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Found 9 results

  1. Hi, I will be working on restoring Perrelet James Cook Antarctica. For those who may not know the brand, Perrelet takes its name from Abraham Louis Perrelet, the inventor of automatic watch movements back in late 1700. The brand, however, did not survive through the turbulent times, and was only re-activated in the 1990s. And that's when Perrelet James Cook Antarctica was born. I would say that the Perrelet timepieces from the late 1990s and early 2000s seem to be the most beautiful to me. I think the case design and the dial are timeless, hence my personal affinity to the brand. I already own a two-tone Perrelet Tempest and spotted this Perrelet Antarctica on eBay with some visible damage to the dial and hands. I pulled the trigger and here I am trying to restore it. Also, the bet with the size of the bracelet did not pay off, and I am currently trying to source spare links from Perrelet - what a pain. I already contacted the authorised distributors in the US, the UK and Germany, but apparently everyone in Switzerland is on holiday now! As you can see, the dial appears to be water damaged, but the markers are fine. Additionally, the front rotor (the trademark of Perrelet watches) appears to be discoloured in places, which after some inspection seems to be due to stripping of the nickel (or possibly gold) plating on steel rotor. I will be nickel plating soon (using brush technique) and will share pictures soon. I have managed to remove the markers and strip the dial from its colour. I am however unsure whether the original colour was achieved by chemical treatment or painting - the colour seemed to be completely resistant to varnish. It could only be removed by gentle polishing. There is still some left over in the ridges. I am unsure how to proceed from here. I would like to get back the beautiful blue finish on the dial. I already purchased an airbrush, but I have difficulty in choosing the right paint for the job - I would like to preserve the sharp look of the ridges without putting too many thick coats. I would greatly welcome any advice on what paint would be the best for the job, and how to prep the dial (assume roughing slightly with 1500 sandpaper would do fine?) Alternatively, is it possible to achieve such deep, aquamarine blue colour by electroplating? That would seem like an ideal solution? Hopefully, all the sweat will pay off. I will keep updating the thread with progress as I go. Happy to answer any questions on my work so far.
  2. Hi Everyone, Recently I have become obsessed with ana digi watches from the 1980's! I really dig the style for some reason. I was looking on ebay in the low price ranges and I found this little nugget for the princely sum of $5.70 - the shipping from Peru was an inflated $20 AUD - so I got away with it for under $30. It came well packed in a little padded envelope. It was missing the back, had severe damage, but I didn't see any rust stains on the back. A view from the side It is a Seiko H127A-5000 - the year could be between 1979 and 1980 - there is a little bit of info around the internet. The case back will be an insanely rare part to find so I may have to CNC mill something or potentially 3d print a plastic back. That is if I can get it working. The Crystal is trash. I've tried sanding it, will wait till I have some crystal polish - I haven't had much luck polishing mineral crystals. A new crystal is around $35 - with OEM Seiko writing. I removed the movement and soaked it in WD40 to loosen all the bolts. It was too seized to attempt opening. The LCD panel/dial has a crack in it. The sub assembly appears clean, the zebra strips on the LCD were a bit gummed up but cleaned up. Happily the analogue movement was turning over freely, it wasn't ticking - but likely due to so much grit and much on the contacts. The only corrosion was on the rotor, and some of the non important chrome plated parts. I've soaked them in shellite. Cleaned with blutac and then inspected under microscope. Everything appears fine. It is a very high end movement with 8 jewels and all metal parts - it would have been top of the line back in the day. Very tiny parts. The main circuit board is out - my it looks complicated. Simple plain jane movement - nothing fancy: It's all inside: The bridge is off and the rotor is next to the movement: Cleaning the case: Tonight I have finished cleaning everything - I have put it into my movement parts tray - awaiting some time after work tommorow. If anyone knows how the LCD works please let me know - is the display in the top dial section? Or the next layer down? There is a white mirror presumably to reflect the light off the screen as this is the black model version (there were two models). Parts look pricey and rare - I've found a dial panel NOS - also crystals online. May have to look for circuit board if its fried - Can't find any bracelets - may have to go non OEM generic steel band. Goal is to get it running - if its not running - atleast to be a show piece in my cabinet. More soon
  3. Hi all, long time lurker, first time poster I've recently picked up an old Brenray cleaning machine that I want to get back in action. It's actually working perfectly - the motor spins and the heater heats up. However, it's very dirty and the paint is peeling off. I'm going to do a full clean, paint strip and repaint. I've had a look at a few of the older posts on this, so have an idea where I'm heading (I didn't want to hijack one of them!). My main question regards the heating plate. There is a wired heating disc sandwiched between two heating square metal plates (iron I presume) with a bolt and nuts holding the three pieces together and securing it to the floor of the machine. As I said, the plate works and heats up, but the two plates, bolt and nuts are rusted solid. I sheared the end of the bolt off while trying to get the nut holding it to the floor off. A soak in deruster/wd40, replace the bolt, clean the plates and replace is one plan (please correct me if you think this might cause problems or damage the heating plate). The other is to get a replacement Elma heating pad which, at 80mm is about the same size. My question is this - will I need to get new metal (iron?) plates to reform the sandwich, or can that new plate go in on its own? Also, the motor is running well, but it is filthy. What is the best way to approach this - I'm utterly ignorant here, so any tips or advice will be very much appreciated! I'll post some pics as I go along if people want to follow the process! Thanks for reading! Mark
