Service: Tissot PR 516 Chronograph / Lemania 873

IMG_3483Anders sent over two Tissot Chronograph watches, so I can make one decent watch from them. First impression is that the one on the left is the good one, and the one on the right will serve for spares shall I need them.IMG_3484

Looking into the movements, I go with my initial choice.IMG_3485

The movement on the right.IMG_3487

The one on the right is slightly better, but still pretty terrible.IMG_3490

The dial and hands are still in pretty good shape. The central second hand is somewhat bent, but that’s no big problem.IMG_3494

This looks very familiar, and for a good reason. The Lemania 873 is the base for the Omega 321, which you can find in the Moonwatch.IMG_3495

The top plate. Yes, that looks very much like the Omega 321.IMG_3521

The infamous friction clutch on the barrel arbor drives the hour recorder.IMG_3534

No lack of dirt and rust on the pushers.IMG_3537

No lack of parts here 😉IMG_3635

After having put a new mainspring into the barrel, I start on the bottom plate, as the barrel can only be put into place once the lower barrel bush is screwed onto the bottom plate.IMG_3637

And the wheel train goes onto the plate.IMG_3639

I start off by putting the base movement together to check that everything is fine.IMG_3647

After a bit of adjusting, this is looking rather good.IMG_3642

And we’re back in business. I test the chronograph and adjust the depthing.IMG_3650

Anders found a new bezel, but as it’s plastic and quite old, it has shrunk with time. The solvents in the plastic evaporate with time, and you get shrinkage. Anders proposes to boil the ring. As I wanted to have pasta for lunch anyway, I’m game…IMG_3741

45 seconds, and the ring is al dente, and I roll it in with the back of a corn-on-the-cob spike. There isn’t much time, so the 60 of the tachymetre doesn’t quite line up, but this is as good as it gets. Now for my pasta with pesto …

27 thoughts on “Service: Tissot PR 516 Chronograph / Lemania 873

  1. Hi , compliments for your work. I am looking for pushers for this watch. Do you still have the spare parts ? best regards
    Thorsten

  2. Good Morning

    I am in the process of restoring one. When I started on the process I knew the hairspring for the balance was singing however didn’t realize the cost of a new balance complete, therefore trying to match a hairspring….any direction to size ect…? Thanks

    • G’day Pat. If you find a source for a crystal please let me know. I’ve been searching for 6 months on and off and still haven’t found the right one. I’ve even contacted Swatch Australia who, after some prodding, contacted Switzerland to no avail. The chapter ring sits inside the crystal and acts as a tension ring, which makes it damned hard to find something generic.

      • The closest I could find was a PA 457-3 for an Enicar diver 600…however you will have to take a 1/10 of mill off the inside which isn’t easy……I am stating this as I have an original crystal in the one I am restoring but had too deep scratches so I too have searched. The watch Im repairing was in excellent cosmetic condition however needed a hairspring but found a balance complete also needed a lower incabloc. My opinion on the Tissot 873’s they are considerably undervalued. The Tissot’s with the 873′ are beautiful and dont cost an arm an a leg compared to a Speedmaster 861

  3. hello Christian

    I’m a little bit late…… You released a very nice job and an interesting restoration
    I currently have one of these watches, but the inner bezel has disappeared, do you possibly have one of each you would consider selling ?

    Thanks in advance..
    Loïc

  4. Hi Christian,

    I have a PR516 essentially exactly the same as the one on the right (the one with the squared off sub-dials). The case/dial/movement are in excellent condition, but the tachymeter bezel has been attached askew – instead of the white (off color) ranging from 12-3 it ranges from 10:30-1:30 at the top. Do you think a watch maker could adjust the bezel easily? The watch would be an instant favorite if that was the case, and one that will probably be sold if not.

    Thanks – I know this article is dated, so I hope you see it.

    Best,

    Mike

  5. Very nice job indeed 🙂

    I currently have one of these watches (the version you didn’t made) -However the start stop pusher / stem has broken off ..(the spring is still there) -Do you possibly have one of each you would consider selling ?

    Thanks in advance..

    Claus Ingemann Moeller

  6. Sorry to resurrect an old post Christian. Did you by any chance fit a new crystal to this watch? If so, did you keep any records as to the part number or precise size of the crystal? Does the crystal have a tension ring? I can’t see one but can’t be sure.
    I’m trying to source a crystal for the two-register version of this chronograph and can’t find any information on line. A part number might help in the search.
    Thanks,
    Tristan

  7. Very interesting nice job. I have just had Omega Cape Town service and restore my Tissot PR 516 cal 873. Just found out that it shares a lot with the Omega cal 321. I have 2 early Speedmaster also a 65 and a 67. I am a serious collector of interesting vintage watches. Thanks once again for the info. Geoff

    • Hi Geoff!
      All Omega chronographs from the early 1930’s up to the mid 1970’s where designed and built by Lemania. Omega and Lemania where under the same umbrella with Tissot (SSIH) up to the quartz crisis hit in the early 1970’s. Lemania was taking care of design and production of chronographs for this group of companies.
      The 873 is basically the same as the earlier chronographs except that it has the less expensive cam lever operation compared to the earlier column wheel.
      Loads of parts can be interchanged. Note that Omega and the hi-grade Lemania movements had gilded plates and bridges so they may look different.

      Kind regards,
      Anders

      • Thanks Christian.
        Looking forward to see and wear this little gem.
        The parts movement will be stored for future spare needs. As pointed out it shares a lot with the Omega 321 but even more the 861 which is identical apart from the finishing of the plates and bridges.

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