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Boxes of stuff turns into a hobby.. hopefully not an habit.


cofflandrw

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Once upon a time, my uncle and his wife owned a nice little jewelry and watch repair shop. My uncle passed in the mid 80's and after the family and closed up the shop, cardboard boxes of 'watch stuff' were given to my mom. Those boxes went into the attic, then a few moves and thirty six years later... my mom is downsizing and knew I liked watches. I go and pick up eight large cardboard boxes filled with old newspaper and mouse nests.

After I get through the top layer of detritus, I am amazed and the quality, preservation, and sheer quantity of watch parts. It has been four months, and I am still sorting. I have been able to find about forty 'working' watches in remarkable condition. Wristwatch components to assemble another hundred or so quality name watch movements. Another hundred pocket watch movements in various stages of assembly, and parts bins filled to the brim with components for both pocket and wrist watches.

Now I have a new hobby, learn how to maintain, and repair watches with the goal to put these into the hands of those who would truly appreciate the amazing engineering of mechanical and automatic movements.

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1 hour ago, cofflandrw said:

I have been able to find about forty 'working' watches in remarkable condition. Wristwatch components to assemble another hundred or so quality name watch movements. Another hundred pocket watch movements in various stages of assembly, and parts bins filled to the brim with components for both pocket and wrist watches.

I'm amazed that you actually found working watches.

What becomes interesting when people start watch repair they look at every watch as a potential watch to repair. But later on you look at the watches as a source of components to repair other watches. this is why when you acquire old watchmakers stuff  all these bits and pieces of watches that they've robbed parts from over the years. So if you're really enthusiastic and thinking you're going to fix all of these you may have a interesting challenge ahead. There's probably a reason they're still in pieces in the bench. Which is why I was amazed that you actually found a running watches. But still you got a great find here a lot of potential.

1 hour ago, cofflandrw said:

Now I have a new hobby, learn how to maintain, and repair watches with the goal to put these into the hands of those who would truly appreciate the amazing engineering of mechanical and automatic movements.

Since you have so many watches to work with find something that's expendable the practice with. Initially need and I coordination practice and practicing as you go of repairing watches doesn't necessarily achieve that. It works much better if you have something you can practice taken apart and putting it back together. Ideally for practice it works better if you have a brand-new watch like a Chinese version of 6497. You pick those up off of eBay for reasonable price. The reason why it's nice to practice with a running watch is it's not running after it's assembled it helps you to narrow down that you break things. The problem was starting with a broken watch is if it still broken afterwords you'll blame the watch where it's possible that you might have broken along the way. I'm not suggesting you personally would do that but there is a habit of people to break things everybody breaks things when their learning.

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Having never bought anything to do with watches or clocks and getting them sent from OS, I am really not sure what would happen with Aussie Customs.

I would like to think they would process any parcel and not ‘bin’ them.

As for any duties that would require to be paid, if any, I have no idea about. 

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11 hours ago, watchweasol said:

How sympathetic are the Aussie Customs to recieving the likes of watches for parts etc

I think it depends upon how you word the customs form. I know you want to keep the value down because If it gets too high draws suspicion and then they will open it. So the value is low enough but not insanely low it seems to clear customs with zero problems. I once sent a box of miscellaneous watch stuff to Melbourne and it cleared customs with no problem. 

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