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AndyHull

Revisiting an old hobby

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you need the full dial code and not just the movement numbers.

These are the dials in question. Is there a chart available to find the correct stem and crown. Presumably there are "gold" and "silver" crowned versions, but how many more variants are there?

RIMG0053.JPG

RIMG0052.JPG

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Sicura goes back on the healing bench.

While I was away in India, the Sicura Voyageur decided to start playing up, and I put this down to a combination of factors, not least of which was being bounced about in the back of a jeep over rough terrain.

Today I finally got 5 mins to take a look and it turns out the issue was pretty simple. The two screw clamps that are designed to hold the movement in place had worked loose, and the movement was flapping in the breeze. This accounted for the gritty feeling when winding (the stem was rubbing on the tube), and the stopping and starting at random. The autowind was not able to do much as it was catching on the back of the case.

I removed and refitted the movement. In the process I gave everything a quick whoosh with the air duster, to remove any "Delhi particulate matter" 'cos there was obviously a lot of that about in the air, from the legendary Delhi smogs.

Now it is back on my wrist and chugging along quite nicely. If it still has any quirks, then I'll give it a proper clean, but for the time being at least I think the mystery is solved.

 

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I wonder how easy it is going to be to get this...RIMG0058.thumb.JPG.4f44178a8892a2ad13c3969d91cf70ab.JPG

To look more like this...

MondainAutomatic25JeweFaceAndLogo.thumb.png.8202fb2c41d3defe04890c6e7cb3434d.png

The top coat and the overprinting will need to be restored, and I suspect I can probably do that with a clear decal and some patience.

MondainAutomatic25JeweLogo.thumb.png.fcf5dcb3cf75efcde129f2205bc2e522.png

I obviously still need to add the minute markers to the decal template.

I think I've also figured out how to restore the sunburst finish, using a mild abrasive, a jig and a toothpick but how do they convert from the polished silver blank to the flat white silver? Is it dipped in some chemical or other?

I have the hands, and the 25 Jewel Automatic appears to work, although it is obviously going to need cleaned, services and so forth, so if I can refinish the dial, it should look fairly presentable.

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I wonder how easy it is going to be to get this...RIMG0058.thumb.JPG.4f44178a8892a2ad13c3969d91cf70ab.JPG
To look more like this...
MondainAutomatic25JeweFaceAndLogo.thumb.png.8202fb2c41d3defe04890c6e7cb3434d.png
The top coat and the overprinting will need to be restored, and I suspect I can probably do that with a clear decal and some patience.
MondainAutomatic25JeweLogo.thumb.png.fcf5dcb3cf75efcde129f2205bc2e522.png
I obviously still need to add the minute markers to the decal template.
I think I've also figured out how to restore the sunburst finish, using a mild abrasive, a jig and a toothpick but how do they convert from the polished silver blank to the flat white silver? Is it dipped in some chemical or other?
I have the hands, and the 25 Jewel Automatic appears to work, although it is obviously going to need cleaned, services and so forth, so if I can refinish the dial, it should look fairly presentable.
To get a white silver effect you could try that spray paint from Montana :
MTN 94 Spray Paint - Transparent White (9RVS Air White)
if the result is OK then you spray some clear semi-glossy varnish on.
Subsidiary question :
are the indexes removable or not ?

Envoyé de mon Moto G (5) Plus en utilisant Tapatalk

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6 minutes ago, manodeoro said:

To get a white silver effect you could try that spray paint from Montana :
MTN 94 Spray Paint - Transparent White (9RVS Air White)
if the result is OK then you spray some clear semi-glossy varnish on.
Subsidiary question :
are the indexes removable or not ?

Envoyé de mon Moto G (5) Plus en utilisant Tapatalk
 

Good suggestion on the transparent white.

Answer to subsidiary question, nope unfortunately I think they are soldered on, so they are going to have to be very carefully masked (again) if I start spraying anything.

I may have a dig about and see if there is some magic chemical reaction that will produce white flat silver from polished, and which isn't going to destroy the finish on the indexes. I feel some extensive google time lies ahead.

 

 

Edited by AndyHull

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6 hours ago, AndyHull said:

Good suggestion on the transparent white.

