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Hello Horologists!

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Hello - I would like to introduce myself:  I am live in New York, and recently decided to fix my Omega Seamaster bracelet rather than send it back to Switzerland.  I bought a replica clasp but ended up using it as a guide for fixing the original clasp.  The result was beautiful.  From there it was a rabbit hole of researching watches and movements.  I visited the replica watch world, bought some cheap chinese replica watches and movements to disassemble (largely now destroyed by my efforts).  I have gained some skills but am humbled by the amount there is to learn.  I fixed up my grandfather's mechanic's tool chest to house my growing set of tools.  Now I have a visit with this memento from the past every time I work on my new hobby.  I have been visiting some flea markets looking for new projects.   Interestingly, my time spent among the replica geeks has provided some valuable insight in spotting fakes being passed off as real in several New York flea markets.  It all adds to the excitement of the hobby with questions that range from the theoretical: what is genuine what is not, what is valuable, or what is overvalued?  To the interpersonal: who is trustworthy, who is knowledgeable?   And to the technical: Where can I buy that incablok spring I just broke?  What is the best substitute for D5?    This is all pretty exciting to me.

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    • Next up is the motor speed control. I did think long and hard about my original aim of maintaining as much originality as possible. And, there is no doubt that the original speed control rheostat was a) original and b) functional. But - as I was an electronics technician in an earlier life, and also health and safety professional in a more recent life, the safety aspects weighed heavily upon my concience. Logic played it's part as well - with the original rheostat put back into service, albeit with some hand-made guarding to keep out the fingers of the unwary, it would be safe-ish, for me to use, as long as I kept my wits about me. BUT NOT SAFE FOR ANYONE ELSE unaware of what was underneath. Only the knowledge of what lurked underneath would be keeping me safe, but anyone else might not have a second chance. As can be seen from the photo below, all of the wire on the resistors is not only unguarded, but within millimetres of the level of the base. Also, the incoming mains terminals to the rheostat are also dangerously unguarded. With today's knowledge, it is difficult to fathom how this ever could have been considered safe to use.
    • Back to the job in hand. I managed to find the cork I thought I may have had, lurking in a box under the stairs. It was the most part of an A4 sized sheet, so more than enough for my purposes - to sit the jars on whilst they are in the machine. Looking at the metal bases, I really can't be convinced if there ever was any cork or any other material for that matter there. But for me anyway, the idea of the glass jars sitting directly on the metal base just seems wrong and I would prefer some cork there as a cushion. It's about as tidy as it needs to be, given the shape of the metal webbing. I suppose I could have cut-out squares of cork, but then it would leave potential weak, unsupported areas of cork, which would likely need some form of strengthening. Anyway - this application suits me and helps the jars sit a bit more stable in their locations. Whilst I am in the vicinity, so to speak, I have also added an earth lead which will bond the chassis to the incoming mains lead, once fitted. This is visible in these photos.  
    • A little further research and then on with the show... A quick browse through patent databases, shows that one Saul Lanzetter applied for and was awarded a patent for this design of watch cleaning machine in October 1937. A brief narrative is reproduced here: Interestingly, the patent application is entitled "Improvements in apparatus for cleaning watch parts and other small parts of machinery." It may be reading too much onto this title to assume that there may have been a previous patent, pre-dating this one, as this one refers to "improvements". Also of interest, there were 2 patent applications from US companies in 1944 and 1945 which cite the Lanzetter patent, and three from Germany in 1956, 1960 and 1961 (only one of which was actually published), which also cite the Lanzetter patent as a reference. Incidentally - the two US patents refer to machines which look strikingly similar to the National Model VI-C above, and the National No 4. machine in the earlier advert, showing the four jars side by side ( this seems to be referred to as a lab machine, rather than a repair shop machine). Naturally, all patents or applications referred to above are now expired. For me anyway, I think this may clear up which watch cleaning machine may have come first (at least in this machine format anyway): The S. Lanzetter National Electric Watch Cleaning Machine, circa 1937.  
    • Impressive work. The barrel and mainspring look almost new, and the remaining pitting is no worse than some lesser movements left the factory with. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
    • Has anyone ever used Longines free service to get an extract from their archives on their watch? https://www.longines.com/certificate-of-authenticity See the above link, if you just want the extract they will post it to you for free, obviously if you want a certificate of Authenticity you need to send them your watch and pay for that, but the extract is free.   I'm going to ask for the extract on my 30LS Longines.
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