Vintage ca. 1935 Alpina Chronograph restoration (
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  1. #1
    Member 767Geoff's Avatar
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    Feb 2006

    Vintage ca. 1935 Alpina Chronograph restoration (

    To start, Hello:

    been awhile since I posted at the vintage site but this appropriate today as there is not Alpina forum!

    I have restored a number of Glycine Airmans including a prototype 1965 Pumpkin Chronograph (1 of 100 produced), a prototype Felsa Airman from 1953 (one of 5 produced), numerous Omegas, Longines, Breitlings and etc.

    So here are two current restorations, Tissot (ongoing) and an Omega 300 (completed) that might be of interest to the vintage collectors:

    Home click on the glycine restoration article.

    Here is the Alpina teaser set of photos for you. The watch, as with the others arrive at my desk because of their condition and the resulting lower price attached to some of the projects. They are all part of my collection, after restoring them I just don't want to give them up! The excitement is the finding of parts, restoring the cases and the movements. Parting out the dials with specific requests. I hope you enjoy the above restorations and the following.

    Without further ramblings here is the watch in all its glory when it arrived. The case was a mess with the original silver lugs removed and replaced with brass wire, dial filthy, only the hour and minute hand were original and the dial was filthy and damaged. Inside the chronograph constant second gear was missing. This is the gear that transmits the watches seconds progression to the chronograph mechanism. Without it all you have is a time piece.

    On the plus side, the time keeping was working!

    The case back was not bad although the hinge was weak:

    Opening the back showed a silver plated, geneva striped, 17J Valjoux 23 (first edition) with the chronograph constant second gear missing:

    The movement was removed through the front, common to pocket watches and many trench watches of the era. Case screws removed and front bezel with crystal removed:

    out comes the movement:

    off comes the dial:

    more on the hands:

    After removing the dial the damage was caused by a shock to the watch which flexed the dial foot and cracked the enamaling to both sides:

    Of course a new gear had to be secured and here it is!

    Here is the movement with the gear in place but the chronograph not engaged followed by a shot of the chronograph engaged. The watch ran perfectly without a cleaning at this point as all i was doing was dry fitting the gear and confirming a fit and function:

    So as it stands now:

    • New period sweep second hand (blued) as well as both the constant second and 30 minute sub hand have been secured.
    • The movement is being serviced and the constant seconds chronograph wheel will be correctly affixed to the pivot.
    • The dial has been cleaned and the damage repaired (simu porcelain). Fortunately the numeral and indices were not damaged and the original chip was retained.
    • The case has been restored to factory with new sliver lugs, dents removed, hinge replaced and new crystal.

    You will have to wait for the next installment as I wait for the movement to be finished! Then final assembly!!!

    Hope you enjoyed this.



    here is an Angelus alarm pocket watch before and after:

    Last edited by 767Geoff; November 30th, 2013 at 01:22.
    Emre, joeuk and Mirius like this.

  2. #2
    Member Emre's Avatar
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    May 2012

    Re: Vintage ca. 1935 Alpina Chronograph restoration (

    I remember your Airman restoration instructions, have had it even downloaded. Great to see you Geoff. Saw your passionate Airman Chronograph debates you did earlier (3-4 years ago )over in the Glycine forum. I am aware my post is not related with your beautiful Alpina restoration but just wanted to let you know enthusiasts like me benefit a lot from your knowledge. In Thuds we trust ! Thudguy's both R 724s are by me now ;)

  3. #3
    Member 767Geoff's Avatar
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    Feb 2006

    Re: Vintage ca. 1935 Alpina Chronograph restoration (

    I Emre, I have got to get back to the Glycine forum again. I am glad thud guys 724s are in a new home.

    I have to post my Airman one restoration prototype pictures there.

    Been a bit of a hiatus from computer stuff as I am writing a book on HP computers, my other hobby. Getting back to the watches now.

    Cheers, Geoff.

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  5. #4
    Member joeuk's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    west yorkshire, uk

    Re: Vintage ca. 1935 Alpina Chronograph restoration (

    Look forward to updates, read your piece on the Omega 300.

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