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AndyHull

Revisiting an old hobby

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I'm sure this isn't meant to look like that...

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Lets hope the green cheese doesn't extend to the inside... ahh.. it does.
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OK Time to get the sleeves rolled up and the second pair of specs on... easy does it...

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The snake tamed..  in all its cheesy glory..

 

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I little bit of brasso wadding on the end of a lollypop stick works wonders on the brass.

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After a little more spring cleaning, a rinse to get rid of any remaining brasso, a heavy work out for my thumbs and some light lubrication, everything is back in the can.

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Check back on the pictures again to be absolutely sure it is wound back in the can the correct way round, and pop on the lid and the gear again.

 

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Its just a shame that the rest of the watch is in the same state.

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The game may be  a bogey if I cant get a balance and a fork, but these little Sekondas in non running state go for about 99 pence each, so nothing to loose, and I think I might have another one in the junk pile so I may get one working out to the two. This looks like it might turn in to a long term project.

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Are they worth fixing? One jewel ladies movements?

Not from a financial perspective, no but they are quite interesting in their construction, and great for honing your repair skills on. If you can get one of these tiny little movements back in an operating condition, from this kind of state, you can fix pretty much anything I would suggest.

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Edited by AndyHull

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This one is complete, but for one rather vital component.

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Has anybody got any idea where I would get a complete balance, or failing that a collet and hairspring for this little cylinder escapement number. Even an id for the movement would be a help.

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His 'n hers Sekondas from the junk pile. They scrubbed up nicely, batteries installed, off they went. The ladies got a couple of stitches in the strap and a bit of "lederwerk", the gents got a new old stock strap. Two more for the club.

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There are a couple of minor dial scratches I may attend to later, and a little bit of worn plating, but other than that they are perfectly serviceable, and infinitely better quality than the 76 pence watch.

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Today's fixer-upper is a weird little fake dial fashion watch, scavenged from the junk pile. I also had an as new genuine leather white strap with no buckle, and a pile of buckles with no straps, so its completely cobbled together. New battery fitted and off it goes.

What can I say. It has a Japanese movement, it kind of suits the white strap, which I have no other use for, and it tells the time.

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What more do you want for free?

I have no idea what a "Ricardo" watch is, but it has the quality of a supermarket watch, so not as bad as the 76 pence watch, but not even as good as the Daniel Wellington.

Would I ever wear it? Nope. Could I use it for dial creation experiments... probably, time will tell.

Edited by AndyHull

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Today's quick fixer upper is an Accurist Quartz Ladies.

It is in unworn condition, still with the QA sticker on the case back.  Oddly it was missing a spring bar from the strap, but other than that it is immaculate.

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This image is exactly as I found it, I haven't even run a polishing cloth over it.


As is often the case, it only needed a battery, which took about 30 seconds to fit.

I'm surprised how many of these watches end up in the job lots on ebay. If I popped it on an Accurist  stand in the local jewelers shop window, nobody would bat an eyelid if it was marked with the full retail price. Currently a similar watch goes for around £50 to £90. The moment the battery goes flat, on to the scrap heap it goes. No wonder the planet is so clogged up with garbage.

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This 1972 Timex Sprite (1055 38173) was given a quick service and a full wash and brush up.

Now I need to see if I can find a suitable strap. 

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The photos don't do justice to the dial, it is a kind of deep jasper, or tiger eye effect. Very pleasing on the eye. The crystal seems to be a complete dust magnet. Every time I tried to take a picture some more dust had landed.

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I will need to trim those new spring bars, or find something with slightly little fatter pin ends.

This is also from the job lot junk pile. A rather attractive 47 year old member for the 404 club. :P

It was dead on arrival, but is now ticking away good and loud. Its running about +180, 0.8ms 260 degrees, so I'll leave it overnight, and adjust it tomorrow.

I did a final polish of the crystal with T-Cut, which fairly makes it sparkle, but I wonder if that might also be the cause of the static/dust attraction.

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On 4/19/2019 at 4:21 PM, AndyHull said:

This 1972 Timex Sprite (1055 38173) was given a quick service and a full wash and brush up.

Now I need to see if I can find a suitable strap. 

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The photos don't do justice to the dial, it is a kind of deep jasper, or tiger eye effect. Very pleasing on the eye. The crystal seems to be a complete dust magnet. Every time I tried to take a picture some more dust had landed.

