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

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

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 , 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