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
We 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.
We finally moved into our new workshop last week, and everything is up and running! Very exciting stuff, with a lot of improvements… Continue reading
As most of you know, WatchGuy is moving workshop. We started re-furbishing our new premises in February, and are now very close to moving… Continue reading
Steven sent in his Audemars Piguet for a service. The watch doesn’t have a lot of power reserve, and isn’t the most accurate, either. Time for a service! Continue reading
As most of you will be aware of, the Swatch Group cut off parts supply to all independent watchmakers as of 1/1/2016. You, our customers, are now in the hands of Swatch Group when parts will eventually run out, and you won’t have the option any more to choose who will repair or service your watch. It’s either Swatch Group approved, or nothing.
The good news is that the independent trade isn’t taking this lying down, and Cousins (our parts supplier), is going to court. There is a news bulletin on this here.
We at WatchGuy have been involved in the process, and wish Anthony success in the court action against Swatch Group.
We try to fit a new mainspring in every movement we service, unless we can’t find anything that fits.
Often, customers request to have an original mainspring fitted, and we do of course comply if we can find one. Otherwise, we fit Générale Ressorts Swiss mainsprings, which cost half to 1/4 of the price of an original. Now have a look what comes out of an original Omega mainspring packet (click on the photo above to enlarge) 😉
Since the Swatch Group had decided to bite its nose off to spite its face, e.g. not to supply parts and movements outside the Swatch Group, ETA has been bearing most of the brunt. From the most important movement manufacturer, it will soon be relegated to be a small company making movements for the Swatch Group only.
If I were working at ETA, I would be furious about being almost destroyed. That aside, everyone who has in the past been using ETA movements for their watches now has to look somewhere else. One of the new players in the market are STP, who are based in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, in Manno.
Carlos from the Prometheus Watch Company in Portugal is looking for an ETA replacement, and wanted me to have a look at the STP 1-11, which is a direct copy of the ETA 2824-2. As the design for the movement isn’t copyrighted any more, everyone can produce a copy. So let’s see … Continue reading
As regular readers might know, we sometimes invite customers into our workshop if they would like to see what we do, and if the watch is something special. Chances are even better if the watch has an interesting story, and Tim ticked all the boxes, so we invited him down from Scotland to our workshop.
In this photo, you can see the Lemania (and Tim) on boad HMS Valiant at the periscope around 1984. The watch was issued to him in 1983 (it was made in 1964), and he has had it ever since.
The interesting bit about the watch is that it’s a special issue for nuclear submarines, having no luminous compound (as radioactivity is tightly monitored on board nuclear subs, for obvious reasons), and a white dial with black hands. Continue reading
When Vincenzo sent me an email asking if I would put together his Seamaster that another watchmaker took apart, I did of course decline. I don’t like to mop up other people’s mess, and think that whoever takes a watch apart, should put it back together again.
In this case, though, the watchmaker couldn’t put it back together, as he was late. So stupidly, I agree … Continue reading