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Revisiting an old hobby

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Here are a couple of other images of the Seiko and yesterday's Timex.




The only issue with the otherwise excellent Seiko is that some ham-fisted  baboon (not me), has attempted to open the back with a crowbar. I can't decide if the Seiko is from 2004 or 2014, but I suspect 2004 from the styling.


I have spotted a couple of Pulsar models with the 7N32 caliber from 2004, and even a couple of Seikos from 2014, so in fact it could be either. 



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A Sekonda Classique from the same junk pile lot as the Seiko 7N32 above.

Not quite as attractive, arguably, but not bad for 1/7th of the £3.20 the whole lot cost (or to put it in context, less than the cost of a Mars bar).


Other than very slight pitting on the clasp, and of course a flat battery, there was nothing wrong with it.

A quick polish and a fresh button cell and it joins the club.

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A vintage Dundee lady tonight. I doubt if this is the smallest Timex watch ever made, but it is certainly fairly dinky.


Serviced and polished, but the strap that was on it is done, and I have no 10mm straps, so I'll need to get one.

I'm unsure of the age, if any of the experts know, do tell. 

Other than a very light crop of green fungus on the strap pins (fresh pins fitted) and the dead strap it was fairly tidy and polished up rather nicely.

It is managing a fairly respectable swing of 265 degrees and sitting slightly fast at +70 at the moment, so I'll let it settle overnight and finish it up tomorrow.







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For the record, I fixed up the original 'Sonit' strap and gave it a good clean and polished both the leather and the clasp.


It looks pretty good considering the fact that it  is probably as old as the watch.


It isn't completely rock solid, but given this is a tiny Timex and not a chronograph, I'm happy with these numbers.


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A couple of odd balls from the junk pile this evening.


The first is what appears to be a very expensive designer watch.


Perhaps one of a kind.


Needless to say, I paid a few pennies for it, but it has a decent ETA 579.005 movement in it, and with a fresh button cell in it runs fine on its rather luxurious and possibly custom Hirsch strap.

There is nothing on line that I can find about this particular watch, although the designer does appear to still be around.


The second is a "trenchyfaux" or perhaps a "twentiesfaux" for want of a better description. It has a silver plated case, and 16mm lug width, and is presumably meant to look like a "trench" watch of some sort.


The zero jewel Hong Kong mechanism is less than impressive, but the fact that it is silver plated, and arrived with quite a lot of very obvious silver plating tarnish,  makes it a bit of a curiosity.


The flat light I've use in this inspection picture doesn't do it any justice, and makes the shiny numerals look like they are tarnished (which they are not).

The name is also a little odd. The only Golden Arrow I can think of was the Boat Train service which used to run from London to Paris. I'm not sure if there is any connection, but some how I doubt it. Maybe it is some kind of promotional item from the last few days of the service, or perhaps just a bit of a marketing gimmick, who knows?


The watch is actually (now) highly polished and has a nice domed crystal, and seems to run as well as can be expected, given its pedigree, following a quick clean and lubrication. I do have pins for it, but no spare strap currently.

I would never wear either of them, none the less they are actually both quite attractive little items, and much more interesting than a lot of the copper plated frying pans with dodgy Chinesium quartz mechanisms that seem to be everywhere these days. 


Edited by AndyHull

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Today we have something for the Purists.


A vintage 15 jewel 10AN caliber (somewhere between 1925 and 1937) 10k Gold filled Bulova Tank/Square/Pillow (you decide).


Needless to say, for the price I paid, it inevitably had had issues.

The watch arrived in an absolutely filthy condition, and when I opened the case that large gear that drives the seconds pinion fell out (not a good sign I would suggest).

There was rust on the balance, rust on the winding gears and their associated screws, and on various other parts.

The winder was missing and the winding stem tube had been crushed on to the winder stem.

When I attempted to add a little power, it felt like I was pressing against some road tar, so.. time for a clean.


After the first round of cleaning, and re-fitting the errant gear, things looked and felt a bit better but there was still the rust to attend to, so following some gentle polishing of the affected parts, and a second clean to ensure I hadn't introduced any flakes of rust into things, it felt and looked a whole lot better. I attended to the stem tube, and fitted a suitable winder from my collection of "random crowns of unknown origin".

The lubrication and cleaning did the trick, and it wound and the hands adjusted without any issues. I also attended to the case and the glass inevitably fell out while I was polishing, so that got refitted, with a small bead of suitable adhesive. Once that had set up I popped everything  back together.


I'm now grinning from ear to ear. It works!

OK It 'aint going to win any beauty contests, and it needs a suitable band to call the job complete, but its probably the best part of ninety years old, and it works.

I'll leave it to settle over night, and check its accuracy in the morning, but for now, I'm very happy with it.





EDIT: Further research dates the watch to 1935, which makes it 84 years old, and still ticking.


Edited by AndyHull

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The plot thickens. It seems there are a number of similar models online, but none I have found so far, match this one exactly.

It is very similar in case shape to the "Trident" "Bulova's $20,000 contest prize winner watch" from the same period, except that has a plainer case, and the seconds at 6, rather than the center seconds on the version I have.

