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Hi everyone.  Just recently took up watch repair.  I have been a auto/motorcycle mechanic, Navy jet aircraft mechanic, chemist/physicist, industrial mechanic/electronics technician, DOD photographic technologist, ski lift electronics technician, and now a hydroelectric communications, instrumentation and relay technician.  Whew, that is a list and a half.  I have long been interested in watch repair but not until the last couple years and after inheriting my grandfather's Elgin Grade 345, great-grandfathers Grade 180, and a Grade 581 Master Navigation watch did I take the hobby up.  The Grade 581 had a broken balance staff so that was my first experience with watch repair.  Getting the balance poised and now timed has been a great challenge.  Finally have it running within a second an hour, just today.  


Cant hardly wait to read the messages in this board so I am off a running.




Ps. Here is an image of the old broken balance staff from the GCT I shot with my scanning electron microscope I have in my living room.  Couple regular shots of the 581 too.  Sure glad my wife understands and even promotes my obsessions!  



20181208_131228 (1).jpg

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    • Hi Len thank you for the detailed reply. I tried a 329 today and unfortunately did not work. As you explained before it looks like the rotor is ocillating back and forth (the second hand moves forward and backwards).  Its heartbreaking to see as i was hoping to fix it and give back to my grandfather. is there anyway i can source the part or an alternative movement (does not have to be Omega) that will fit the dial and casing?Although not ideal as takes away from the integrity and beauty of the watch but would love to able to get it working one way or the other so my grandfather can wear it on the wrist again. any help would be much appreciated  regards   57253616986__A7C2CEC7-1ACC-483F-933C-D73C742B77C7.MOV
    • For what its worth, the watch would originally have looked more like this.
    • A little bit of a fun watch  for today's Watch of Today.

      Another Swatch rescued from the junk pile. This one had a couple of obvious issues.

      The leather band was filthy, heavily kinked, and stiff as a board. So much so that had to be scrubbed with detergent, dried, and some leather restoration work carried out. The watch itself however, as well as the usual heavily scratched crystal had an electro-machanical issue. When I popped in a brand new battery, the second hand would move for a bit, then falter. This turned out to be a combination of slight corrosion on the spring contact for the battery, and the fact that someone had previously run the watch with a tiny button cell, wedged in place with some scrunched up paper, which had bent the sprung battery contact.  A little very careful re-bending and off it went like a champ. This illustrates the point nicely, that even a little extra resistance in the battery contacts can be enough to stop a quartz movement, or make it behave erratically. The band took a little more effort. Once dried, following its bath, it became obvious that the original uniform kid leather look was long gone, so I went for a more vintage finish, with a little blending of the very worn patches using the leather dye in some dark tan shoe polish, combined with some lighter "Clarks Shoes" branded leather restoration cream. I only needed a hint of the dark tan, since I didn't want to end up with a brown shoes effect, simply to shine up the worn patches, and blend them with the existing colour.

      Several thin coats of leather cream mixed with a little dark tan, and much buffing later and the strap is back to its original soft calfskin feel, rather than dry as a stick. All of the holes are the same size again. The band forms a gentle curve, rather than being corrugated, and the stitching is clean.  The band looks ten times better than when it arrived. This is yet another member of the "404 Club", since it was effectively free with a bunch of other junk, I picked up which was purchased because it included a mechanical watch that I have yet to restore, all for under the magic £4.04