Cha cha cha cha Changes …

Time waits for no one, and as in the rest of the world, things at WatchGuy move along as well.  And I’ve already managed to get a Bowie and a Stones reference in!

Mitka joined me over three years ago as an apprentice, and I am proud to say that he has become a good watch repairer in that time. Those who follow this blog know that he now has a lovely daughter with his fiancee. So it’s no surprise that Mitka wants to do his own thing…

Within the next months, he will move away to the South of England, and start up his own business, which is a very exciting development indeed! His new web site (mitka.co.uk) is already up and running, and once you have given him some time to do up his new workshop, he will accept maintenance and repair work. Expect that to happen around August this year. Our regular readers will have seen his posts, and share my support for the quality of his work. Not that I should entice my own clients away from me, but please feel free to contact him for any work you would like to be carried out on your watches later this year.

But we aren’t done with changes yet!

In March, an old school friend of mine (we did A-Levels together 35 years ago), Johannes, joined the team at watchguy.co.uk. With a strong mechanical background, which includes a career as an airline pilot, Johannes has decided to join us for a little career change. Things are going really well, the first Rolex has been successfully serviced, hands have been re-lumed, hairsprings have been straightened, and I’m very confident that he will have the same success in learning the trade that Mitka had.

As we have a bit of space in the new workshop, we will probably take on another apprentice or a trained watch repairer later in the year. If you are interested, give us a shout!

Service: Zenith El Primero Power Reserve 03.0240.4021 / calibre 4021

We’ve done quite a few El Primeros here at the workshop, but never the calibre 4021. The 4021 is a modification of the calibre 400.
Instead of the hour recorder and date, the 4021 has a pretty nifty power reserve indication. On top of that, the movement is skeletonised around the balance and escapement, so that these components are visible through an opening in the dial.

The dial looks a bit Breguet-like, and there is of course no hour recorder as on the calibre 400.

This watch was sent in from Lithuania, just to make the whole thing a bit more interesting 😉 Continue reading

Why we don’t polish watch cases

Firstly, happy New Year from us at Watchguy.co.uk! We hope that you had a good party, and that you have recovered well 😉

We get a lot of requests for case polishing, and we know that most manufacturers and watchmakers polish the cases of the watches they service. We believe that that’s a very bad idea indeed…

If you polish a watch case, you have to sand the case down to the deepest scratch first. This can easily be 1/10mm or more… Once that is done, you polish the case, and remove more material. Continue reading

We’ve changed our booking system

Dear Readers and Customers,

We used to operate a booking system that made our customers go to a booking page at a certain date and time, to try their luck to grab one of the slots we were giving out. As fair as the system was, it did lead to frustration on the side of our customers, and to watches ending up in our workshop that we usually wouldn’t have accepted.

To make the whole process a bit less onerous, we now have a booking page that is always accessible (https://watchguy.co.uk/cgi-bin/book), so there is no more waiting. Once you have submitted your request, we will answer within 2 working days with a positive or negative response. This decision will be based on our judgement, e.g. can we carry out the repair (if parts aren’t available, we can’t), do we want to carry out the work (we both have children to feed), and do we have enough capacity at the workshop.

Please don’t be offended if we refuse to take on a watch, as we do get quite a lot more requests than we can handle in the workshop.

Let’s see how the new system pans out, and what feedback we get. We can always go back to the old system if this leads to more frustration.

New kid on the block: openmovement

We are all familiar with various movement manufacturers, and how the watch industry is split into companies that use in-house movements, and those that use “off-the-peg” movements.

The in-house area isn’t that well defined, as lots of manufacturers claim to have their own calibres, but use standard movements (usually ETA), that they claim to have modified. These modifications range from nothing at all to having each component reworked by Swiss virgins during full moon (that is a slight exaggeration, but some of the claims are fairly hard to believe). For the watch buyer, this is a cloak-and-dagger operation, made to confuse buyers and to make them believe that they are buying a watch with a true in-house movement. It’s all about the movement value to watch price relation, and the cloak-and-dagger boys flog their watches for 20 to 30 times movement value without blinking. You know who I’m talking about … Continue reading

Service Breguet XX (20) / Valjoux 225

p1030146We have settled into our fabulous new workshop, and are very happy with the new environment…

Andrew sent us his Breguet XX, as the hour recorder wasn’t working. The second and minute recorders work fine, but the hour recorder just won’t budge…

The Breguet XX was developed after the war, and was issued to the French Air Force. The Vajoux 225 movement is based on the Valjoux 22, which doesn’t have an hour recorder, so that was added to the bottom plate for the 225.

Continue reading