This purchase was inspired by Artb, and his posting of lovely watches from the early days of Dietrich and Freddy Gruen. This one is from Dietrich's first company, the Columbus Watch Co. The serial number is mid range 103,774 - Columbus went bust around 250,000 and Dietrich was squeezed out.
Anyway, rather than a beauty, as usual I bought a broken watch - or at least one that was not running. It came off ebay for US$104, which is OK. 1886 or 1888 depending on who you believe. 15J, fully adjusted and would have been RR grade at the time like my Waltham.
What I liked about this one is that it didn't seem to have been messed with, and as it turns out - the (gold filled) case is original to the movement (no other case screws, a nice bonus), and the usually missing fine adjuster screw was still in place. Negative points, some rust - especially around the balance cock screw and the minor detail of it not running.
BEFORE (vendors photos):
Mostly in good condition except for a cracked 3rd wheel top plate jewel. This has cosmetic implications, so need to repair this sympathetically. I couldn't match the color exactly, nor find a supplier of the original jewel - so I modified a friction fit jewel.
Original Jewel removed from top plate - chaton remaining in place:
The original jewel had rounded top shoulders, and to match this I shellacked the friction jewel and ground it to the correct profile on my lathe - removing the square top shoulders.
Jewel shaped, before polishing.
Fitted into chaton and bezel closed using this tool.
Very nicely counterpoised lever
Top plate on, barrel in.
Front of the movement assembled.
Ready for the Balance, gilding cleaned up well.
2 pairs of meantime screws.
Cock in, and up she started I love this moment, every time.
This is the regulator screw that is usually missing. I was never able to find a photo of one, so here it is.
Movement finished. Its a cracker too
Done (need to source a nice glass crystal for it sometime). I will also have a go at repairing the damage at the top of the sub-dial, but it isn't that bad so it can wait until I've had some practice.