In for investigation recently is this rather nice Breitling chronograph, featuring a Venus 188 calibre manual wind movement housed in a steel case with acrylic glass. The watch had apparently stopped working correctly and neither time keeping or the chronograph were functional. Cosmetically the watch was in good shape so all that was needed was some tlc for the movement. Finding the problem was fortunately fairly evident as soon as the watch was opened >>
As can be seen in the photo above, the hairspring had somehow managed to get itself in quite a pickle. Carefully removing the balance and sorting out the hairspring was first priority, if the spring could be fixed then we can check the running.
With some steady hands i managed to sort out the spring enough to get an initial reading, the timing was ok but needed improvement. The chronograph was not functional and this was due to the runner spring not having enough power to push the runner, this could be resolved once the movement was cleaned and ready for reassembly. So we start by stripping the movement from the casing, in this instance the pushers are mounted on leaf springs rather than needing the screws to be loosened in other more typical chronos of this age.
With the movement uncased we can strip it down and prepare it for cleaning. It is important when disassembling these types of movement not to undo any of the eccentric screws for levers as adjusting them later can require more time.
With the movement thoroughly cleaned it was time to reassemble and lubricate it whilst correcting the runner spring so the chrono will work once again >>
With the movement now running almost back to normal it was time to refit the dial and hands and recase the watch ready for extended testing. Note that the movement is tested prior to recasing for several days but this can not be shown in photos :)
The damage to the hairspring was bound to have an effect but fortunately it was not enough to ruin the timing for daily use, the chrono spring also was not so far gone it could not be bent back to shape. With everything completed and running well again it was time to say good bye and send her home, hopefully the watch will see many more years of action before needing attention again !
Still to come...... Arly Triple Date.... Quick Look at the IWC TCZ......Rotary Aquaplunge Double Trouble..
Hertfordshire based watch restorer. Follow my blog for new watches under restoration/repair