Some of you may remember this thread - posted way back in August 2010:
Well, it has taken over a year to get off my backside and repair it. The main reason being, the person selling it on Ebay had levered off the screw down, semi-hermetic back stuffing the threads - just to take a movement shot.
So, even though a really cool watch - and it is the army model shown in the TM-575 US technical manual (lugs are distinctive), from when they were still in service at the start of WWII. The ones still in use at that time were the only ones to be engraved with issue numbers (as they came in for service)...
...it sat in my too hard basket Otherwise it was in wonderful condition. There are about 4 other case styles to look out for - the other 3 you can see in this advert (thanks literustyfan over on WTF)
This story is getting too long, so on with it.
I spent about a day last weekend repairing the threaded back. The case is Sterling Silver:
...and the edge of the case-back where it had been levered up was bent. I spent a while tapping it back into shape (silver is quite malleable) until it lay flat on a surface. I then spent a while with a fine blade smoothing out the rough sections of thread gently stroking them into the right shape. Finally I was able to get the back threading on, and with it well oiled spent the evening in my armchair turning it back and forth a little at a time until everything was threading smoothly. What a bastard of a job - but I am so happy it was salvageable in the end. This is not exactly a case that you find every day.
It is a basic 3/0 size 7J movement - but it is only these early 1918 ones that have the damaskeening.
This watch has sat unused most of its 94 years. Look at the condition of the base plate
In goes the train. Were I to do this again, I would assemble the barrel bridge first rather than the train. I hadn't done one of these before.
Works all back together. Very clean.
Not many have been in here before.
Cased. Now, you'll notice the case isn't all shiny and polished.
The reason is, twofold. Firstly I love the burnished colour of old silver. Secondly, and most importantly, there are still some faint traces of the original military back paint on the case, and while there is only a little left, it needs to be left intact.
Likewise the dial, you can see the sole remaining bit of lume on the 9. Sadly the other little traces fell off with no provocation, so I will keep what I can. The hands are nickel with a groove for lume and are original. The crown is also believably original
A really fun patriotic piece to have in my collection, USA proudly on the dial, along with the american eagle and 48 (yes check the seconds marks) stars, one for each state (as at that time).
*EDIT* Some wrist shots later in this thread