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Home Up Repairs Restoration

LHS Class of 1958

See an entire collection for sale here

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Telephone # 231-843-4914

If you haven't had a problem with your vintage watch you are about to! 

The following is the process all of my pocket watches go through before listing for sale.*

  1. Each watch is inspected on arrival to be sure it is as represented to me before purchase.
  2. Each watch is completely disassembled in preparation for servicing. This is everything except the jewels, which are no removed unless damaged or symptoms indicate a jewel problem 
  3. Step 1 of service is a pre cleaning in an ultrasonic bath of L & R ammoniated cleaning solution. In a commercial grade ultrasonic machine.
  4. Step 2 is a second ultrasonic bath in L & R rinsing solution. In a commercial grade ultrasonic machine.
  5. Step 3 is a third ultrasonic bath in L & R ammoniated cleaning solution in a L & R Sweepzone® Ultrasonic machine.
  6. Step 4 is a forth ultrasonic bath in L & L rinse solution  in a L & R Sweepzone® Ultrasonic machine.
  7. Step 5 is a fifth ultrasonic bath in a L & R Sweepzone® Ultrasonic machine with L & R rinse solution treated with one step watch lubricant.
  8. Step 6 is drying in a commercial drying box.
  9. Step 7 is the watch is reassembled with all pivots & hole Jewels lubricated with synthetic watch oil. This includes the mainspring that had the barrel opened and cleaned during the above described procedures.
  10. Step 8 the hairspring is cleaned in one dip solvent then attached to the balance cock and installed in the movement.
  11. Step 9 the reassembled movement is passed through a coil style demagnetizer.
  12. Step 10 the watch is checked for timing, amplitude and beat on a timing machine and adjustments made if needed.
  13. Step 11 relates to the case. All covers are checked for ease of operation, cases with bad covers are discarded.
  14. Step 12 the case is polished by machine.
  15. Step 13 the case is cleaned, this is a time consuming difficult process which includes hand cleaning with a very strong cleaner, an ultrasonic bath in a special cleaning solvent then detailed cleaning with a solvent and Q-tips and finally for gold and gold filled cases cleaning in an ionic machine.
  16. Step 14 a new beveled glass or new old stock crystal is installed in the bezel using ultra violet setting cement.
  17. Step 15 the dial is inspected, when the dial condition is good enough or when a porcelain enamel dial is not available the dial is cleaned in a special process we developed here, chips are repaired with real solid enamel that is melted into place. Whenever a dial cannot be made to look near perfect to the naked eye it is replaced with an old stock porcelain enamel dial, unless that dial is not available. All dial flaws that we see are fully disclosed in the listing. We replace nearly 100% of crystals and about 50% of dials. We never use melamine dials unless requested to do so.
  18. Step 16 the fully assembled watch is wound and set and checked against an atomic clock for up to 48 hours.
  19. * Usually does not apply to consigned watches.
  20. Prices: Go Here

Cases are an important component of the pocket watch, describing them is very subjective so I avoid that, but I do not use cases that have bad covers or excessive wear. I have boxes full of these case to prove that. This is what I do with every case.

 1. Remove the crystal from the bezel
 2. Machine polish with a hard wheel
 3. Machine polish with a soft wheel
 4. Clean with detergent
 5. Ultrasonic clean with solvent
 6. Ultrasonic clean with a special precious metal cleaner.
 7. Steam clean crown area and bezel
 8. Ionic clean in a special cleaner and tarnish prevention (gold, gold filled or RGP only)
 9. Final cleaning and checking case, especially the bezel area where the new crystal will install, with solvent and a Q-tip
10. Install new glass crystal with ultraviolet setting crystal cement.

For complete details on service go here.

Pocket Watch Mainspring Tension Reference

Use This ruler as a guide for judging the condition of the mainspring in your pocket watch. 0 = no resistance and 6 = you can barely turn the crown.
  1. If the resistance you feel when you wind the watch is near 0 you probably have a broken mainspring or detached arbor.
  2. The resistance for a 60 hour mainspring will be in the 1 to 2 range
  3. The resistance for a 48 hour size 16 mainspring would be in a range from 2 to 5
  4. If a size 16 mainspring is near 5 and only winds a little the spring is probably set.
  5. A new alloy size 16 mainspring can be expected to be between 4 and 5 and gradually get easier with use.
  6. A size 18 mainspring will usually be between 3.5 and 6
  7. A new alloy size 18 mainspring can be close to 6 to start with but gives a full wind while a set spring will only wind a little.
  8. Other things to consider is a small crown may make it feel harder to wind than it really is.
  9. If the spring winds normally then slips, it is broken but further from the arbor.
  10. Once you have a full wind and a watch is running write down the starting time and check to see how long the watch runs, you want at the very minimum 30 hours and it is much better to be over 40.


Whenever you send watches in for repair that you intend to insure it is important that you locate your original purchase invoice or obtain an appraisal in the case of expensive watches. If you can send me good quality photos of the watch case and movement I will do the appraisal for you free of charge. The United States Postal Service will do everything it can to avoid paying insurance claims even when they loose a package. If you can not get good photos and do not have the original receipt, I will do an appraisal of your watch and send it to you before I return your watch after being repaired. We have learned the hard way that the insurance will only pay the repair cost, not the value of the watches if they loose the package and you do not have proof of value. It is deplorable but this is what they do.

We no longer can guarantee to be able to repair mechanical wristwatches that require parts because of the difficulty of finding the parts need. The owner will be responsible for a minimum bench charge of $25.00 on wristwatches that are serviced even if the watch will not run after service and cannot be repaired. We still repair quartz wrist watches. Basic service on wristwatches is $55.00.

For more details go to Repair or Restoration.



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