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On 6/21/2023 at 2:08 PM, JohnR725 said:

Sometimes the best people at repairing watches are not the professional watchmakers. That's because you don't have customers screaming because they want their watch yesterday.

This is something I have pondered re my Dad. What would he do if he ran up against the Cyma I am working on? He had to feed three kids and send them to college. No time to waste on really hard problems.  I wish he were still around to answer.

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27 minutes ago, LittleWatchShop said:

This is something I have pondered re my Dad. What would he do if he ran up against the Cyma I am working on?

Perhaps a more realistic approach if you were working in the trade would be to do a Assessment is this going to be a problem? Anything that's going to be a problem You just don't do. Although typically what shops would do is charge what they perceive be a high price and then their surprise that the customer says yes and then they still get stuck doing it making a little more money but thinking they should Have picked a much much higher price.

 

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JohnR725 brought up an interesting point.  Some of us have the luxury of *sufficient time* and *sufficient resources*.  If I were working on watches as my primary source of income, I would need to dramatically increase the volume of my work and the output to match.  I would not have as much time to spend on difficult and lengthy repairs.  As a result, I'd have to make judgement calls on what a watch's needs were.  I'd have to decline certain jobs if I thought they'd take up too much precious work time.
But I don't need to do that.  I have a day job.  That's one reason I learned how to also work on cylinder escapements and why I bought the punches for them.  They keep showing up here in Indianapolis, and needing work done.  I don't know if it's due to word-of-mouth, but somehow these "friends of friends" sometimes hear that I know how to work on cylinder escapements and, wouldn't you know, this person will pull out their grandmother's little silver pin-set watch, or grandpa's old cylinder Galonne, and tell me how every other watchmaker took one look inside...and turned them down.  Wouldn't touch it.  
Many of the watchmakers around here work for major jewelers, and so they specialize in what the jeweler sells (which makes sense).  If a jeweler sells mostly modern Tag Heuers, the watch repair tech works on those all day, and will barely know what to do with a Timex, or an antique Galonne, or anything other than a Swiss lever.  And he may not even have tools adequate to the task.  Same with repair techs who are certified for Rolex, or Omega.  There are a few independant watchmakers nearby who might take on varied work, but when they encounter something other than a Swiss lever, they seem to do what JohnR725 describes: either refuse the job and send the person away, or name a ludicrous price and hope the person is discouraged enough to leave on their own.
More work for me, I suppose.

Edited by KarlvonKoln
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2 hours ago, KarlvonKoln said:

JohnR725 brought up an interesting point.  Some of us have the luxury of *sufficient time* and *sufficient resources*.  If I were working on watches as my primary source of income, I would need to dramatically increase the volume of my work and the output to match.  I would not have as much time to spend on difficult and lengthy repairs.  As a result, I'd have to make judgement calls on what a watch's needs were.  I'd have to decline certain jobs if I thought they'd take up too much precious work time.
But I don't need to do that.  I have a day job.  That's one reason I learned how to also work on cylinder escapements and why I bought the punches for them.  They keep showing up here in Indianapolis, and needing work done.  I don't know if it's due to word-of-mouth, but somehow these "friends of friends" sometimes hear that I know how to work on cylinder escapements and, wouldn't you know, this person will pull out their grandmother's little silver pin-set watch, or grandpa's old cylinder Galonne, and tell me how every other watchmaker took one look inside...and turned them down.  Wouldn't touch it.  
Many of the watchmakers around here work for major jewelers, and so they specialize in what the jeweler sells (which makes sense).  If a jeweler sells mostly modern Tag Heuers, the watch repair tech works on those all day, and will barely know what to do with a Timex, or an antique Galonne, or anything other than a Swiss lever.  And he may not even have tools adequate to the task.  Same with repair techs who are certified for Rolex, or Omega.  There are a few independant watchmakers nearby who might take on varied work, but when they encounter something other than a Swiss lever, they seem to do what JohnR725 describes: either refuse the job and send the person away, or name a ludicrous price and hope the person is discouraged enough to leave on their own.
More work for me, I suppose.

Any specialised work should always  command a higher price. Restorers of vintage cars compared to your basic mechanic. My hourly rate repairing old houses or fitting bespoke staircases kitchens and bathrooms, overcoming issues is higher than my standard joinery work.  Skill and knowledge beyond the norm developed from years of experience deserves more payment.