Answer to subsidiary question, nope unfortunately I think they are soldered on, so they are going to have to be very carefully masked (again) if I start spraying anything.

I may have a dig about and see if there is some magic chemical reaction that will produce white flat silver from polished, and which isn't going to destroy the finish on the indexes. I feel some extensive google time lies ahead.

 

 

I'm not certain it will work but those Montana colors spay paint are just magic http://www.mtncolors.com/

To redo the sunburst finish (soleillé in French) you can use a fiberglass pen ... just sharpen it as pointy as possible with an X-Acto then slowly proceed from center to outside, using a toothpic stucked in the center hole and a plastic ruler as a guide and turning the dial just 1 or 2 degrees each time you "draw a line".

I've already done a sunburst dial using that method and it worked pretty well.

Of course you MUST post some pics of the process :)

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Well I had a crack at sunbursting the dial.

I prepared a small piece of plastic sheet with a hole or two in it. I punched the holes with a leather punch, but you could simply drill a suitable hole. Next I cut a slot in the plastic wide enough to take the cocktail stick I would use to rub in the abrasive.

RIMG0068.thumb.JPG.0bcf79f43b69801a83d205de7f8ca005.JPGI also drilled a small hole in a block of fiberboard, the same diameter as a cocktail stick, this would act as my anchoring point for the center of the dial.

RIMG0070.JPG

This is the dial prior to polishing. It has had a light rub with 000 wire wool to remove any remaining old finish.

RIMG0069.thumb.JPG.270306176a902eef39fd73b61423df54.JPG

For abrasive, I considered a couple of options. I do have a fiberglass pen, but I figured that might be a little aggressive, since the existing surface was somewhat damaged, and would need to be re-finished prior to sunbursting.

RIMG0075.thumb.JPG.7bc0e8dd260fc093d6cb7e8e3ec7758a.JPG

The more you polish, the thinner the surface gets, and the greater the chance of breaking through to the underlying brass, so I elected for a relatively fine abrasive for the actual sunbursting, in the form of ceramic hob cleaner. I have used this on acrylic crystals in the past and it produces as uniform smooth texture.

Next I cleaned up the dial as best I could, and removed the majority of the existing scratches, of which there were many. There were a couple of small pits that were too deep to polish out, so I had to leave those. I polished the dial to what can perhaps  best be described as a semi-mirror finish. Not perfect, but under the circumstances, as good as it was likely to get without removing the silver plating completely.

I used Brasso, followed by very fine diamond lapping paste to get the semi-mirror finish.

RIMG0072.thumb.JPG.51a3bc971401195c0fe660896d259dae.JPG 

In order to protect the indices from the hob cleaner which was likely to get trapped under my plastic mask, I cut some very small pieces of electrical tape, using a disk cutter and steel ruler and applied those on top of the individual index markers. This worked up to a point, but they tended to come off towards the end of the process. They do seem to have preserved the gold finish on the indices though. 

Once I was ready to start the sunbursting process, I popped a little bluetack (actually no-name silicone putty from the local supermarket) on to the fiberboard and pressed the dial down over the cocktail stick peg into the putty to hold it in place. I popped the plastic mask on top and set to work. 

I simply dipped the end of fresh, blunted cocktail stick in to a small pool of the hob cleaner, and dragged it lightly but firmly from the center hole to the rim of the dial via the slot in the mask four times, rotated the mask a couple of degrees, re-dipped the cocktail stick to pick up a little more abrasive, dragged four times, rotated, dipped, dragged, rotated etc until I had completed just over a full revolution of the dial.

I then removed the mask, inspected the work (without touching it). removed it from the fiberboard base plate, and rinsed it under the hot tap for about five minutes in order to ensure all of the abrasive was washed away. I did not touch the face at all, as I didn't want any remaining abrasive to cause scratches that were not in the correct starburst pattern.

RIMG0077.thumb.JPG.b4e12905cdce981292e85fd03300b5f4.JPG

Next I poured a liberal dollop of washing up liquid on to the dial and very gingerly rubbed that with my finger from the center of the dial outwards in the direction of the sunbursting to pick up any remaining abrasive. This was followed by another rinse. 

RIMG0078.thumb.JPG.31106ba42f39fe003690e3c278d23e0d.JPG

 

I then inspected the dial. It looks pretty good, considering what I started with, so I left it under a clear plastic lid on top of the radiator to dry.

