Time to Clean House

Selling old watches and parts

Well, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted and that’s because I’ve been mulling a whole new approach to this watchmaking hobby of mine.

It started out simply enough- get myself an Omega Speedmaster cheap, but it ballooned into a job that has frankly caused me more anxiety that glee.  I’ve accumulated so many rubbish watches and watch movements that I don’t really know what to do with them all. I’d buy one to fix and another for parts, then think to myself, “You know, I’ll bet you could fix both of these…” and well there you go. Continue reading “Time to Clean House”

Radioactive Dials

Minding the risk of radium paint

A popular feature of most wrist watches is the ability of the hands and hour markers to glow in the dark. This feature makes it possible for the wearer to read the time when sufficient light may not be readily available. We take this for granted now, but in the early twentieth century glow in the dark paint was an exciting new technology. Continue reading “Radioactive Dials”

Replating Watch Parts

Cases and pushers are received back from RePlateIt in Canada

About a month and a half ago I sent out two watch cases to RePlateIt in Canada for restoration; this past weekend I received them back.

The cases in question belong to two Pierce Navigator chronographs that I’ve had on my bench for a while now. I’ve completed cleaning and assembly of the watch movements but the since the watch cases were in poor condition I decided having them restored was a worthwhile endeavor.
Continue reading “Replating Watch Parts”

Restoration Work (Part 2)

Heat bluing steel watch hands

Last week I collected the Pierce watch hands in my inventory and set about restoring them to their former glory. The hands are carbon steel and have oxidized over the years so the first part of the restoration project was to clean and polish each hand. I started by knocking out the luminous compound from the large hour and minute hands then polishing each hand to a mirror finish using a Dremel tool and jeweler’s polish. Continue reading “Restoration Work (Part 2)”

Restoration Work (Part 1)

Restoring damaged watch hands

Well the past two days I finally got a bit of time in with my hobby again.

On the desk right now I have four Pierce 134 chronographs in various states of repair. The first is actually the Navigator that I serviced earlier which is now in need of a new balance staff.  The watch was repaired completely but then took a spill onto the center console of my wife’s Mini Cooper which resulted in a bent pivot. A replacement is on the way from Australia. Continue reading “Restoration Work (Part 1)”