  4. Hi all, I got kinda jealous when I read a bunch of posts about people using Photoshop or InDesign to mock up dials and print them on decals etc... I mean, I know the real way to refinish a dial is to send it to the professionals, but I've been wanting to try to make some of the cheap and cheerful Bulovas I do be a bit more presentable before I wear them... Been wanting to try some diy approaches, but I always get stopped by the first task: removing the dial markers / indices. The few posts I've read about diy dial restoration speak about using a pin or tweezers to push the dial markers out from the back... but the vintage Bulova dials I see have totally smooth brass backs with no sign of marker feet or anything... so how do the dial refinishers remove them? Are they riveted on somehow? are they held on by varnish or something??? Anybody know? Here's a pic of the kind of thing I'm talking about - hopefully someone out there knows how the dial people remove these little markers (and replace them)... inquiring minds want to know
  5. So I picked up this bad boy on eBay from someone in Spain. It's pretty messed up cosmetically, and missing a heeled bush and a removing punch. Considering all that, I definitely overpaid, but oh well. I don't know how rare these are to find on eBay, so I just decided to grab it. I scraped off all the old flaking paint and found a very similar color paint at Michaels. Not a very professional job and you can see some brush strokes, but all in all it's much better. I know the colors look off in the pictures, but that's a camera white balance issue. In real life the colors are very similar... a completely unattractive greenish gray oatmeal. Why Bergeon used this color I'll never know. Carefully removed the rust from the metal plate with steel wool and very very fine sandpaper. Did the same with the punches and bushes which had a nice coat of oxidation on them, then put them through the ultrasonic like they were watch parts. The original chrome plating had worn away on the top knurled nut, but not to fear! I busted out my little Caswell "Plug N Plate" kit and used "copy chrome" (real chrome plating is dangerous and pretty toxic apparently, but I can't see much of a difference between old chrome plate and Caswell's 'copy chrome' - looks about the same). The biggest unknown was if I could find replacement punches / bushes and yep! I just ordered them from perrinwatchparts.com... they were super expensive. I definitely overpaid for these, but again, oh well. I just wanted the tool to be complete. So ta da! I now have a Platax tool. I'm going to break out one of my many Bulova movements with a broken staff and experiment with using this tool on the poor thing. I don't know the I really needed this tool, per se. I have a nutcracker - type roller remover which works pretty well (I might have broken a few staffs by squeezing a little too much, but those staffs were broken anyway), and I have the little K & D balance remover tools for my staking set. I don't see how the Platax tool would be so so much better than the K & D tool, and I'd imagine any objections or concerns about the K & D tool widening the hole in the balance by using force instead of cutting out the old staff would also apply to the Platax tool, no? It also uses force to drive out the old staff while keeping the balance arms pinned. So maybe I didn't strictly need this, but when it popped up on eBay I couldn't resist, because I want to be able to follow along with what Mark does as closely as possible... and I'm still so new at doing this. So, now I have a Platax tool, a complete 'inverto' K & D staking set (got for under $100, go eBay!), and just picked up a Seitz Jeweling tool (ouch, that was too expensive). I am now wondering what other real watchmaker specific tools you need to have to be able to deal with most, if certainly not all, the issues you find on vintage watch movements ??? I mean, I'm not going to buy an old mechanical watch washer and put it in my one bedroom apartment in manhattan, not going to happen (at least, not if I don't want my husband to divorce me ). So I make do with a tiny, cheap Chinese made ultrasonic machine. And obviously, I'm not going to buy a lathe either, for similar reasons (space constraints, expense, plus wouldn't know how to even begin to use it)... but I'm wondering if I've covered almost everything else? In terms of being able to make watch parts, yeah, that's the holy grail. Living in manhattan comes with many advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages are obviously space constraints and expense of living. But the advantages are there are lots and lots of resources. In fact, there are a few "Maker Spaces" in the city, which are co-ops you can join and you can use their tools, like CNC mills, CNC lathes, 3D printers, 3D scanners etc etc... you can join these co ops for not much money, and they teach you how to use the tools.... I know that the consensus so far is that 3D printing watch parts won't work, because the machines are not accurate enough on such a small scale. But the CNC lathes? The CNC mills? Could they do micro-machining, in theory? It's something to think about. I think I'll create another thread about that sometime. Maybe I can pick up some good tips. Anyway, hooray for overpriced watch tools! They are so much fun!
