Vintage watches and accuracy
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  1. #1
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    Vintage watches and accuracy

    Hi!

    I realize the answer to this question really depends on a lot of factors, but I'm curious if people have any thoughts on what sort of accuracy one can expect from a vintage watch?

    I have a small, lovely little omega from the late 50's/early 60's with a 30T2 SC RG chronometre movement. I had it serviced in Hong Kong to get it working again(belonged to my girlfriend's grandfather) and then again here in the US to replace the scratched up crystal(don't worry, saved the original).

    Dial up, it's gaining about five minutes a day, closer to about one minute a day if resting face down. Should I have it serviced again? in hindsight, the person I last sent the watch to may have not been as skilled as advertised. It's perhaps also worth mentioning that I do quite a bit of mild cycling, commuting around the city, so perhaps some of the inaccuracy I'm experiencing is due to daily bumps and shock?

    I'm reluctant to have it serviced for a third time in one year(won't be sending it back to the last person I dealt with though), but also don't want to damage the movement if things really are in need of attention. Modernity being what it is, I can live with a finicky watch that needs to be set every day. What would you do in this instance?

  2. #2
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    Re: Vintage watches and accuracy

    Obviously that was a really top-notch movement in its time, and would have been expected to run within a few seconds per day. Of course, if it hasn't been maintained well over the years, it could be difficult to regulate it back to that level of accuracy. The details will depend on the condition of the movement, but as a rough rule-of-thumb, I don't think that 10-15s per day or so is too much to ask for. What you are experiencing is far outside the norm and suggests a major issue, that would not be explained by "mild cycling" (for a watch of that era). I would definitely have it inspected by a qualified watchmaker.
    Last edited by badbackdan; February 17th, 2017 at 22:17.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Vintage watches and accuracy

    That depends on the effort in regulating, right now my Lucien Piccard might be losing 5 seconds a day.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Vintage watches and accuracy

    I personally don't hold my vintage watches to a very demanding standard in terms of accuracy... they worked hard most of their lives and I look at them as "semi-retired" today.

    That said, in your case as Dan pointed out, you have a chronometer grade movement that's running +5 mins-- I suspect a proper service and regulation could get you running closer to specs. It really comes down to how badly you want that, and how much you want to spend.
    Stowa 1938 | Speedy Pro 311 | Omega SMPc | 66 Omega SM | 65 Omega Cosmic | 54 Omega SM | 72 Speedy Mark II | 69 Tissot T.12 | 70 Tissot Super T.12 | 70 Seiko 6139 | 71 Seiko Yachtman | 77 Seiko Pogue | 70s Seiko Bullhead | 69 Bulova SK | Ventus Mori | Helm Khuraburi

  6. #5
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    Re: Vintage watches and accuracy

    Before spending more money on it check a couple of things .
    Check if the movement is magnetised ( plenty of instructions here) . Jeweller should charge zero to demagnetise . (5 sec. job).
    You don't mention state of wind.
    Wind watch fully , wear normally and check how long it takes to stop. Ranfft quotes 44 hrs new so anything less than say 38 hrs probably means new mainspring . A worn out mainspring will effect accuracy . FYI a new one costs about $30 plus installation. 10 minute job
    Let's assume the watch was cleaned and lubricated correctly may as well ask watchmaker cost just to regulate at same time.

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