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E-bay LeCoultre...What a mess. (Lug hole repair)


SuspectDevice
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Posted (edited)

After wanting one of these Bradley II watches for a long time, I jumped on this one and paid way too much. At 1st it looked nice.

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Seller says "recently serviced". I measured amplitude DU & DD and it came out to about 190. PD & PL are 170, beat error 11 & running anywhere from +300 to -250 seconds.

Then I went to remove the strap....

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Fortunately I have a very good bench jeweler nearby with a laser welder. He says he can fill them but drilling the new holes is up to me.

Now what?...Anybody have experience drilling straight holes at an angle?

Edited by SuspectDevice
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somewhere ive seen a cool right angled drill , that may work, alternatively you go straight through from the outside of the lug all the way through to the inside of the other one and back out. then you fill in the outsides of each lug and polish.

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Nucejoe said:

Isn't the spring bar a wrong one, keeps rubbing on the lug.

That brings up another question I have.

What are curved spring bars used for?

s-l1600tqgtgt.jpg

Edited by SuspectDevice
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18 hours ago, SuspectDevice said:

Seller says "recently serviced". I measured amplitude DU & DD and it came out to about 190. PD & PL are 170, beat error 11 & running anywhere from +300 to -250 seconds.

I'm always curious when I see a recently serviced watch on eBay. sometimes I've even seen the timing machine results pictures on eBay and are not always really good? Your amplitudes by the way or way too low and I'm curious about how you measured your beat error? This is because the witschi timing machines and the Chinese machines the maximum beat error is 9.9 ms. 11 is basically an unheard-of number its way too extreme.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, SuspectDevice said:

That brings up another question I have.

What are curved spring bars used for?

Curved spring bars are a style thing that allow a strap to conform more closely with the curve of the case. It can result in a very clean look to the watch in my opinion.

Some watches are designed to only use curved spring bars, and this appears to have been the original situation with yours. Someone's then come along and drilled the new holes to accommodate straight spring bars.

With regard to straps, I've been experimenting with using ordinary straps together with curved bars and so far they've worked, but I've also seen straps specially made with a curve to accommodate the bars more precisely.

Here's an example of a Bremont with curved spring bars (taken from Chrono24):

image.png.057279a517622e2e32745cebe14abd29.png

 

Edited by RichardS
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8 hours ago, SuspectDevice said:

That brings up another question I have.

What are curved spring bars used for?

 

The spring bar's  falnge is clearly scratching on the lug. I would try a curved simple( flangeless) spring bar. 

Beautiful watch, wear it in good health.

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On 6/6/2021 at 1:50 AM, Nucejoe said:

The spring bar's  falnge is clearly scratching on the lug. I would try a curved simple( flangeless) spring bar. 

I picked up the repaired case from the jeweler today. They did a great job laser welding the holes.

I'm waiting on a slow boat from China to  deliver the drill bits I need to continue.

In the meantime I found some shoulder less spring bars and used the 2 spoons trick to bend them into shape.

thumbnailefgt.jpg.703e78e449dd7ba639d5ca24bed0eaf2.jpg

The price for the repair was $300 & done by Joden jewelers of Grove City, Pa.. In case anyone needs the same type of repair, I recommend talking to Steve who is the bench jeweler there.

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20 minutes ago, SuspectDevice said:

2 spoons trick to bend them

I actually have a spring-bar bending tool.  Never used it, but I am just a hobbyist, so not that many opportunities arise.

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2 hours ago, LittleWatchShop said:

I actually have a spring-bar bending tool.  Never used it, but I am just a hobbyist, so not that many opportunities arise.

Bergeon 5973? I have one and I managed to snap a load of spring bars in half... I bet the 2 spoons method is better! 

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Posted (edited)

LeCoultre update....

I had to buy a whole coffee can of spring bars from a watch maker's estate to find a few that would work. When the add said "assorted", they were not kidding. 😆 Anyway...This was the result.thumbnailgdbrbwr.thumb.jpg.a544db75f2920e2fb833c5f0a2ac22d8.jpg

Next up was making a drill that would work around the lugs. I decided on this and it worked pretty well with an extra long 0.8mm bit. I used a Dremmel tool, pointed tungsten bit to mark/center punch the holes.

