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1 hour ago, Murks said:

discontinued

unfortunately that's a word you hear a lot in watch repair. I think somewhere in the group there may have been a discussion that basically all of the jewels are being discontinued so all you see is whatever they have left and once that's gone that's the end of it.

1 hour ago, Murks said:

0.22x1.20mm

your options would be to seek out other material houses to see if they have that one that you require. The other thing to do would be to go to a larger outside diameter. Then of course she'll have to open up the hole to accommodate the jewel that you need.

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20 minutes ago, JohnR725 said:

unfortunately that's a word you hear a lot in watch repair. I think somewhere in the group there may have been a discussion that basically all of the jewels are being discontinued so all you see is whatever they have left and once that's gone that's the end of it.

your options would be to seek out other material houses to see if they have that one that you require. The other thing to do would be to go to a larger outside diameter. Then of course she'll have to open up the hole to accommodate the jewel that you need.

I've been thinking about this problem ever since I noticed the diminishing inventory of Seitz jewels from various supply houses.

Does this mean that once the existing stocks are depleted, new jewels will never be available?

I have been buying assorted jewels from India, which I suspect are harvested from dead movements. I've also bought a box full of scrap ladies watches which I scrounge for things like screws and possibly jewels in future.

I rarely find a jewel that fits the jewel that I'm looking for and end up modifying things.

So far, I've fitted bigger jewels by resizing the hole, as John suggests. I've ground down larger cap jewels to fit Incabloc settings.

Possibly in future I may have to rebush a hole to fill smaller jewels scavenged from the ladies watches.

I pray that this trend does not signal the end of the vintage watch industry.

 

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Jewels are definitely an issue. I recently made some parts for a customer, for which I need almost the same jewel as Murks, 0.22/1.30. I think one of the material houses had it, but I need 30 of them, and at 15 bucks a pop, that comes to 450. I can go to a jewel maker and have 100 made for 550, so that's what we're going to do. And these are much better quality than most Seitz jewels I've seen, especially older ones.

 

Which got me thinking, if someone had some cash to invest, you could replicate about all the Seitz references for around 250,000 bucks, with the exception of pallet jewels (still looking for a maker of those). Actually not that much of an investment in a new business. I mean, a decent 3 axis CNC milling machine is in that ballpark, and you'd have to run it at least 8 hours a day plus all the side costs (10k for a compressor, 20k for software with 5-6k yearly upkeep, tooling, expendables etc.) and of course have the work and the skill and so forth. You could store the whole jewel assortment in a cabinet not bigger than a 3 deck file cabinet, run the business from home, set up a good easy to use site, hit the post office once a day... I bet if you were the source for jewels (and they are very high quality), it would take off. Every watchmaker in the world would be coming to you.  If only I had a quarter mil on hand...

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41 minutes ago, nickelsilver said:

Jewels are definitely an issue. I recently made some parts for a customer, for which I need almost the same jewel as Murks, 0.22/1.30. I think one of the material houses had it, but I need 30 of them, and at 15 bucks a pop, that comes to 450. I can go to a jewel maker and have 100 made for 550, so that's what we're going to do. And these are much better quality than most Seitz jewels I've seen, especially older ones.

 

Which got me thinking, if someone had some cash to invest, you could replicate about all the Seitz references for around 250,000 bucks, with the exception of pallet jewels (still looking for a maker of those). Actually not that much of an investment in a new business. I mean, a decent 3 axis CNC milling machine is in that ballpark, and you'd have to run it at least 8 hours a day plus all the side costs (10k for a compressor, 20k for software with 5-6k yearly upkeep, tooling, expendables etc.) and of course have the work and the skill and so forth. You could store the whole jewel assortment in a cabinet not bigger than a 3 deck file cabinet, run the business from home, set up a good easy to use site, hit the post office once a day... I bet if you were the source for jewels (and they are very high quality), it would take off. Every watchmaker in the world would be coming to you.  If only I had a quarter mil on hand...

I'm surprised that it hasn't been done already, its a very small investment. Anyone that knows the industry well would jump on it.

