Jump to content

Revisiting an old hobby

Recommended Posts

Well it is rare for me not to find anything at all about a watch, but the "Lijac" brand is proving pretty elusive.


I did find an example of a 15 jewel ladies "Montre Lijac" and the 15 jewel gents, I've pictured here (which sold for about twenty quid), but it seems the version I have is pretty unique. Another interesting and suitably low cost piece of horological history enters the 404 club.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Eventually I found a few more. Previous sales on ebay, (the first two look suspiciously like the same watch) but the examples I found were all divers.


However I cannot find anything about the brand. I presume this may have been a jeweler or store brand name or perhaps a low volume producer.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Today, the "Regus" dons a new crown.

Early to mid 1960s would be my guess. As well as needing a crown, it has a slightly twisted stem, but I decided to leave that as is, since I don't feel like rooting through my large pile of random stems looking for a replacement, and I am not about to spring for £7.95 for a new one, given the value of the watch.

Only one jewel, so not particularly regal, more of a cart horse than an Arab stallion I would suggest, but a fun little piece none the less, and a bonus watch from one of the batches of junk, purchased for some other more interesting item,  so basically it was a freebie. 

16mm lugs, so either a small gents, or a ladies/kids watch.


It needs a bit more TLC to remove the scratches, but with little more than a clean and a couple of drops of oil, it is sitting around -40s/day 0.4ms and 240 degrees of amplitude. I'll leave it running overnight and check it in the morning. If it is still fit and well, then it can join the club.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A few numbers from the "Regus".


Solid as a rock, dial up/down etc. Admittedly you can hear the thing from three city blocks away, but nobodies perfect.

We don't need no stinkin' Rolex....  although if you offer me one for £4.04, I would bite your arm off for it, obviously.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


The same watch, 12hrs later once all of the lubrication has settled in place. As you can see the amplitude has improved, and the rate has slowed.

Exactly what we expect, and the reason why you don't dive in and adjust and regulate the watch the instant you have put down the oiler.

I'm going to wear it today, and do the finishing touches in the evening.

I'm also going to check to make sure I have the correct lift angle set in the timegrapher before I do that. I'm assuming that this information is available somewhere on the interwebz since it is a pretty common caliber. If anybody happens to know off the top of their head what the lift angle for an EB8800 is, it would save me a bit of googling.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dragged from the pile of random, I give you.. a Zaria 2009 based errr... Zaria.


The missing winder stem might be a bit of an issue. I'll look through my stash and see if any of them fit. If not I have a dilemma since I can pick up an entire similar watch, shipped from the Ukraine for less than the price of the stem.



There was also a bit of dial dandruff going on, which I have stabilized with a green sharpie. Not very professional perhaps, but since the watch cost less than the sharpie, who's complaining.



It is actually very well put together, and runs reasonably well. You could grow potatoes in the "patina", and it obviously needs a crystal and a suitable strap. I think its probably circa early to mid 1960s, and has "Made in USSR" still visible at the base of the dial.

Another bit of horological history for the collection. As well as being a Soviet era watch brand, Zaria is I understand, a goddess from Slavic Mythology.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Seiko Quartz went back under the magnifier last night. This time I spent a little longer on it, and popped off the PCB.


Not good news.


The corrosion extended to the circuit board (which I cleaned up), but also to the coil. I could see there was a loose turn of wire sitting on the back of the coil, when I popped it out, so I soldered that back on, however on closer examination, the other end of the coil is also disconnected, presumably the corrosive contents of the leaked battery ate through it,  and since that wire is buried in the middle of the coil, re-soldering it is not really an option.


Nothing else for it but to button it back up and pop it back in the "needs more work" pile. Time to start watching ebay for a suitable donor.


Edited by AndyHull

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The two W15 Cobalt Talking Watches made it on to the workbench today. They are constructed using one of the ubiquitous Chinese standard quartz  watch movements, with a small module on top that does the actual talking.


The two modules are not connected, so you could set the watch to a completely different time from the speech module if you wanted.

This model doesn't have an alarm, but that is down to there being one less pusher/button on this version than on the alarm version, the speech module itself may be common across the range. I didn't go to the trouble of proving this though.

The "speaker" piezo element is bonded to the case back, and there are a couple of spring contacts that connect the speaker to the speech module when the lid is closed. 

