with thinned white nail polish. The crystal still needs a final polish, and the stem is about 1mm too long, but its going nicely.
  8. Back to the Eden-matic today. Its a lot healthier than it was, and running fairly well, but the amplitude is a little on the low side, hovering around 200(°) - 220(°) dial up, and a little worse, dial down. I'll wear it tomorrow and see if it settles down, before sorting out that rather large rate error. I'm wondering if I need to re-visit the mainspring. I also found out a little more about the maker. It seems that Eden and Eden-matic were brand names of Fabrique d’Horlogerie B. Gisiger-Greder (Gisiger-Greder Watchmakers), from Selzach (in the Solothurn canton north western Switzerland). More of their brand names here -> http://www.mikrolisk.de/show.php?site=280&suchwort=Gisiger-Greder&searchWhere=all#sucheMarker The company seems to have vanished sometime after 1975, so presumably yet another victim of the quartz crisis.
  9. It is easy to see there are no flies on you.
  10. Just to prove there was nothing fishy about my last post, I wouldn't want you to think I was skating round the problem, or conning you hook, line and sinker, here are a couple of images trawled from my image stash. .. and some suitable musical accompaniment..
  11. Three for two offer. Three no-name Chinese automatic movements for the equivalent of 73 pence each - One with an obviously damaged balance, and the other two in unknown condition, with a scruffy fake blue Rolex dial thrown in for good measure. I couldn't resist. Since they came from a UK seller, the arrived a couple of days after I parted with the dough. I had a spare couple of hours, so I stripped them all down last night and made two fully functional Chinese standard based automatics from the bits. I may have a crack at repairing the damaged balance, as it simply has an entertainingly twisted hairspring, which I may be able to puzzle back into a sane configuration. There were issues on the other two movements. One had a damaged ball race (and the ball bearings instantly escaped when I took off the auto-winder). The other (the one with the Faulex blue dial on the left of the picture) had a missing jewel, a mangled canon pinion, and the center wheel was in two parts. Presumably this one had been dropped. Working on them was remarkably easy, although in my exuberance while stripping them down, I did manage to launch one date spring into a parallel dimension, but this wasn't a worry as there was a spare. I will take a crawl round the carpet with a magnet at some stage today, to find it, before it ends up in the vacuum cleaner. Since I had enough bits to make two complete movements, that was what I settled on. I also found a second winding stem in my spares stash, so I have an almost complete set of spares, and two fully operational automatics for the princely sum of £2.20 My next problem is going to be ... what to do with them.
  12. I'm not sure why this particular the Raketa 2628.H based Sekonda has taken my fancy, but it has become my everyday watch for the last four weeks or so, since I cleaned and serviced it. In part I suspect it is because it is rock solid. It sits around +/- 4sec per day every day, and swings away like a sledge hammer. Looks pretty healthy to me.
  13. Another Timex novelty watch, with a cow, and a fly... nope I have no idea why. This arrived with the battery retaining clip missing, so I had to fabricate one. Rather fittingly, since I had no brass sheet thin enough, I resorted to a small piece of the lid of a can of sardines, rescued from the trash. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiKLDkO-0rQ The paint was sanded off, then the metal was tinned with the soldering iron and cut/filed to shape, so If you see a bunch of flies following me around, there may be a reason for that. They are either after the watch, or more likely, the sardines.
  14. Agreed.. start with the penetrating oil... work up from there to superglue.. then finally dynamite.
  15. It depends what is gumming or binding them up. Some of them feel like they wouldn't budge, even with an oxyacetylene torch. Don't forget, I'm not always dealing with the tidiest of watches when sprucing up candidates for the 404 club. Years of neglect pretty much comes as standard. Penetrating oil works in many cases, as does warming them in front of an electric fan heater, not too hot obviously, just enough to make them hot to the touch, in combination with penetrating oil may work, but if some ancient seal has turned into adhesive or the influx of verdigris and ancient DNA has set like concrete, then penetrating oil may not get to the heart of the problem. Cunning and careful use of technique beats brute force and ignorance any day. If it feels like you are about to do some damage, then re-asses and try a different tack.
  16. I feel like a bit of a barbarian, when I superglue an M10 nut (other sizes will also work) to the back of some particularly gunked up, cross threaded, corroded or mauled case back, but it does work, and if you take care when removing the nut/glue with acetone, the case will be none the worse for the experience. I do have a couple of case back removal tools, but sometimes you are up against damaged notches or so much corrosion that you fear the tool may slip, or something will break. Don't try the superglue and nut trick on soft precious metals or some forms of plating, as it may not end well. Stick to stainless backs. One other obvious advantage is that you get a helluva lot of M10 nuts for £2,000
  17. A quick trawl on aliexpress and I see this lot. https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?trafficChannel=main&d=y&CatId=0&SearchText=NH35+movement&ltype=wholesale&SortType=price_asc&page=1&groupsort=1 What strikes me is that the suppliers are not shouting "Genuine Sekio" on their web pages, so perhaps these *are* clones. If so, they are remarkably good ones, but by the same token, so are some of the fake watches on the market these days. These two links do add weight to these being clones. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32964457433.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.25366a2dPMF5ch&algo_pvid=6b741869-46f7-4a01-846e-0812de19bd7b&algo_expid=6b741869-46f7-4a01-846e-0812de19bd7b-1&btsid=314468da-c5f5-4d39-a1b8-75e6190df706&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_9,searchweb201603_52 ... and ... https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33035400652.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.25366a2dPMF5ch&algo_pvid=6b741869-46f7-4a01-846e-0812de19bd7b&algo_expid=6b741869-46f7-4a01-846e-0812de19bd7b-2&btsid=314468da-c5f5-4d39-a1b8-75e6190df706&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_9,searchweb201603_52
  18. A Kienzle 21 Rubis Automatic. The lugs/strap are oddly narrow at 16mm, but that isn't obvious when it is on your wrist.
