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  1. CanberraOmega

    CanberraOmega Rabbitohs and Whisky Supporter Feb 22, 2014

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    Ive read a range of threads on this, and always enjoyed Archer 's contributions.

    I took a couple of watches in to my watchmaker today. Both with unknown service histories but both running well (say +10 sec a day). His first comment was 'if it is keeping good time, don't bother servicing them'. Having read the discussions here I said that I was concerned about how well lubricated the movement was and asked him to check. (I am finally getting to the point here).

    He said the easiest way to check if the movement was well oiled was to check if there was still oil in the incabloc. If that still had oil, the rest of the movement would be fine. Do people agree with this view?
    Ta
    Daniel
     
  2. SeanO

    SeanO Feb 22, 2014

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    It all depends on when it was LAST serviced and whether or not they have complications and whether or not the cases are waterproof.

    modern lubricants are all in the 10ish years service intervals.
     
  3. CanberraOmega

    CanberraOmega Rabbitohs and Whisky Supporter Feb 22, 2014

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    Have no idea of the service history on either.
    One was a 15yr old speedy. Maybe the last owner had it serviced, maybe not. So 15 yrs, should definitely be serviced.
    Other one was a centenary 2500. Once again no idea of last serviced.
     
  4. mac_omega

    mac_omega Feb 22, 2014

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    If the watchmaker checked the movement and he tells you there is sufficient oil (and the oil looks clean of course!) and the watch keeps time accurately I would not bother - in case the watch is worn occasionally and not as a daily beater.
    If you wanted to wear it every day I would consider a service then...
     
  5. ulackfocus

    ulackfocus Feb 22, 2014

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    The most important points in a watch are the pallet jewels and escapement (which included the shock protection system). If the lubrication is still good there, you're generally okay. It's pretty easy to see the oil around a pivot that has a hole jewel without a cap jewel on it, like on the wheel train bridge - shown here above the "H" in the word HAMILTON:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Archer

    Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Feb 22, 2014

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    There really isn't one area that is more or less important with regards to lubrication. Lack of lubrication in any spot that should have it will cause problems - some will manifest themselves quicker. And just as an aside, technically the balance wheel (and it's pivots) are not part of the escapement...only the roller jewel (impulse pin) is...

    There are a lot of opinions out there on when it's appropriate to service a watch. My answer to this question is always the same - it depends.

    I wrote a post on this subject over at WUS so my opinions on the topic generally are summed up here:

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/f20/how-often-service-watch-watchmakers-view-789280.html

    When someone brings me a watch and asks if it needs service, I remove the case back and put the watch under the microscope. I look at all the jewels that are visible, and see if they are still lubricated, and check the condition of that lubricant. Note that not all jewels can be seen doing this, so nothing on the dial side, and if it's a chronograph often the wheel train jewels are buried under chronograph parts, so this visual inspection is limited in scope.

    And yes I have seen watches where the cap jewel on the balance are full of oil, but everything else is dry...

    You also have to keep in mind that some unscrupulous sellers may open the watch, oil everything that is visible, and the close the watch back up again. So the inspection on the train side only may not be an accurate reflection of the condition of the entire movement.

    I would then wind the watch and place it on my timing machine, and primarily check the balance amplitude. You can usually tell a lot by looking at the balance amplitude, but not always.

    The last test would be to let the watch run down after it's fully wound, and check the power reserve compared to what the specs are and what I would expect to see from that particular watch. For a watch owner, in my view the power reserve is the best single indicator of the need for service.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers, Al
     
  7. CanberraOmega

    CanberraOmega Rabbitohs and Whisky Supporter Feb 22, 2014

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    Thanks al. When the watchmaker calls me, I will ask him to check the amplitude also, and I will use power reserve as an indicator from now on.

    Iwas thinking about sending them over to you, as one was a speedy, but thought it would be a huge waist if it didn't actually need a service.
     
  8. seamonster

    seamonster Respectable Member Feb 22, 2014

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    Respectable Member CanberraOmega

    We assume all watchmakers are honest but some of them are lacking the experience to service or repair complications, like the chronograph and moon-phase watches.

    Your 'Speedy' is an expensive watch and it will not be wise, to take it to an inexperienced watchmaker to look into it. If I were you, send it to Archer, since he is very experienced with the service and repair of complications. After his inspection, if your 'Speedy' does not need a service, it is a bonus. In the event it needs one, your 'Speedy' is in safe hands.

    Never take chances, when servicing or repairing an expensive watch that we love.

    Thank you.
     
  9. CanberraOmega

    CanberraOmega Rabbitohs and Whisky Supporter Feb 22, 2014

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    seamonster, you are right. Ive just messaged Al about servicing.
     
  10. seamonster

    seamonster Respectable Member Feb 23, 2014

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    Respectable Member CanberraOmega

    Indeed it is a very wise move.

    Thank you.
     
    Littleroger likes this.
  11. Archer

    Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Mar 1, 2014

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    So just to add to this thread with a real world example, I disassembled this modern Doxa yesterday:

    [​IMG]

    So this one was running, and a prime example of why you can't use oil in the cap jewel as an indicator of the overall condition of the watch. Took a bunch of photos under the microscope, and the first one is the upper cap jewel:

    [​IMG]

    The ring of oil is clearly visible, and of the appropriate diameter, so this looks perfectly fine. Now just to illustrate what a dry jewel and a freshly oiled jewel look like, I use this photo:

    [​IMG]

    This is a shot before and after on the same watch. The rule of thumb is that the drop of oil in the cap jewel should be big enough to "touch" the spring of the Incabloc setting. So if I looked at only the cap jewel of this Doxa, all looks fine.

    Now when we look at some of the other jewels, it's clear that the watch is in need of service.

    This one is not dry, but is obviously wearing away the post that rides in this jewel:

    [​IMG]

    This one is dry, and the debris there is metallic:

    [​IMG]

    The oil here is degrading quite severely - the oil in it's original state is clear:

    [​IMG]

    Another dry one:

    [​IMG]

    Of course jewels are not the only area that needs to be looked at - wear on the underside of the automatic bridge here:

    [​IMG]

    More degrading oil:

    [​IMG]

    There is a very faint ring of dried oil here - this is the jewel for the barrel and it is under high loads:

    [​IMG]

    Post that is starting to wear:

    [​IMG]

    So I think using the cap jewel as a measure of the condition of the movement is quite risky.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers, Al
     
    agee likes this.
  12. CdnWatchDoc

    CdnWatchDoc Mar 1, 2014

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    Great shots there Al! Another example of "everything I need to know about watches is on OF"!
     
  13. Time Exposure

    Time Exposure coordinates his cast with his car's paint job Mar 1, 2014

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    So as a lay person who has the ability to expose a movement for observation, would I be able to observe such conditions at 10x? What magnification were these shots?