RIMG0088.thumb.JPG.00bdee1514af404a361b65c007c2c83b.JPG

After about 15 minutes, I inspected it again, removed a couple of specks of dust, and applied a top coat of automotive clear coat.

RIMG0090.thumb.JPG.fd1e79daa0844c8e2047b21bef13c86d.JPG

I then popped it back under the plastic cover to keep the dust off and popped it back on the radiator to let the clearcoat set.

The next part of the process will be figuring out how to apply the logo and lettering, but that is a problem for some other day.

Edited by AndyHull

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Must say this experiment of yours looks like a good way to learn and practice with.
Waiting on the next chapter of this jurney with great anticipation....

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1 minute ago, HSL said:

Must say this experiment of yours looks like a good way to learn and practice with.
Waiting on the next chapter of this jurney with great anticipation....

For that, I'll need the transparent inkjet decal paper, which is on a slow boat from China. :biggrin:

I'll keep you posted if and when it arrives.

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35 minutes ago, AndyHull said:

Well I had a crack at sunbursting the dial.

I prepared a small piece of plastic sheet with a hole or two in it. I punched the holes with a leather punch, but you could simply drill a suitable hole. Next I cut a slot in the plastic wide enough to take the cocktail stick I would use to rub in the abrasive.

RIMG0068.thumb.JPG.0bcf79f43b69801a83d205de7f8ca005.JPGI also drilled a small hole in a block of fiberboard, the same diameter as a cocktail stick, this would act as my anchoring point for the center of the dial.

RIMG0070.JPG

This is the dial prior to polishing. It has had a light rub with 000 wire wool to remove any remaining old finish.

RIMG0069.thumb.JPG.270306176a902eef39fd73b61423df54.JPG

For abrasive, I considered a couple of options. I do have a fiberglass pen, but I figured that might be a little aggressive, since the existing surface was somewhat damaged, and would need to be re-finished prior to sunbursting.

RIMG0075.thumb.JPG.7bc0e8dd260fc093d6cb7e8e3ec7758a.JPG

The more you polish, the thinner the surface gets, and the greater the chance of breaking through to the underlying brass, so I elected for a relatively fine abrasive for the actual sunbursting, in the form of ceramic hob cleaner. I have used this on acrylic crystals in the past and it produces as uniform smooth texture.

Next I cleaned up the dial as best I could, and removed the majority of the existing scratches, of which there were many. There were a couple of small pits that were too deep to polish out, so I had to leave those. I polished the dial to what can perhaps  best be described as a semi-mirror finish. Not perfect, but under the circumstances, as good as it was likely to get without removing the silver plating completely.

I used Brasso, followed by very fine diamond lapping paste to get the semi-mirror finish.

RIMG0072.thumb.JPG.51a3bc971401195c0fe660896d259dae.JPG 

In order to protect the indices from the hob cleaner which was likely to get trapped under my plastic mask, I cut some very small pieces of electrical tape, using a disk cutter and steel ruler and applied those on top of the individual index markers. This worked up to a point, but they tended to come off towards the end of the process. They do seem to have preserved the gold finish on the indices though. 

Once I was ready to start the sunbursting process, I popped a little bluetack (actually no-name silicone putty from the local supermarket) on to the fiberboard and pressed the dial down over the cocktail stick peg into the putty to hold it in place. I popped the plastic mask on top and set to work. 

I simply dipped the end of fresh, blunted cocktail stick in to a small pool of the hob cleaner, and dragged it lightly but firmly from the center hole to the rim of the dial via the slot in the mask four times, rotated the mask a couple of degrees, re-dipped the cocktail stick to pick up a little more abrasive, dragged four times, rotated, dipped, dragged, rotated etc until I had completed just over a full revolution of the dial.

I then removed the mask, inspected the work (without touching it). removed it from the fiberboard base plate, and rinsed it under the hot tap for about five minutes in order to ensure all of the abrasive was washed away. I did not touch the face at all, as I didn't want any remaining abrasive to cause scratches that were not in the correct starburst pattern.

