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My latest Mumbai Special Beauty


HectorLooi
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Look at this beauty it got off eBay for $30. A great bargain right?

However, it doesn't run. I contacted the seller, who replied in a condescending tone that the watch is a mechanical wind watch and has to be wound up every 34 hours to work. 😑

I popped the back off and found that the balance wheel could be turned but it bangs into something. I assumed that the balance was overbanked, probably from a hard bang during transport.

But when I took off the balance and inspected the pallet under a microscope, I found that the entry pallet is so deep that the escape wheel can't unlock.

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Just look at the amount of shellac on the fork!

So the entry jewel can't unlock, how did the seller test the movement to be accurate to 2-3 minutes a day? Are they checking the watch at the same time everyday, so the time on the watch shows the correct time?

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Apparently this is typical of the Mumbai Specials

If it works think yourself lucky but don't panic it won't work for long.

I have been know to pick up the odd cheap one, £10 max just to get a movement for spares for another watch I was working on.

I think there is a watch conspiracy on eBay, sellers selling watches that have a hidden history and end up not working then under another of their many user names sell you a movement so you have some spares to put the first one right.

Mind you its not just the Mumbai sellers doing this, over the last year I have bought quite a few watches and movements on eBay, mainly from European sellers and not one of them has been an honest unadulterated watch, all once stripped clearly had a hidden history, even those claimed to be virgin watches that they have owned from new, once stripped had clear signs of someone having a fiddle at some time in there watch past, damaged screw heads, scratches from a lest than careful stripdown, parts from a gold watch in a silver watch etc.

I do enjoy some of their descriptions like for example a new never been worn watch that in the description had the case and back replaced because it was rusty, a strap replaced with an after market one because the original was scratched, the dial repainted because the old one was water damaged but still insist its brand new and unworn. 

Just treat watches you buy from that region as potential parts watches.

You a search on YouTube there are videos showing the conditions in the backstreet watch Shops that would make you cringe, with buckets full of parts just sitting in the open in their dirty and dusty shop and a stack a mile high of boxes of repainted dials, with the watch assembler just putting movements together with old junk quality tools and not a drop of watch oil anywhere to be seen.
 

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1 hour ago, HectorLooi said:

20220426_160902.thumb.jpg.552a24480a234565f03d597f24b68de4.jpg

20220426_204017.thumb.jpg.e932ce5c31e7c6de36e9e214692d9a5e.jpg

Look at this beauty it got off eBay for $30. A great bargain right?

However, it doesn't run. I contacted the seller, who replied in a condescending tone that the watch is a mechanical wind watch and has to be wound up every 34 hours to work. 😑

I popped the back off and found that the balance wheel could be turned but it bangs into something. I assumed that the balance was overbanked, probably from a hard bang during transport.

But when I took off the balance and inspected the pallet under a microscope, I found that the entry pallet is so deep that the escape wheel can't unlock.

20220426_202422.thumb.jpg.345335092d5d3f70917be84f4bdb2053.jpg

20220426_203010.thumb.jpg.c57d60a3b22ff2ba0fb898c58d8200e2.jpg

Just look at the amount of shellac on the fork!

So the entry jewel can't unlock, how did the seller test the movement to be accurate to 2-3 minutes a day? Are they checking the watch at the same time everyday, so the time on the watch shows the correct time?

Haha yes it's extremely accurate but only twice a day. My guess is the seller was just a little bit shy on the truth. Its kind of nice looking though in a dodgy non genuine wasted some money kind of way. Nice bit of shellac as well, I could french polish two mousemen sideboards with that. 👍

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2 hours ago, Paul80 said:

do enjoy some of their descriptions like for example a new never been worn watch that in the description had the case and back replaced because it was rusty, a strap replaced with an after market one because the original was scratched, the dial repainted because the old one was water damaged but still insist its brand new and unworn

Trigger's Road sweeping brush then ? ( British joke)

2 hours ago, Paul80 said:

You a search on YouTube there are videos showing the conditions in the backstreet watch Shops that would make you cringe, with buckets full of parts just sitting in the open in their dirty and dusty shop and a stack a mile high of boxes of repainted dials, with the watch assembler just putting movements together with old junk quality tools and not a drop of watch oil anywhere to be seen.

