This watch belongs to Jean-Pierre’s father, and he wants to restore it for him as a surprise.
Have a look at the rust on the hands. A tell-tale sign that there was water ingress, and that there will be more rust below. This is the type of job that I shouldn’t accept 😉
With the rotor removed, the top side of the movement doesn’t look too bad.
Slightly blurry photo, but you can see that there are quite a lot of rusty bits …
On this photo, you can see that the cannon pinion top is rusted off completely.
The start/stop and reset pushers are also rusty.
The rest of the bottom plate doesn’t look too bad, though.
The auto winder, and the broken off tip of the start/shop lever.
With the top plate gone, you can see parts of the chronograph mechanism. This movement has a vertical clutch for the central chronograph wheel.
And here it is. The fork tines move in and out to engage and disengage the chronograph clutch.
Lots of dirt everywhere.
The gear train, and the minute recorder on the left, with the gear for the hour recorder below it.
In the background, the rusted together hour wheel and cannon pinion. Everything goes into the cleaning machine.
I put the hour wheel and cannon pinion in vinegar to dissolve the rust as far as I can.
The case taken apart.
The movement is ready to be put back together.
The hour recorder hand has come off its tube.
Lots of corrosion on the hour hand.
Here is the hour recorder hand soldered back together.
The dial and hands get some new luminous compound.
I start reassembly with the balance jewels.
And now I can put the rest back together.
The vertical clutch is and its fork is visible again. The little wheel at 10 o’clock engages and disengages the clutch, and it’s operated by the start/stop lever.
Here, you can see the start/stop lever and the reset lever in place.
The base movement is back together and beating.
There was no new cannon pinion to be had anywhere, so we decided to buy a parts movement off eBay, and we got lucky – a perfect cannon pinion and hour wheel.
The bottom plate with all its components.
Ready for the day wheel.
With the day wheel in place, we are ready for the dial.
The hour recorder hand gets some new paint.
Dial and hands are back on.
And the chronograph is working.
The auto winder bits go in after I have cased the movement.The watch keeps its original crystal, as we can’t find a proper replacement, and Jean-Pierre wants to keep it as it is.
This restoration was a huge labour of love, and I had to take apart and put together the movement a couple of times to swap for better parts from the parts movement we bought. I had also initially soldered the start/stop lever, but we could then use the one from the parts movement as well.
I’m sure Jean-Pierre’s father will be pleasantly surprised!