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  1. #31
    Member Ric Capucho's Avatar
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    Re: Ric's day










    Celadon Imperial wot arrived moments ago.

    Breathtaking.

    The new B18 movement is clearly a radical upgrade from the SB18, my guess the change being triggered by the need for space for a date complication. Thankfully, the Imperial remains true to its high-end dress watch aspirations so no date, no sub-seconds. Just that crisp, exquisite dial, and those equally exquisite blued hands and logo. The B18 movement has if anything a slightly nicer finish than its SB18 cousin, so it's a welcome addition to my movement count.

    I just did something a bit cruel: I took out my loupe and *looked* for even the slightest blemish... and found a hair. My hair. So I brushed that off and looked again. Nothing. Even the BeiHai has the odd blemish here and there on movement, dial and hands (as does a $5,000 Omega) but the Imperial is simply perfect.

    And I've done something that I never do: I've kept the Imperial on its original strap. The strap isn't just nice, and not just nicer than the alternatives I've got, it's *really* nice. My wife glanced at the watch and pronounced both watch and strap as "classy".

    Very very well done, Ben.

    Made in China with pride, indeed.

    Ric
    Last edited by Ric Capucho; January 24th, 2014 at 11:45.

  2. #32
    Moderator Emeritus Bradjhomes's Avatar
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    Re: Ric's day

    I've been keeping an eye on this project.

    Looks absolutely stunning.
    Brad (@bradwatch)
    - appreciating fine affordable watches since 2011



  3. #33
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    Re: Ric's day

    You should write a blog!

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  5. #34
    Moderator Emeritus Bradjhomes's Avatar
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    Re: Ric's day

    Quote Originally Posted by Sivart444 View Post
    You should write a blog!
    Like this?
    http://www.moonlightrobbery.com/?m=1
    Brad (@bradwatch)
    - appreciating fine affordable watches since 2011



  6. #35
    Member Ric Capucho's Avatar
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    Re: Ric's day

    Quote Originally Posted by Bradjhomes View Post
    Almost everyone was reading my long posts here on WUS, so hardly any traffic to the Blog. So I put it on hold for a while, then got out of the habit of writing daily. C'est la vie.

    Ric

  7. #36
    Member Ric Capucho's Avatar
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    Re: Ric's day

    Just the three German watches at the moment, but all very close to my heart for a variety of reasons.

    Junghans Max Bill Chronoscope. I suppose this is the first watch I've bought since I took the decision to move a bit more upmarket. Seems laughable, I know, on a forum up to its ears with Glashütte Originals and the like. But it's trooooo.




    Stowa Flieger Automatic COSC. My first WIS watch bought a few years *before* I became a WIS. Worn daily during the interim, so has had plenty of knocks and scratches that come with the task at hand. Shudder to think, now, but I suppose hammering nails into a wall does get the rotor whizzing around nicely.




    Stowa Landeron 248, ca. 1969. The Landeron's currently at my veteran watchmender being stripped down ready to be replated, because the gold plate's sooooooo thin that there's plenty of the brass base showing through. Erm, as you can see. Just this morning I reached for it and had a short sigh to myself when I realised why it's not there. I miss it. Bought on a drunken whim on Ebay, so one of my better "mishtakes". Hic.




    Looking at the above, it strikes me that there's an air of simplicity (austerity?) about each of these watches. Something Germanic, at first glance, maybe? But a quick look at most of the offerings by Lange & Söhne and some of the complications-laden watches offered by Glashütte Original show that when the Germans do embellishment, they *really* do embellishment.

    My guess is that the offerings of Stowa and Junghans more reflects the local culture of Baden Württemberg (southwestern corner of Germany, right next door to Switzerland) than the more traditional German watchmaking that came out of Glashütte (state of Saxony, in the far eastern side of Germany). I'm sure that everyone will point at the Bauhaus hotbed of Ulm (a university city of the Baden Württemberg state) setup by Max Bill himself, but in fact Ulm was a late post-war arrival to Bauhaus compared to Weimar, Dessau and Berlin (had to check on Wikipedia 'cos I couldn't remember) which were Bauhaus strongholds in the 1920s onwards, and all of which are a hop skip and jump from Saxony, hence Glashütte.

    Baffling, innit.

    And then Nomos goes and sets up shop in Glashütte and starts making just about the most resolutely Bauhaus range of "simple and austere" watches offered by anyone on the planet.

    More bafflement ensues.

    Still, I do like 'em all.

    Ric

  8. #37
    Member Ric Capucho's Avatar
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    Ric's day

    PROLOGUE

    So back at the beginning of 2013 I received a bunch of Panerai homages from Getat. I'd ordered 'em partly for their curiosity value, but mainly because I was undecided which one'd be The One that I'd be keeping. Look, they're as cheap as chips so selling on the Unwanted wouldn't be a financial disaster.

    So I had before me a decent Getat Luminor homage (too big, and that crown guard got up my nose), a decent Getat Radiomir homage (nice, but a too sterile looking because of the, erm, sterile dial), and two lowlier, indecent California-dialled Radiomirs, one in rose gold (my wife hates rose gold, it turned out) and one in plain steel. But the Calis weren't true Getats (Getat has his own superior recipe for homages these days) but rather of a typical Parnis level of quality. [email protected], in other words.

    It turned out that the one I *really* liked was the steel California-dialled Radiomir homage, but the stock Parnis strap it came on was awful. And one hand was a bit bent, but I could learn to unsee that. So I mixed and matched the straps off the various Radiomirs, and then tried to fit the chosen strap. And two of the lug pin locking screws showed their true Parnis nature and threaded enough to make 'me uselessly loose... and when I contacted Getat, he made it clear that the threads on both screw and case of the Parnis watches were made from an inferior type of butter, and I might want to try superglue.