 

thumbnaildvfrgbbrg.thumb.jpg.8784b21ca5366488b4d3610d72c38ba0.jpg

 

The end result. Sort of...

Next order of business is to clean & oil it.

 

Lecoultre.jpg.4ca410fe3ef36d5dd1102122a9f51b58.jpg

 

Edited by SuspectDevice
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Nice job!

Did you get the drill bit with the offset curve from China or did you custom make it yourself? How long did it take you to drill the hole?

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21 hours ago, SuspectDevice said:

LeCoultre update....

I had to buy a whole coffee can of spring bars from a watch maker's estate to find a few that would work. When the add said "assorted", they were not kidding. 😆 Anyway...This was the result.thumbnailgdbrbwr.thumb.jpg.a544db75f2920e2fb833c5f0a2ac22d8.jpg

Next up was making a drill that would work around the lugs. I decided on this and it worked pretty well with an extra long 0.8mm bit. I used a Dremmel tool, pointed tungsten bit to mark/center punch the holes.

 

thumbnaildvfrgbbrg.thumb.jpg.8784b21ca5366488b4d3610d72c38ba0.jpg

 

The end result. Sort of...

Next order of business is to clean & oil it.

 

Lecoultre.jpg.4ca410fe3ef36d5dd1102122a9f51b58.jpg

 

The more I see this watch the better I like it. 

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On 7/14/2021 at 9:33 PM, HectorLooi said:

Nice job!

Did you get the drill bit with the offset curve from China or did you custom make it yourself? How long did it take you to drill the hole?

 I used 3mm square brass bar and curved it using heat. Then I drilled two 1/16" holes and slid the long drill bit through both. After that I super glued the bit into the holes and cut out the middle part with a Dremel tool.

The 1st hole took about 10 min & the other three were about half that time each. I'm not sure I'd want to try and drill anything hard using this procedure. 14K gold was quite soft.

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On 7/15/2021 at 4:41 PM, Plato said:

The more I see this watch the better I like it. 

 I really like these unusual art deco cases that were popular back in the 40's-50's.

They aren't in style anymore so they can be purchased inexpensively.

thumbnailefevfe.jpg

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On 6/5/2021 at 11:11 PM, JohnR725 said:

I'm always curious when I see a recently serviced watch on eBay. sometimes I've even seen the timing machine results pictures on eBay and are not always really good? Your amplitudes by the way or way too low and I'm curious about how you measured your beat error? This is because the witschi timing machines and the Chinese machines the maximum beat error is 9.9 ms. 11 is basically an unheard-of number its way too extreme.

Personally I would treat any eBay watch in which the seller states that it has been "recently serviced" with a mountain of salt!

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Pedro said:

Personally I would treat any eBay watch in which the seller states that it has been "recently serviced" with a mountain of salt!

I've now purchased 3 e-bay watches that said they were serviced recently. I could easily tell they weren't. The barrel spring was the biggest giveaway. It looks like one person put a drop of some kind of oil on each one of the pivots to make it look like they did something. (the dial side was dry)

Anyway...I just got a e-bay 480 LeCoultre movement that looks nice to work on. In all 4 of the above watches, I've purchased an extra movement to actually restore. I put the original one in a little snap case to protect it in case I mess up. So far so good, This will be my 10th clean & oil and I haven't destroyed anything other than a cannon pinion (wrong tools) & I did loose a spring on my 1st rebuild (bad technique).

The 480 looks like this.

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Look how exposed the escape wheel is. This looks like it will be easy to oil the pallet stones for once.

Edited by SuspectDevice
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Posted (edited)

Also...I use the TimeGrapher cell phone App which goes up to 11 ms.

I know it's not the best but my primary concern is to get the watches cleaned & oiled so I can wear them without damage to the movement from running dry.

Edited by SuspectDevice
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