One of the watches arrived in mint condition, but the other was missing one of the speaker spring contacts, so that was fabricated by wrapping a few turns of 0.25mm nickel plated wire round a pin, and cutting the resultant "spring" to the correct length.

Both needed a CR016 and a AG1 cell for the speech module and the watch module respectively and now they work perfectly.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The "new" Casio AQ-230 with the black dial, I posted about earlier in "Watch of Today" got a much needed spruce up and polish.

This one has a metal body, unlike its white dialled cousin I picked up a few months back, which has the newer "matalized resin" body (i.e. plastic).


I also took it off the stainless steel hair puller (which is now sitting in a small glass jar, soaking in a mix of detergent and antiseptic).

I tried a couple of black leather bands before I settled on this 1990s styled faux carbon fiber fabric band with red stitching and a leather backing.


All of the major battle scars are gone. What I will say is, while it may not be a chick magnet, it is most certainly a smudge magnet.

The rejuvenated crystal is now so new and shiny looking that every spec of dust or hint of a fingerprint has me reaching for the lens cloth.

Another "new" face in the 404 club.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Today on the healing bench I had.. no, not the pile of HMT's I keep banging on about, but rather, a couple of vintage Timexes (or should that be Timexi.. you decide).


The first is a Viscount from 1976, and the second, and my favorite out of the two, despite the more '70s vibe of the Viscount, is a 1973 Marlin.


The Viscount dial had a really bad case of green cheese disease, which I have more or less remedies. It isn't perfect, but it is a a whole lot better. A gentle rub with a mix of vinegar and a couple of drops of dish soap using the flattened end of a matchstick allowed me the precision needed to remove the green without removing the dial markings. This was followed by some careful application of a tiny patch of damp lint free cloth to remove the vinegar/detergent mix, then some baby oil to seal the surface. 

The result is acceptable but far from a factory restoration, but then again, this is a £4 Timex, not a £4,000 Rolex.

Both watches arrived with the usual issues, having no doubt not come within 100 yards of a service center since the day they left Dundee more than 40  years ago. 

Adjusting the time on the Viscount was sticky, and on the Marlin, was impossible. They were also engrimulated to the max, so what you see are the post fumigation pictures.


After a lot of lighter fluid baths, mechanism lubrication, case grunge removal and some basic polishing they both look and run a whole lot better. The Viscount still needs some work on its case, and the date change is not 100%, so that will need to be re-visited too. It does work, but I wouldn't bet on it working every time.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Two more join the Marlin.

On the left is a 99p "10 year battery" Accurist. 

Not much to say, it has a blue dial. I'm a sucker for a blue dial, and the price was right. It has been fumigated and the "10 year battery" replaced with a shiny new CR2012, so hopefully good for another 10 years. The crystal needs work, to show off that very attractive dial.

Next we have a 1979 ladies Timex. I know, I'm wearing women's watches again, people are starting to talk.

It needed a click spring and a service, and is now ticking away like it just left the factory.

Finally the 1973 Marlin, which got a little more work, as it too had a sticky date. All three are clicking and clacking away nicely on fresh leather bands.



Edited by AndyHull

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night I took a quick look at this 1975 Timex (Sprite?) fob watch.

I suspect these were mainly used by nurses, as most of the other examples I found had the typical short chain and pin arrangement which is common on nurses watches.

This one is missing the chain, and the lume is slightly imperfect, but other than that, and the fact that it needed a good service, it was in a reasonable if grubby condition.


I originally picked it up as a possible donor watch, but it  spruced up quite nicely, and is running well, so I may just keep it intact.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Rodeo - What can I say? It is a fashion watch... but I'm not sure what fashion it refers to. 


I think it has to be from the 1970s.

Probably best worn with huge bell bottom trousers, platform soles a collar the size of Texas and big hair (or perhaps best not worn at all).

Made in France, with a jeweled 21600bph movement, but a strange multi-part plastic case. Is it a gents, as the dimensions and strap suggest, or is it a ladies, as the small dial might lead you to think. Either way, no bizarre timepiece collection should be without one. The movement is remarkably similar to the Lijac I posted about recently, but jeweled.

