Whilst most of my blogs feature customer watches, this particular little gem is mine, and whilst not a flashy expensive piece i think its worth a mention as Smiths are a popular brand that are making a come back in the collectors scene.
The calibre 600 is not a high grade or superbly finished movement but it is certainly a step up from the el cheapo Smiths that come up on ebay all the time. As well as being due a service the screws heads have been given a polish, small scratches on any movement can detract from its overall look so i think its worth the effort. Not going to go in depth on this one but rather just a nod to Smiths and enjoy a nice simple watch for what it is :)
While the movement is still very simple it is nonetheless very reliable and accurate, lacking any shock protection is a bit of a down side but the pivots on the balance are fairly beefy to cope with a knock or two. The movement is cased in a base metal case which has been chrome plated, a little worn and torn but that's fine and part of the character. The dial is all original and although the paint is cracking im keeping things just the way they are, nice fresh dials are great but sometimes the aged or worn look tells more of a story.
Its not flash or expensive but it keeps good time and is easy to slip in the pocket so what more could you need :)
In the workshop this month is this Longines Conquest chronograph featuring a Dubois Depraz Chrono module. Sent in after having stopped it was time to finally service this watch and get it back in running order, having removed the back it was visible the hack had somehow come out of its place and was stopping the balance.
With the back off it is clear the casing needs a clean to get rid of the debris that has built up. Dirt/Debris and fine movements do not play well together so an ultrasonic clean should remove this problem. This watch is front loaded so the front bezel will have to come off to release the movement.
With the movement now free we can remove the dial and hands and take a look at the movement and the module that sits on top which comprises the clever chronograph assembly.
Unlike other chronographs the module design used here is very clever, by using the power of the main movement to power the module you can service the main movement separately without needing to disassemble the whole watch. The module is designed by the famous Dubois Depraz and it sits neatly on top of the main movement ( ETA 2894-2 ), this is just one module design of the many specialist designs produced by Dubois Depraz. A large amount of popular Swiss brands turn to Dubois Depraz for their chronograph needs ( including Rolex ), no doubt this in turn saves a lot of headaches and money in r&d, why build something from scratch when there are specialists who can do it for you :)
The module above is secured in place by three screws and simply lifts off the main movement, no fuss or special tools just lifts right off. The beauty of this design is that you don't actually have to remove the dial & hands as the whole unit is not directly connected to the main movement ( the train wheels etc ). Instead communication is via small transmission wheels which pass the required ratios through intermediate gears. However in this case the date wheel is out of sync so adjustments must be made to the upper chrono module. The module itself is not serviced and instead it is recommended to be replaced outright ( at rather large cost ), however this module is in pretty good shape so not much needs doing here.
Stripping down the main movement can be done just like any other ETA 289X movement, simple and straightforward unlike other chronographs. Only a few photos taken below as this is going over old ground.
With the movement cleaned, assembled and lubricated it was then tested for several days for timing before being finally adjusted and then recased. The casing had gone through the ultrasonic removing all the gunk and debris and even bringing back some sparkle to the diamonds around the bezel, the glass was also given a light polish to remove the scratches and make the dial more visible.
Ladies watches are often thought of as small little things that our grandma might wear so its refreshing to see a nicely sized piece with all the bells and whistles :) A lovely watch returned to good running order and no doubt a happy customer :)
More blogs to come but bare with me as it has become busy season and time is limited :)
Today we take a look at a classic Rolex Oyster Perpetual, a brand and model so well known that even those who are not " into " watches will know, and probably love. This particular model features a calibre 2030, all the song and dance of its bigger brother but contained within a smaller vessel, but they say good things come in small packages. Let's start with getting that bracelet off and getting the cosmetics cleaned up...
Prior to removing the movement it was clear that the winding was not correct, there was no smooth turn when powering the movement and setting the hands was very loose and without the clean snap that should be there. Time to break down the movement and see what has gone on....
With the movement stripped and cleaned it could then be reassembled carefully ensuring every part is thoroughly inspected. Aside from a few minor hard deposits the movement came together without much issue, there was a slight beat error but this was swiftly corrected by adjusting the carrier before tightening down. The casing sides and bracelet were given a slightly clean up on the bench polisher and then ultrasonically cleaned before the whole watch was put back together ready for final testing.
Whether your a Rolex fan or not you can not take away from the fact that every ounce of effort goes into making it the very best it can be, this little gem will have a new owner soon and no doubt it will be treasured. With my work done its time to say good bye :)
If you enjoy these blogs then do come back as i try to update with new and interesting pieces as often as i get spare time for :)
A few weeks ago now i had this stunning IWC Pilots watch in for service featuring the 37526 movement calibre ( ETA 298X Base ), this is a unique piece and one worth mentioning here in a little detail. Although the main bulk of the movement is ETA based, the upper 24 hour/Date section is one developed by IWC for this specific model. Creating your own addition to an established movement is no small thing but in this case it works well and has since been improved.
As we already know a watch tells the time through a motion of gears that have specific ratios, it is these ratios which determine the path of the hands in order to show us the correct time. The rotation of the hour hand is once in 12 hours whilst the minute hand rotates 12 times in the same period. With the 37526 the addition of a 24 hour indication requires the clever use of additional gears in order to display a second time zone. This system is far better explained by the following link ( www.gregsteer.net ) but i add the images for those who want to view the parts were talking about >
This system has since been updated to require the use of less parts and remove an issue present with the older sprung 24 wheel. The new design is far less prone to wear and so likely keep the watch running its best for longer.
Below are some further photos of the movement during disassembly
This watch certainly appeals to those who may travel frequently and want to keep track of time on more than one continent, the technical details are also quite interesting so that link above is worth a good read. The watch service went without issue and timing had been brought back to the green so it has since been returned to its owner for some more travelling. An interesting piece i thought id share :)
Hertfordshire based watch restorer. Follow my blog for new watches under restoration/repair