This little gem was brought in after having attempted to get a reasonable quote for repair with a jeweller only to be met with extortionate demands. Having sent the watch off to JLC prior to visiting me the owner was met with a estimate of £3000, yes that's right £3000 for a rebuild & service. Id like to say im shocked at this price but it has become such common practice these days that nothing really shocks me coming from a high street jeweller :(
With the watch in hand it was time to pop the hood and see what exactly was so wrong that it could warrant even half that cost.......
With the back off we see a nicely finished P480c manual wind movement, and after a couple of winds the balance swings away albeit with timing issues, so nothing as yet to justify the cost, may be its on the other side ?
The dial appeared to be quite stuck in place despite loosening the dial screws and the reason being that someone had previously stuck the dial back on using superglue.......yep superglue :(
The dial feet clearly broken in place from previous service ( i use that term loosely ) and then to cover the horror it was superglue'd in place. With the glue getting into places it shouldn't this was going to require a fair amount of careful hand cleaning as well as a good spin in the watch cleaner.
Time to strip her down for first machine cleaning......
After machine cleaning it was still not enough to shift the superglue so some careful hand cleaning was required to remove the glue residues and deposits. Once back through the machine i was happy the watch parts were clean enough for reassembly and so the watch could be rebuilt and tested.
With the movement re built the watch was wound and checked on the timegrapher, timing showed to be excellent and easily able to keep up with modern mechanical watches :)
There were a few issues where glue had got into jewel holes and other such minor problems but with all these sorted the watch was running away beautifully. Timing was within 10 seconds a day with amplitude of 250+ and a beat error of 0.3ms i can't complain at that !
Quite why it would have cost £3000 to get this working again to good standard i will never know, but im going to assume pure greed on the part of the jeweller.
With the watch back together and working perfectly there was one happy customer ready to collect her. The watch had been the customers fathers and was of great sentimental value, so i was only to happy to pass on the good news that the watch that meant so much was now in good shape and could be enjoyed once more :)
Hertfordshire based watch restorer. Follow my blog for new watches under restoration/repair