Unknown "cheap" automatic; anyone recognize this?

Thread: Unknown "cheap" automatic; anyone recognize this?

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  1. #1
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Unknown "cheap" automatic; anyone recognize this?

    I picked up this Renown from a seller in Saskatoon, on the assumption that since it was in Canada, it was probably one of the ones sold by Eatons. What intrigued me (despite the fuzzy pics) is that the Renown line was mostly a "discount" watch line, so I was curious what a 25j automatic version would look like.

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    Turns out, it looks pretty neat. You'll notice that there's no country markings. IN fact, there's very few markings anywhere.

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    Based on the autowind, I'm nearly certain this is a Bifora of some sort, but it doesn't quite match up with anything I can find. Most notably, the balance cock is on the other side from almost all the ones I can find, and the base movement uses a triangular train cock instead of a finger bridge.
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    It also doesn't use the Bifora shock system. Oddly, the dial side system is rather different from the balance side, but both look like variations on a number of "german" style systems listed in Bestfit. The keyless parts again look very very similar to the Bifora ones, but the with subtle differences. Near as I can tell, these watches were only sold in around the early to mid 60's. Anyone have some insight to share?
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  2. #2
    Member joeuk's Avatar
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    Re: Unknown "cheap" automatic; anyone recognize this?

    Nice watch looks very similar to this bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Durowe 570 some slight differences like yours with non shock but wonder if they changed my link movement to non shock to make it cheaper
    Last edited by joeuk; December 6th, 2012 at 14:05.

  3. #3
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Unknown "cheap" automatic; anyone recognize this?

    Good eye! That does indeed look like it. And explains the "Duro-swing" shock springs on the dial side. Odd that the balance side is different. This brand was made by/for Bravingtons in the U.K., and it looks like Durowe supplied movements to a number of other brands, so that may explain it somewhat. We'll see how it runs once I finish servicing it.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

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  5. #4
    Member joeuk's Avatar
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    Re: Unknown "cheap" automatic; anyone recognize this?

    Hope all goes well on the service. I think I need a project I have a tissot movement and case but dial is shot I might build my own watch.

  6. #5
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Unknown "cheap" automatic; anyone recognize this?

    Finished it up, and runs remarkably well for a lower-end line of watches. The autowind module is completely independent of the base movement; there's just one pinion that extends down to interact with the ratchet wheel. Down side is that its a fairly thick watch. Caseback using a different case wrench style than I'm used to; dunno if that's its german heritage? Dial is a bit worn, but full of character.
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    While I was working on this, a friend was trying to understand exactly how small some of the parts I work with are, so I took this picture to show him. That's a dime in the foreground:
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    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  7. #6
    Member joeuk's Avatar
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    Re: Unknown "cheap" automatic; anyone recognize this?

    Great work, I bet your friend was shocked when he looked at the pics lol

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