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Hi from Maryland USA

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I joined last weekend but realized I posted as a reply and should have opened a new topic - I have a small collection of modern and vintage watches and just recently got two of the windups below working again after they seemed to be stuck for years.  This site looks like a great place to learn how to take care of them properly.  I also hope to learn what is needed to fix my Lejour chronometer, which I accidentally broke recently.    My vintage watches are all gifts from my father, who likes to collect one here and there; none are high value but all are interesting for their connection to history:

Here is a list and I am posting photos:



Orient Mako II automatic dive watch (brand new)

Pulsar quartz chronometer (dates from approx 1990)

Seiko quartz dress watch


Lord Elgin mechanical (runs)

Waltham mechanical (runs) 

Elgin DeLuxe Shock Master mechanical (runs but needs a back - it disappeared)

LeJour Chronometer (needs repair)









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Hi Duane, Welcome and thanks for the photo`s. Good luck with the watches, I like anything that tells the time. Fixed a ladies genuine Rado quartz today,  Clean, AC line free and new Batt. Goes nice now. All good wishes. Mike.


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Thank you for the replies - I am happy the photos came out well and turned out to be easy to post.  As it happens, #4 and # going up from the bottom have issues.  My father just recently gave me #4, an Elgin with a screw-on back.  It works great and keeps time very well - but the back is missing!  He wore it quite a bit and said the back worked itself off while he was walking and he lost it.  Not sure if this is a bad idea but I am currently winding it daily and leaving it inside a closed box, hoping it won't pick up dirt.  Let me know if this is stupid.  I don't know if I will ever find a correct back for it or if I need to get a different case for the face and movement. 

#5, I plan to post a repair advice request after a bit - this one if from the 50s or 60s I think.  It looks different, perhaps earlier, than pictures of LeJours I saw online.  It has a Valjoux movement.  My father, a retired U.S. Army Colonel, gave it to me when I was commissioned as a 2d Lieutenant in 1982.  I wore it on active duty in Germany and for several years after.  Eventually it stopped working and one of the small hands fell off.  But it turned out the watch itself just needed a cleaning.  A reputable, reasonably priced watch repair professional in the town I lived in took care of both about 10 years ago.  I then moved a significant distance away and later the watch stopped again - or so I thought.  I took it to someone else, who took it apart and told me it would be expensive to fix. Turned out he was wrong - I took it back to the person who had cleaned it and he had it running almost immediately - apparently I was not turning the crown hard enough and was thinking the resistance was a jam of some sort.  But it is normal for this watch.  But my watch guru also said two screws that fixed the movement in the case were missing - the movement was bouncing around inside.  So the person I had just recently taken it to apparently lost them.  

Not happy about the screws, I wanted to see where they were supposed to go and removed the movement from the case.  This required pressing a detent and pulling the crown out.  Being an idiot, I forgot to press the detent when I replaced the stem.  And damaged the watch, apparently.  Everything went out of line.  My good repair expert looked at it again and reassembled it, but said parts to really fix it are unavailable.  He is very elderly and sick so is now out of the picture.  But I really want to fix my watch. 


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    • Cool!   Based on the photo posted above, a good cleaning should be all that is needed. I am not able to discern the cracks in the photo as it is...
    • Thanks I'll check them out !!
    • The second attempt: I took whole movement apart again, cleaned it, oiled it, I also managed to clean all of the jewel holes with pegwood. I also opened mainspring barrel and took out the mainspring. It was quite dirty, I cleaned it, oiled it, and put everything back again. To my surprise, the amplitude looked very good, the automatic winding system seemed fine. The last step was to put the movement in the case. I had trouble with the dial ring and putting stem back (although I think I put it correctly). I took the movement out of the case to check for a problem, but then the amplitude got lower and the watch completely stopped. Since I did not move or touch anything, I suspected it was the mainspring with not enough energy. I gave "external" power by using pegwood and slightly touch the central wheel. The amplitude was normal again. So, my conclusion would be that I have problem with the mainspring: it does not give enough energy for the train to transfer it to the balance wheel. Maybe at first, when the mainspring is fully in tension, but after some time, it is just not enough and watch stops. However, I am not sure where I can buy new 7009 (or 7s26) mainspring for replacement. On the other hand, it could be that the hole made for the barrel arbor got bigger, and now the mainspring teeth are not fully in contact with the center wheel. But I would say that the problem is the mainspring. It is strange however that the watch stopped few days after it fell on the ground.
    • You are correct, I use polident denture fizzy tablets which works well. I have also used an ultrasonic cleaner with a cleaner I mix up. You will never get the hairline cracks completely but you can get them to be way less noticeable.   
    • I like that!!!!!!!!!!!