Acceptable timegrapher readings for vintage watches?
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  1. #1
    Member Amadeus's Avatar
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    Acceptable timegrapher readings for vintage watches?

    I just got myself a (Chinese) timegrapher and would be interested to know what those in the know think are acceptable readings for vintage watches (mine are primarily from the 60s-70s).

    I think I know what a decent rate and amplitude would be, but would be especially interested to know what you think is an acceptable positional variance.

  2. #2
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    Re: Acceptable timegrapher readings for vintage watches?

    I pretty sure it depends on the movement and the count of adjustments :)
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    Re: Acceptable timegrapher readings for vintage watches?

    Unless your watches are properly cleaned and lubricated, I wouldn't worry about it.

    Positional variance ideally would maybe be a few seconds per day if anything.

    I rotate all my vintage stuff, so even if my 60 year old watch is off 10+ seconds at the end of the day, I really couldn't care less.
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    Member VESPASIAN's Avatar
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    Re: Acceptable timegrapher readings for vintage watches?

    Quote Originally Posted by VESPASIAN View Post
    I rotate all my vintage stuff, so even if my 60 year old watch is off 10+ seconds at the end of the day, I really couldn't care less.
    But I am almost 60 too and probably off way more then ten seconds per day on a good day anyway.

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    Member Amadeus's Avatar
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    Thanks for your lighthearted responses. I'm not concerned with the rate in itself because the watches I wear keep good time, it was more a case of interest in what to expect from a 45+ year old movement.

    I am a Certina guy, and an Argonaut 280 is the one I wear most of the time. It has a manual 25-66 movement and I've had the watch for some 20 years. It was last serviced 7 years ago and it's probably time to do it again soon.

    The readings I get are:

    Dial up: +8 s/d, 254, 0,2 ms
    Dial down: -4 s/d, 271, 0,2 ms
    Crown right: -7 s/d, 238, 0,6 ms
    Crown down: -4 s/d, 235, 0,1 ms
    Crown left: -9 s/d, 242, 0,1 ms
    Crown up: -14 s/d, 232, 0,6 ms

    So, there's a variance of 22 seconds for rate, 39 degrees for amplitude and a beat error varying from 0,1 to 0,6.

    Another of my Argonauts (more seldom used and given a basic service a couple of years ago), caliber 25-661, fares slightly better:

    Dial up: -5 s/d, 292, 0,2 ms
    Dial down: -12 s/d, 284, 0,0 ms
    Crown right: -12 s/d, 255, 0,0 ms
    Crown down: -8 s/d, 251, 0,1 ms
    Crown left: -10 s/d, 247, 0,2 ms
    Crown up: -15 s/d, 245, 0,0 ms

    Daily rate "only" varies 10 seconds between extremes and beat error is lower.

    I note that one of them has the greatest amplitude with the dial facing up, the other one facing down, though for both of them crown up seems to be the "worst" position. Conclusions?
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    Member Amadeus's Avatar
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    It would still be fun with additional perspectives/experiences. ☺️

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    Re: Acceptable timegrapher readings for vintage watches?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amadeus View Post
    .... I note that one of them has the greatest amplitude with the dial facing up, the other one facing down, though for both of them crown up seems to be the "worst" position. Conclusions?
    Good. Those positions are probably irrelevant. You're fine, because we don't normally wear watches dial up or down, but rather, sideways (standing up, driving, at a desk) with crown down or down-ish if wearing on the left hand. And then also store them that way if that's how they run best, not dial up in a watch case.

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    Re: Acceptable timegrapher readings for vintage watches?

    Just search "Witschi Training Course" in google and you will have a nice document about timegrapher reading.

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    Member Amadeus's Avatar
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    I have a simpler device, but that document seems to be very interesting reading, thanks!

    Even so, it would however still be fun to know how some other vintage watches are measuring.

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    Re: Acceptable timegrapher readings for vintage watches?

    I wish I had readings like those! I'm happy if my watches' variance is less than 60 seconds...but then again, most of my watches are from the 40s and have questionable service histories
    Last edited by MrAaro; January 14th, 2019 at 16:27.

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