TIMEX Automatic 1977 - Crystal replacement

Thread: TIMEX Automatic 1977 - Crystal replacement

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  1. #1
    Member Border-Reiver's Avatar
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    TIMEX Automatic 1977 - Crystal replacement

    I want to replace the crystal on this Timex Automatic from 1977, as it has a crack on the outside. It also had lots of scratches and as I am changing it anyway, I used the occasion to follow an advice I got here in the forum.

    Before, I was working just with the polishing paste and after half an hour, the crystal looked better, but not much more.

    Now I dared to start with sandpaper type 1500, then type 2000. All the scratches were gone, but the crystal was totally dull. After that, it was just a very short job with the polishing paste and things looked like new. I could have done it even better, but as I said, the crystal will come out anyway, because of the crack. I will also use the occasion to correct the hands, because the hour hand is not exactly on target when the minute hand is at 12.

    I can get the crystal out easily with a crystal lift and I then have an exact sample to measure, instead of measuring the inside diameter of the bezel/case, which is more complicated. I’ve thought it would be easier to look for the specifics of the crystal for this watch straight away, but I could not find a parts list from Timex. Otherwise, as the width is just one element, I also have to observe height and shape at the sides.

    The serial number at the bottom of the dial is, on the left of the 6, 46562 (or 45562, 48562) and, to the right of the 6, 03277, which means made 1977 (last two digits) and a movement 032/M32 (first 3 digits). The first five digits are supposed to be the Timex sales catalogue number, with the last digit omitted, whatever this means. Is the number in the sales catalogue longer, and they omitted a digit at the end, to have a more harmonius image with 5 and 5 digits left and right of the 6?

    I found the movement manual:

    http://timex.digidep.net/manuals/movements/32.pdf

    and of course the entry in the Ranfft database:

    bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Timex M32

    but that doesn’t give me the information I want concerning the crystal.

    After a very intensive search, I am asking myself if that information is available at all from Timex. I did not get anywhere at eBay either, possibly I should know the model of this watch, but couldn’t find any catalogue info. I hope someone of you can help, perhaps also pointing out the shape such a press-in crystal (or squeeze-in with the crystal lift) should have on the outside. The height I can easily take from the old one.
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    Last edited by Border-Reiver; November 20th, 2015 at 18:49.

  2. #2
    Member Addictedtowatches's Avatar
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    Re: TIMEX Automatic 1977 - Crystal replacement

    Usually when I replace crystals on these old Timexes I'll just get a donor watch. There are so many of them made that it's usually pretty easy to find an exact or similar model that has a good crystal and swap them. Just a suggestion
    --Charlie

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  3. #3
    Member Shum's Avatar
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    Re: TIMEX Automatic 1977 - Crystal replacement

    I have a big box of old crystals that I go through and pick one that looks the same so I'm of no help.

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  5. #4
    Member Border-Reiver's Avatar
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    Re: TIMEX Automatic 1977 - Crystal replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Addictedtowatches View Post
    Usually when I replace crystals on these old Timexes I'll just get a donor watch. There are so many of them made that it's usually pretty easy to find an exact or similar model that has a good crystal and swap them. Just a suggestion
    You are absolutely correct, but .... you have to live in the USA. There are so many TIMEX watches around accross the pond, also from this period, that watchmakers keep a box of them to throw after customers who didn't close the door. As they cannot throw them accross the Atlantic, there is the postage, which is often more expensive then the TIMEX watches I buy in the USA. And beware to buy three or four of them in one lot from a dealer, you might even come above the customs limit.

  6. #5
    Member Border-Reiver's Avatar
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    Re: TIMEX Automatic 1977 - Crystal replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Shum View Post
    I have a big box of old crystals that I go through and pick one that looks the same so I'm of no help.
    Well, it took a while before I had a box of springbars in common sizes, after I have bought them separately pair after pair. I don't know if my volume of crystal changes justifies to do the same thing here.

  7. #6
    Member Addictedtowatches's Avatar
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    Re: TIMEX Automatic 1977 - Crystal replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Border-Reiver View Post
    You are absolutely correct, but .... you have to live in the USA. There are so many TIMEX watches around accross the pond, also from this period, that watchmakers keep a box of them to throw after customers who didn't close the door. As they cannot throw them accross the Atlantic, there is the postage, which is often more expensive then the TIMEX watches I buy in the USA. And beware to buy three or four of them in one lot from a dealer, you might even come above the customs limit.
    Hmm true, didn't realise you were across the Atlantic. If I had any similar models I'd send them over but I cut down my stock a while back.
    --Charlie

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    Re: TIMEX Automatic 1977 - Crystal replacement

    Good to hear that you found the sandpaper and polishing paste useful. You can save a lot of crystals if they're not cracked or chipped.
    Usually the height is not that important. Only thing you have to be aware of is that the replacement isn't too low because of the sweep second.
    What do you mean, shape at the edges?
    I measure the inside of the bezel where the crystal sits with a digital caliper gauge. When I have to order a regular snap in crystal I will order one size above that. So if you have to use 32.0, I will order a 32.2. If it's an armoured crystal with a tension ring you have to order the exact size you're measuring. For a sweep second I will order a Sternkreuz HWS crystal (extra high with step) and that works like a charm.

  9. #8
    Member Border-Reiver's Avatar
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    Re: TIMEX Automatic 1977 - Crystal replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Vintage1982 View Post
    Good to hear that you found the sandpaper and polishing paste useful. You can save a lot of crystals if they're not cracked or chipped.
    Usually the height is not that important. Only thing you have to be aware of is that the replacement isn't too low because of the sweep second.
    What do you mean, shape at the edges?
    I measure the inside of the bezel where the crystal sits with a digital caliper gauge. When I have to order a regular snap in crystal I will order one size above that. So if you have to use 32.0, I will order a 32.2. If it's an armoured crystal with a tension ring you have to order the exact size you're measuring. For a sweep second I will order a Sternkreuz HWS crystal (extra high with step) and that works like a charm.
    'shape at the edges', better shape around the edges. With that, I expressed a little amateurish my question if the crystal should go straight down at the edges (90 degrees if it would be flat) or a little bit out at the end, like number PA 462-19A on the image f.i.

    Text added: Stupid, I just have to see what the one which is in now looks like.
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    Last edited by Border-Reiver; November 20th, 2015 at 19:56.

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    Re: TIMEX Automatic 1977 - Crystal replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Border-Reiver View Post
    'shape at the edges', better shape around the edges. With that, I expressed a little amateurish my question if the crystal should go straight down at the edges (90 degrees if it would be flat) or a little bit out at the end.
    Ok, got it ;) The HWS has a step. That means that it goes straight down but it has a tiny ring that sticks out a little at the bottom. Works very good with the crystal lift and ensures the crystal will fit perfectly and very firm.

  11. #10
    Member Border-Reiver's Avatar
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    Re: TIMEX Automatic 1977 - Crystal replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Vintage1982 View Post
    Ok, got it ;) The HWS has a step. That means that it goes straight down but it has a tiny ring that sticks out a little at the bottom. Works very good with the crystal lift and ensures the crystal will fit perfectly and very firm.
    Thanks, also found the 'Sternkreuz' catalogue. Never heared of them, but that doesn't mean anything, I didn't know anything about watches made by Wittnauer and Elgin before I came to this forum.

    http://www.sternkreuz.de/accordion/a...alog%20G22.pdf
    Last edited by Border-Reiver; November 20th, 2015 at 20:29.

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