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6 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

I'm surprised that it hasn't been done already, its a very small investment. Anyone that knows the industry well would jump on it.

That's what's puzzling. Maybe there isn't much demand after all, or for modern stuff you get it from the maker (like Omega), and for vintage folks just cobble in what's on hand. But my gut says you'd make back the investment fairly quickly, and it would be a simple enough thing to manage, and as a sole endeavor, i.e. no other parts or services offered, perfect for someone as a home based business.

 

For sure you'd sit on certain refs for ages, others would go quickly. Maybe start by filling in all the discontinued (read, sold out) refs from Cousin's site. Then build up stock.

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before I start on something this is just an observation that I've made over time which will not make you happy doesn't make be happy either so please don't be angry at me for saying it.

let's expand beyond spare parts look at the whole Swiss watch industry. Whole bunch a independent company making watches selling watches spare parts etc. but is that really how they operate? When I was going to school in Switzerland there was a reference to this where and I can't quite remember basically groups the companies would come together and pool their resources. then from time to time the groups would reorganize themselves. There is very visible for the various brands selling their watches where companies basically were not competing with each other they would divide up the market of the world and have locations where they would sell. Basically they would have agreement not to compete.

5 minutes ago, nickelsilver said:

That's what's puzzling. Maybe there isn't much demand after all

nice timing for this now I don't have to explain as much. Let's look at some examples like hairsprings at one time there could be purchased generic buy a size. Worked well for everybody spare parts schools went through huge quantities of the. Watch factories would purchase them but is that really the best way to do this? The unfortunate answer is no if you go to the maker of hairspring as they explain how it's done now. basically custom hairsprings for you to use to make your watch or they will take care of the entire process for you. No longer do they have to stock generic hairsprings that may sit on the shelf  forever.

what about the mainspring crisis that's one that I remembered. So approximately the end of 2008 the manufacture of mainsprings recently acquired by our friends at Swatch group decided to no longer produce mainsprings. I had remembered reading where in the US here there were very upset because that would affect American pocket watches. So my understanding was that basically the Swiss said okay we will make your mainsprings but basically make it worth our while. So I'm not sure whether they ongoing or purchasing or what I suspect they pool their resources and purchased possibly a lifetime supply. Except a while back is reaching out to my local material house your mainspring I was told that they're getting harder to get so I'm guessing the lifetime supply is running low.

Then we have jewels

2 hours ago, nickelsilver said:

Otto Frei in the U.S. has that size. Otto Frei

did you notice something when you go here? the last time I was there looking did you notice that the jewels are all on sale? Why would a material house have something on sale unless they're being closed out as there no longer available except. The exception is in the material house they stock vast quantities of stuff that's no longer available so I don't quite understand why they're having a sale unless?

then the disadvantage of doing slow replies are people will be made to the answer but sometimes I can quote thing and I don't have to explain as much like these.

40 minutes ago, nickelsilver said:

Every watchmaker in the world would be coming to you. 

2 minutes ago, RichardHarris123 said:

he demand question is interesting, how much demand is there?  How much would an individual jewel have to be priced at to make a profit?  Would some jewels sit in storage for years 

so now we get to the biggest problem of all. First off watchmakers the number of them are decreasing dramatically even if you include all hobbyists how many watchmakers are there in the world? Then how many of those watchmakers need these type of spare parts like replacement jewels? I'm guessing that number drops dramatically.

So this brings up the problem if you invested in all the sizes of jewels and could figure out a distributed network and make it known that you have these jewels how fast would they be sold would you ever make  a investment on your money?

This is where fortunately if you're patient things will show up on eBay.

 

 

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, JohnR725 said:

in Switzerland there was a reference to this where and I can't quite remember basically groups the companies would come together and pool their resources

Looks like that idea has happening for a hundred years or so. Swiss banking initiated mergers like Omega and Tissot to become SSIH. Then ASUAG and then the Swatch group , gradually taking over and aquiring all dormant companies from the quartz crisis period. I often wonder if this monopoly is some kind of payback for that time or an assurance that nothing like that can happen in the future. If you control everything then can anything control you ?

