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Vintage US Time \ Timex why the question ...

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Vintage US Time \ Timex why the question of can they be serviced or not? 

What are your thoughts as to why did it ever get started that these watches were not build to be serviced?

Here are a few reasons I can logically deduce -

  1. They were inexpensive and mass produced pin levels
  2. They were not sold exclusively through traditional shops.
  3. Profitability on repairs was low.

Just to name a few...

Along this line of thought, I received today more technical updates to add to my collection.  Only one manual to go as far as I know of and that is the one that covers the early LED and LCD

models.  I've only seen it come up twice on EBay and have been out bid.  Not next time!

 

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18 minutes ago, TexasDon said:

Some of the early units that I've seen (quartz) had plastic movements with plastic pins that were melted to fuse the parts together. That would certainly discourage me.

okay, I should have qualified the time frame and type of watch.  1950 - 1980 and strictly those that were mechanical or a combination of battery operated and mechanical.   This excludes the off shore true quartz era.

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Not being any kind of expert ,the older mechanical ones I have seen appear perfectly repairable and serviceable.Being low cost units I expect the average person, when faced with the cost of service just bought a new one.

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Hi  Jersey joe   I think your reasoning was spot on, I think the early timex was the first of the disposables being cheap to buy,  wear it till it stopped then buy a new one as the repair/service cost was probably more than the watch cost. Having had a few to repair and following the timex philosophy they were not to bad to fix but a professional repairer has overheads so therefore not cost effective.

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 a simple answer to "timex repair" is;  the vintage and original timex had the mvt. plates screwed together.  i gave up on them when the plates were riveted together.  i guess you could cut the rivets for a proper repare or clean.  vin

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I've had mixed success with the handful of old Timex movements I've picked up. I think I'm running about 75% fix with the ones I've attempted to repair so far. I haven't gone out of my way to buy any, but a number have turned up in the bundles of junk that my watches for £4.04 or less quest has brought me.

There are some respectable looking watches, but the issue tends to be, as stated, the build quality. Anything is fixable with enough time and money, but they are a little finicky.

Having said that, they are also interesting from an engineering perspective, having been engineered down to a price. The material choices make them prone to rust, and the use of tin tabs which fatigue and break easily to hold things together makes tearing down and re-assembling a bit of a lottery, but you can get away with soldering and gluing things you wouldn't dream of soldering or gluing in a more expensive movement.

The automatics are quite a cunning design. Not as plasticy as the Q&Q automatic I looked at, but certainly different. As to those infernal rivets, go with the original "cheap will do" philosophy, drill them out and insert a small self tapper in their place, or even melt in a plastic peg, or hot glue them, you can always drill it out again later, but don't even think of doing that with Grandad's old J W Benson of London  Longines or your prized Omega Planet Ocean.  :D

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3 hours ago, vinn3 said:

 a simple answer to "timex repair" is;  the vintage and original timex had the mvt. plates screwed together.  i gave up on them when the plates were riveted together.  i guess you could cut the rivets for a proper repare or clean.  vin

I have yet to see one that is riveted together.  There are typically three pillars that separate the plates.  They are press fit on the back plate and held in place by three screws on the top plate.

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3 hours ago, JerseyMo said:

I have yet to see one that is riveted together.  There are typically three pillars that separate the plates.  They are press fit on the back plate and held in place by three screws on the top plate.

    you may be right on the newer ones.   vin

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I'll start with the model 20 from 1940 - which gave way to the smaller model 21 - this became the model 22 and 29 self wind.

these become the model 24 and 31 self winds.  this continues model after model all build with the same base design and features added as needed.  Even the model 40 electric followed the same engineering.  add a date wheel and so on and they are all serviceable.  Meaning they can be cleaned oiled, regulated, and parts replace.  

All of these are US Time and or Timex engineered and built.  Timex continued making mechanical watches up until 1997 and the final model was name "The Last Wind Up".  What movement was it based on?  yes the model 24 that introduced in 1961.  OF course by than it was no longer from the US nor Dundee. 

If anyone has an example where both plates are riveted together and no screws, please post a pic.

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14 hours ago, JerseyMo said:

If anyone has an example where both plates are riveted together and no screws, please post a pic.

I must say I enjoy this thread very much and of course when presented with a challenge like that one have to rip out some movements to check .. But as expected I didn't find any.

But one though run my mind, there must have been some kind of service on these watches, why would there be loose movements and watch glass to buy otherwise? Maybe the service was to rip out the old movement and in with the new  :D
Posting a picture of some of my movements without rivets on both sides.... ;) 

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On 1/22/2019 at 10:40 PM, JerseyMo said:

Vintage US Time \ Timex why the question of can they be serviced or not? 

I had a go at this question a couple of years ago;

It's a topic that people seem to have quite entrenched view about, these are my thoughts from the previous thread.

"OH is quite correct in that you need to remove the dial in order to access the click and safely let down the main spring.

CB has also provided the service manual which if followed will result in an effectively serviced Timex.

Contrary to popular opinion Timex watches were manufactured with servicing in mind and Timex had in place the supply of all spare parts for exactly this purpose. The servicing procedures that Timex outline in the servicing manual were specifically developed to facilitate a simpler and cheaper approach to servicing a movement which was itself designed with this approach to servicing in mind.

