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Revisiting an old hobby

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Introducing the latest prospective candidate for the 404 club, winging its way to me from the darker corners of the internet.

This is a USSR "Zaria", which cost a whopping £0.99p (you know you are scraping the barrel when the watch cots twice as much to post as it does to purchase).



It is clearly missing its winding stem, so if anybody knows where to obtain one, and/or can identify the calibre let me know.


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On 12/1/2018 at 12:12 AM, AndyHull said:

That looks the part, what kind of microphone are you planning to use.

I have now tried with an electret microphone from Sony, the preamp is a ready made USB one. It didn't perform as good as I expected and I think I will switch to an piezo electric when time comes.
Pic 1 shows the placement of the microphone.
Pic 2 presents all the parts , spring load,  sliding grip and everything, 3D printing is a fantastic tool for prototyping.. lol

For the curious the movement I test with is a Certina 7750 "BMW Sauber F1 Team Limited Edition"



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On 12/15/2018 at 4:20 PM, steele5213 said:

I,m sorry I have been off for a while.  I also worked on computers but I,m retired now, Your watch looks great!

I have a question, how do you know the battery size for a quartz watch. i Bought it on eBay.


I missed this post, however for the record, if you can identify the movement, then it is relatively easy. Otherwise you need to fairly accurately measure the depth of the battery "hole" and its diameter. Posting your question, in a new topic with a few pictures if you are still struggling.

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While looking for a cross headed screwdriver in my mother in law's house I came across this old HMT Avinash, that has met with a rather unfortunate end.

The watch looks OK externally apart from a couple of small cracks and scratches in the crystal, and some "patina" on the dial,  however it became apparent fairly quickly that all was not well when I tried to wind it.


It turns out that the bridge that holds the winder, mainspring gear, mainspring click spring etc. has been broken in two by an impact, so repair would be un-economical, however since this watch has a bit of history to it, I may see if I can resurrect it from parts in my spares pile when I get back to the UK.

It appears to have the fairly standard 17 jewel HMT movement, and I think I have something similar in the 404 pile.

The watch was bought by one of my brothers in-law for the other, around 30+ years ago. An almost identical watch is still for sale on the HMT site today.

I'll spare you the gory details of the dead watch autopsy, with all of the broken and mangled bits, I wouldn't want to put you off your lunch.:D

Edited by AndyHull

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Boredom is a dangerous thing. In my weak and meaningless defense, they averaged two an a half quid each. How could I resist.

I bring you.. three more amigos (bought as a job lot on ebay, spares or repairs) that will hopefully swell the ranks of the 404 club when I get back from my holidays.


I know... the Nino is probably repainted (but that case is quite neat), the Citizen is the worst Indian redial you have ever seen, and speaks in a foreign tongue and the Richo has a chip in the crystal and needs its face washed, but if nothing else surely the straps are worth a couple of quid each.

A quick service, perhaps some dial work and some elbow grease and I bet they look 1000% better.

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I already picked up a donor to fix the HMT Avinash barrel bridge, so this one is just because I really need to learn to move the keyboard a few inches beyond the end of my fingers to stop me from accidentally typing ebay.co.uk in to the browser.


17 sparkling Indian rubis and 84 pence change from another 404 membership subscription. Now where is the off button on this ebay thingamabob.

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Something has been bothering me. Why is it that the Chinese manufacturers don't produce a "classical" mechanical watch, of reasonable quality, say similar to the HMT or maybe the F Hinds I showed previously both of which in my opinion are actually pretty good for what they are.

All they seem to produce are novelty skeleton watches in garish oversized cases. I know the current trend is for large copper frying pans generally, but there is still a market for classic elegance at a reasonable price.

The closest I can find would be something like this..


But I am looking for something more "classical" than that, and not with a 24 foot wide strap either. They do seem to make some reasonable quartz designs, but nothing automatic or even 17 jewel manual. Its not as if the movements they produce are particularly huge, or invariably of poor quality (thought undoubtedly some are), since a number of non Chinese manufacturers do make well designed timepieces with these, or similar movements. Given the recent advances in manufacturing, it should be possible to produce some very high quality designs without having to charge a fortune for them.

Maybe there is a marketing opportunity being missed here. :unsure:  

Does anybody know of any current Chinese brand that produces watches you might actually want to wear, with the quality at a level of say Citizen, Seiko or even Sekonda, but with the attractive price tag that generally comes from being Chinese?

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