Service: Birks EternaMatic Centenaire calibre 1429U

Another one of Michael’s watches, and the last one of the batch. It’s his father’s EternaMatic, and the minute hand is stuck a bit, and it needs a service.

When I take the hands off, I notice that the hour hand is too close to the dial. That does not bode well – it’s a sign of sticky gunk on the back of the dial…

The dial doesn’t want to come off, and I don’t want to force it. So I put the movement on a soft polishing cloth and start taking it apart.

I finally get my courage up and carefully take the dial off. Yep, dial pads indeed. I think there should be a law against them, with public flogging as the punishment for using them. What I don’t get is that the dial feet are both there and intact, but the two screws holding the feet are missing.

Balance jewels removed, and the escape wheel jewel cap taken out. I’ve removed the dial pads and their sticky gunk from the plate.

After having cleaned all the parts, I start reassembly.

The balance jewels go back in.

With a tap, I test the thread size of the missing dial screws. The 0.8mm tap fits.

I have the right screws, but they have heads, so I put them in the lathe and take the heads off.

The finished screw – just needs some cleaning.

The new dial screw where it belongs.

Now I start putting the movement back together.

Not too shabby for a first adjustment before casing.

I remove the glue from the dial.

I case the movement.

Back to its former glory, with the hands now sitting correctly as the dial isn’t too high any more.

What a beauty!



10 thoughts on “Service: Birks EternaMatic Centenaire calibre 1429U

  1. Several models of Eternas such as this 1429 U, make both chronometer versions and non-chrono versions but to a layman like me, I can’t see any real difference and there’s nothing etched on the movement to signify that it’s indeed a chronometer. Is there indeed a significant difference between the two and why wasn’t chronometer or multiple positions noted on the movement? This has always puzzled me and I hope you can shine some light on these questions.

    Many thanks!
    Kind Regards

  2. Hallo Christian,
    its 5 years back, that you gave some interesting tips for some problems on a
    ETERNA Centenaire 61. I am little frustrated on placing back the stem to
    the watch. It was remorved with the help of the screw next to the stem, but is there any particular screw position to put her back ?

    Thomas Ernst

  3. I’m sorry to rave on again on your blog, but I am seriously thrilled!
    As I mentioned, I love this watch, and more particularly as it was left to me by my father. So when the dial shifted, I went into shock – I’m absolutely amazed that they would have used dial pads on this. Pretty much the only people that I think might have ever serviced this watch are the well-regarded Canadian jewellers that sold it to my father. And how strange a solution to having lost (?) the dial retaining screws!
    Thanks so very much for your care and attention to this, Christian. A clean looking overhaul!

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