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Omega Constellation Automatic Square Face


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Hi, just signed on to what looks to be a great site.

My first question is, would it be worthwhile getting my father's favorite watch repaired? As you can see, it is in very poor condition. I suspect the cracked glass has let water in as the stem wont turn.

IMG_20140604_161439.jpg

Thanks

Rob.

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Only you can decide if it is worthwhile as there will definitely be a fair cost involved. If you have to pay someone to restore it, the cost would be more than the watch is worth if you don't take the sentimental value into account. I personally would like to see it restored as it is/was a high grade certified chronometer.

It would be good to see inside the watch to get an idea of what condition it is inside.

By the way, a welcome to the forum! :-)

Edited by Geo
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Thanks for the reply and the welcome.

Will post a photo of the mechanism once I can find my screwdriver set that dad borrowed.

If the mechanism is ok, is the restoration something a fast learning amateur can undertake?

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If the mechanism is ok, is the restoration something a fast learning amateur can undertake?

Personally I wouldn't recommend it as your first attempt at watch repair. I would suggest that you buy a cheap movement off EBay and practice on that first.

Study some of Mark's watch repair videos before doing anything. The one thing you will have to learn is touch. These things are very delicate and you must get used to handling the tools and small parts.

Edited by Geo
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Well, that's that then.

Found my screwdrivers but once I cleaned out the screw recesses, I saw one screw was chewed up. Must have been the place my father last took it to get serviced.

Not even going to try and open it.

He'll have to use his backup, same watch but gold coloured case, yuck.

Thanks again for advice.

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If it's completely gummed, sounds like rust. One of Mark's videos shows a rusted up watch being repaired and cleaned - the very rusty parts, around 20 of them had to be replaced. That's going to be an additional cost on top of any cleaning and servicing. If you want the face sorting out, that'll be another £100 or so... All depends on the sentimental value of the piece - which is probably quite nice underneath all that gunge.

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No sentimental value, he just likes the clean fuss free face.

Wonder if I could transfer the mechanism and glass from the "ugly" gold coloured one into this case?

He says he paid £80 back in 1983 for it. What is a good one worth today?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dad told me, not only has he got the gold coloured version, he also has a spare gold bracelet and case.

When he first bought the gold one, it started to shed its coloring so his friend ordered him a replacement, replaced it, then let him keep the ruined one. (I'll post pics later)

What I found was the glass is really thin. Not like some other watches. Is it just plain glass?

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Wow, that' some corrosion. Did your dad fill acid batteries for a living? :-)

Ha, no, he just never took care of it. Kept it on 24/7 and never cleaned them. Worked in catering for 40 years. He's the same with his cars. Only time they ever get washed is when they go in for a service.

I thought gold isn't supposed to corrode/tarnish? I presume that's what the writing on the clasp means?

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I thought gold isn't supposed to corrode/tarnish? I presume that's what the writing on the clasp means?

 

The clasp inscription means that the base metal of the bracelet has been plated to 10 microns of gold width. Which isn't huge and can be worn off in time - even with modest use. It's obviously been hammered over the years - hence the condition... Pure gold doesn't tarnish.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

   Just signed in to what seems to be very interesting site. Your watch is well worth restoring. The Constellation case appears to be stainless steel which should clean up nicely. I have worked on several of these Omega Constellations. There should be four screws one in each corner that holds the movement and case back in place. They screw through the case but not into the back. In theory if you took out the three non rusty screws with any luck you should be able to remove movement. Inside you will find that the movement will still be inside the case back held by a split stem. Movement will most likely be a 1001 caliber. A new crystal will run somewhere around $40.00. I just bought one about 6 months ago for mine. I don't think that Constellation movement and dial will fit into the gold case. The dial can also be redone and similar dials can be purchased on ebay.  Of course taking off the dial is a bit tricky and putting it back is even more so as you have to take off the autowind mechanism so that the center sweep pinion can be supported while installing the second hand.  If it would help I could take mine and take pictures of it as I take it out of the bezel to show what I mean.

Good Luck

Charles Kelly 

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Thanks for the info Charles. Sounds like I might get it refurb'd for his birthday then.

Only noticed the gold one is different when I read your post and looked at the pic again. I wonder if the complete gold one is the same? I'll get him to dig it out the safe and look.

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  • 1 month later...

Been quoted silly prices to refurb so I think I'm gonna at least try and change the crystal.

QUESTION:

How do I go about removing rusted/mangled screw on caseback. 3 look ok but the fourth no longer has the groove for screwdriver. God knows who he last took it to for a service.

Where can I find part numbers for crystal and maybe the dial (looking on the bay for a good replacement dial) and also replacement caseback screws.

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QUESTION:

How do I go about removing rusted/mangled screw on caseback.

This is from a post by member "Horology", I've not tried it myself but maybe worth a go. I don't think it would work if it is a stainless steel screw.

"When there is a rusty stubborn plate screw you can mix white vinegar with petrolioun jelly and apply the jelly on the top the stubborn screw and wait a few days.

The screw will become a mass of brown poop. you will have to replace the screw.

The reason for using the greese is so the vinegar does not spred into the gear train or other steel parts."

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Hi roberto,

 

If you can remove 3 screws can you move the caseback sideways? wriggle it left and right and see what happens..

 

Crystal can be polished out if you want to cut costs...these onese are usually quite thick.

 

Anil

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Hi roberto,

If you can remove 3 screws can you move the caseback sideways? wriggle it left and right and see what happens..

Crystal can be polished out if you want to cut costs...these onese are usually quite thick.

Anil

Morning.

Not tried that yet but will.

The crystal is actually cracked hence the state of the dial going green. Wonder if I can clean up dial if and when I can get the case open.

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Dial cleaning usually ends up with a sterile (no markings) dial...

 

did you do model kits (airfix/tamiya) when you were a kid? The words usually will slide right off if too much contact in water some like the transfers in those kits.

 

You can try using rodico and/or dry brush but doesn't look too hopeful, the green stuff is some kind of algae/fungus and will eat into the lacquer.. Sometimes dials turn up on ebay, constellations are more desired so cost more but there were also seamasters in this case style which should be cheaper..

 

Anil

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Hi,

   The screws will not go all the way into the case back itself. They just screw through bezel and put pressure against a corner of back to hold it in place. If you remove the other three screws try gently pushing the crystal through case in an area where two screws are missing. This should allow you to remove crystal, movement and back. Numbers needed to order crystal will be inside case back and will look something like 168.044. After removing the back the screw left might be backed out of the bezel by clamping it from inside and unscrewing or even screwing it all the way through. 

Charles K

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