This little alarm watch was sent in as part of a larger lot of watches won at an auction by a customer. The watches condition was unknown until it arrived with me but after a brief examination it was clear that it needed some tlc to set it running right again. The movement inside ( AS 1931 ) was rather soiled in excess oil and although the alarm function worked the main movement did not run. The hairspring was quite badly contaminated and in need of adjustment, the whole watch would need stripping down for cleaning before work could begin in servicing the watch.
As can be seen in the photos above the excess oil had seeped through to the dial in quite a large amount, someone somewhere had gone a little over the top on trying to get this watch running !
Time to strip the movement down and get it cleaned up >>
Once the movement was clean and the hairspring thoroughly decontaminated the assembly & lubrication could begin. The dial side is a little more fiddly than your standard movement but there were no broken parts or damages involved so it was straight forward to get the watch back together again. Unfortunately i forgot to charge my camera battery so i have no photos of the reassembly but i will remember for next time :)
With the watch fully assembled the movement was running good again and the alarm also working well. The glass was given a good polish to remove the scratches and a new strap fitted to finish the watch, overall a nice little alarm watch fit for purpose again ! :)
This lovely little gem came in for restoration and was in dire need of some tlc in order to get the movement back to running order. The movement in question is quite well known for its rarity and parts for them are like hens teeth, repairing the movement is always quite nerve racking as with the parts being so hard to find you never know what it might need. The 390 calibre was actually designed for Rolex/Tudor by FEF and was based on the manual wind movement the 380, but with the addition of a Automatic rotor and winding system.
Stripping the movement down i found a few wear issues that would need to be addressed but i was hopeful the movement would come together. >> Part of the strip down >>
With the movement in the cleaner and the dial away for refinishing the hands would require some new lume, the old lume is stripped, hands cleaned, and then new lume prepared for application >
When fresh lume is applied it may appear to sit too high and later interfere with hand setting but its worth remembering that as it dries it contracts so the bulging actually becomes flat. Once the hands were fully dry/cured they had contracted down nice and flush so no problems with hand setting.
Once the movement was out of the cleaner it was time to reassemble and adjust to get the watch running again with good timing. There were some parts that were quite worn but overall the movement came together and was running with some good timing results. The wear & tear would have longer term consequences but if treated carefully and worn occasionally the movement should be set to last quite some while. The casing was given a clean and light polish as well as the glass getting a light buff to knock out the light surface scratches, a new rear gasket and some grease should also help to keep moisture away.
With the watch fully assembled it would have to be tested again to find any issues but after some adjustment the watch ran fine and it was fortunate despite the wear & tear that it run as good as it did.
With a fresh dial , lumed hands , and a good polish all over the watch was looking much better and ready to be returned back to its owner >>
Im sure this watch would be a welcome addition to anyone's collection, just a shame its not in my own !! :)
Hertfordshire based watch restorer. Follow my blog for new watches under restoration/repair