Oh wow. Someone has been secretly filming me working in my watchroom.

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There's just something that bothers me about that dial? It doesn't seem to be square with itself. Maybe it's the fact that it seems to be off level by a degree and that the printing isn't aligned with the central pattern.

It's "special" all right!

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37 minutes ago, grsnovi said:

There's just something that bothers me about that dial? It doesn't seem to be square with itself. Maybe it's the fact that it seems to be off level by a degree and that the printing isn't aligned with the central pattern.

It's "special" all right!

Sharp eyes. Dial is glued on with a ton of glue.

20220426_211737.thumb.jpg.e38ae7ec14266ca2eed4c17b21083886.jpg

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It's indeed a Swiss movement, an FHF ST96. At least that was true.

The strange thing is after I took the photo of the pallet, I put everything back together for safekeeping and the balance came back to life, in spite of the deep locks on both entry and exit pallets.

The TG traces are terrible but that's to be expected.

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I also got a Roamer Mumbai Special with the same case (in gold), same movement and very similar dial printing. My FHF  96-4 seems to be running rather well. The watch does have some issues though. The hour markers don't line up with the printed numbers, the "Roamer" imprint on the caseback is limply applied and WAY off center, but even with those issues I still like the look of it 🙂

 

201068103_roamerfake.thumb.jpg.49b9c0364268fe1c97a73d4df80c8350.jpg

Edited by GuyMontag
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45 minutes ago, GuyMontag said:

I also got a Roamer Mumbai Special with the same case (in gold), same movement and very similar dial printing. My FHF  96-4 seems to be running rather well. The watch does have some issues though. The hour markers don't line up with the printed numbers, the "Roamer" imprint on the caseback is limply applied and WAY off center, but even with those issues I still like the look of it 🙂

 

201068103_roamerfake.thumb.jpg.49b9c0364268fe1c97a73d4df80c8350.jpg

You lucky ducky! I'm jealous. 😢

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Interesting topic...glad you got it to at least start up !

My "favorites" are the sellers that post " recently serviced",..or "Complete COA",..and the photos show a watch that has fingerprints and debris everywhere..even the cases are full of gunk.

 

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15 hours ago, HectorLooi said:

It's indeed a Swiss movement, an FHF ST96. At least that was true.

The strange thing is after I took the photo of the pallet, I put everything back together for safekeeping and the balance came back to life, in spite of the deep locks on both entry and exit pallets.

The TG traces are terrible but that's to be expected.

Most of the Mumbais use an st96. 

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I took the hairspring off the balance wheel and fixed it back to check the centering and this us what I found.

20220502_130704.thumb.jpg.7517d363b2f82c77a1873208566edf47.jpg

There was no endcurve form at all.

Another interesting feature is the strange regulator boot. Never seen this before.

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Posted (edited)

What an interesting thread. Even though I'm new to watch repair, I have 2 Mumbai specials. Citizen 7 and a Kajat. Both worked for 6 hours. I do not yet have enough skill to repair effectively. Mark Lovick's course will give me that confidence. 

Smell of curry on the straps was overpowering. Has abated now and smells like coffee.

Regards

Ross

 

Edited by rossjackson01
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6 minutes ago, Nucejoe said:

The hairspring doesn't look original to me, lets hope you get the right rate out of it. 

Fat chance. If it were original, it should have an endcurve already formed. I don't think the balance is original either.

1 minute ago, rossjackson01 said:

Smell of curry on the straps was overpowering. Has abated now and smells like coffee.

I'm quite fond of Indian food. Had 4 samosas for lunch and will be cooking beef rendang (Indonesian style curry) for tomorrow's lunch. 🤤

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1 hour ago, HectorLooi said:

Fat chance. If it were original, it should have an endcurve already formed. I don't think the balance is original either

No shortage of ST96 balance with broken staff pivot in India, this one might have been restaffed.

