How to re-attach dial feet [2]

My aversion to dial spots (those little adhesive dots used to glue on dials) knows little bounds. It’s a shoddy job, the dial can still turn with time, and in my book, it’s not an appropriate repair. On a £2 quartz movement, dial spots might be appropriate, but on anything mechanical, I’d rather not.

Above, a dial with broken off feet. You can still see some remaining dial spots, and, in preparation for the new dial feet, I have marked the centre of the feet on the dial. I use a sharp needle and a pair of tweezers as a ruler. Continue reading

How To: Repairing watch hands

If you repair watches, you know the feeling of your heart sinking when removing a chronograph sub-hand and the tube stays on the runner, and the hand comes off without the tube.

Once the dial is off, you can carefully remove the stuck tube with the hand remover, and with a bit of luck, it doesn’t fly 10 yards through the workshop. Continue reading

Book Review: When corporatism leads to Corporate governance failure – The case of the Swiss watch industry by Isabelle Schluep Campo & Philipp Aerni

An interesting read for all who follow the Swatch Group’s undertakings, especially in the light of the spare parts situation

Schluep Campo and Aerni start their book with the merger of the Swiss ASUAG (Allgemeine Schweizerische Uhrenindustrie Aktiengesellschaft / General Swiss Watch Corporation) and the SSIH (Société suisse pour l’industrie horlogère / Swiss Watch Industry Corporation) in 1983. I always assumed that Nicolas Hayek was the “saviour” of the Swiss Watch Industry, developing the Swatch, and saving the industry from certain death single-handedly. Continue reading

WatchParts.org.uk is live!

Dear Readers,

If you have read my last post, you know that I’m working on a watch parts database. After some slightly sleep-deprived nights, the first version is live for testing. Don’t be surprised if the site goes up and down a bit, but I guarantee that all data you enter will be safe, and is backed up nightly. So nothing you enter will get lost.

Give it a go at watchparts.org.uk!

If you have any stock of spare parts, please register, and upload your stock. You can do that with a CSV file, or enter line by line. If a manufacturer is missing, let me know, and I will add it for you. It’s beta testing time…

In the next week, I will develop a search functionality (at the moment, you get to see a list of all parts available on the database, which is fine for a couple of thousand), and add other bits and bobs. If you have Ronda staffs, enter them as manufacturer Ronda, and the Ronda staff number as the manufacturer part number, and voila, they will end up in a list of all Ronda staffs with dimensions and compatible movements. Winding stems to follow…

Enjoy,

Christian

Spare Parts

Everyone working with watches knows the problem: spare parts. Especially for older watches, it can be really hard to find the right part. Never mind the right price.

I know that every watchmaker in the world sits on a huge amount of parts. A lot of these never get used, people don’t even know what they have (I am a bit guilty here as well), and when they give up working, the parts often end up on the tip, never to be seen again.

Some people are out there collecting the parts and selling them on Ebay, and I’m forever indebted to their effort. Continue reading

Service: Vacheron Constantin K1050/8

I do like Vacheron Constantin movements – they are very well made, and very intricate. What puts me off is that I can’t get any spare parts whatsoever. I can buy brake parts for an Aston Martin that speeds along at 250 km/h freely, but buying spare parts for VC watches is apparently too dangerous for the public…

So, I have to dive in without any recourse to parts. Continue reading