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Here is the watch I want to show, a Zodiac Incasecurit Hermetic which I think is from the late 40s. I chose it because it is the first watch in my collection, the one that lit my watch fire. It's my only Zodiac.  

I haven't had to do much to it except clean and buff. It was filthy and so scratched I could not see the dial when I got it. I kept the "Hong Kong" fabric band it came with, only when I got it it appeared to be a light gray. I had to run even that throught the ultrasonic. Not sure what it came with originally.

I love it for a few reasons: It runs and keeps good time. The almost-gone rust spot on the back amused me because it is right where the thing claims to be rustproof! I love the color of the dial and just don't think it started out that color. I like the rendering of the numerals, the restrained application of luminesence, and it inexplicably reminds me of the beach.I like it just the way it is.

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One more Caravelle. This one had a scare when I went out to an antiques fair this morning and it was 95 f by 0900. Came home to AC and started getting condensation under the crystal. Opened it up and used a hand blower to clear it up! I liked this chunky rubber band with a Caravelle clasp. It was on a modern watch but fits perfectly on this vintage diver from 1972.DSCN53402.thumb.JPG.04aef9195d939d55ee62db8d2256e81d.JPGDSCN53432.thumb.JPG.ee5c0860980ef8081087d162a53c2068.JPGDSCN53412.thumb.JPG.1ad22bcd54b2c3edce47b5550a8cbc1c.JPG

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Now i need another crown as this one is worn and not sure it is original as it us not signed.

Edited by Razz
Added additional info.
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Nice! Caravelle really had some great watches. I especially like those that intersect a stainless steel case with a 17 jewel movement. I haven't seen a lot of those, I think maybe 2 of the 20+ Caravelle's I have hit both of those metrics and I started working on one of them today.

 

I have some NOS Caravelle crowns. Do you know which crown you need? If you have the case number on the inside of the case back I can check.

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1 hour ago, GuyMontag said:

Nice! Caravelle really had some great watches. I especially like those that intersect a stainless steel case with a 17 jewel movement. I haven't seen a lot of those, I think maybe 2 of the 20+ Caravelle's I have hit both of those metrics and I started working on one of them today.

 

I have some NOS Caravelle crowns. Do you know which crown you need? If you have the case number on the inside of the case back I can check.

Thanks Guy, let me check for the case number when I get back to my bench in a bit. I agree, hard to find the all SS case and a 17J movement. This one has some wear on the back near the crown and where the case edges touch the skin, and sweat, contact and time really can get the plating worn away.

Looks like aAS/ST 1951 aka Bulova 11 UACD movement 17J. Case number W 830 is what is inside the back cover.DSCN53482.thumb.JPG.f028bf2ba4b8338246f0245d64cc3d78.JPG

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On 7/1/2023 at 6:51 AM, KarlvonKoln said:

If I were working on watches as my primary source of income, I would need to dramatically increase the volume of my work and the output to match. 

typically when people think about this you really haven't thought it through as much is your thinking. Not just in watch repair I've seen it for other examples of a hobby that moves into a business all the business things they should pay for but they didn't even think about it at the time. So the cost of something that's relatively cheap all of a sudden becomes expensive when you add in all the expenses it should be there.

Oh and then there is the other little thing you're doing retail work what if word got out and people want to send you wholesale work would you have a wholesale price? Typically jewelry stores will double whatever you charge them. I have seen an example of somebody who suggested the retail prices is this and I'm going to bill you this but there's no guarantee that that's what's actually going to happen. then sometimes you lose business from the wholesale accounts because the customer couldn't pay the price because occasionally jewelry stores not just doubling up occasionally built triple prices. Then whose fault is the price being so high it's your fault not the jewelry store for tripling by the way.

On 7/1/2023 at 6:51 AM, KarlvonKoln said:

That's one reason I learned how to also work on cylinder escapements and why I bought the punches for them.  They keep showing up here in Indianapolis, and needing work done.  I don't know if it's due to word-of-mouth, but somehow these "friends of friends" sometimes hear that I know how to work on cylinder escapements and, wouldn't you know, this person will pull out their grandmother's little silver pin-set watch, or grandpa's old cylinder Galonne, and tell me how every other watchmaker took one look inside...and turned them down.  Wouldn't touch it. 

in real life what you are doing is a specialty item. If watch repair was like any other field a specialty item would get a higher price are you charging a higher price for specialty item?