RIMG0077.thumb.JPG.b4e12905cdce981292e85fd03300b5f4.JPG

Next I poured a liberal dollop of washing up liquid on to the dial and very gingerly rubbed that with my finger from the center of the dial outwards in the direction of the sunbursting to pick up any remaining abrasive. This was followed by another rinse. 

RIMG0078.thumb.JPG.31106ba42f39fe003690e3c278d23e0d.JPG

 

I then inspected the dial. It looks pretty good, considering what I started with, so I left it under a clear plastic lid on top of the radiator to dry.

RIMG0088.thumb.JPG.00bdee1514af404a361b65c007c2c83b.JPG

After about 15 minutes, I inspected it again, removed a couple of specks of dust, and applied a top coat of automotive clear coat.

RIMG0090.thumb.JPG.fd1e79daa0844c8e2047b21bef13c86d.JPG

I then popped it back under the plastic cover to keep the dust off and popped it back on the radiator to let the clearcoat set.

The next part of the process will be figuring out how to apply the logo and lettering, but that is a problem for some other day.

Great job :thumbsu:

 

BTW ... if you decide to have a slightly patinated sunburst dial, you can just add a "patina background" to your decal design as I did with the precision dial I showed you.

Can't wait for the final result ... whatever you decide to do it will be great 

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I suspect there is enough original patina still in the dial. I didn't manage to remove all of the scratches and dings. 

I'll post some more pictures once the 2nd clear-coat is touch dry. This takes about 30 minutes and I've just applied it.

The decal lettering was based on this example, which I worked a little magic on in Gimp.

Gents_1960s_Mondaine_automatic_as170a2363z.thumb.jpg.baf097a95ba867c554554a37d2c8ab9b.jpg

What little remained on my dial looked pretty similar.

 

Edited by AndyHull

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Well, it doesn't look completely terrible, but I think a bit of polishing of the clear coat will be necessary once it has had 48hrs or so to set.

There is still a little mechanical work needed on the movement. It got a quick teardown, clean and reassemble, so now it actually winds with the autowinder. I'll need to find a crown and stem, and a suitable case, but this experiment looks to have been worth the effort.

RIMG0095.thumb.JPG.79cd4ea156920869aab130b47a407126.JPG

 

RIMG0098.thumb.JPG.b7885657901eafef3f82fba13ea11d44.JPG

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If there is a prize for ease of servicing, I suspect this FHF 96-4 based Accurist would be in the running.

RIMG0101.thumb.JPG.387a2277b4921ac58cf1cf15e139a980.JPG

It had all the usual 404 cub member problems.

RIMG0100.thumb.JPG.f61b290b17ae6f5cb266a45c43fdbb36.JPG

A missing crown. Layers of external grime that you could grow potatoes in, and a tendency to stop after a few seconds. When it did run it was wildly out of beat, and seemed to be fluctuating +/- seconds per minute, rather  than per day.

So a quick strip down, clean with the old Ronson fluid in a small jam jar, some poking of jewel holes with a tooth brush filament and then back together with a few spots of oil in what I judged to be the most likely places and off it went.

I guessed at the lift angle and stuck it on my laptop's time grapher, then did a little delicate fiddling.

  1762220458_Screenshotat2019-03-0613-29-36.thumb.png.0e18d41ba1c2913eed0d35e7bacb865a.png

That looks a whole lot better. Now all i need to do is let it run for 24hrs to bed in. Check it and adjust as necessary, find it a crown (I think I have something that will do the job), and give it the case, strap and crystal bit of a 404 facelift.

Another bit of 70s styling saved from the scrap heap to join the club.

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Well so far so good... a few hours after I wound it, and it is currently +4s face up, +4s face down, +3s Crown up, -3s Crown down... beat error <0.6ms and swinging away at around 270 degrees. Not bad at all. 

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The Accurist lives up to its name and is ticking away like a trooper, however that leads me on to one of the other curiosities that was in one of the bundles of junk for under four quid.

It is sometimes the watches that I didn't actually spot in these lots which turn out to be most interesting. In this case, there was a small square black faced number that I assumed was a quartz, but I was wrong.

It is actually something that I haven't encountered before. It is in fact a 17 jewel ladies Swiss  watch with a built in scent system.

It calls itself a "De Coven Scent System - Pat.Pend." and other than a slight crack in the crystal, is now in perfect working order.

