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Hi all, been a while since I posted a 404, so decided to tackle this non-runner today. The balance spring was mangled so I decided to put on my "big boy pants" and stop avoiding balance hair spring issues and take it on as part of my learning journey. The watch movement is very poor quality, it looks like they machined the parts with a knife and fork, but I was pleased I got it working and it has now become an exam gift for my son who loves the retro corny appeal of the watch, especially the waving hand which is attached to and elongated pivot on the pallet fork. All original parts except the strap and crystal (the old one shattered when I removed it). This watch was bought as part of a job lot so works out to be a whopping £1.62.

So here are the before and after shots, starting with the front:

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Here is the movement, with closeup of the hairspring:

 

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And here is the finished watch:

2023-08-26-15-28-08-616.thumb.jpg.bea19f24462c35f69108e085d5e69b82.jpg

Let me know what you think 🙂

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1 hour ago, Waggy said:

Let me know what you think

I’m opposed to communism…oh, you mean the watch? It has a funky 80s Swatch aesthetic. It’s fun. The lind of thing I’d wear to a business dressy event where I know everyone will want to see what’s on my wrist..

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2 minutes ago, spectre6000 said:

The arm is attached to the pallet? That's a tiny amount of energy available to move that big hand! What is the hand made of? Photos of the business side of that particular aspect? Video in operation? I'm fascinated!

The arm is thin glossy paper glued to a seconds hand, the bottom pivot of the pallet fork is extended through to the dial side of the watch, a little bit like a sub seconds hand. This way the arm rocks back and forwards in a waving motion instead of spinning as it would if it were attached to a wheel.

Don't know how to post a video here, I don't think its one of the accepted formats to upload, sorry.

Screenshot_20230826-183012.thumb.png.9818b5872089a793172421d44f635c15.png

You can just see the extended pivot poking through the jewel directly above the dial washer on the picture above.

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On a roll this weekend and did another 404, this time a Shelton Cal BF158 which came as part of a job lot so cost £2.22. It was a runner, but couldn't get a timegraph trace, but when I finished it got it to -12 s/d, 248 degrees amplitude and a beat error of 1.6. As this is a pin pallet I decided to cut my losses and be content with those figures. I used some flitz to clean up the case and it took all the gold off instantly leaving me with a two tone watch with a silver case and gold bezel which I actually prefer to the original all gold finish. The dial was made of a card almost like paper, so used a pencil eraser to clean it up and it worked a treat!

Here are the before and after shots :

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And here is the finished watch:

2023-08-27-13-41-53-604.thumb.jpg.a296dc60948856633b5d78c1b25f2d81.jpg

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did 2 404s over the course of the week after my previous disastrous weekend (getting back on that horse), first was a SWISSAM 1215-21 and the second was a KIENZLE 058/01 both were part of the same job lot so cost me £2.00 each. Before and after pictures below:

SWISSAM before:

0023.thumb.JPG.e59363267717fdc8544c2056ba85c2ce.JPG

Unfortunately to date ring was plastic and so old it had become brittle, when I put the watch together the tips or the teeth on the date ring crumbled when the date finger tried to move the ring so it's stuck on 23rd... at least it will be correct one day of every month!

0030.thumb.JPG.5c8ee7635f9ce8c49365a460d1e33ac6.JPG

0027.thumb.JPG.a50d50a52bd0e99347ac5b8ea173c696.JPG

Here is the finished watch:

2023-09-06-15-44-00-158.thumb.jpg.b3a375aa52ab21a6dc242b3bb8e9cc29.jpg

Dial is not the greatest, but shows its age honestly.... and groundhog day!! its the 23rd (again). New strap, but everything else (including the crystal is original.

Here is the KIENZLE before and after pictures:

0047.thumb.JPG.a7a57ac77c9b37918e05bc5f3c3d73d4.JPG

Watch was a non-runner and the crystal is cracked at 8-9 O'clock position and feather cracks at 1 O'clock so had to be replaced

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Some small tweaks on the hairspring required

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The final finished watch with it's new crystal and strap 🙂

 

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3 hours ago, Waggy said:

Did 2 404s over the course of the week after my previous disastrous weekend (getting back on that horse), first was a SWISSAM 1215-21 and the second was a KIENZLE 058/01 both were part of the same job lot so cost me £2.00 each. Before and after pictures below:

SWISSAM before:

0023.thumb.JPG.e59363267717fdc8544c2056ba85c2ce.JPG

Unfortunately to date ring was plastic and so old it had become brittle, when I put the watch together the tips or the teeth on the date ring crumbled when the date finger tried to move the ring so it's stuck on 23rd... at least it will be correct one day of every month!

0030.thumb.JPG.5c8ee7635f9ce8c49365a460d1e33ac6.JPG

0027.thumb.JPG.a50d50a52bd0e99347ac5b8ea173c696.JPG

Here is the finished watch:

2023-09-06-15-44-00-158.thumb.jpg.b3a375aa52ab21a6dc242b3bb8e9cc29.jpg

Dial is not the greatest, but shows its age honestly.... and groundhog day!! its the 23rd (again). New strap, but everything else (including the crystal is original.