Then students in school are not taught how to work on vintage then definitely not cylinder watches. This means typically 99.9% of the watchmakers out there have no idea what they would do with the cylinder watch other than it would not be in their best interest to take it in and service.

Contrary to popular belief not every single watch can be serviced successfully and we're trying to please a paying customer that's something you should keep in mind. Even if they want to throw money at you if you can't actually successfully service their watch it's not your interest to take the money.

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, GuyMontag said:

Nice! Caravelle really had some great watches. I especially like those that intersect a stainless steel case with a 17 jewel movement. I haven't seen a lot of those, I think maybe 2 of the 20+ Caravelle's I have hit both of those metrics and I started working on one of them today.

I found one that hit the those 2 metrics plus more: all stainless case, 17j plus is an auto with a date! Another 1972 and looks good on a Khaki nato strap which matches the dial.DSCN53522.thumb.JPG.1ce4e8712dce957cb25bdf726c06eff7.JPGDSCN53512.thumb.JPG.dd6f14f39929a5a0b207197b1ca70495.JPGDSCN53502.thumb.JPG.db0572382a679565e37dd2b435e10f22.JPGDSCN53533.thumb.JPG.a1219a31e05e42c0136733ac45e2b8f8.JPG

Edit to add it is an AS 1903.

Edited by Razz
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9 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

typically when people think about this you really haven't thought it through as much is your thinking. Not just in watch repair I've seen it for other examples of a hobby that moves into a business all the business things they should pay for but they didn't even think about it at the time. So the cost of something that's relatively cheap all of a sudden becomes expensive when you add in all the expenses it should be there.

Oh and then there is the other little thing you're doing retail work what if word got out and people want to send you wholesale work would you have a wholesale price? Typically jewelry stores will double whatever you charge them. I have seen an example of somebody who suggested the retail prices is this and I'm going to bill you this but there's no guarantee that that's what's actually going to happen. then sometimes you lose business from the wholesale accounts because the customer couldn't pay the price because occasionally jewelry stores not just doubling up occasionally built triple prices. Then whose fault is the price being so high it's your fault not the jewelry store for tripling by the way.

in real life what you are doing is a specialty item. If watch repair was like any other field a specialty item would get a higher price are you charging a higher price for specialty item?

Then students in school are not taught how to work on vintage then definitely not cylinder watches. This means typically 99.9% of the watchmakers out there have no idea what they would do with the cylinder watch other than it would not be in their best interest to take it in and service.

Contrary to popular belief not every single watch can be serviced successfully and we're trying to please a paying customer that's something you should keep in mind. Even if they want to throw money at you if you can't actually successfully service their watch it's not your interest to take the money.

 

 

 

Some jobs you have to walk away from, its rare but i occasionally do it in my trade if i know its going to be a headache from start to finish. There is also a period of cover that you need to provide whatever that may be. If the watch is of a delicate disposition due to its design or age you are then relying on its ower to treat it with care. You might have a year of expecting the owner to return with it .

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13 hours ago, GuyMontag said:

Very cool, I like that orange seconds hand. I can't quite make out the case number, can you?

No just the 5-2, below the last 2 digits of the 4 digits are also 52 but the printing is too worn. Interestingly 3 watchmakers marks on the case though. Case is 34mm wide and 40mm lug to 

 

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Today, I decided to go with something old.  So I'm carrying a little Swiss cylinder Galonne, which I have named "The Mysterious Number 3" (because that is the only identifying mark I could find on it). It is not a very valuable antique and after I repaired it, as practice, it did not sell on Ebay, so that makes it permanently mine. And it's an endearing little thing.

While it is fairly accurate for a cylinder watch, it's nowhere near a quartz.  And if I could sell it, given the residual wear to the case, I could probably only get $60 US.  If you want accuracy,  about $15 will buy a cheap but moderately reliable quartz.  So, in terms of Imperial measurement, that must mean that...

Four quartz equal a galonne!

🤣

Well, I'm going to leave to get some groceries today (before people start coming after me with torches and pitchforks).