1 hour ago, RichardHarris123 said:

The demand question is interesting, how much demand is there?  How much would an individual jewel have to be priced at to make a profit?  Would some jewels sit in storage for years 

Initial prices tend to be high until the investment is paid for then drop, sometimes quite dramatically.  Like medication, example costs of pennies for Ibuprofen and paracetamol when the investment of research is paid off. The demand might be a hard one to figure but there must still be literally tens or even hundreds of thousands of us coming and going from the hobby.

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11 hours ago, nickelsilver said:

Jewels are definitely an issue. I recently made some parts for a customer, for which I need almost the same jewel as Murks, 0.22/1.30. I think one of the material houses had it, but I need 30 of them, and at 15 bucks a pop, that comes to 450. I can go to a jewel maker and have 100 made for 550, so that's what we're going to do. And these are much better quality than most Seitz jewels I've seen, especially older ones.

 

 

And from "Les Paquerettes* in the Jura when I needed 1000 the cost was only 10% more. Anyone want 15 120 30 size I have 920?

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10 hours ago, Jack75 said:

And from "Les Paquerettes* in the Jura when I needed 1000 the cost was only 10% more. Anyone want 15 120 30 size I have 920?

Was it La Pierrette in Le Brassus (Vallee de Joux)? I've been meaning to ask them about pallet stones.

 

Yeah, I never asked for more than 100, but there are definitely price breaks with quantity- just checked the quote from above, price per piece for 50x is 8.13CHF, 100x 4.39CHF. Silly not to take the 100x.

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I just had a quick look at the "Flat Cylindrical Jewels, Seitz" at Cousins and made the following observations:

98 sizes are in stock,
148 sizes are discontinued, and
4 sizes are expected to be back in stock.

Also, the Seitz jewel boxes that used to be available not too long ago have been discontinued. These boxes sometimes show up on eBay but it becomes sparser and sparser. It's looking bleak 😒 I got three of those Seitz jewel boxes (various well-filled) from eBay a few years ago. At the time, I wasn't sure it was worth the money but now I realize I'm sitting on "gold".

Perhaps a (very) small glimmer of hope is that some (4) of the Jewels at Cousins are expected to be back in stock.

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On 7/10/2023 at 8:48 AM, nickelsilver said:

Was it La Pierrette in Le Brassus (Vallee de Joux)? I've been meaning to ask them about pallet stones.

 

It was a small firm in Les Paquerettes with centreless lathes turning stones from small rectangular chrome-doped alumina (ruby) blanks. I used them as electrical insulaters in micro technology. But many years ago and maybe they have moved on. I no longer have a record of the firm's name.

 

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On 7/10/2023 at 9:44 AM, VWatchie said:

I just had a quick look at the "Flat Cylindrical Jewels, Seitz" at Cousins and made the following observations:

98 sizes are in stock,
148 sizes are discontinued, and
4 sizes are expected to be back in stock.

Perhaps a (very) small glimmer of hope is that some (4) of the Jewels at Cousins are expected to be back in stock.

Just this week I found the jewel I wanted discontinued at Cousins. 

But I did find it at HS Walsh. They have a good selection. Don't try and find them on their website - it's hopeless, but they have an ebay shop. If you search ebay for "seitz jewel" you will find them.

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5 hours ago, mikepilk said:

Don't try and find them on their website - it's hopeless

When you look at a material house like cousins they are 100% online If it's not online it doesn't exist. But often times when you look at other material houses they will usually say something like call us email us because not everything is online.

 

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On 7/13/2023 at 7:02 PM, JohnR725 said:

When you look at a material house like cousins they are 100% online If it's not online it doesn't exist. But often times when you look at other material houses they will usually say something like call us email us because not everything is online.

 

I meant hopeless for finding jewels. The rest of the website isn't too bad. I think they are the UK's second largest supplier after Cousins. Worth a look if Cousins don't stock it.

They have a couple of shops - London and Birmingham.  I must pay a visit and fondle some of the Bergeon tools.

https://www.hswalsh.com/watch-parts-straps-batteries

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