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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.*
Each watch is inspected on arrival to be sure it is as represented
to me before purchase.
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
Step 1 of service is a pre cleaning in an ultrasonic bath of L
& R ammoniated cleaning solution. In a commercial grade
Step 2 is a second ultrasonic bath in L & R rinsing solution.
In a commercial grade ultrasonic machine.
Step 3 is a third ultrasonic bath in L & R ammoniated cleaning
solution in a L & R Sweepzone® Ultrasonic machine.
Step 4 is a forth ultrasonic bath in L & L rinse
solution in a L & R Sweepzone® Ultrasonic machine.
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.
Step 6 is drying in a commercial drying box.
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
Step 8 the hairspring is cleaned in one dip solvent then attached
to the balance cock and installed in the movement.
Step 9 the reassembled movement is passed through a coil style demagnetizer.
Step 10 the watch is checked for timing, amplitude and beat on a
timing machine and adjustments made if needed.
Step 11 relates to the case. All covers are checked for ease of
operation, cases with bad covers are discarded.
Step 12 the case is polished by machine.
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.
Step 14 a new beveled glass or new old stock crystal is installed
in the bezel using ultra violet setting cement.
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.
Step 16 the fully assembled watch is wound and set and checked
against an atomic clock for up to 48 hours.
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.
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.
If the resistance you feel when you wind the watch is near 0 you
probably have a broken mainspring or detached arbor.
The resistance for a 60 hour mainspring will be in the 1 to 2
The resistance for a 48 hour size 16 mainspring would be in a
range from 2 to 5
If a size 16 mainspring is near 5 and only winds a little the
spring is probably set.
A new alloy size 16 mainspring can be expected to be between 4 and
5 and gradually get easier with use.
A size 18 mainspring will usually be between 3.5 and 6
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.
Other things to consider is a small crown may make it feel harder
to wind than it really is.
If the spring winds normally then slips, it is broken but further
from the arbor.
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.