Re-pivoting

We’ve not been very busy posting lately, but that’s mainly because we are very busy at the workshop. Also, as you can always check out what we are working on at any moment in time, we felt that most our readers are using that feature to see what’s happening.

Today, I’m posting a more technical post, which might benefit my colleagues, rather than my clients. Anyway, it’s probably interesting to see what can be done.

Broken pivots are a regular occurrence, and on the left, you can see the two autowinder wheels from a Heuer 12 movement. The one on the left has a broken pivot.

If a part is available for reasonable amounts of money, buying a new one is always the best solution. But if the part isn’t available, or very expensive, a repair is in order. Continue reading

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

To all our readers who celebrate the season – we wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And for our readers and customers all over the world who celebrate something else, or don’t celebrate at this time of the year, we do of course wish you our finest season’s greetings, and a Happy New Year!

CNC machine saves a Prince!

Brendan sent in this Rolex Prince from the 1930’s complaining that the crown felt detached from the movement when trying to set the hands.

The movement is removed from its case and the dial and hands are taken off to investigate what is causing the problem. I test the keyless works and it is observed that when the crown is turned in hand setting mode the sliding pinion falls below the intermediate winding wheel making setting the hands impossible. Under the microscope it is just possible to see the end of the stem moving about on the other side of the movement.

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A new era …

My colleague Frank always turns up to our Guild board meetings with funky self-made watch parts, and I was getting curious. He told me that he had a CNC mill, and I pestered him to let me visit him to have a look.

Frank graciously let me come to his workshop, and this is where my little adventure starts.

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Time is of the essence

We often get water damaged watches sent into the workshop, and usually, it’s game over.

Water damage beyond economical repair

This watch saw water ingress a long time ago, and it was left out “to dry”, or, more like it, left out to rust in peace.

If you don’t act quickly, it’s the end of your watch. A week will do nicely, and you have thrown away thousands or at least hundreds of pounds.

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Data

As in many other fields, data is a very important matter. We have to find our spare parts, adjust the timegrapher to the correct lift angle, etc., so it’s very important to have the right data at hand.

So far, Generale Ressorts published a printed catalogue a very long time ago, and that’s still the only source of data when it comes to matching mainsprings with movements. There are some suppliers that have entered some of this data (Cousins, Ofrei, Boley) into their own systems, but a generally available list of mainsprings and where they fit wasn’t available anywhere.

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Seiko 6105-8110, The Turtle

This is the iconic Seiko “Turtle”, THE classic Seiko diver. 

Although Seiko obviously designed this as a dive watch, it was also a great choice for a soldier in combat. It was immortalised in the film Apocalypse Now, where it was worn by Martin Sheen. Water resistant, with a simple robust automatic movement, a timing bezel and also a hacking feature for synchronising (and of course a G-shock wasn’t available back then!).  Continue reading

A rare find: Omega Speedmaster 2998-4 calibre 321 from 1960

If you are into Speedmasters, there are some holy grails. An Ed White is a very nice thing to have, and increasingly hard to find if your funds are limited. Even nicer is a 2998-4, and even harder to find, and harder to pay for…

Out of the blue, Angela from the States sent me an email, saying that she had a Speedmaster, and that she didn’t quite know if it was worth repairing. Attached was this photo.

I had a good look at the photo, and told her that it was indeed very much worthwhile to restore the watch, and that she was most likely to have something of considerable value there … Continue reading

Repair and Service: Universal Geneve Tri-Compax “Eric Clapton” calibre 281

Some watches are defined by who wore them, and this is certainly the case for the Universal Geneve Tri-Compax “Eric Clapton”. His taste of watch straps may be disputable, but I remember having one of those in the early 70s as well 😉

The watch itself is of undisputed taste, and there is also a version with a dark dial with white sub-dials, referred to as the “Evil Clapton” version.



These beasts are rare enough, and even rarer when in good condition, as this one, which was sent in by a customer from Florida.

Unfortunately, the watch isn’t working, so we’ll have to find out what’s ailing it. Continue reading