rusting on movement...bad news?

Thread: rusting on movement...bad news?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Wolverhampton, England

    rusting on movement...bad news?

    hey guys, i don't know too much about how movement works or how rust can affect it, but i read in another thread about rust being bad news on a vintage longines and the buyer shouldn't have gone ahead

    so...i'm interested in a universal geneve with the above movement, and noticed the slight this something that could be problematic in the future?

    for the sake of enlightenment, of both myself and those who will read this thread in future, where should i be looking for rusting or any signs of issue when the caseback is off?

    thanks for any help guys

    p.s. bought a vintage seamaster from someone on this forum! pics coming in a week or so when i receive it! love x
    Last edited by rahulknahar; August 27th, 2010 at 19:11.

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Great Lakes - USofA

    Re: rusting on movement...bad news?

    Generally oxidation of any type (black or brown) on a movement is a bad sign. It almost almost always indicates water intrusion. Often all the damage is not visible.

    Sometimes the movement can be made fine even with it... but I generally avoid all oxidized movements unless there are mitigating factors (like rarity or amazingly low price or ...).
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  3. #3
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Canada

    Re: rusting on movement...bad news?

    Not sure that's rust...its not good, whatever it is though. The fact that it only seems to be on the one plate suggests that the plate is a replacement from a worse-off watch, and that someone attempted to clean the bejezzus of out it.

    Note that most plates are made of a base metal like Brass, with a coating of nickle or silver. Those don't "rust" in that sense. The parts that would rust are things like the crown wheel (12:00 in your picture) and the retaining bracket. Water usually gets in either around the crystal or through the crown, so the keyless works is usually the part that rusts out first (and which you can't actually see without decasing the watch).

    The plate could just have been damage by a careless watchmaker who didn't remove their fingerprints from the plate during a routine service. The acid from the fingerprint could have caused what you're seeing.

    None of the screws look rusty, and the rotor itself looks clean. I'd buy it, but only for a discount.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages:

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  5. #4
    Member trim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    New Zealand

    Re: rusting on movement...bad news?

    I have heard that too long in an ultrasonic bath can also strip nickel plating, perhaps this happened here? I don't think the movement itself is in bad condition, just the plating on the train bridge. Of course to tell for sure needs more than a photo.

  6. #5
    Member Outta Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Port Colborne, Ontario

    Re: rusting on movement...bad news?

    I agree with trim, that looks like the plating's coming off. I just added a post in the watchmaking section about ultrasonics and plating. I had a movt recently that has had too many ultrasonic baths.

  7. #6
    Member JohnF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Oberstedten, Germany

    Re: rusting on movement...bad news?

    Hi -

    Double-plus ungood. Rust is never, ever your friend.

    That said, it may not be rust, but rather oil that has hardened into lacquer. It sort of looks like that bridge assembly may have been put down where watch oil had spilled and wasn't re-cleaned: if so, and if the watch hadn't been used much, it could dry out in that pattern.

    In either case, not good...

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  8. #7
    Member gatorcpa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    South Florida

    Re: rusting on movement...bad news?

    Something about the uneven wear on the different plates and rotor tips me off that this watch is made from put-together parts from at least two watches. We sometimes call this a Frankenwatch.

    I wouldn't buy it unless it was well under market price as that top bridge will need replacement eventually. The good news is that the rotor looks to be in very good condition. The rotors grinding against the caseback is a particular problem with the Universal microrotor movements. Always look for small circles on the caseback.

    If they are present, walk away.

    The subject watch looks like an "India Special" to me,

  9. #8
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Virginia, USA

    Re: rusting on movement...bad news?

    I agree - the movement is likely a blend of parts from more than one movement. It looks more like someone wire brushed off corrosion. I would stay away no matter the price.

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