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AndyHull

Revisiting an old hobby

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9 hours ago, AndyHull said:

Inspired by this thread.

I decided to fix up one of the Sekondas that has been lying for quite a while in my box of bostoks, or should that be vox of vostocks... you decide.

The watch in question may look familiar as I sorted an almost identical linen dialed Sekonda a few months back.

The dial is a shade lighter, but otherwise they are extremely similar.

This one however was in a pretty poor operating condition. Adjusting the hands resulted in some erratic movement of the hour hand and little else. Winding wasn't possible. The balance was fine (and has two shims, for those of you who have played the vostok 24xx shim game). The donor was a similar Sekonda with a destroyed dial and no hands. It generously donated its canon pinion, one of its keyless work springs and a movement clamp.

It is now "running in" on my arm, so I'll report on its progress later.

 

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That movement is a Poljot 2614.2H (not a Vostok). Poljot is considered by many as the most prestigious Russian watch brand. I've serviced three or four of these calibres and the calendar works is a bit fiddly but other than that it's a charm to work with. It's a very robust movement and very much inspired by Rolex calibre 14270. Here's a very charming and interesting article about the Poljot calibre 2614.2h, and here is one of my favourite watches housing it.

Keep us updated on the progress!

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1 hour ago, VWatchie said:

That movement is a Poljot 2614.2H (not a Vostok). Poljot is considered by many as the most prestigious Russian watch brand. I've serviced three or four of these calibres and the calendar works is a bit fiddly but other than that it's a charm to work with. It's a very robust movement and very much inspired by Rolex calibre 14270. Here's a very charming and interesting article about the Poljot calibre 2614.2h, and here is one of my favourite watches housing it.

Keep us updated on the progress!

Thanks for the correction regarding the movement. You are spot on  with the fiddly calendar works, the first one I looked at, I launched those two springs more times than I care to mention, however forewarned is forearmed, so this one came as no surprise, and I even remembered which way round everything went without having to dig out my pictures of the first teardown.  If you are aware of the issues and take care to do things very gently, the calendar works go back together reasonably easily. I did mange to gocha myself with the keyless works by pulling the crown out with the stem in the wrong position, but I knew I had been an idiot the moment I did it, so I only managed to indulge in that one screwup.

The watch is running well, but I haven't attempted to adjust it yet. Beat error is around .1 to .3ms and it kept up a good pace, within 20 seconds or so over the course of the day even without me tinkering with it. I'll let the lubrication settle and do a bit more with it tomorrow. The amplitude is still a little low at around 240 fully wound, so there is scope for a little improvement in that too. The other one runs around 270, so there is no reason to think this wont. I have an almost complete spare movement, including a mainspring, etc.so if I need parts I have them.  

That red and gold Poljot on your "About me" page is a cracker, as are the others in your collection.

Edited by AndyHull

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s-l1600.jpg

 

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This is the progress so far. The first image is the ebay seller's pic and the description was "Does not start, maybe battery but unable to confirm". In reality, it wouldn't wind, wouldn't set and the scratched up crystal looked even worse in real life (and the second hand had fallen off in the post), but I figured it had to be the twin of the one I already had, and therefore was well worth the 0.99p I bid.

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I think that looks pretty reasonable for a 1970s Poljot 2614.2H  USSR Sekonda after 24hrs, all things considered. I may slow it down just a fraction as it is currently +10 or so dial up and +20 or so dial down fully wound. 

 

Edited by AndyHull

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More trouble in Timex land. A fairly classic 1973 Timex Petite with red second hand, grabbed from the junk pile.

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This was full of "varnish", presumably dried oil and 46 years worth of pollution. It took a couple of baths and much rubbing with various pointed sticks and other small blunt instruments to get it looking pristine both inside and out.

It is ticking away nicely now, so I'll let the lubrication settle and see how it looks in 24hrs.

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Another soviet ere watch got brought back from the dead. This time a Poljot 2906H based watch with a square face.

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If patina is your thing, this has it in spades. I did clean up the face and hands too, but there is only so much you can do without stripping it back to the metal.

It had keyless work issues and needed a clean and service, and a replacement second hand. It could also do with a crystal, but I doubt if that would be easy to find, so the existing one got a deep polish. 

I happened to have a steel Poljot band in the junk pile, so I popped it on that.

 

 

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Half of the dial and one hand has been cleaned in this image. It did make a difference, but it is far from perfect.

The thing is running nicely though, so it seems to have really appreciated a clean and lube.

Edited by AndyHull

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Side by side with its Soviet counterpart.

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I wasn't happy with the fit of the second hand, so I had another look through the spares and found a better candidate.

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Admittedly the new replacement started life a strange dayglow green and all scratched, but once painted the correct colour it looks almost original (based on pictures of similar watches found online).

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I fell out with the steel strap fairly quickly, so I've popped it on a black leather one, and it both looks and feels a lot better.

