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Hi guys, new guy with his first vintage watch here!  I just received a vintage Prim watch from eBay.  I bought it because I thought it would be a good place to start, I like the looks enough and thought I could learn some watch maintenance on it and not feel bad if I broke it (it was 5 dollars).  I’d like to complement this with a nice condition prim diplomat with black or blue dial once I know what I’m doing.  Anyways, the crystal is scratched, I’ll take care of that with my wife’s jewelry cloths and creams, the back cover is stainless and doesn’t match the “gold” or brass everywhere else and the dial isn’t perfectly lines up, also the dial is dirty.  The watch runs well actually, and seems to have about a 36 hour reserve.  Can one replace the back cover easily? Where do you buy such things? Also, how can I turn the dial to line up properly? And how does one clean or polish up a watch dial?

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The crystal can be replaced or polished (provided that it's not cracked).

The dial will look better with a new or polished crystal. You can't polish it or clean it, not in your case. Only certain situations warrant a dial cleaning (and even then only an experienced individual should do it).

Why replace the case back ? Why replace something original to that watch ? It can be polished and it should look significantly better (not brand new but pretty close).

If the dial is misaligned it's possible that the 2 dial feet that hold it in place inside the movement have broken (or one of them at least) or the movement doesn't sit well in the case. Most movements have a spacer ring and maybe this one is damaged or something.

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I assumed the case back wasnt original...it looks sort of out of place to me, but I could be wrong.  I am not a certified professional, but I would like to try.  I'll pop off the crystal and the back cover, I can figure out how to remove the hands, but how do I remove the crown and movement?  AS I said I dont mind if I break it, its a watch I intend to learn on.

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You're not going to break it ... we're here to help you! Just remember that a watch mechanism is a delicate piece of engineering so go slow and steady.

With no date display your watch likely has a Poljot 2609.H movement in. Here's some info on that movement: http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?10&ranfft&0&2uswk&Poljot_2609_H.

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Take the back off the case and you should find screws that hold the movement in the case (positions 1 and 2 in the above pic) ... remove these. Now pull the crown out to the hand setting position and whilst continuing to gently apply pulling pressure, gently press the small button (3). The crown and stem should pull out. You can now remove the movement from the case.

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Let us know how you get on!

You may find that the screws mentioned for 1 and 2 are missing ... or loose. They shouldn't be but if someone prior to you was fiddling...! :unsure:

This may also explain why you see the dial not quite aligned ... as well as the valid suggestion above about the dial feet. If the screws were indeed missing or loose and you remain unsure about the alignment cause then once you have the movement-with-dial out of the case hold the movement with one hand whilst gently wiggling the dial with the other. If the dial stays put then the feet are okay.

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1 hour ago, 9am53 said:

I assumed the case back wasnt original...it looks sort of out of place to me, but I could be wrong.  I am not a certified professional, but I would like to try.  I'll pop off the crystal and the back cover, I can figure out how to remove the hands, but how do I remove the crown and movement?  AS I said I dont mind if I break it, its a watch I intend to learn on.

case backs   are mostly stainless steel for a reason.  you should have a tool to remove the back and crystal.   good luck,    vin

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So I’m back.  I finally got around to doing this job.  I am just finishing up.  Initially I thought you were bang on about the movement, as my picture shows it looks almost identical to the one you posted.  Upon flipping it over and removing dial (which was CA glued on) I found a date ring...I’m guessing this is a frankenwatch.  A pair of screws is also missing from the backside of the movement.  It’s held in place my one screw and some good luck.  Anyhow, I cleaned the dial with hot water.  It looks a lot cleaner but I lost a bit of the lettering.  The indices are a lot cleaner and the corrosion and crap built up on them is now gone.  I polished the brass with some autosol and soap and water.  I then polished the crystal with #800 and #2000 grit wet paper followed by some rubbing compound.  It looks almost new to be honest :)   I put it on a blue NATO strap and it looks quite sharp to my eye.  I just need to figure out a way to make the strap hardware yellow.  I’m hoping there’s brass under the silver...it’s soaking in acid right now.  For a 5 dollar experiment I had a great time learning. Thanks so much for the help!  At 35mm it’s too petite for my almost 9” wrist, I’m going to give it to my little brother.  9AFF24CF-DA83-4940-955D-E3CB8F382C4D.jpeg.9f1af177ec2506c37cfff19cb5a40ac1.jpeg0ECAA27F-7BE2-4262-AED3-996F98E5612A.jpeg.b54502ef002c2671f0b631f14c5808f8.jpeg6B992E90-9CF8-4895-840E-52E24EFA9A41.jpeg.8844bae113d74c7a12624e93fe7bf46b.jpeg

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Here she is, all done.  I will be giving this to my brother as he doesn’t own a watch but wears a suit for work and has a good complexion and style for this colour of watch.  The strap is calf skin and is very supple.

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Looks pretty good to me. The mechanism is probably the 2614.2H (the same as the 2609.H but with the date complication).


I suspect some repairer in the past has done a swap to get the customer's watch working, with whatever he had to hand.
It is a little franken-ish, but it looks good. It has character. :biggrin:

You could find a Poljot dial with  a date window for the 2614.H, but I think it looks pretty good the way it is, and besides, once you buy the dial, then you will be looking for a mechanism for the existing dial, and trust me, that way madness lies. :P

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I'll be leaving it as it is, but I think I have a bit of a bug for these eastern european commie watches.  If they made any prims in the era with a 38mm+ case I may have to buy one or 2!

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