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bsoderling

Worn case repair options

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Hi all,

 

The watches I tend to get my hands on to work with for a decently cheap price are often samples from the 30-40’ies and while the movement will often be possible to get in working order, the cases can be really crappy.

 

I have several cases where the strap pin holes are worn to an open status (as in my attached photo) and no longer serve their purpose.

 

Most people would probably chuck the entire watch in the bin but not me :-).

 

Many of these older watches have fixed pins anyway so why not try to mount a pin by soldering or something.

 

I suppose I will need to find a silver solder and use high temperature to make this work?

 

If there’s any soldering experience or advice out there, I would appreciate any feedback.

 

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Depends on what kind of metal the case is. Here's some discussion on soldering different metals commonly found in jewelry: types: https://www.cooksongold.com/blog/jewellery-tips/introduction-to-base-metals-in-jewellery-making

If I were approaching this kind of repair, I would try to find a solder that is a close color match to the case, and then completely fill the gaps in the lugs. Once filled, I'd reshape them and re-drill the pin holes with a drill press. I would also try to work with an hard solder ("hard" meaning it melts at a higher temperature) initially so if I have gaps after the first pass I can add another layer of medium without burning out my first layer, and then a third layer (if needed) with easy.

Good luck!

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This is just a suggestion. How about filing the ends down to a level size. Drill the holes and fit curved bars that will take a leather strap. What you lose in distance from the case will be replaced by the curve of the bar.

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It looks like a brass case, so I'd get some brass rod, 1.5-2mm (max) diameter, open the holes and solder that in on both sides. Leave the pin long on both sides.

Where the lug is "torn out" you might have to get generous with the solder...

Then file, sand and buff to final shape. Be sure to protect the rehaut area so the crystal fits properly when done (you may need to mask this area until the final chrome plate step only)

Now, bring it to your favorite chroming shop, and see if they will copper plate for you. Once that's done, (unless the copper looks flawless) sand and polish the copper to perfection. Its easier to see the flaws and pits once it is all one color.

Repeat as needed.

Finally, a nickel strike and then chrome plating will make it look better, and hold up better, than a new case.

NOTE: you should discuss with the plater beforehand, as they may want you to use a certain solder ONLY for compatibility and contamination concerns with their process tanks.

SECOND NOTE: Plating (correctly) will probably cost more than the watch is worth...

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Hi guys and thanks for all the feedback!

The metals link was interesting for a beginner and I will continue googling for more info on metals and related soldering techniques as I’m sure there’s plenty to pick up.

I’m sure you are right about replating costs and not sure I would even want to go that way if it was reasonable. If one starts to go down that restoration (rather than repair) road it kind of implies you have to do that with dial and hands as well to not have a result ”out of balance” in the end.

In this case the dial and hands are fair but not at all perfect and with a re-plated casing I feel this would look awkward.

Learning the basic practises of hard soldering is definitely enough on my plate right now and a good starting point.





Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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