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I'll wear it tomorrow and do the final tinkering  regulating and adjusting once it has survived the first full 24hrs. 
I may even give that crystal and case another polish. It looks better in real life than it does in the pictures, I assure you.

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21 hours ago, easj369 said:

I just wanted to say thank you for all of your posts.  They actually made me finally sign up on the forum.

Thanks for your encouragement. :biggrin:

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Just for completeness the Poljot is running reasonably well, if a little on the weak side, with a swing between 215 and 250 degrees.


Beat error is OK, and perhaps I could get it down a bit, but the adjuster is a little sticky, so it tends to overshoot and undershoot.

The timekeeping though is consistent, with positional error of -30 (crown right)  to +20 Face up which stays fairly constant over 24hrs.

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Not bad for something that was a complete mess when it arrived. 

Furthermore it is a very comfortable size, and despite the "character" on its face, also easy to read.  None of the pictures I have taken do it justice, those silver accents and hands are gleaming following their polishing and the patina on the face has a strangely marble like quality. The photos also appear to show a haze on the crystal that is possibly an infra-red artifact, as visually the crystal is glimmering and clear.

Yet another eastern block member for the 404 club.


BTW Does anybody know if it is possible to tell how old a Poljot is, base on the serial number? I had a quick trawl around the web, but didn't get a usable answer. 

Edited by AndyHull

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This is a rather fine example of the same watch but with a white rather than silvered dial.

This is the image that I based my choice of replacement second hand on.

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I could probably re-create this dial with a bit of effort, however I actually like the thing the way it is.

I might add that the above example is selling for around forty seven and a half times what I paid, and arguably worth every penny.

The age of these pieces is a little difficult to determine, but I would suggest some time between 1972 and 1979, possibly a little earlier, maybe slightly later, but around that era.

Edited by AndyHull

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Also from the same batch of "junk", a petite Sekonda 17 Jewel ladies "FR Ebauche" rhodium plated with articulated bracelet. 

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This was filthy, and the crystal was scratched up, but it cleaned up to almost new condition. A quick service and off it went.

As is often the case, the extreme close up doesn't do it justice.

 

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This ETA 811 based Titus has me beaten, at least for the time being. I suspect it will be a "long term project", where long might turn out to be infinite. 

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The thing will now run, having been previously locked up solid with grunge, and the after effects of some other ham-fisted individual pulling it apart and not quite putting it all back together correctly.

It needs a balance, since the HS is mangled, the jewel is missing and both pivots are gone.. and so is the stud. Whether I am willing to spring for £20 or so for that, given the over all condition of the rest of it, I don't know.

It also needs hands.. all three of them (I may have a suitable hour and minute, but not the second), and a crystal, and the lead solder holding on one of the lugs removed and replaced with silver solder, and a dial you can actually read, which isn't full of dents, that would be nice too. 

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If I put in all that work, it would be quite an attractive watch, but is it worth the time and expense I wonder.

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Edited by AndyHull

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More Russian fun. A before and after picture of the Sekonda which I posted about previously.

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This arrived as a non runner (as most of my watches do).

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I cleaned and serviced it yesterday and have been wearing it most of today, to let the lubrication bed in.

When I got it going initially it showed evidence of previous tinkering and was sitting with a beat error of 14ms or more and rattling away at +85 sec/day or so.

I just checked it again, having left it at +70s/day yesterday, in the hope that as the lube settled, the rate would fall, as indeed it has.

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Dial up

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Dial down

As you can see it is slightly stronger dial up, but I'll let it run a bit longer, then set it around -5s/day dial up and see how it goes for the next 24hrs.

I'm pretty pleased with the results so far, including the date change which fired at almost exactly midnight last night. Yes, I am sad enough to have sat and watched it. :P

This particular caliber the Raketa 2628.H also has a date quick change by pulling the crown to position 3 returning to 2, rinse, repeat etc.. A bit of a novelty when you have been dealing with ancient Timexes, with all of their fiddling with spinning backwards and forwards of the hands round midnight to get things set correctly.

The 17jewels.info page has a partial tear down which gives a hint about this feature, which you might not be aware of. 

All in all, this is another pretty nice watch, especially considering its pocket money price.

 

 

Edited by AndyHull

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Believe it or not, I almost have this working again. The only fly in the ointment that has halted my progress is the fact that the lower balance shock spring, and the jewels are missing, or to be accurate, there were two tiny pieces of the shock spring, but the rest is gone. It also needs a stem and crown, but that I probably have something suitable in my spares.

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The dial is obviously still a mess, and the date ring, while 100% better now than it was in these pictures, is still stained.

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The keyless work was so badly rusted that I had to dismantle the entire and eject the mechanism from the front of the watch simply to get it apart. The stem was frozen on to the clutch wheel, and the end of the stem literally fell off while examining the watch, due to the fact that it had rusted through.

