As you can see, the date doesn’t sit quite right. The watch is brand new, and this problem was created right there in the factory. The Chinese watch industry makes some smashing value-for-money watches, but the build quality isn’t always what you would expect it to be. Mind you, this one probably didn’t cost more than £20 on taobao, so no big harm done 😉
The standard Tongji movement. A reliable work horse…
You can see that even though the pawl is properly engaged with the date wheel, the position of the “17” isn’t exactly over the winding stem.
I file down the pawl a bit, and then smoothen the surface with lapping film.
This nice little vice is a Leinen – my father worked for them a good 30 years ago as a management consultant and got this chrome-plated watchmakers vice as a present. (Funnily enough, he also worked for Boley). It’s got the serial # 1621, so I don’t think there are a lot of these out there. It got a lot of abuse from my days as a car mechanic (don’t ask), but it’s still working very well.
With the modified pawl, the date wheel now aligns.
That looks a lot better! As this one is for my own collection, I don’t mind spending some time fixing it. Probably not worth it if you consider the value of the watch, but I just have a soft spot for Chinese watches 😉