Mumbi specials are good for newbies to practice on. You, however, can find a challanging task here, build a well poised balance complete out of these parts, you make an A+ in my books. Original Indian made hairsprings are of low quality too. 

Regds 

 

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Thanks @Nucejoe.

Here's the report card.

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DU and DD. Not great but I can live with that for now. Definitely an issue with the escape wheel too. CR also doesn't look good, could be an issue with the 2 big blobs of shellac on the pallets.

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13 hours ago, HectorLooi said:

I took the hairspring off the balance wheel and fixed it back to check the centering and this us what I found.

20220502_130704.thumb.jpg.7517d363b2f82c77a1873208566edf47.jpg

There was no endcurve form at all.

Another interesting feature is the strange regulator boot. Never seen this before.

A flat slinky then. Nice work Mr. Mumbai 

8 hours ago, rossjackson01 said:

What an interesting thread. Even though I'm new to watch repair, I have 2 Mumbai specials. Citizen 7 and a Kajat. Both worked for 6 hours. I do not yet have enough skill to repair effectively. Mark Lovick's course will give me that confidence. 

Smell of curry on the straps was overpowering. Has abated now and smells like coffee.

Regards

Ross

 

6 hours, wow you did well Ross. Indian cooking yes , er Indian watches no. HMT were apparently good though

8 hours ago, HectorLooi said:

Fat chance. If it were original, it should have an endcurve already formed. I don't think the balance is original either.

I'm quite fond of Indian food. Had 4 samosas for lunch and will be cooking beef rendang (Indonesian style curry) for tomorrow's lunch. 🤤

Hmmm. What time we eating matey, I'll get there early and help finish cooking and wash up 👍

4 hours ago, HectorLooi said:

Thanks @Nucejoe.

Here's the report card.

20220502_212238.thumb.jpg.aa4a0c5419ce7e6c7f97c70a090db65d.jpg

20220502_212519.thumb.jpg.cfe62e80bc96e533b11199abe6403b43.jpg

DU and DD. Not great but I can live with that for now. Definitely an issue with the escape wheel too. CR also doesn't look good, could be an issue with the 2 big blobs of shellac on the pallets.

I've seen worse readings and looking at the amount of shellac on the pallet, I'd be thinking of counterbalanced the other end with a house brick. 🤦‍♂️

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On 4/26/2022 at 2:01 PM, HectorLooi said:

Just look at the amount of shellac on the fork!

At lest it resembles shellac, I've seen a couple where I'm pretty sure someone had used superglue.

Speaking of the Mumbai Special. I have a number of HMT watches. Some of them could best be described as Mumbai specials, but the nice thing about HMTs is they are very easy to service. They are also almost bomb proof in terms of robustness and the parts are interchangeable (and even interchangeable with the Citizen movements they are cloned from).

Take "Fully Serviced" with a pinch of salt however. At least one of the "Fully Serviced" HMTs I got from India had enough dirt in it to grow a small crop of potatoes.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/27/2022 at 1:08 PM, GuyMontag said:

, but even with those issues I still like the look of it 🙂

 

201068103_roamerfake.thumb.jpg.49b9c0364268fe1c97a73d4df80c8350.jpg

My take-away from this thread:  replace the lume with red enamel.  Damn that looks sic.

I've got a few HMT watches here.  One of them might end up looking like this.

Edited by ChrisRobinson
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Posted (edited)

That FHF ST 96 movement looks familiar - There's one in my "Favre-Leuba Twin Power". They even had the cheek to engrave "Favre Leuba" on the movement. The dial feet had been cut off, and the dial glued on with loads of glue.

I believe that FHF sold the machinary for this movement to India (?), hence so many Frankenwatches. 

Favre Leuba and Tissot seem favourites to have this movement fitted.

s-l1600.thumb.jpg.5a555322b7423d286ed20b39d1c50c69.jpg2.thumb.jpg.4986c92ed54f45038131f513f02b4fd3.jpg 

Edited by mikepilk
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