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I will need to trim those new spring bars, or find something with slightly little fatter pin ends.

This is also from the job lot junk pile. A rather attractive 47 year old member for the 404 club. :P

It was dead on arrival, but is now ticking away good and loud. Its running about +180, 0.8ms 260 degrees, so I'll leave it overnight, and adjust it tomorrow.

I did a final polish of the crystal with T-Cut, which fairly makes it sparkle, but I wonder if that might also be the cause of the static/dust attraction.

Hi,

This is a 1973 Timex Petite Calendar.  Sprites are a bit bigger.  This is generallly a ladies watch, which might explain its small size.  I've attached the page of the 1973 catalog.

Mike

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Ingress, Frankenstein and Mirth. The watch with a full compliment of free Eastern gifts.

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This one arrived from the subcontinent, shipped, well within the 404 budget. As you can no doubt guess, I wasn't expecting miracles from this one. 

When you pay this little for a Citizen Automatic "fully services" with a "professionally refinished dial", I guess you can't expect too much, but the free collection of interesting particulate matter inside the watch, which was causing issues with the date change, and adhering to the frankendial, coupled with the strange and worrying glue stains around the crystal did cause a bit of a raised eyebrow.

The advertised "servicing" was taken with a large pinch off salt, and the whole thing got a good going over, including sorting out the day wheel so that it now turns over reliably. It runs fine now, and even looks reasonable-ish. After all who can resist a watch (or perhaps several bits of different watches rolled in to one) with a "professionally refinished"  blue dial. :D

Edited by AndyHull

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Another slightly "cheesy" ladies movement got a little TLC today, but not before I turned my hand to gears of a slightly larger caliber. 

 

 

Another piece of fine Scottish engineering, this time not a Timex, but a Singer, from the eponymous town on the banks of the Clyde.
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At one stage, the Singer factory in.. Singer- Kilbowie/Clydebank (obviously), claimed to be the largest and most advanced factory in Europe, turning out over the course of its existence, something in the order of 36 million sewing machines. There is nothing left of the factory now. Just another casualty of the Thatcher years.

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I inherited this example from a friend of ours, who in turn I believe inherited it from a relative, such is the way of the sewing machine.

When I got it around 15 years ago, it had "blown up", and I needed to replace a couple of capacitors and give it a full service. It has done a lot of work since then, but finally the plastic needle plate gears packed up on Tuesday, so a couple were sourced from Bradford, which arrived today and after a little bit of re-alignment to get the timing of the needle plate back in order, off it went, hopefully good for another couple of decades at least. 

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I then turned my attention to a Silvana 17 jewel ladies movement from the junk pile, which I suspect is even older, and arguably even better engineered.

It initially needed a good clean as it was suffering a little from green cheese disease, and following the initial work, it got a second tear down to figure out why it still wouldn't go.

It turned out that a stubborn piece of oil turned to varnish was still stuck between the teeth of one of the gears, and once that was removed, off it went. It was initially way fast, but settled down to about +90, and some more tinkering got it down to a much more respectable +25 to -15

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Here it is in the company of my Swatch Irony for comparison. The Silvana takes a 12mm strap, but I currently have nothing that small.

I'll leave it overnight and check it once the lubrication etc has settled down. One thing I will say, it is pretty tiny compared with the stuff I've been working on recently. I had to sharpen my smallest screwdriver to get the tiniest screws loose, and that second hand is a pig to fit.  

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12 hours ago, AndyHull said:

Another piece of fine Scottish engineering, this time not a Timex, but a Singer, from the eponymous town on the banks of the Clyde.
At one stage, the Singer factory in.. Singer- Kilbowie/Clydebank (obviously), claimed to be the largest and most advanced factory in Europe, turning out over the course of its existence, something in the order of 36 million sewing machines. There is nothing left of the factory now. Just another casualty of the Thatcher years.

I inherited this example from a friend of ours, who in turn I believe inherited it from a relative, such is the way of the sewing machine.

When I got it around 15 years ago, it had "blown up", and I needed to replace a couple of capacitors and give it a full service. It has done a lot of work since then, but finally the plastic needle plate gears packed up on Tuesday, so a couple were sourced from Bradford, which arrived today and after a little bit of re-alignment to get the timing of the needle plate back in order, off it went, hopefully good for another couple of decades at least. 