So now, the keyless work looks fine, save for a few very minor pock marks, the mechanism runs, to the extent that if you add a little power, the fork will flick nicely from one side to the other. Both barrels wind and the date mechanism is complete and turns fune, but I am sans lower shock jewels and retaining spring.

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On the plus side, the case and crystal are now fairly immaculate save for some age related wear through the plating on the reverse side, so if I can't get this thing going, I do have an almost complete set of spares, and a relatively good case.

It doesn't owe me anything as it was one of a batch of five watches, and I paid 0.99p for the lot. It would be nice to see it run again though.

It looks like a good candidate for some experimental dial decal fun too.

Edited by AndyHull

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RIMG0375.thumb.JPG.e242e2159db5fa23de8d27e612688173.JPG

This is from the second wash of the Sekonda. You could make soup out of it. :lol:

The rest of the images are dial and date ring pictures just for the record. I may attempt to convert them in to clear backed water slide transfers to fix the dial and date ring if I get the time. The graph paper has 5mm squares.

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Edited by AndyHull

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Two little 17 jewel ladies watches picked up in a bunch of "spares or repair" stuff for a very frugal 65p each.

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They both cleaned up quite well, and the "Gradus" seems to have responded well to its servicing.

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The "Rhone" on the other hand, was full of every bodies favorite watch killing fluid (WD40), and as a result has a deformed hairspring, so a little more work will be required with that one. 

RIMG0385.JPG

Edited by AndyHull

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19 minutes ago, AndyHull said:

Two little 17 jewel ladies watches picked up in a bunch of "spares or repair" stuff for a very frugal 65p each.

They both cleaned up quite well, and the "Gradus" seems to have responded well to its servicing.. 

It's commendable that you dare to service ladies watches, even if they will get no use or admiration, there are few better ways to hone dexterity. 

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30 minutes ago, jdm said:

It's commendable that you dare to service ladies watches, even if they will get no use or admiration, there are few better ways to hone dexterity. 

Agreed, they are unlikely to be of any fiscal value, but you have to admit they are pretty impressive feats of engineering.

As to honing my dexterity, I suspect I am also honing my already broad vocabulary of expletives too. :P

All joking aside though, if you can fix one of these tiny little movements, then you are well placed to fix pretty much anything else.

Speaking of fixing, this is the results of my latest hairspring wrestling session. It was actually slightly easier than I was expecting, as the main issue was a slight kink that had rendered the thing no longer flat. Once that was addressed (which was a pretty delicate operation), then one other minor tweak had it back to concentric. After that I reversed what I assume was some previous repairer's  attempt to fix (or more accurately confuse) things by "fiddling with the controls" on the balance.

This is what I eventually settled for.

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Not quite as smooth as the Gradus, but not bad for a sixty five pence piece of junk that was headed for the recycling pile.

Incidentally, my wife has taken a shine to this little Sekonda 17 jewels I fixed up earlier this month, and wears it when we go out of an evening.

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It too is running quite nicely.

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I also have a bunch of other ladies mechanicals, including everything from high end Swiss to Timex. They are often a bit of a challenge to fix, and although I suspect they will never be worth much, they are unique and interesting in their own right.

Having said all that, if I flog one of those sixty five pence numbers for £6.50 then I have made ten times my money, which is a better rate than the bank is offering. I just need to knock out 100,000 of those and I can just about afford to retire. :D

Edited by AndyHull

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Having resurrected my brother in law's HMT, I had a bunch of parts left over.

Looking them over I decided I probably had enough bits to make one "good" watch. This is the result.

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The dial, while reasonably presentable is an aftermarket one, but as frankendials go, it is actually pretty good. 

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I have included a couple of images of assembly of the keyless work, as most of the rest of the assembly is pretty obvious.

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The "vanishing spring" or to use a more formal description, the yoke spring, is probably the part that is most likely to go in to orbit, and also it is about the only part that might not immediately suggest its previous position.

Even the case needed repair. As you can see, the stem tube is sitting on the stem, and I eventually resorted to epoxying it back in place, as the hole it came out of was oval, and my mechanical efforts to refit the tube were a failure.

it runs quite well for a "bitsa" watch. The rate is pretty constant, but the swing is a little weak, and it suffers (as a lot of HMTs do) from a relatively high beat error, of around 2.1ms.

Edited by AndyHull

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It is surprising quite how much difference a thorough clean of the case and hands, a fresh watch strap and a new crystal can make. This is the 0.99p Ingersol from ebay I posted about in the "Watch of Today" thread this afternoon.  

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Even in these somewhat flat pictures in extreme closeup and with much colder/warmer light temperatures, the difference is stark.

In real life, this watch looks almost factory fresh save for that tiny scratch I managed to put in the crystal between 11 and 12, almost the instant I started wearing it, which has now been polished out, and a couple of apprentice marks on the case back, caused by some previous owner's over exuberant attempts to open the thing, which I will polish out later.

Edited by AndyHull

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