Service: Arowe / PUW 1561

A bit of a story up-front… This watch belongs to my brother Gerhard. He’s had it for around 35 years. My father used to work for PUW (Pforzheimer Uhren-Rohwerke) in the 70s as a management consultant. PUW went into bankruptcy, as there weren’t enough assets and too much debt. A certain Mr. Hayek bought what was left from the administrators, and the rest is history.

My brother asked my father to buy a watch for him whilst he worked there, and so he did…

There is a bit of rust under the case back, but otherwise, it’s looking good.

The dial is of surprisingly bad quality. The letters are badly executed, and there are some spots where it has discoloured.

The movement was PUWs flagship – an incredibly snappy date change that can compete with the best, and a fairly complex but solid auto-winding mechanism.

The date change mechanism at the bottom of the photo. The snake-like spring is slowly pre-tensioned, until it releases the date changer at midnight. The watch also has a quick-set date function which is activated by pushing the crown in. The odd thing is that Arowe made the case in a way that the quick-set date can’t be used, you can only pull the crown out to first position to set the time. An odd thing to do.

The auto-winder mechanism.

The wheel train.

No lack of parts considering this is only an auto/date watch.

As usual, I start off with a new mainspring.

The movement is ticking, and I haven’t put the balance jewels in yet …

Bottom plate complete.

With the balance jewels in, this is looking good.

Half-wound, this is looking good.

I case the movement and put the rotor in.

With a new crystal, the watch is back to its former glory.


9 thoughts on “Service: Arowe / PUW 1561

  1. Good morning,
    i have one PUW1464 automatic
    looking for the balance staff ! I have already ordered 4time from different sources
    each time the balance staff is too short!
    where may i find the correct piece for PUW1464, last time it was U2986 part from

    best regards

  2. Hallo, ik heb de Porta-Puw watch automatic 25 Jewels terug kunnen (herstellen) in beweging brengen door ze te openen en ze met perslucht uit te blazen. Mvg

    Hallo, ich konnte die Porta-Puw Automatikuhr 25 Jewels restaurieren, indem ich sie öffnete und mit Druckluft ausblies. Mvg

    Hello, I was able to restore (restore) the Porta-Puw watch automatic 25 Jewels by opening them and blowing them out with compressed air. Mvg

    • Hmmm – not what I would call a restoration 😉 It’s pretty dangerous to blow compressed air into a movement, as the hairspring is easily deformed. You really have to take the movement apart, clean everything, put it back together and oil it properly …

  3. Hello. Can you please tell me how much would it cost an exact movement restoration? An ruff estimate of course. Movement is running and keeping time accurately for 24 hours, did not tested more. Also the case does look to have a space for the crown to be pushed to set the date, but not working. Thank you

    Best regards,

  4. Hi, great article!
    I have a H-D-V Automatic military-style watch, from I think the 60s-70s, it has the same movement: PUW 1561. On the automatic weight it says “25 Jewels”, similar to your photos, but according to the 1561 is a 21-jewel movement. Any ideas?
    My watch is like , but the face is not in as good condition as that photo.

    • It’s entirely possible — the PUW 1561, like many movements from others, including ETA, came in variants with different jeweling. Also common were options for the balance shock protection, and whether or not the movement had a hacking mechanism. The 1561 was made with 17, 21 or 25 jewels, depending on what the company or person ordering the movement(s wanted. Thus, you will find examples with 17, 21 and 25 jewels. It is possible for a rotor with one jewel count marking to get put onto a movement with a different jewel count in the process of refurbishing one using parts cannibalized from another that’s beyond repair. May or may not be clues this has occurred. I have a Bulova with a 17j PUW 1561 inside it – has a proprietary Bulova caliber number on its rotor – movement was identified from knowing they used PUW, the Made in Germany marks, year of manufacture (from Bulova markings), and photos of PUW movements.

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