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  1. jimmyd13

    jimmyd13 Jul 14, 2019 4:42am

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    A few months ago I was introduced to John, a friend of a friend. His father left 28 vintage watches when he passed. Most ran, but none reliably. I've helped him have two pieces sympathetically restored to date.

    First came this 9ct example which was missing its crown and buckle with a very dirty dial and marked case. She had a few original parts sourced; a full service and the gentlest of cleans. I think she turned out perfect. He wanted his "dad's watch" back but "right" . I think taking her further would have been a mistake and he loves the result:


    IMG_20190228_153812_663.jpg IMG_20190228_153812_664.jpg

    Then he brought me a very original Cosmic, which I love. This one was poorly and needed replacement parts. We didn't do anything to the case but gave the bracelet a light refinish and replaced a few pins:
    IMG_20190601_084759_283.jpg

    So, for my sins, he's now given me another. He and his father used a local watchmaker. It might be unfair to say this, given the change in attitude to vintage watches over the years, but this watchmaker cut corners. Anyway, while the watchmaker had this watch he suffered a breakdown which lead to his early retirement. It took a year to get this back and it came back incomplete:
    1563097132068-440210560.jpg

    I've never been given someone else's half finished work before. Part of me is tempted to just put the balance on and see what happens but John seems to remember being told there's a missing part.

    I think we should strip it again, clean, inspect and start from scratch.
     
    ext1, DaveK, Vitezi and 5 others like this.
  2. snunez

    snunez Jul 14, 2019 5:48am

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    Nice. I envy you guys with the eyes & hands (and patience!) that can do this kind of work. I wish I could. The black Seamaster would be a great wearer. Did it pass the water proof test?
     
    Vitezi likes this.
  3. jimmyd13

    jimmyd13 Jul 14, 2019 7:32am

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    I've found that the best thing to know about restoring watches is what NOT to do. Know your limits and have experienced watchmakers on hand to do everything that you shouldn't touch.

    What I can do is find all the hard to get parts. I am ready and willing to put in the legwork to find old movements; original handsets; track down correct crowns and so on. I'm a deft hand with the wet and dry or polywatch. I'm also pretty good with a cape cod cloth or more.