I get the feeling that a lot of he more traditional watchmakers got frustrated with Timex movements because rather than adopting the Timex procedures they tried to fully disassemble the watch to clean it and subsequently struggled to reassemble it, resulting in a hatred and disrespect for the brand.

Looked after the way that Timex intended, they are perfectly capable time keepers (not Rolex precision granted, but perfectly adequate) and significantly more robust than the fully jewelled, 10x the price, Swiss alternatives. I've never come across a "V-Conic" balance with a broken pivot for instance."

 

"it's certainly true to say that there are a lot of watchmakers out there who consider Timex's own published service procedures to be inadequate, and the design philosophy and build quality of their watches to be contemptibly inferior. This is something that I have never understood; it's almost as though there is amongst watchmakers a culture of bias against the brand, dare I say it, an element of snobbery.

It's also quite correct that Timex's service procedures would be wholly inappropriate for a fully jewelled movement, in much the same way that the service requirements for a Ferrari differ from those of Ford, but if your garage tried to tell you that they need to service your Ford in accordance with the Ferrari service procedures (and that they should charge you accordingly), because the published Ford procedures are inadequate you would quite rightly question their rationale and take your custom else where.

I can only speak from my own experience and that includes quite a lot of Timex watches. There are definitely some aspects of Timex design that I dislike, just as there are design aspects of many other Swiss, American, Russian, and English watches that irritate me, however, I don't think that their durability can be questioned. What is more, from experience I can happily say that the vast majority of apparently dead, 50 years old and never been serviced and look like they've spent most of their life in a war zone Timex's that I have then given the Timex spa treatment, have straight away sprung back into life and gone on to perform as designed. If that isn't evidence of an effective service procedure then I'm not sure what is. And as I said before, I have never encountered a broken Timex balance staff.

Obviously other people have different experiences and accordingly (and quite rightly) will have arrived at their own opinions. What I find so difficult to accept, let alone understand, is the (so often repeated) assertion Timex watches were never intended to be repaired or serviced. The fact that Timex went to the trouble and expense of publishing service manuals and tech sheets, and providing a supply of spare parts is proof positive that they were meant to be serviced. And my own experience with them has demonstrated to me that the published service procedures are not only perfectly effective, but also incredibly simple to carry out."

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On ‎1‎/‎22‎/‎2019 at 6:54 PM, yankeedog said:

Not being any kind of expert ,the older mechanical ones I have seen appear perfectly repairable and serviceable.Being low cost units I expect the average person, when faced with the cost of service just bought a new one.

   there was a time, a new timex came with an envelope to mail it back to timex for repair ,  they would just put in a new mvt..  thats in the USA not UK.  vin

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49 minutes ago, vinn3 said:

   there was a time, a new timex came with an envelope to mail it back to timex for repair ,  they would just put in a new mvt..  thats in the USA not UK.  vin

I have gotten many new old stock Timex with complete paper work, and box.  None had a return envelope.  What they did have was a warranty card (IBM punch card ).  you can see a sample here - http://timex.homestead.com/warranty.html

Each watch was warrantied for one year.    Perhaps the envelope was sent if someone requested a repair within the given year of the warranty?

 

I have often thought about send back a watch to them just to see what the reaction would be. :)   I do know at one point they would refer repair work on their vintage watches to a Timex repair tech living in Florida.  Interesting that recently I made a connection but still have not met in person an other former factory worker who knew the tech back in the day.  

The story as told to me second hand was that some point Timex was closing down some of its repair centers and the tech was told "take what you want"  the rest is going to be tossed.  

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35 minutes ago, yankeedog said:

on a ibm punch card no less.

yep....  the tiny bits of paper that got punched out were called chads or chips. :)  

 

 

 

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Edited by JerseyMo

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22 hours ago, vinn3 said:

   there was a time, a new timex came with an envelope to mail it back to timex for repair ,  they would just put in a new mvt..  thats in the USA not UK.  vin

     Right you are ----  memory kicks in ? ---  you would "ring them up" to get an envelope sent,  insert the watch and a buck or two and wait for its return.   but my point was,  they would usually just replace the mvt..   vin

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The first "computer" I ever used had a mylar /aluminum punch tape "program".All the"Computing"was done  by mechanical relays. It was  called the MINI SACE bench.Training was compliments of the United States Marine Corps. The one calibrated part of the bench was the microwave drawer,used to measure transmitter output It was notorious  for having sticky relays. So as not to break the sticker and therefore void the calibration , we would hit it with rawhide mallet, rubber left marks.

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27 minutes ago, yankeedog said:

The first "computer" I ever used had a mylar /aluminum punch tape "program".All the"Computing"was done  by mechanical relays. It was  called the MINI SACE bench.Training was compliments of the United States Marine Corps. The one calibrated part of the bench was the microwave drawer,used to measure transmitter output It was notorious  for having sticky relays. So as not to break the sticker and therefore void the calibration , we would hit it with rawhide mallet, rubber left marks.

amazing how far it has all come to.

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