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Eta2824 Service - The Radioactive Watch!

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ETA2824 Service - The Radioactive Watch!

 

Yes this watch is Radioactive ... so to speak :P

It contains H3 Tritium Tubes to illuminate the dial at night.

 

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This watch belongs to my brother, and he has owned it for many years.  I have to say that Marathon Watches are great "bang for buck", as this watch has served him well over those years, and he rarely takes it off his wrist.

Unfortunately, on one of the rare occasions that he did (to wash his hands after work) he dropped it on the ground, and it stopped dead ... right at his quitting time 3:30pm.  He was very angry with himself, and asked if I could found out what damage had been done by the drop, and repair it ... of course I was happy to help my bro :)

 

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While he was with me, I pulled the Caseback off and could instantly see the problem.  The Hairspring was jammed up and the Balance was seized.  I told him there also could be broken pivots, and I'd have to dig further to assess the total damage; but not to panic, as all parts for this movement are readily available (at the moment) ... so he left the watch with me.

 

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So I removed the movement from the case, pulled the Hands, and the Dial off to inspect the Calendar Works ... everything looked good.

 

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Next I removed the Oscillating Weight, and checked that the bearing hadn't been damaged by the impact ... it was fine too.

 

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Next I pulled the Automatic Work off the movement, so I could gain access to the main body of the watch.

 

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Here's a reference photo of the Automatic Work for ya

 

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Next I undid the screw of the Balance Cock and began to gently lift it ... and hey presto, and Hairspring dropped back into place, and the movement started tickin away ... these are a solid movement indeed!

 

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I carefully watched the movement ticking away, noting to see that the Pallet was working properly, and that the Train Gears ran smoothly ... all seemed fine, and the problem with this movement was resolved.  I could have just stopped there, but this movement hadn't seen a service in over 8 years, and was already out of the case and 1/4 stripped, so I deiced to burn the midnight oil and do a complete service on the watch.

 

And yes, that is a real radiation dosimeter, as I wanted to be sure nothing from those glass vials had leaked into the movement I was handling ... I'm glad to say it was clean B)

 

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Continuing with the strip down. All mainspring tension was removed from the unit.  Notice with this movement too, that the click is on the Crown Wheel; instead of the Ratchet Wheel.

 

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Balance and Pallet was removed

 

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Crown Wheel, Ratchet Wheel and Barrel Bridge was removed. 

This is a reference photo of the Click Spring sitting on the Barrel Bridge.

 

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Under the Barrel Bridge there is a small Balance Hack to be removed as well.

 

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Next I flipped the movement and removed the Calendar Work.

 

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Then the Keyless Work

 

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Back the to other side and Train Gear was removed.  Here is a reference of the Gear Train.

 

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Lastly the Automatic Work was stripped.

 

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Back from a bath, and all parts clean and ready for inspection and assembly.

All pivots where intact and unburred, no damaged teeth or pallet stones, and no wrapped gears ... GOOD NEWS!!  Ready to be put back together! :woohoo-jumping-smiley-emoticon:

 

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Nice clean and shiny Gear Train, Train Bridge and Barrel back in place and oiled

 

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Back on with the Barrel Bridge, Ratchet Wheel, Crown Wheel and Click

 

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Keyless Work clean, oiled and working smooooooth

 

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Automatic Work back together as well

 

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The rest of the re-assembly wasn't photographed ... sorry guys, it was VERY late, or should I say EARLY, in the wee hours of the morning, and I just got carried away with the build :huh: But it all went smoothly and as per the reference photos early.

 

After the Dial was attached, the hands where next.  Let me tell ya, these are NOT easy to fit correctly!  With those glass tubes of H3, there is NO room for error fitting them.  You literally have a couple of thousands of an inch to play with ... here's the photos to scare ya :o. 

This type of watch will really test your hand setting abilities.

 

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Here's she is all back in the case with the Automatic Work and Oscillating Weight fitted, purring like a kitten!

 

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Job Complete!!

And as you can see, it now is showing my quittin time of 4:11am  OUCH!! :hot:

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Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed working on this movement.  It was really nice to finally work on a watch that hasn't been molested, with nice clean screwheads, and no rust to deal with.

 

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Hello Lawson,  Rolex have had this problem of the hairspring becoming caught up in the regulator,  this picture shows their solution,  the picture is from Legarm's write-up of the Rolex Cal 1560.  I would imagine the guard caused as many problems as it solved,  the Rolex movements I have seen are free sprung which solves the hairspring snagging problem.

 

A nice write up and a good result,  the clearance of the hands is to say the least challenging.

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Lawson! Hey that was a great walk-through and diagnostic!  I happen to work in a radioimaging lab and have access to paddle detectors of quite good sensitivity. I have discovered that even when there are no tubes of tritium (as in this example) some old watches will cause the detectors to  go off--this is the distinctive "crackling" sound many of you have seen in the movies.  I had an Eterna-matic with NO LUME (it had Dauphine hands and a regular dial) and that thing would make the detectors go very high indeed. I also had an Omega Seamaster from the 50's with the lume almost completely crumbled off and it too would make the dosimeter detectors go very high. We work with mostly fluorine 18, but also with Carbon 11, and both of these are beta-decay that have high energy positron emission. I decided to sell both because I didn't want to have to deal wearing them in the lab and my colleagues thinking I had contaminated myself!

 

I haven't done anymore watches because Its the ending of the semester, but I'll be having some free time soon. By the way, those are very nice Zeiss binoculars ya got there! Great job.

JC

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A very finely detailed service and excellent photos. Thanks.

Just one note to add: tritium is a very low energy beta emitter. The radiation does not even pass through the outer layer of our skin. Your detector could not see it even if it was there, but as a gas most of it would have gone on any case. But keep using the rad detector on those old lumed watches.

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On 6/17/2019 at 8:13 AM, JONICURN said:

Great job!  I saw your double loupes in one photo.  I have been tempted to purchase some of my own.  How do they compare to the single traditional loupe?

Also interested in this!

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