  6. Okay, for those who notice nitty little details (as I think most watchmakers do) I am aware that the hands need to be corrected. My only excuse was that when I got around to putting on the hands it was towards the end of the day and I just wanted to case the thing and see how well it kept time. Haven't had the time to go back to it. Anyway, I titled this entry the way I did because it indicates something I love and the reason I entered watchmaking. For I found this watch in an old box (of old remnants thrown in free with some things I bought at a trade fair), lens-less, dirty (inside and out) with a broken mainspring. I replaced the lens and mainspring, gave the movement a good cleaning and did as much restoration of the dial as I could do with the primitive methods at my disposal; dial restoration being an art requiring far more time to master than I've so far put into the craft, but someday I hope to get better at it. As I said, the watch was in sorry condition and I felt sorry for it; as one might feel towards a waif on the streets, I decided to take it in some months ago as a practice piece. I mean, it literally had "cobwebs" in the movement; some kind of moldy stuff which I've seen in a lot of long--neglected timepieces. I put it through the cleaning machine and was pleased to see how it had brightened up and its quality began to show through--like a chronographical David Copperfield or Pip. I removed the remaining dirt with pegwood (Peggotty!) and Rodico and carefully oiled it. I was gleeful when, after final placement of the balance, the piece started to tick like a newborn baby come into the world. I, the parent, felt jubilant and, so far I haven't been disappointed as it is keeping good time, living up to expectations. I wear it regularly and someday maybe I'll come across a stray strap--lurking even now in some forgotten recess--that will do it justice. The watch is a 17j Elgin, with a gold plated case, as you can see. I haven't taken the time to look up the movement to see when it was made, but my guess is pre-WWII (any thoughts?). Would this have been a ladies watch? It's a bit bigger than most at that time. An unusual feature is the sub-seconds dial at 9 o'clock as opposed to 6 or 3. I may return to it someday when I am more skilled but it's still a joy to own.
  7. Some of you already know that I bought myself as a birthday present, and to celebrate the birth of my first daughter, a Landeron 248 based Chronograph to restore / fix, and that I thought that it was a redial. Here the thread about it: Apparently it is not only the case ot a simple redial (albeit with a wrong dial which was adapted) but what I would define as "watchmaker's botchery", since the dial itself was fixed to the case with 2 screws (and from the front side...):
  8. Thought you guys may be interested in my latest project. full write up on my blog, but a few pics below Started from this.. to this.....
  9. Dear friends, This small centenary pocket watch of my collection came to me without a crown as you can see. This is a pity, since the mainspring and balance test as working and everything else seems to be in good condition. The stem sits correctly inside the sleeve and can be adjusted to two positions (winding/time setting). I have taken some measurements in case any one has a spare crown of the correct size: Crown (base): 4.6 mm. Sleeve (outer diameter): 3.36 mm. Stem (length): 9.44 mm. Thread (length): 1.72 mm. Thread (width): 1.14 mm. Square end: 0.99 mm. This grandpa-watch really misses its old ticking days! Please have a look in your spares. Thank you in advance!
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