RIMG0109.thumb.JPG.8d2a0109281a37a7ddc16db3b4149848.JPG

I presume the idea is to put some scent on those two felt pads in the back of the case.

The usual ritual was undertaken. Cleaned (its a pretty small movement, so I was very very careful), oiled, re-assembeled fresh pins, and a fresh strap, and it looks pretty good for its age.

It actually takes a relatively large 18mm strap, which is unusual for a ladies watch of this vintage.

RIMG0112.thumb.JPG.cb9ea2d033d6cb08613a1313b5457384.JPG

 

RIMG0104.thumb.JPG.843d198338f597619d2fa650e05a9505.JPG

The photos don't do the dial justice, it actually shimmers in a rather interesting manner.

I guess I now need to go off and find out about De Coven and their Patented Scent system.

Edited by AndyHull

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This next watch wasn't part of any job lot. I actually bid on this on its own. It still comes under the 404 umbrella, as it was listed as not working, spares or repair.

RIMG0115.thumb.JPG.6fce10fb68a294d258cf5087862785b3.JPG

Just for a change, the watch actually arrived in a clean condition, (but with no pins or strap of course).

It exhibited an alarming skryn-ker-ching noise (is that a word... it is now) when wound, which I initially thought was a broken mainspring, but on inspection it turned out to by dried up lubrication.

RIMG0113.thumb.JPG.b8f04fa41d934bfaeb9d1e7be20d3764.JPG

This looks like a very similar power house to a Q&Q automatic I worked on a couple of months back.

It responded well to a bit of TLC and some lubrication and I am now sporting it on a shiny new black leather band with safety clasp.

I had a bit of a "senior moment" when I tipped the entire contents of the case back upside down, mistaking it for the lid of the small jar I was using for the rest of the parts. 

I had placed the screws and circlip from the autowinder in the caseback, and spent a good few minutes searching for everything.

Fortunately it all turned up and the bits are back in their correct location.

Since I am currently admiring it on my wrist, I'll post a pic of the finished article in the Watch of today section.

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7 hours ago, yankeedog said:

Interesting stuff, Isn't a coven a brood of witches?

I believe so. I did do a little google trawling, but I couldn't find much more about the brand or the watch. I did see a couple of other "De Coven" Scent system watches on ebay, not identical, but similar. They were asking some rather inflated prices for them.

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I finally got round to fixing my brother in law's HMT this evening.

This involved a couple of basket case HMT donors. One with damaged keyless work, and one that was "overwound" i.e. gunked up with years of accumulated grime.

In the end I wound up with two working HMTs, so one more for the 404 club and one of sentimental value. I also now have a small jar of HMT spares, which is always useful. I didn't simply do a movement swap, as I wanted to keep as much original on the Avinash as possible, so it got a new mainspring, winder gear screw, barrel bridge, a new forth wheel (the original was buckled almost in two), and a good clean and lubrication session.

The remaining parts produced a nice clean example of a Chethan, once I had removed the glue some clown had used to secure the dial, and fixed up the keyless work, which had a broken spring. There was a little head scratching involved here, as by then I had buttoned up the Avinash, and I forgot to take pictures of the keyless work on the donor before I removed it. However a little puzzling and a few mistakes later, and it all went together.
 

Watch out for the Chethan on Watch of Today, some say soon.

Pictures below. Sorting out the keyless work was probably the biggest pain, as those little springs are pretty un-cooperative.

Its probably too late now to regulate them, so I'll leave them overnight to bed in, and check their performance tomorrow if I get the time.

I took some closeup pictures of the Avinash dial before I started as it was in a soiled, fragile and flakey state, so if I need to I can reproduce it at a later date, thanks to the tutorial on dial decals here on watchrepairtalk.

RIMG0120.JPG

RIMG0121.JPG

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RIMG0132.JPG

RIMG0133.JPG

Edited by AndyHull

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The only information I have managed to find about "De-Coven" is that it appears to have been a Geneva based jewellery brand.

Their trademark was first used in 1981 registered in 1982 and expired in 2005 - The trademark was registered by a Heinz Hermann Weick.

There is also a patent related to this here -> https://patents.justia.com/inventor/heinz-hermann-weick

This dates to around 1976

 

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I created a fresh dial for the Avinash.

