Here we have the very first watch I ever purchased for my own use: a 1995 Fossil Felix the Cat timepiece.
I discovered Fossil watches one morning by perusing the inserts which are dispensed with the Sunday paper. An advertisement featuring this and another watch by Fossil intrigued me enough to make a run over to the Emporium.
Felix cost seventy-five dollars (a lot of money for a teenager in 1995) but I steeled myself for the purchase knowing that this was a limited edition timepiece and it would certainly appreciate in value. The watch came with a Felix the Cat lapel pin too.
Of course the Felix did not appreciate the way a Rolex might, but I’ve still held him dear to my heart.
Felix wasn’t quite as bullet proof as a Rolex either. The watch glass cracked in 1999 and began to splinter a year or so later which resulted in him being confined to my junk box. When I married my sweetheart he moved up to the jewelry box, but there he stayed for many years.
My youngest daughter rediscovered Felix this month and brought him to me for repair. Until now I’ve had a hard time justifying a repair since I have my Navitimer, but at the same time I’m not ready to part with Felix just yet, so I heeded her request and set to work.
Now, I normally would do a proper repair service involving disassembly and cleaning of the movement, but as I stated earlier, this watch isn’t going to get used anytime soon and since I broke the stem right off the bat, it just felt best to let those sleeping dogs lie.
Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the piece in situ so the first pic here is of the movement removed from the case.
As you can see the watch case is watertight with a snap-on caseback. The rubber caseback gasket has broken in two and will need replacing in addition to the shattered crystal. The stem has broken off just below the crown.
The dial is pristine as one would hope from a (relatively) new watch; I do like the hands on this piece too.
The crystal is set into a brass bezel which is pressed into the steel case.
I used a crystal press to remove the glass from the bezel.
A replacement watch crystal came from Esslinger and was pressed in using the same crystal gasket as before. I put a new brushed finish on the dinged-up bezel using my lathe and a bit of fine sandpaper.
I used a stem extender to refit the crown to the broken stem.
The movement was re-cased and the stem fitted before replacement of the caseback. The movement is quartz and wholly unimpressive when matched against the recently completed Accutron. It does have one jewel though. The jewel and other bearings still held a healthy amount of watch oil.
Buttoning things up was a little bittersweet since I have a new daily wearer but I’m sure Felix will be rummaged out of the jewelry box sometime- and now he’ll be ready for a night on the town.