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  1. #11
    Member v8chrono's Avatar
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    Re: Do you have your cheap vintage watches serviced?

    I would say that if you like a particular watch regardless of value then yes you should get it serviced if you intend to wear it regularly. However if it works and you mainly keep it in a watch box then perhaps there is not the nessassity to get it done. In the past I have paid £30 for a service on a £20 watch just because I liked it.

  2. #12
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: Do you have your cheap vintage watches serviced?

    Quote Originally Posted by jsavis View Post
    I tested how long it runs with one winding; the result was nearly 58 hours, lying flat on the table. And it gained only a few seconds during that time. So it seems to be in quite fine running condition, although I didn't find any service date marks on it. I guess I don't need to hurry with having this serviced, but have to make a mental note, like demonfinder said, so that it will not be forgotten.
    What that proves is your watch runs well lying on its back. That doesn't mean that it keeps time well in other positions, so you will need to keep an eye on it when wearing it. Just because its running to time doesn't mean that the pivots aren't being ground away by a fine metallic dust which has accumulated in the old oil.
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  3. #13
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    Re: Do you have your cheap vintage watches serviced?

    I service my own, but I can only find time to do a couple a month, what with having a life and all that. I keep an inventory and note the service date of any that I do (or have done).

    I don't always service them before they go into the rotation. I do a triage upon receipt - overall condition, how clean the movement looks, any obvious schmutz in the jewels, and how well it runs when wound.

    Good example is the Elgin 607 Bumper Automatic I picked up last month. It's in good shape. The movement starts up on the first twist of the crown. The screw-on back was tight - so tight in fact that I couldn't get if off!. I found it kept excellent time overnight from just a few windings, so I went ahead and wore it for a day. It kept fantastic time and continued running for at least 24 hours after I took it off. This is great performance for one of these! So into the rotation it went.

    By contrast, last week I got an Elgin 575 pocket watch, which ran when wound, but not with very good amplitude even at full wind. But everything is intact, and the amplitude picks up nicely when light pressure is applied to the center wheel spokes. I let it down, and it went into the service drawer.

    Now, I would note that with a collection of >100 watches in rotation, no watch gets worn much - a maximum of a couple times a year! - so even the watches that don't get serviced before being worn aren't subject to much use. When I only had a few, I had them all serviced - luckily I had a 'guy' who did it for $50 a pop. But then every $30 watch was really at least a $80 watch!
    Last edited by GeneJockey; February 24th, 2015 at 21:04.
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  5. #14
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    Re: Do you have your cheap vintage watches serviced?

    Yes one can't really have a life that's for sure...damn my life is pointless...

    ...but it is darn fun.
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  6. #15
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    Re: Do you have your cheap vintage watches serviced?

    I took a watch to service, back before I started maintaining my own - and the watchmaker called me a couple of days later and said "this watch is good for another couple of years". So I asked, How do you know?

    He gave me the run down - 1) the movement stated immediately with the application of power, 2) The movement appeared clean, 3) Under magnification liquid oil was observed in the balance caps, 4) under magnification oil was visible in the lower train pivots.

    If I am going to run a watch with an unknown service history these are the things I check for.
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  7. #16
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    Re: Do you have your cheap vintage watches serviced?

    Paleotime - When you service your watches how do you clean them? Do you have one of those machines or do it by hand?

    Also how do you know where, what and how much oil to use?


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  8. #17
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    Re: Do you have your cheap vintage watches serviced?

    There are some good videos showing how to oil and grease a watch but everyone uses different oils for different things it seams. It is important to not use to much oil as it then will migrate from the places it's needed so you can have a watch full of oil but dry where it matters.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xnh7O22mduE
    Last edited by Shum; February 25th, 2015 at 01:33.

  9. #18
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    Re: Do you have your cheap vintage watches serviced?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shum View Post
    There are some good videos showing how to oil and grease a watch but everyone uses different oils for different things it seams. It is important to not use to much oil as it then will migrate from the places it's needed so you can have a watch full of oil but dry where it matters.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xnh7O22mduE

    Well, there may be heated discussion about different oils and lubrication plans, but the one thing most people agree on is that that video shows WAY too much oil being used!

    There are good books on the subject of cleaning and lubricating watches. I personally like Henry Fried's "Watch Repairers' Manual", which has lots of good pictures and explanation. On cleaning, one thing we hobbyists learn is that solvents and machines only do part of it. To properly clean, you need to clean and polish the jewels by hand with pegwood, and the pivots with pithwood. Run even a relatively clean watch (after disassembling, of course) through the machine, and you'll get bright, shiny plates and wheels, but under the loupe the jewels will still have crud on them. Polish them first, THEN run it through the machine, and it comes out beautiful.
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  10. #19
    Member Paleotime's Avatar
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    Re: Do you have your cheap vintage watches serviced?

    Paleotime - When you service your watches how do you clean them? Do you have one of those machines or do it by hand?
    I do it all by hand...a machine would be nice - but I really don't have the room for one right now. As Genejockey points out, the machine doesn't necessarily get things clean enough. My basic solvent is Naptha. So...soak...pith/peg/handclean...brief resoak...so on.

    Also how do you know where, what and how much oil to use?
    The books (Watch Repairers Manual and Practical Watch Repairing are my favorites) have information regarding the placement of oils/greases. I use two basic oils - roughly equivalent to the old-fashioned categories of clock oil and watch oil, plus a light grease.

    How much is tricky...It is really easy to over oil (as Shum says). Some of the videos on youtube show people seriously overoiling. I learned amount by oiling and then taking the movement back apart to look for migration of oils. Actually you often see evidence of watchmakers overoiling movements as dried oil sticking to the flats of the jewels.
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  11. #20
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    Re: Do you have your cheap vintage watches serviced?

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneJockey View Post
    Well, there may be heated discussion about different oils and lubrication plans, but the one thing most people agree on is that that video shows WAY too much oil being used!

    There are good books on the subject of cleaning and lubricating watches. I personally like Henry Fried's "Watch Repairers' Manual", which has lots of good pictures and explanation. On cleaning, one thing we hobbyists learn is that solvents and machines only do part of it. To properly clean, you need to clean and polish the jewels by hand with pegwood, and the pivots with pithwood. Run even a relatively clean watch (after disassembling, of course) through the machine, and you'll get bright, shiny plates and wheels, but under the loupe the jewels will still have crud on them. Polish them first, THEN run it through the machine, and it comes out beautiful.
    Yes to much oil is used here and there but it shows the technique used. I service a lot of quartz watches and here one uses even less amounts of oil.

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