Service: Cordura Sea-Gull – Baumgartner 158 31/7

IMG_8668This is a watch you don’t see every day… From the heady days when the pin pallet escapement was still widely used. Not only in the British watch industry, but the Swiss were still at it as well. Not long ago, I did a 21 jewel pin pallet movement, a Starlon watch. This lovely Cordura has a 17 jewel pin pallet movement, made by Baumgartner, the 158 31/7. These were the days when some manufacturers claimed that the pin pallet escapement was superior to the Swiss lever… one of the reasons being that the pallet stones couldn’t get dislodged during servicing. A bit feeble as a reason for superiority I’d say, but a nice try 😉

IMG_8669Nice case and case back. The watch isn’t working, but I think it’s only dirt.


The dial is held in place by two screws.IMG_8679

The bottom plate.IMG_8683

The balance with balance cock. IMG_8687

Top plate with balance removed. Some of the wheels for the auto winder still in place.IMG_8693

The gear train.IMG_8695

Barrel with mainspring.IMG_8696

Everything ready for the cleaning machine.IMG_8715

I start off by putting the balance jewels back in, having given the cap jewels a tiny drop of Moebius 9010.IMG_8716

The gear train back in place.IMG_8719

The basic movement is back together, and ticking.IMG_8720

The wheels for the auto winder go back in place. The auto winder has a reversing wheel, so it works in both directions.IMG_8721

Auto winder assembly complete – bar the rotor.IMG_8722

Now I put the bottom plate back together.IMG_8723

Date and day wheel in place.IMG_8724

And the dial and hands are back on.IMG_8725

Cased and on the timegrapher.IMG_8726

This isn’t too bad for a pin pallet. I’ve corrected the beat error, and I will make a final adjustment before shipping.IMG_8728

Back in its case. You can see that the case is chrome plated, and some of the plating has come off.IMG_8731Great looking watch, and as elaborate as it gets for a pin pallet movement – day, date, auto winder, 17 jewels… My guess is that these Cordura watches will be well worth collecting!



35 thoughts on “Service: Cordura Sea-Gull – Baumgartner 158 31/7

  1. I’ve had one these watches for years. It was sitting in a box where I keep all my old watches and parts. I can’t remember where or when I got it but I always assumed it didn’t work. Recently I saw an article on it and pulled it out and realized it was an automatic and shook it and lo and behold it works great! I’ve ordered a new band and I am looking forward to wearing my “new” Swiss dive watch! I love vintage dive and military watches and I’m very excited about showing off my Cordura Sea Gulll!

  2. Hello thank you for posting it was great to see what the inside of my watch looks like. One question I have is how can you tell what year it was made, I have exactly the same watch. Thanks so much

  3. Hello,
    I got one of these as a gift from my dad. and it is missing the weight for the movement, any ideas on how or where to get one, about 5 jewelry shops, and quite a few hours looking online and no results? I would really love to get it in working order since it was a gift and a great looking watch!

  4. Hi Christian, thank you so much for sharing your service step by step with us.
    I have 1 question.
    What was the positional variation after service, I just serviced mine and it runs pretty accurate dial up however when its crown down the rate and amplitude drops dramatically. Is that an issue with the pin lever watches or is it just mine?
    Thanks alot Christian

  5. Hi, I have recently bought my Cordura, but it occured it has a missing regulator on the ballance wheel, so it gains about 20mins per hour. Then I bought a Buler with 158 31/7, but working on 25j – do you think it’ possible to use the whole ballance wheel to repair the Cordura? I really love this watch and would like to get it working again.


  7. Just purchased a Cordura at a flea market for $140 U.S. So far looks and runs great. Keeping fingers crossed.

  8. Hi everyone,
    I am trying to solve a mystery regarding my Cordura with Cal. BFG 158 31/7.
    I have managed (with great skills) to destroy the hairspring and I was left with no choice but to buy a new one.
    My basic assumption was that BFG 58, 158 and 1582 all use the same balance. The balance staff in my watch is 435 tall but the new balance ordered from CousinsUK comes with a 297 long balance (this is also the height according to . The balance I bought comes with a finger instead of an impulse roller jewel but that’s maybe my mistake.
    From the four balance configurations the have in CousinsUK, I am not sure which is the right one for me and does it come with 435 long staff and impulse roller.
    Because of the original longer balance staff, the stud holder is also much longer than the stud holder in the balance I bought from CousinsUK.
    Thanks for reading and any explanation you might offer.


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  10. I have one off this watches, it runs on time. I have scored one on a garage sale it is in good condition the stele crome is OK.

    • I currently have 2 of the Cordura Seagulls , the first one I bought stopped working. The second hand works then stops. The second Cordura Seagull I Bought runs non stop but gains about 10 minutes every hour. I currently bought another and am awaiting shipment. I love the design of these watches and the unique movement. I will try to have someone repair them and hope the current one works great. Either way, these watches are a great timepiece and have a story to tell. I will probably continue or collect more.

  11. Update: The Cordura has been back with me for around 5 months now and has kept superb time since then. This watch loves to tick, I can have it off my wrist and winder for a month and simply the action of taking off my watch stand and putting it on my wrist and its ticking away merrily! This is the only watch I own with a pin pallet movement but if this watch is anything to go on then I’m a fan.
    Still looks great on the Bond nato but just at the moment I have it on a navy silicon strap which I think suits the watch very well! 🙂

  12. I just scored one of these running from my local thrift store. The only major thing wrong is that the crystal is cracked and needs to be replaced. Any idea where I might find one? Easy replacement I assume? Thanks!

  13. What I also loved about this watch … everything is original, the lume, the red dot on the second hand, the dial, an nobody has mucked with it. The whole concept of going to town with a pin pallet in such a way is a fairly unique piece of history. How many of those will be around in 20 years time in such good condition?

  14. Looks good – the NATO really suits it.

    I have a soft spot for pin-pallets and am wearing one today – a Lectro 21. Not sure what the 21 means… certainly isn’t jewel count as I can only find one 🙂

    • Saw a seller on the bay had stuck this particular NATO on the Sea-Gull so pinched the idea off him! 🙂
      Great work as always Christian many thanx!!

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