  19. At least it doesn't say Patrick Philip on the dial.
  20. Here is my take on that watch. Dull appearance of case, poor dial quality, cheap hands, fake moonphase, the knurling on the two "crowns" don't match, the crystal is dull and looks like cheap window glass rather than sapphire, the second hand has fallen off, the dial indices are poorly formed and look like plastic, the case back is poorly engraved... the price is stupidly low, the strap looks like it is made from cardboard... save your pennies for something more appealing. Compared with this, where everything is sharp. This is either genuine, or a much higher quality fake (in this case, it is almost certainly genuine), and therein lies the real problem. Poor fakes are generally pretty easy to spot, but there are a lot of much higher quality fakes out there. Then there is this. An image straight from the manufacturer's own web site. Again you can see that everything matches, the dial face looks stunning, the indices are well applied, the whole effect is balanced and even the strap oozes quality.
  21. Jerseymo will almost certainly be able to provide a Timex part number, but I suspect a generic high dome 312 (31.2mm) crystal would fit, something like this. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Acrylic-Watch-Glass-Crystal-High-Domed-Sizes-From-27-8mm-32-4mm-Free-Post/400864540827?var=670414222007&hash=item5d5563789b:m:mT5Y_BSNt9LblT9Jn9AYulA I can't vouch for that supplier, it was simply the first seller I came to on ebay using the search terms "watch crystal high dome" which had something that looked close.
  22. If you want to see how this process looks, take a look at Mark's latest video, you can see him aligning the various pivots and checking them, on a Seiko movement at the point I have linked in the video below. Note that he is exercising only very gentle pressure with those tweezers. Just enough of a feather light touch to keep things from moving and no more. Furthermore, don't just watch this section of the video, it is well worth watching the whole thing, as you can also pick up tips on oiling, mainspring maintenance and a bunch of other stuff.
  23. In my rather weak defence, it has a blue dial... and the price was right... and ... err... well that's it really.. not much of a defence.
  24. I also go for placing the gears, then lightly placing the top bridge, putting in a couple of screws, but do not under any circumstances tighten them more then maybe 1 to 1 1/2 turns or so, just enough to catch the threads and no more. This allows you to rock things about till those annoying pinions all pop back in place. Gravity should bring down the top plate, not finger pressure. If you are pressing down in frustration, then something is going to give, and that almost certainly is going to be one of the pinions that isn't lined up. Your fingers should be pressing just lightly enough to stop the bridge from lifting, but gently enough so that you can maneuver the gears in to place. This requires a very light touch. The use of soft needles and sewing pins to guide things around is good advice. Again, you are moving things gently, not jamming them into the holes. Initially it feels like you are trying to balance half a dozen marbles on a plate, but with practice, it gets easier. Once you are certain all of the pinions are in place, lightly tighten the screws down, and check to see if the bridge rocks at all, if so, check again, as something is almost certainly no aligned correctly. As you screw down the screws, keep checking that the bridge is going down evenly, and that things haven't jammed up. Only once you are certain that the train is moving and the bridge is flat, would you snug them down completely. I also agree with getting hold of an HMT or two. They are cheap as chips. You can often pick up some of those hideous Chinese skeleton automatic watches for a couple of quid too, but their build quality is pretty variable. I like the HMTs better, as they are actually fairly well constructed, since they are licensed copies of Citizen movements, produced to similar quality standards or at least they were when they left the factory. Some of the people servicing them over the years may have added a few "apprentice marks", and one or two I have picked up were barely able to limp along, despite the seller claiming they were "recently serviced". They almost invariably respond well to cleaning, servicing, and adjusting, and since they have a more traditional multiple bridge construction with jeweled bearings, they are easier to tear down and put back together than some of the all eggs in the same basket, single bridge pin lever mechanisms. Finally, since you can pick them up for a few quid, it is less painful when some pico-scopic part, pings into a parallel universe, or over exuberance breaks something. We have all done both of these things. I have launched small parts, and accidentally mangled hairsprings, more often than I care to mention.
  25. Scraping away layers of paint and grime, revealed this 1978 Timex Marlin front loader. Dead as a door nail, and fully wound when it arrived, it is now running well. It obviously still has a few battle scars, and the crown needs some attention, but what would a vintage watch be, without a little age related character.
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