Doubts about regulating vintage watches.

Thread: Doubts about regulating vintage watches.

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  1. #1
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    Doubts about regulating vintage watches.

    Hi, it's me again, after realizing that finding a watchmaker I would trust with my 2 vintage watches for servicing was practically impossible in my country (incompetent, not trustworthy) I decided to do it myself, it'll be 2 months before I get the tools since we don't want to pay for shipping and a friend of our's is going to the states.

    Anyway, on to the actual point, I will practice the basic oiling with a cheap (less than $40) wristwatch I find on the bay, following thewatchguy's tutorial. However, I couldn't find any tutorials on regulating vintage watches or when it is needed to do so and the tools involved, does anyone know of one or could post one here?

    And on a side note: Provided I don't wreck the watch I'll practice on I'd like to use it so I would prefer if it was from a good brand, I don't really know about watch brands, but I do know that Hamilton, Waltham, Elgin, Bulova made quality pieces. Any more?

    Thanks in advance and for reading through all of this.

  2. #2
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    Re: Doubts about regulating vintage watches.

    This might get more responses if posted in the Watchmaking Forum.

  3. #3
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    Re: Doubts about regulating vintage watches.

    Thanks, I'll also post it there.

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  5. #4
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Doubts about regulating vintage watches.

    Standard advice is to start with a simple pocket watch, like a 12 or 16s elgin or waltham 15j from the early 1900's; the basics of cleaning and oiling are the same, the larger size is easier to practice on, and you can usually find them on the 'bay for less then $5 a movement. From there, go to a simple (no autowind or date) wristwatch to practice with size. The simpler Bulova's and Benrus watches are a good choice here; they're very high quality for the price, but tend to be less expensive (bulova because their mechanicals are overshadowed by the Accutrons, and Benrus because there are so many of them, and the brand got destroyed by Victor Kiam in the 70's).
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  6. #5
    Member Paleotime's Avatar
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    Re: Doubts about regulating vintage watches.

    Hi...Use the search function in the watchmakers forum. There was a post a little while back with a link to the old U.S. military watch service manual. This is a very straight forward reference and can't be beat for free.

    For regulating all I use is a digital stopwatch (in my timex). Set the watch you worked on to 11:59 then let the second hand come around. Start the stop watch at the stroke of 12:00. Let it run for several hours and stop it on the hour while watching the second hand. It is easy to get an accurate read on a watch running fast, harder on a watch running slow. Dividing the error by the elapsed time will give you error in seconds per hour, multiply for seconds per day.

    I start with the regular lever centered, then adjust from there.

    Good luck. I have found that I really like working on these old watches and knowing that you did the work to bring one back to life adds something. Hope you enjoy the experience.

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