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Posts posted by Blacklab

  1. Slightly off watches, but having used this method successfully on broken stems in crowns in the past, I have moved onto larger items, namely removing a broken steel bleed nipple (circled, under the cloud of bubbles) from an aluminium motorcycle disc brake calliper. Not quite there yet after about 5 hours of gentle simmering, but heat certainly speeds things up...


    Note the item is placed in the alum solution within a glass pyrex bowl or it would eat the steel saucepan!

    • Like 2
  2. Ryan - Some Smiths go for silly money unfortunately these don't tend to go for too much, best keep an eye on flebay sold listings to give you an idea of the value. As for refurbishment I think the costs would far outweigh the value, I just do them for fun. 

    Pip - thanks for the kind words. The dial was in good condition, just a bit dirty. Sometimes Rodico alone can be used but if particularly bad clean with a sable brush with the dial immersed alternately in lighter fluid then and a weak washing up detergent/water solution and finally rinsed in water then thoroughly dried. I have posted in the past more extreme cleaning methods that have proved successful, but extreme caution needs to be taken & I would not recommend anything other than the most gentle of dusting with a dry sable brush if the watch is of reasonable value. The watch is still in my collection although I haven't worn it for a while, when originally serviced it ran at +/- 20s a day.

  3. Tricky that one Roy. The print is starting to go so probably best left alone. I did do a similar one a while back by reprinting the dial using Adobe Indesign & an Epson P50 printer onto thick photo paper initially, but eventually used opaque white water slide paper onto the original brass dial as this supported the movement in the case (& forgot to take a picture of the final result). However the dial wasn't textured like yours, so may not work as well.20151005_175602r.jpg.d85e3be7ebe5a0e8a8138516f83db434.jpg

    • Like 1
  4. After a rather long pause I finally got round to putting it all back together again. I do respect your advice O.H. but in the end I did re silver the dial & frame:


    The movement was dipped in Priory clock cleaner & polished as reqd. Reassembly went without any major incident:

    P1030318 r.jpgP1030319r.jpgP1030321r.jpgP1030323r.jpg

    Hands cleaned & re blued, new leather pads fitted to strikers, case cleaned with Priory polish reviver.

    Before & after:

    20160522_231553r.jpg20170121_202225r.jpg20160522_231229r.jpg20170121_202526 r.jpg

    Apart from cleaning off the crud on the gongs these were left as is, along with the side & back fabric & mesh grills. Going like a train, gongs & bongs all happy. All in all an enjoyable one, but I am still waiting for the pendulum (which has been found apparently) & none the wiser to identification. 

    • Like 4
  5. Welcome Darren. Here's something I posted a while back that you may find useful:

    "Smiths produced clocks & watches from 1851 eventually opening a factory in Cheltenham producing the high end watches equal to the Swiss such as the Deluxe, Astral & Imperial ranges. The factory closed in 1970. Also a factory in Ystradgnlais, Wales, originally & joint venture with Ingersoll (not the American one) producing lower end pin levers such as the Smiths Empire & Ingersoll Triumph range & eventually a jewelled lever used in the Streamline range (see here: http://www.watchrepairtalk.com/topic/3157-smiths-streamline/). The factory closed in 1980. In the final years before closure movements were sourced from the Swiss & the Far East.

    Smiths Group plc is now British multinational diversified engineering business with is headquarters in London, operating worldwide but unfortunately no longer produces watches.

    The Smiths watch name is now owned by Timefactors who produce homage watches in small quantities with Swiss & Japanese movements.

    Robert Loomes uses highly modified Cheltenham Smiths movements in his range, but you will need to save very hard to buy one."

    See also some of my previous posts:




    Hope this helps. Smiths are easy to work on being designed for hand assembly. The only downside is they are getting increasingly expensive to purchase.


  6. Chris,

    I don,t know what level your at or how fast you would like to change career, but before you start spending hard earned on this, get a few non running scrappers from fleabay, some basic tools & see how & if you can get them up & running again. There is plenty of help here & it doesn't cost anything. In other words try before you buy.

    • Like 1
  7. 10 hours ago, IFELL said:

    yeah it seems that they are somehow plated given the result. I rinse in isopropanol btw.
    What is the name of the German brand you use? This fluid is for general ultrasonic cleanings...

    Be careful with isopropanol (IPA) as it has a tendency to dissolve the shellac used to 'glue' the impulse jewel on the balance & the jewels on the pallet.

  8. The mark Foreign was a requirement UK's Merchandise Marks Act, 1926 which states:

    In the case of goods manufactured or produced in any country, the word "foreign" and in the case of goods manufactured or produced in part of His Majesty's Dominions outside the United Kingdom, the word "Empire"; or the definite indication of the country in which the goods were manufactured or produced; the indication being given, in either case, conspicuously etc. etc.

    Most German clocks tended to use this mark instead of the country of origin due to the strong post WW1 anti German sentiments at the time.

    • Like 2
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