    Sod that.

    So, a year ago I put the California watch head into a drawer, and the rest of the Panerai homages on Ebay. And after a brief bidding war between two Germans (on the Luminor homage) I got *all* of my money back and even a bit more.

    Anyways, a year passed and I occasionally came across the forlorn California watch head, and even felt a bit sorry for it. I'd even give it a quick wind up to keep the movement alive. Then, back to the drawer with yer.


    ACTION

    So, just before Christmas I decided to use my newly forged watch assembly skills (mastered during the incompetent assembly of a certain Sea-Gull DIY kit) and so ordered a *decent* Getat Radiomir watch case, a nice strap (Getat excels at straps) and replacement hands to replace the bent one. The idea was to transfer the perfectly good movement and dial, maybe learn a bit more about the watch assembly world, and reanimate that watch.

    And the parts arrived in due course. So here's how my transplant went.


    PARTS

    Right, quick inventory:

    One knackered old watch. Check.

    One Getat Radiomir case, sapphire crystal prefitted. Check.

    One set of cali-style hands. Check.

    One Getat strap. Check.

    One set of watch assembly tools wot came with the Sea-Gull DIY. Check.

    One Youtube movie of how to disassemble a Unitas 6497 watch; close enough for the Sea-Gull version. Check.




    FIXING SCREWS

    (Commanding voice, American accent) "First you have to unscrew the two screws that fix the movement to the case." So I did. Next?



    MAINSPRING TENSIONER

    "With the Unitas it's important to take the tension out of the mainspring before ya attempt to remove the stem." Righteo. So I just have to hold the crown, then flick this little thing 'ere, and then... yep, the crown made a few unwinding turns between my fingers, then stopped. All tension gone. Ahhhhhh.....

    "You'll need to push the tensioner back into position when you replace the stem later."

    What do yer think I am? A rank amateur? The cheek of it...



    "On the Unitas the stem's removed with the crown in the winding position. Careful..." I know, I know, or it'll buggah up the keyless works. Been there, done that. Anyways, gave the screw a 360 degree turn and out it popped. No problemo.



    REMOVE MOVEMENT

    Next!



    HANDS

    The truth is that removing the old hands was a doddle, but putting the new ones on was just as nasty a job as last time. I even managed to twist the new hour hand so it looked like an aircraft propeller, then had a think as to what Getat would do. So I grabbed the little basturd with me tweezers and untwisted it. And it all magically aligned. Amazing.

    Next.



    SWITCH CROWN

    Hang on, the new case has a crown already screwed onto it. Better check it's the same as the old... oh [email protected], it isn't. Sigh. So I clamped the old crown and unscrewed the stem. And it didn't snap or twist or otherwise. So I screwed it onto the new crown, and all was well. Didn't expect that.



    READY TO REINSERT STEM

    The moment of truth and glory or humiliation. Be still, beating heart. Hang on, where's the hole for the stem? Maybe rotate the movement a few degrees either side until... funny, no hole. Erm, hang on. The movement's upside down. Ric you prat.



    STEM IN

    Click, screw screw. It worked! Oh frabjus day, calloo callah, he chortled in his joy.



    FIXING SCREWS

    Basturd, basturd, basturd fixing screws. Basturd. Sigh.... Basturd!



    READY FOR STRAP

    And there it sits before me. Glory be. I check the dial for hairs (there be none) and movement for dust, filings, dead flies (none), and then decide to give that lovely movement a loving wind now it's in its smart, quality steel case. One wind, two winds, three winds, and... and the crown unwinds three times between me fingers.

    [email protected], forgot to reposition the tensioner. That's wot comes of being a rank amateur.

    So, case back off, tensioner repositioned, wind wind wind, and it stayed wound wound wound. Case back on.



    READY FOR STRAP 2.0

    "Right, should only take me a moment."

    How foolish a notion. Putting the strap on took me almost as long as the hands and retaining screws together, and I came close, very close, to losing my temper. In the end I wrapped the lug pins in plastic and used the pliers on 'em.



    DONE

    And it was.



    CLEANED UP



    NICE STRAP



    MONEY SHOT




    That's all, folks.

    Ric
    Last edited by Ric Capucho; February 14th, 2014 at 17:19.

  9. #38
    Member makitmama's Avatar
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    Re: Ric's day

    Man, I wish I could do that! just as soon as I finish the 1940 frig and 1905 sewing machine that I am restoring. Sigh.

  10. #39
    Member Ric Capucho's Avatar
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    Re: Ric's day

    Quote Originally Posted by makitmama View Post
    Man, I wish I could do that! just as soon as I finish the 1940 frig and 1905 sewing machine that I am restoring. Sigh.

    And then get yerself the Sea-Gull DIY or similar. It's a hoot.

    Ric

  11. #40
    Affordables Moderator zippofan's Avatar
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    Re: Ric's day

    Very nice Ric

    I entered the world of amateur watchmaking via the TimeZone course, and buggered up a few along the way to building some that get regular wear. I gotta say though, that Beijing BeiHai always grabs my attention whenever I see one, just beautiful. I know how nice the movement is from having one in my Kemmner Kleine Pilot, but the Beijing is just so....yeah, classy!

    You also have one of my short list watches, the Max Bill Chronoscope. Any wrist shots? Every time I think I should buy one I hesitate, thinking it will look too big on my ~7.25" wrist. I then look at the autos, but I really want a Chronoscope, that is if I can scratch together the cash

    Cheers,
    Griff

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