I've got my grandma Necchi from the 50s but could not get it running yet. It had an history of troubles, it overheating motor and frustrating anyone trying to use it. I could refurbish the motor good enough but the problem kept showing up, with much effort I traced to a  bent shaft in the bottom part. I brought it to a machine shop and the guy told me it's straight, well then the bearings are it's an hair too big. Unfortunately due to inexperience in the process of taking it apart I broke some cast part. It's salvageable and I still hope to  be able to fix it.

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Necci (the company) are still going strong, as no doubt are many of their sewing machines. They are not as popular round this part of the world as Singer, for obvious reasons, but I have seen a few of them over the years.

Sewing machines are a bit like mechanical wrist watches. A power source (mechanical or electrical), some grears, some bearings, some linkages and carefully arranged timing. 

At a basic level,  all needle/bobbin style sewing machines tend to work the same way. Mechanically they are actually quite clever, sharing some similarities to both watches and mechanical type writers, and indeed piston engines. The critical part when working with them is to ensure the timing is correct, otherwise they tend to ruck the cloth or break the needle.

If it is overheating, it may need a complete service, as the bearings tend to gum up, and this leads to wear and overloading of the motor.
 

If should be possible to turn it over with finger pressure on the hand wheel. If not, then treat it like a watch. Isolate each part and check for free movement. If the timing is out, then there are two rules that they all tend to follow.

Firstly, the feed dogs should be going down when the needle is going down, and up when the needle is going up.

Secondly the bobbin hook (the pointed end of the rotating plate underneath the feed, in to which the bobbin sits) should be going behind the needle just as the needle rises, ensuring that it picks up the loop of thread from the needle and casts it over the bobbin.

If either of these motions is incorrect, the thing wont sew.

The rest is simply a matter of ensuring the thread runs freely, and the tensioning mechanism is working correctly, which varies from machine type to machine type. But there again you need to simply ensure the thread tension is light, but not loose, and if so, it should at least produce stitches rather than spaghetti. From there, you adjust the tension to suit the material, such that the stitches look even on both sides of the cloth.

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Another lunchtime junk pile fix. This is one of a large number of random pieces from a job lot of 26 watches, again this was a pocket money bid below £4.04 as I was only really interested in one of the bunch.

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It had no band, no pins, and would set, but the winder wouldn't return completely, so the movement didn't work. The reason was that the stem tube had become dislodged for some reason and a smart tap with a small hammer fixed the issue... well that and a fresh battery of course.

I have no clue who or what "Lichfield" suggests, or whether it relates in some way to the late photographer and chronicler of the '60s Lord Lichfield.  Your guess is as good as mine.  Just in case, I added a few props and some Laura Ashely-esque scraps from the quilting to take its portrait. Not quite Marsha Hunt or Michael Cain, but what did you expect on this budget. 

Edited by AndyHull

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There may be trouble ahead.... :unsure:

A 1981 Seiko Quartz 8222A -700L T - This has been lying waiting for a spare 5 minutes to figure out what ails it for quite a while.

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Another low cost little beauty, clocking in at £1.73 from that all too familiar auction site.

The +ve battery contact spring has some obvious corrosion damage, visible when I removed the screws holding down the coil bridge, so a little micro-surgery is on the cards. I think I can sweat the two halves back together, perhaps with a tiny strand of copper wire for added rigidity. I'll strip out the PCB and see if there is more damage underneath when I get a spare moment.

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When it arrived, it was absolutely disgustingly filthy. I resisted the urge to get out the pressure washer, and instead went at it with a little disinfectant and a tooth brush, followed by a lot of polishing. I think you'll agree, it looks a whole lot better now, and a lot less of a health hazard too. If I get it working I'll let you see the final results.

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While I figure out what I'm going to do with the Seiko, here is another mechanical.

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Other than a couple of rather deep scratches on the crystal, which I can live with, it seems to have polished up to almost new condition.

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The movement looked spotless, so a quick clean and a spot of oil and off it went. I added a rather curious little "Crocodile Calf - Made in England" NOS band with a built in calendar which I think enhances that late seventies vibe quite nicely.

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I'll pop it on the other wrist and run it for 24hrs in tandem with the Lorus, then do some more meaningful regulation and adjusting tomorrow.