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Here is my one of a few Mickey Mouse watches. Timex 2471, 35mm case. Except for 1 scratch on the dial very clean. Chrome plating intact. Caseback kind of scratched from others removing. First picture crystal as purchases, second polished and 3rd is new crystal.DSCN53172.thumb.JPG.4dedc1c35ff03176bd0e3f726c5b51d3.JPGDSCN53182.thumb.JPG.a982a3b7a62c63b066874d61d83d9806.JPGDSCN53542.thumb.JPG.8c30f82162241cdec0495c270412623d.JPGDSCN53552.thumb.JPG.c92a4f7583b6462dd0d964643289ca2d.JPGDSCN53562.thumb.JPG.e7d53fdff6331e7101cc1b7a6fe4f067.JPG

My understanding is the last digits of the dial number are the caliber and year. So caliber 24 and year 1971? @JerseyMo this one is inspired by your many informative posts on Timexs. Have a telephone dial on the way, we will see if the seller comes through, as I previously bid on the lot and lost but it was relisted.

Edited by Razz
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This Omega Genève, cal 625  from 1974 was a non-runner. I cleaned the dial a little bit too, but stopped before making it worse. Simple movement that went back to a strong beat after a good clean and oiling.

BTW: pegging the jewels holes made a huge difference. I didn't do that at first and got around 270° amplitude (dial up, full wind) and lines were a bit choppy in the vertical positions. So I then disassembled again and polished the jewels with pegwood... and it went up to 290/300 with nice straight lines.

I hope you like my "movement art" ☺️

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I have a couple variations for this Clinton watch with a bezel.  I am not sure if it is supposed to be a diver or a world timer as it has a bidirectional bezel. Could use a new crystal. This is an FE3612 I beleive. I don't know why they didn't go full stainless case on these. This one has a bit of wear showing brass on just the underside edge by the crown. My other blue dial auto has the original band but is not a comfortable as this nato band. I ordered a black silicon band with red stitching and we will see how that wears later this week I am hoping. 

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Edited by Razz
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Seiko Elnix 0702-6010 from August 1973

eBay buy just arrived today. In really fantastic unpolished condition. Looks like it's been in a drawer for 40 years. So pleased with it. The bracelet and case are so sharp. Will be getting a full service soon enough. This watch has an electronic balance and the movement was only produced for 2 years so quite rare. Note it still has a sticker on the clasp in Japanese showing how to adjust the bracelet.

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Picked this little throwback piece up at a flea market, or boot fair is it called across the pond? $12US and was not running and missing the minute hand. Took it out of the case and the missing hand falls out on the bench! Put it back on, flipped it over and saw that the balance wanted to kick in. Gently pushed on the hair spring and then noticed the screws next to the balance were loose. Tighten them down, hit it with a puff of air and off trigger galloped! This seems original, the crystal is yellow but not noticeable at first.DSCN53862.thumb.JPG.d49ff1b40cf68f6fd5cd6a9461c13dc0.JPGDSCN53832.thumb.JPG.05567e94461535cf54c43cb9620bead3.JPGDSCN53842.thumb.JPG.2ddafacaa190671a22023164a99c4d52.JPGDSCN53852.thumb.JPG.23e8f142a0fe4f20413b9399315c58ae.JPG

Edit: set this an hour ago and is running a bit fast but absolutely keeping time well.

Edited by Razz
Added setting time.
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Here is a quartz watch I recently picked up, it's a 925 silver AVANTINO 'Tank', quick clean, buff and a new battery and strap turned it from this:

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Into this

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Didn't want to go too heavy with the polishing as silver is so soft compared to ss so still a few dings, but overall I'm happy with it. 😃

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On 7/13/2023 at 10:05 PM, steve1811uk said:

Seiko Elnix 0702-6010 from August 1973

eBay buy just arrived today. In really fantastic unpolished condition. Looks like it's been in a drawer for 40 years. So pleased with it. The bracelet and case are so sharp. Will be getting a full service soon enough. This watch has an electronic balance and the movement was only produced for 2 years so quite rare. Note it still has a sticker on the clasp in Japanese showing how to adjust the bracelet.

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Watch is running great after a full service currently -0.5 seconds per day. 0 SPD DU and DD, +4 PD and PL (PU and PR -7). Amplitude reading 192 degrees DU which equates to approx. 300 degrees real amplitude. This will be a 50 year old watch next month, and some people say that Seikos are rubbish.

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53 minutes ago, steve1811uk said:

Watch is running great after a full service currently -0.5 seconds per day. 0 SPD DU and DD, +4 PD and PL (PU and PR -7). Amplitude reading 192 degrees DU which equates to approx. 300 degrees real amplitude. This will be a 50 year old watch next month, and some people say that Seikos are rubbish.

IMG_20230718_191425361.jpg

 

Showoff 🙂 Nice work!

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