Whatever it is, for the fun of fixing it alone, to me at least, it is well worth the "not $20,000" I paid for it. 


Edited by AndyHull

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I still haven't found the correct name for it.


... it looks similar to this "Arnold" model from 1942, except for the center seconds, and the different engraving, and the different crystal and ... well, you see my problem.

Bulova seem to have produced dozens of different but similar styles, and even changed the names of some styles from one year to the next.


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Here is a little bit of useless Bulova trivia for you.

In 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first  pilot to cross the Atlantic nonstop solo. His feat earned him a Bulova Watch and a check for $1000 (equivalent to around $14,193.95 in 2019). It became an emblem for the brand which created the "Lone Eagle" model in his honour.

Edited by AndyHull

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Just in case you were wondering about the "cuiser Memphis" mentioned in the newspaper cutting, here it is.

Not exactly the height of luxury I would guess.


Sadly, my £2 ebay purchase isn't Captain Charles A. Lindbergh's time piece, as his one is specifically mentioned as having lume. The one I have, does however show fractions of a second on the dial, so was intended to suggest at least that it was a precision time piece.

Bulova are now part of the Citizen group, so the watch can join its adopted Japanese, Korean (Q&Q) and Indian(HMT) cousins in the 404 club lounge to discuss their lifetimes of adventure. :D

Edited by AndyHull

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OK it survived the night and took a winding. The only issue to far was that the dial was loose, so with that attended to, and since It seems to be within a couple of minutes of the correct time,  I think it is time for it to get an airing. Lets see if it survives a day on my wrist.

Edited by AndyHull

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Now I 'aint no expert, but according to the service manual, there is very good chance, that this thingumyjig shouldn't look quite like that. :wacko:


I know.. its only an ancient Timex, and I've got other donor movements, but where's the fun in that?

Hold my beer and pass me my hammer and those two old dinner forks, after all, how hard can this be.


See ... looking better already...

Wish me luck. :D At least it is still in one piece.

Edited by AndyHull

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Just another 2,000 kinks to go and it will be perfect.


Hmmm... flat would be nice... Is there anything that isn't wrong with this hairspring I wonder.

Slightly better but I still can see at least a dozen more bits of kinky wrongness. 


However, given that it is pouring with rain, the siren call of the lawnmower hasn't yet lured me from my pointless, but strangely compelling task. 

"Onwards and upwards" as they say.. or in this case, upwards, downwards, leftwards, rightwards and every other fort of -wards.

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As I may have mentioned I'm a sucker for a blue dial, so today we have not one, but two blue dialed ladies pieces from the "junk that came with something more interesting" pile.

In fact both of them are quite attractive.


The USSR era Sekonda has a starburst dial and has a nice shimmer to it and the 1974 Timex, most probably from Dundee,  just has that great 70s vibe about it. I have an almost identical red version of the Timex in the collection already.

Both were DOA, but the Sekonda was far more of a struggle to bring back to life.

I had it stripped and re-assembled without any incidents, then I noticed some dirt on the dial, so I foolishly removed the crown again, and inevitably the winding clutch decided to jump out of alignment, so after a little head scratching I figured I could remove the mainspring bridge and jiggle things back in to place without actually removing the dial again.


Fortunately this worked, but not first, time as I stupidly put the clutch in backwards the first time (as you can see, if you look carefully at my one of my disassembly pictures above).

Both are now sitting on the "healing bench" with a full wind. I'll check them in the morning and if all is well, regulate them both and give them a final polish. 






Edited by AndyHull

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One more Petite rises from the ashes.


This one was a bit of a departure from the others, and also a bit more of a challenge. A 1977 Timex Electric Petite. I'm making an assumption that it is actually called a Petite, since it is the same form factor as the others, but electric.


I had to do some delicate cleaning and more than a little jiggling and fiddling to get this to go, but once started, "it keeps on ticking... "


What I will say, is that these ladies electrics are much smaller and therefore even more difficult to bring back to life than the gents sized electrics, which I have had very limited success with.

I also seem to have set this watch and the one above it an hour behind the current time. The others were all still running from Tuesday without any issues. 

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A Citizen 8270 based manual wind most likely from 1978. The 8270A is effectively the ubiquitous Citizen 8200A without the autowinder.


This is what I started with, stone dead, filthy and with a crystal that you could barely see through. On inspection, the stem was rusted in place and broken, the case was rusty, and there was corrosion on the dial and in the work, so  not quite as bad as the museum piece above, but not far from it.


This is it revived. The dial is pretty tatty, but it now keeps pretty good time.




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“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.”



A 1984 Ladies Timex, hence the Orwellian reference.

This time, not from Dundee, but the Philippines......  or is it?  :P

Remember, the truth is not the truth, and Big Brother loves you, so don't forget to praise him through Alexa the telescreen.

A clean (to remove the gritty dust) and service brought this back from its slumbers, though given the interesting times we live in, perhaps it might have preferred sleeping. :sleep:

Edited by AndyHull

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