HMT-Avinash-1979.thumb.png.75f8b55f8f44b6a58f7c2f85bbf20285.png

I created a monochrome version from the original, tidied up the scratches and dents, and then re-coloured it using sample colours from the original dial.

HMT-Avinash-1979Recoloured.thumb.png.3691b0ffbb06676829a5f04cc7e6e3c4.png

You can of course choose to add your own patina layers, or radically alter the colours for that well used authentic look, or to suit your own purposes.

This particular dial would work well with the decal transfer method, as that seems to be how the original dial was fabricated.

I don't think I intend to replace the original dial on my brother in law's one, but in the unlikely event that it ever becomes an issue, I now have the where with all to fix it.

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More members of the 404 club. This time thanks to HSL.

RIMG0183.thumb.JPG.4d5270f29e433d43ca03aba77f278e71.JPG

A Timex Marlin from 1965, a Timex Mercury from 1978, and a Timex Selfwind Viscount from 1967

All arrived with their individual woes, but with a bit of care, much head scratching and some good old fashioned scrubbing and polishing, they are all now ticking away and looking almost as fresh as the day the left the factory.

 

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Citizen revival. This time a 1977 Citizen Crystron 8550A/7300/8565(?) quartz.

Although this watch looked pretty clean on arrival, it was stone dead. I changed the battery and... still dead, so time to investigate.

RIMG0203.thumb.JPG.03261050fadb25525a7e97496b3fe3d0.JPG

As you can see next to the -ve battery tab screw hole, there is a slice through the track. This was cased by some overly enthusiastic screw tightening, by whoever changed the battery before I got it,  I suspect.

RIMG0205.thumb.JPG.cf207f8d5368038e1de074f3daa87c6c.JPG
Initially I thought I could get away with simply tinning the track to bridge the gap, so I set to with the "Mechanic" solder paste, a loupe and a soldering iron placed dangerously close to my nose.

RIMG0206.thumb.JPG.70bbe21ac736cf298b07def8773d219f.JPG

If you look closely you can see the solder paste ready to be heated by the soldering iron.

The track tinned fine, and bridged the gap, but when I refitted the screw, and gingerly tightened it to the point where the gold tab just held the battery, the tab sliced through the solder bridge and I was back where I started.

RIMG0207.thumb.JPG.c7dcdee7662efffe341be0ae15e92c80.JPG

Damaged solder bridge... time to start again.

So.. I decided to add a small bodge wire, but rather than simply run it over the gap, and then slice through that too, I tacked it down along the track parallel to the trimmer capacitor, and left it floating at the tab end. I then refitted the tab, over the top of it, and formed the wire to sit under the tab on top of the battery. This would not remove the chance of slicing the wire, but also improve the contact.

I fitted a fresh battery and measured the voltage between the track and the battery +ve and all was good.

RIMG0209.thumb.JPG.7ce46596a77cba40b83d6c09154bc60c.JPG

I seem to be a day ahead of everyone else today.

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The movement needed a very gentle tickle of the gear and off it went. Seal was cleaned, and lightly greased, the case and band were scrubbed and polished and it is ready to join the other members of the club.

RIMG0210.thumb.JPG.df0e9e4f3deb4f26abae0f8f7caa302c.JPG

RIMG0212.thumb.JPG.19729dabbe03f8326ae79e6e94e14245.JPG

It still has a few battle scars, but who's complaining?

Edited by AndyHull

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In with one of the bundles of junk which included the Citizen Crystron, was this rather eye catching "Conson Quartz". Normally I wouldn't pay these much attention, but this one has quite a pleasing dial, and I was in "fixing" mode, anyway, so I decided to take a look inside.

I popped off the back (with some difficulty, involving a little delicate tap with the hammer on the edge of my case knife) and I was in. 

There was, suspiciously.. no battery. So rather obviously when I fitted one, it didn't work.

A couple of drops of lighter fluid, followed a few minutes later by a little lubrication of its little Miyota mechanicals, and off it went. 

RIMG0222.thumb.JPG.243480446119d03de568f303fa5d9831.JPG

I have no idea who "Conson" are, (so feel free to enlighten me if you know), nor indeed what I am going to do with this, now that it is working.

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