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I clean forgot to post the obligatory movement shot of the "Falux".

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Does anybody recognize this particular movement?

It reminds me of a couple of the Kienzels I've seen, or maybe a Ruhla or some other GDR era manufacturer, but I didn't spot anything to narrow down or confirm its identity. 

EDIT: It does bear an uncanny resemblance to this Ruhla -> https://ostalgieruhla.wordpress.com/watches-2/#jp-carousel-305
 

saxon-ruhla-gold-brushed-dial-arabic-num
 

Edited by AndyHull

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Following on from Timex Tuesday.. two Timex Thursday.
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I cast my eye over these two scruffy individuals, and got one running. The other looks like it has a slight touch of hairspring salad, so I'll give that a more thorough going over when I get a chance.

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I'm not sure how to date the one that is running as I don't see any dial code, so presumably they pre-date the era when Timex put those on the dial. My guess is late 1950s.

As you can see, a little TLC and it looks a whole lot more presentable. Shame about that small crack in the crystal, but hey, nobody is perfect.  

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More Timex madness today. This 1981 Timex Marlin needed a winder click spring. Thanks @JerseyMo for those - I've got a candidate for the second one, so I may need more soon.

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Fitting it was reasonably painless, although I did manage to take a small divot out of the crystal while grabbing it with the crystal lift. It polished out, but when I did it I also launched the whole kit and kiboodle  across the room. Fortunately nobody will ever know. :P

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My technique for removing these front loaders could do with a little refinement I think. Pressing the crystal back in at the end however I seem to have got down to a fine art.

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So much so that when it popped in with just the faintest click, I felt certain I must have split the thing, but no, it had merely popped back in first time without a fuss. Maybe I'm getting better at this malarky after all. A little cleaning and light lubrication and off it went.

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24hrs later, and they are all running reasonably well. The white dialed Timex and the Timex with the missing second hand are a little eager, but the other two are correct to within a minute. 

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I'm sure I have a suitable second hand somewhere, so I'll look at adding that, and do a final tweak and I think we can call this batch of recruits a success.

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I enjoy a challenge, as much as the next man, but this one is a little ridiculous.

A 1968 Timex Marlin.

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Problems so far.

1) Strap fixed on with a nail.

2) Hairspring fixed in with .. what looks suspiciously like another nail.

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3) Didn't tick.

4) No winder.

5) No movement retaining spring.

6) Filthy.

7) Hands all bent or twisted. Hour hand has been dragging on the dial. Unfortunately this has removed some of the "Timex" logo.

8) Embedded thumbprint on dial.

9) Hairspring salad.

10) Winder retaining screw and spring missing.

So.. pretty much everything was wrong with it.

So far, I have all the parts fitted (except a replacement crystal). I've filled the holes that were drilled in the lugs with generic JB weld-alike two part steel epoxy, and I have it running.

I have also spotted yet another issue. The date changer doesn't work.

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Edited by AndyHull

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The Timex is sitting ticking and waiting for some cosmetic upgrades, so I turned my attention to a little French number.

The first problem, and the reason it has been sitting in the dead pile for some time was the case back, which refused to yield to threats grunts and all of the standard tools and expletives reserved for this task. Nothing for it but to bring out the big guns. 

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Once the sesame was opened the treasures within were revealed.

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Beware though, you know what they say about all that glitters/glistens/glisters.. but then again, you know this little gem didn't give my bank manager palpitations either.

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I have no idea what this thing is, but it looks sufficiently familiar to know that a quick Duncan Slunge service is probably all that it needs. 

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(oops.. all that crud on the dial broke loose while I was removing the back... it is all gone now I assure you).

 

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The case back, cleaned up easily with a little acetone to remove the superglue residue and a light brush with steel wool.

Sure enough after a little sip or two of lighter fluid, followed by some proper lubrication, no, not the 0W30 stolen from the Volvo, I hadn't the heart to make this my first victim, without even the faintest of Gallic shrugs,  off it whizzed.

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It is around -30 to -15 with a slightly alarming, but not unexpected beat error of about 8ms.

Nothing left to do but stick it on a strap and wear it. It has a catering pack of "patina" which came to light once the case grime was tackled, which I don't think warrants fixing, but it will eventually get a new crystal.

The dial is quite attractive. My guess is late 1970s, but if anybody knows more about this particular specimen I'm all ears.

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