Help Identifying Old Roamer

Thread: Help Identifying Old Roamer

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  1. #1
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    Help Identifying Old Roamer

    Hi all, this is my first post here on WUS.

    My father recently gave me a box of old watches that belonged to various members of the family over the years, mostly nothing of any real interest but this one I'm struggling to find any information about at all. My father thinks he bought it before I was born (1961), I have no memory of him actually wearing it but I do remember seeing it from an early age. I have absolutely no idea about it's age, I have read that the company changed it's name to Roamer in 1952 but it seems that they used the name on their dials before then. The back reads "Stainless Steel Back 6540" Does anyone have any idea what this watch is or any other information about it? I would love to know a little more about it.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Help Identifying Old Roamer

    Welcome! That looks like a nice little watch from the fifties. The company used to be MST (Meyer & Stüdeli) and made movements for other watch companies but also used their own movements in watches with that trade mark. As such, it should have an "in-house" movement inside. Something that makes it a little unusual and slightly more desireable these days. Get it serviced (don't run it regularly before having it cleaned and oiled or you will risk trashing the movement) and it should be a nice heirloom.

    Hartmut Richter

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    Re: Help Identifying Old Roamer

    Cheers! I thought 50s myself from the dial but after searching just about every resource I could find I couldn't find anything with similar lugs. I suspect my father bought it sometime while he was at sea between 1945 and 1955 before he married. Thanks for the tip about not running it, I wound it up earlier today for the first time I guess in 50 years and for the last 6 hours it has kept bang on with my PO. Are watches like that easily serviced (UK)?

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    Re: Help Identifying Old Roamer

    If you wound it up and it ran, it isn't likely to need parts, any competent watchmaker can service it. If you don't have anyone local, I know poster Tomshep is in the business in the UK, send him a PM. Use the search function, and I'm sure you'll turn up some previous threads, with recommendation in the UK. Vintage specialists really earn their fees when it comes to sourcing parts.

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    Re: Help Identifying Old Roamer

    Thanks Mike! It ran for 25h 5m and kept pretty much perfect time. Thanks for the recommendation, I will give tomshep a shout in a few weeks when my funds are back up.
    I spent most of last night again trawling the net for another similar watch with no luck. Those strap lugs are very different to any other Roamers and the case back seems unusually bare, any ideas?

  7. #6
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    Re: Help Identifying Old Roamer

    It has a bubble back case that fell out of favor by the mid 50's so I would think it's from the first years of production.

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    Smile Re: Help Identifying Old Roamer

    That would make sense, I can't see my father buying a second hand watch. I think I'll have to keep looking and hopefully one day I'll see another with a bit of further information with it.
    Cheers again

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    Re: Help Identifying Old Roamer

    I have a few Roamers, and I haven't seen lugs like these before. There are other 'odd' cases out there from Roamer, so that is not unexpected. There are also Roamers from before '52 as they used the name longer.

    I agree with the others about early '50s. I think it is a snap back, and these were always plain, as the patent numbers only seemed to apply to the waterproof cases.

    A movement shot would help, but it is probably a MST 371/372 or 400/401 movement depending on size. If it is a 413/414 it will be a bit more recent.

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    Re: Help Identifying Old Roamer

    Might seem like a silly question but how would I get the back off?

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    Re: Help Identifying Old Roamer

    With a case-knife slipped under the edge - you will be able to see a cutout somewhere around the back edge. If you are going to have it serviced, and don't have a proper case-knife, it is probably best to let the person servicing it do it. Don't use a butter knife or other knife as they have the wrong profile and you end up scratching things or cutting yourself. A case-knife is a cheap investment on ebay if you can cope with the wait. Also, you ease them in and twist rather than lever.

    That said, some people are willing to open watches with anything...

    If it is a waterproof back (unlikely but the photos are unclear) it should still have the cut out. The best way to tell the difference is to look at the stem/crown, if there is a cutout through the bezel, then it is a waterproof back, if the bezel is solid, then it is a snap or screw back. In this case it would be a snap.

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