Here is the KIENZLE before and after pictures:

0047.thumb.JPG.a7a57ac77c9b37918e05bc5f3c3d73d4.JPG

Watch was a non-runner and the crystal is cracked at 8-9 O'clock position and feather cracks at 1 O'clock so had to be replaced

0049.thumb.JPG.7afa0d8ccf0c554e8a5020810347a84b.JPG

Some small tweaks on the hairspring required

2023-09-09-08-24-51-247.thumb.jpg.fe645b670543a682d04fd5b3861d5b36.jpg

The final finished watch with it's new crystal and strap 🙂

 

Both cleaned and polished up nice Waggy.  Which did you prefer servicing?  The Ronda or the fun big plate Kienzle ?

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I think I preferred working on the SWISSAM (Ronda) the Kienzle has one of those rocker type keyless works where you always feel like you are playing the flute trying to keep everything in place and screw it all down at the same time - I'm afraid there may have been a few expletives uttered and several cups of coffee drank at that point of the re-build.

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This ninety nine pence, overlooked ebay item is on its way to potentially join the club.
It is a two jewel ISA 1198 based "Montine of Switzerland" "Swiss Quartz", which I strongly suspect cost its original owner a whole lot more than I paid.

AsPurchased-l1600-1.jpg

It obviously needs a battery, clean, service and a suitable strap.

Edited by AndyHull
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  • 2 weeks later...

Another 404 in the bag, this one went very smoothly and came up very well, the watch is now punching well above its weight. This Silony (Cal. 320) was part of a batch of 7 I got from eBay and so has an individual cost £3.71. The watch arrived as a non-runner, mainly due to gummy lubrication and a LOT of fibres inside the watch. After a clean and service I changed out the crystal as the original was yellowed and added a new strap. Before and after shots below:

The watch before (with my new 3D printed screwdriver holder in the background):

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The watch movement before service:

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And here is the after shot:

signal-2023-09-22-072924.thumb.jpeg.174c45f0a9a6b5c5a7d9d707ada0189b.jpeg

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…you all find some lovely 404s. Here in the US it is a challenge to find this kind of potential. Perhaps our elders sported too many Timex and Accutron and other things with plastic movements. 

Bradley Mickeys with pin levers and maybe 1 jewel…but well above the 404 I’m afraid…

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57 minutes ago, rehajm said:

…you all find some lovely 404s. Here in the US it is a challenge to find this kind of potential. Perhaps our elders sported too many Timex and Accutron and other things with plastic movements. 

Bradley Mickeys with pin levers and maybe 1 jewel…but well above the 404 I’m afraid…

I think the trick is to go for a 'job'lot'  then the average price comes below 4.04. Otherwise you are stuck paying over the odds for junk and/or sifting through hundreds of Mumbai Specials!

 

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13 minutes ago, Waggy said:

I think the trick is to go for a 'job'lot'  then the average price comes below 4.04. Otherwise you are stuck paying over the odds for junk and/or sifting through hundreds of Mumbai Specials!

 

Yah- a better strategy to be sure…but most of the lot will be ladies timex bracelets…

I do have a few goodies if inflation pushes it to the 808 Club- I won a lot with an avocado-dialed Vulcain calendar that will sneak into that one 😕

Edited by rehajm
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I'm in the US. It's been a while since I hunted in earnest, but I had no trouble assembling a healthy pile. They're out there. The hunt is very much a hunt; not a forage. After a long day, I would sit down in my favorite recliner, grab a beer or glass of scotch, visit my bookmarked eBay search (all the critical parameters set), and scroll... I would throw a bid or offer out on literally anything that met my criteria*, and I'd lose almost all of them. Occasionally one would get through though, and in so doing, I ended up with a pile of genuinely decent cheap watches to fix up and resell. They're out there. Just takes (a lot of) patience and persistence. Feel free to check current exchange rates to see if you can give yourself a little more air to breathe. As of right now, £4.04 is $4.96, so I'd call that $5 ("500 server error"). 

*All stainless, fully jeweled, European. I would make exceptions for anything that stood out as interesting for some reason or another; jump hours, I wanted one of those double barrel Russians, a Mumbai special once caught my attention for being surprisingly tasteful in a colorful way... 

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  • 1 month later...

This is one of my favorites. The dial is just stunning. I have had this for a while now but tonight cleaned the case and bracelet and replaced the crystal.all of that and still under $10. An ETA 2452 with 25 jewels. As mentioned elsewhere, this was the base movement for the Tudor 30 jewel caliber 2484.DSCN55442.thumb.JPG.27be92fbf9d2a2797d7428331f7b725e.JPGDSCN55452.thumb.JPG.c87b54b7185ce6ddd94a923f912ede81.JPG20231025_2049172.thumb.jpg.4cee659f16363508703c90c661f88fc1.jpg20231025_2049512.thumb.jpg.298b8037803e7818588238b762f092c5.jpg20231025_2053022.thumb.jpg.5400e30faaab2a1fc05f0295233982d4.jpgDSCN51013.thumb.JPG.2f27829977292ce410495201b9c36002.JPGDSCN51003.thumb.JPG.a206f77d7743ff76a946520946467e24.JPG

Edited by Razz
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4 hours ago, rehajm said:

The Grenchen is quite something- that dial!…but maybe yellow card for the price- how far under $10 😂

$5US for the watch from a swap meet. At the time I really did not know anything about Nivada Grenchen and asked the seller how much and he said $5 and i remember trying to look casual as i said ok and pulled the fiver out and handed it over. I had the 284 crystal in my "stock" and I think those are around $3US from cousins UK plus tax and shipping.

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