A new era …

My colleague Frank always turns up to our Guild board meetings with funky self-made watch parts, and I was getting curious. He told me that he had a CNC mill, and I pestered him to let me visit him to have a look.

Frank graciously let me come to his workshop, and this is where my little adventure starts.

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Time is of the essence

We often get water damaged watches sent into the workshop, and usually, it’s game over.

Water damage beyond economical repair

This watch saw water ingress a long time ago, and it was left out “to dry”, or, more like it, left out to rust in peace.

If you don’t act quickly, it’s the end of your watch. A week will do nicely, and you have thrown away thousands or at least hundreds of pounds.

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Data

As in many other fields, data is a very important matter. We have to find our spare parts, adjust the timegrapher to the correct lift angle, etc., so it’s very important to have the right data at hand.

So far, Generale Ressorts published a printed catalogue a very long time ago, and that’s still the only source of data when it comes to matching mainsprings with movements. There are some suppliers that have entered some of this data (Cousins, Ofrei, Boley) into their own systems, but a generally available list of mainsprings and where they fit wasn’t available anywhere.

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Seiko 6105-8110, The Turtle

This is the iconic Seiko “Turtle”, THE classic Seiko diver. 

Although Seiko obviously designed this as a dive watch, it was also a great choice for a soldier in combat. It was immortalised in the film Apocalypse Now, where it was worn by Martin Sheen. Water resistant, with a simple robust automatic movement, a timing bezel and also a hacking feature for synchronising (and of course a G-shock wasn’t available back then!).  Continue reading

A rare find: Omega Speedmaster 2998-4 calibre 321 from 1960

If you are into Speedmasters, there are some holy grails. An Ed White is a very nice thing to have, and increasingly hard to find if your funds are limited. Even nicer is a 2998-4, and even harder to find, and harder to pay for…

Out of the blue, Angela from the States sent me an email, saying that she had a Speedmaster, and that she didn’t quite know if it was worth repairing. Attached was this photo.

I had a good look at the photo, and told her that it was indeed very much worthwhile to restore the watch, and that she was most likely to have something of considerable value there … Continue reading

Repair and Service: Universal Geneve Tri-Compax “Eric Clapton” calibre 281

Some watches are defined by who wore them, and this is certainly the case for the Universal Geneve Tri-Compax “Eric Clapton”. His taste of watch straps may be disputable, but I remember having one of those in the early 70s as well 😉

The watch itself is of undisputed taste, and there is also a version with a dark dial with white sub-dials, referred to as the “Evil Clapton” version.



These beasts are rare enough, and even rarer when in good condition, as this one, which was sent in by a customer from Florida.

Unfortunately, the watch isn’t working, so we’ll have to find out what’s ailing it. Continue reading

A rare find: Omega Speedmaster 105.003-64 calibre 321

It’s been a long time that I posted last, which has to do with the fact that we are very busy, and that there wan’t really anything extraordinary that landed on our benches. But today is the day, and extraordinary it is indeed! This is something I haven’t seen before. And Ed White Speedmaster with a blue dial!

The watch found its way into our workshop through a jeweller, who had sent the watch to Omega for repair. They returned it telling him that they couldn’t do it, as they had no parts…  Continue reading

Google Home application for our customers

As Christmas is approaching, some of our readers will find one of these Google Home appliances (mini or the bigger version) under the tree.

Some of you might know that I like to tinker with software (the interface our clients use to check on their jobs, and the library showing all our jobs have been written by me), I was very tempted when I got a Google Home mini as an early Christmas present.

So I just had to write a bit of software that interacts with the device, and I started off with an application that lets me check what the next job is, what I’m currently working on, and how long the queue is, for use in the workshop. That was quite nifty, and I wanted to develop something for my customers as well.

So here it is – the instructions for set-up are here, and it’s pretty easy to do. The app has just been approved and published (last night), so not all of you might be able to discover it yet, as that can take a day or two.

If you have an iPhone, just download the “Google Home” app, and you can use this feature as well!

Please let me know if you find it useful, and also let me know what additional functionality you would like to see.