Strangely enough there were no other bidders so the hammer fell at £0.99p - and cheap at half the price I would say. It came back to life after a quick service and is now rocking away nicely to its own disco beat. I'll see how accurate it is in the morning once the lubrication etc has all settled down and the mainspring has had a good workout.









Edited by AndyHull

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • I certainly did not want to replace the motor, as this is so very visible, all attempts at maintaining the illusion of originality would fail. A solution to the problem could only be achieved with a safer, replacement speed control, which could work with the original mains voltage motor. Fortunately, these are readily available in the form of a Pulse Width Modulated (PWM), motor speed controller circuit. These will take in the 220V incoming mains supply and provide a variable output of between 50V and the incoming supply voltage. These are well known devices and proven to work with even simple (old) motors. So, a PWM circuit was obtained (at incredibly reasonable cost), and measured up. In an attempt to at least have the "illusion" of originality, I was determined to use the original hole for the rotary speed control, as well as the original Bakelite control knob. With the shaft on the rotary potentiometer too short for this, I had to do some more metal bashing. As can be seen below, I used the old rheostat as a donor, for a short length of it's shaft, which I would mate to the new potentiometer, allowing the Bakelite knob to operate. This was cut to shape and filed to mate with the new potentiometer shaft. This was then soldered together and thus ready for installation. You can see in the photo, the size and technical comparison between the old rheostat and the new PWM controller circuit.  
    • Next up is the motor speed control. I did think long and hard about my original aim of maintaining as much originality as possible. And, there is no doubt that the original speed control rheostat was a) original and b) functional. But - as I was an electronics technician in an earlier life, and also health and safety professional in a more recent life, the safety aspects weighed heavily upon my concience. Logic played it's part as well - with the original rheostat put back into service, albeit with some hand-made guarding to keep out the fingers of the unwary, it would be safe-ish, for me to use, as long as I kept my wits about me. BUT NOT SAFE FOR ANYONE ELSE unaware of what was underneath. Only the knowledge of what lurked underneath would be keeping me safe, but anyone else might not have a second chance. As can be seen from the photo below, all of the wire on the resistors is not only unguarded, but within millimetres of the level of the base. Also, the incoming mains terminals to the rheostat are also dangerously unguarded. With today's knowledge, it is difficult to fathom how this ever could have been considered safe to use.
    • Back to the job in hand. I managed to find the cork I thought I may have had, lurking in a box under the stairs. It was the most part of an A4 sized sheet, so more than enough for my purposes - to sit the jars on whilst they are in the machine. Looking at the metal bases, I really can't be convinced if there ever was any cork or any other material for that matter there. But for me anyway, the idea of the glass jars sitting directly on the metal base just seems wrong and I would prefer some cork there as a cushion. It's about as tidy as it needs to be, given the shape of the metal webbing. I suppose I could have cut-out squares of cork, but then it would leave potential weak, unsupported areas of cork, which would likely need some form of strengthening. Anyway - this application suits me and helps the jars sit a bit more stable in their locations. Whilst I am in the vicinity, so to speak, I have also added an earth lead which will bond the chassis to the incoming mains lead, once fitted. This is visible in these photos.  
    • A little further research and then on with the show... A quick browse through patent databases, shows that one Saul Lanzetter applied for and was awarded a patent for this design of watch cleaning machine in October 1937. A brief narrative is reproduced here: Interestingly, the patent application is entitled "Improvements in apparatus for cleaning watch parts and other small parts of machinery." It may be reading too much onto this title to assume that there may have been a previous patent, pre-dating this one, as this one refers to "improvements". Also of interest, there were 2 patent applications from US companies in 1944 and 1945 which cite the Lanzetter patent, and three from Germany in 1956, 1960 and 1961 (only one of which was actually published), which also cite the Lanzetter patent as a reference. Incidentally - the two US patents refer to machines which look strikingly similar to the National Model VI-C above, and the National No 4. machine in the earlier advert, showing the four jars side by side ( this seems to be referred to as a lab machine, rather than a repair shop machine). Naturally, all patents or applications referred to above are now expired. For me anyway, I think this may clear up which watch cleaning machine may have come first (at least in this machine format anyway): The S. Lanzetter National Electric Watch Cleaning Machine, circa 1937.  
    • Impressive work. The barrel and mainspring look almost new, and the remaining pitting is no worse than some lesser movements left the factory with. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
  • Create New...