Gerald got this watch from his wife 35 years ago for their wedding anniversary. He has planned a trip for Wednesday to France in his Bentley, and, of course, he wants to wear the watch that means quite a lot to him – even though he hasn’t worn it in ages.
When trying to set it (it’s Monday, and they are leaving on Wednesday morning), he crown and winding shaft come out, and he can’t get them back in….
So he turns up on my doorstep, and I have a 36 hour deadline. Not to worry, I’m sure I can fix this without parts, and give the watch a service whilst we’re at it.
Nice movement, the 2571.
There is quite a lot of dirt around the stem and crown.
Out comes the movement, and I remove the hands and dial.
I remove the day and date wheel.
Now I can see why you can’t push the winding stem back in – the clutch lever has slid over the castle pinion.
Good to know that I can fix this without needing any parts.
As it wouldn’t make much sense just to fix the winding stem, I take apart the whole movement to give it a service. All the jewels are dry, and it’s been a long time.
Having taken all the components off, I take out the balance jewels and mount the balance assembly without the jewels on the plate for cleaning.
As this is an emergency repair, I won’t change the mainspring (which looks pretty good anyway).
Time for reassembly.
I slightly wind the mainspring and drop the balance in, which starts swinging immediately.
With the mainspring barely wound, this is very good, and I won’t have a problem leaving the old mainspring in.
Time to put the bottom plate back together.
The pawl spring for the date wheel has to go into its plate.
The dial and hands go back on.
And I can mount the auto-winder gears and rotor.
Here we are – it’s been 5 hours since Gerald dropped the watch off, and I’m done. I’ll leave it on the bench until tomorrow to make sure everything is working, and then it’s off to France for a hopefully happy wedding anniversary! Congratulations, June & Gerald.