Review: STP 1-11

P1010838Since 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

Service: Lemania Chronograph RN Nuclear Submarine Series 3 / calibre 2220

IMG_0663As 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

Repair: Omega Seamaster 105.004 – 64 calibre 321

P1010354When 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

Luminous compound

After the auto winder discussion, I would like to offer my opinion on another subject that has almost religious dimensions (e.g. the discussion has become as entrenched as trying to find out which god is better). This subject is luminous compound.

The fundamentalists adore and admire the flakiest and brownest compound, and it’s even better when bits have fallen off that can be found in the movement. Gorgeous. Or not.

Continue reading

Uhrenautomat

Now that’s what we really need!

Jul. 16, 1963 - One can now acquire an alarm or clock on the street in Berlin if you just have the 5 marks on hand. Having been able to buy just about every kind of food, drinks, cosmetics, and other small everyday objects from machines, this clock vending machine should be a help to all Berliners who, after normal shops close, may need a clock. Now that s customer service. If vehicles were not so big it might be possible to buy them out of machines. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxONLY - ZUMAk09JUL 16 1963 One CAN Now to Alarm or Clock ON The Street in Berlin If You Just have The 5 Marks ON Hand Having been Able to Buy Just About Every Child of Food Drinks Cosmetics and Other Small everyday Objects from Machines This Clock vending Machine should Be a Help to All Berliner Who After Normal Shops Close May Need a Clock Now Thatcher S Customer Service If VEHICLES Were Not as Big IT Might Be possible to Buy THEM out of Machines PUBLICATIONxINxGERxONLY ZUMAk09

Jul. 16, 1963 – One can now acquire an alarm or clock on the street in Berlin if you just have the 5 marks on hand. Having been able to buy just about every kind of food, drinks, cosmetics, and other small everyday objects from machines, this clock vending machine should be a help to all Berliners who, after normal shops close, may need a clock. Now that s customer service. If vehicles were not so big it might be possible to buy them out of machines.

New Lucky Dip feature

Aside

To all of you who don’t like waiting their turn until we give out new workshop slots, we have put together a lucky dip page, that lets you try your luck once a day, with a 1/100 chance to get a workshop slot. At least you can have a flutter whilst you wait for the usual bookings to open!

Best of luck trying!

An unusual request – Omega Chronostop 146.012 / calibre 920

IMG_7516Mark sent me an email with an unusual request a couple of weeks ago…  Mark was having a pint with a friend, who told him the story of a joint birthday celebration for a group of school friends in Las Vegas for their 50th birthday. A friend of his, who had attended the 40th celebration (also in Vegas), unfortunately couldn’t come along this time, as his daughter had been murdered, and he and his wife now had to bring up their little granddaughter, and had to cope with the funeral expenses on top of everything else they had to bear.

We at WatchGuy believe that once in a while, an act of kindness will go a long way, and we would like to support the effort of getting this man to Las Vegas for his 50th birthday. Mark’s friend donated a Chronostop that he had won at auction some time ago, and we have put the watch after inspection on eBay, so that it can be sold to help finance the trip.

The auction listing is at http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/-/201538007070? , and it would be great if our readers could help make the auction a success. We will add our bit and pay for the listing and auction fees, so that the full amount will go towards the trip. Happy bidding!

Omega spare parts quality

IMG_6831Now that Omega dosen’t supply spare parts to the independent trade any more, I can at least let you in on a little secret. The quality of some of their spare parts is outrageously bad…

First, the pusher 086ST0079. It’s a push-fit pusher for the Speedmaster Reduced. 50% of those shear at the bottom of the screw thread when you try to unscrew them. Firstly, please don’t supply them assembled, and secondly, don’t screw them together like there is no tomorrow. The screw will break. At £35 a pop, an expensive pleasure. So changing one costs you an average of £70, as one out of two break. Continue reading