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Preparing to 'poise' a balance wheel.

Vintage Mechanical Watch Repairs

  • Initial check of regulation with a digital timing machine
  • Inspection of winding and setting
  • Inspection & correction of barrel arbor & end-shakes
  • Check of jewels for chips/cracks
  • Balance inspection for proper trueness & end-play
  • Amplitude analysis and adjustment
  • Pivots checked microscopically & polished if necessary
  • Inspection & correction of all gear train end-shakes
  • Movement is disassembled and ultrasonically cleaned
  • Hairspring & balance are separately hand-cleaned
  • Mainspring is replaced (if available)
  • Inspection & correction of all escapement functions
  • Precision timing including static & dynamic poising
  • Proper lubrication, adjustment and regulation
  • Install new case gaskets & reseal case
  • Install new spring bars (for bracelet attachment)
  • Perform water-resistance testing (usually NOT possible)
  • Recalibration of chronograph functions
  • Numerous other inspections are performed
  • Polish & refinish case and band (if metal)
  • TIMING is checked again after re-assembly using a fully DIGITAL and STATE-OF-THE-ART timing machine.

 What causes a vintage watch to break?

In most cases, THE OWNER:

  • Dropping the watch onto a hard surface.
  • Banging it into a hard surface.
  • Getting it wet (in or even NEAR water).
  • Over winding (if it is NOT an automatic).
  • Putting it on an 'auto winder' if it is an automatic.
  • Attempting to change ANY aspect of the calendar mechanisms (moon, month, day, etc.) when it is near the end of a day and/or a month.  If you operate a pusher corrector to change the day or the month when the watch is at or near the end of its cycle to set up a calendar change, YOU WILL BREAK PART OF THE SETTING MECHANISM(S). 
  • Operating the chrono pushers in a manner they were NOT designed to do, such as attempting to press 'reset' when the chrono is running/on.  You will BREAK the mechanism.  If the pusher does not want to be depressed (you meet ANY resistance) then STOP pressing.  You WILL break it.
  • Treating the vintage watch like it is a 'toy' on your wrist.  Push push, click click, wind wind.  @!$%^!!
  • Behaving as if a vintage watch is a modern watch.
  • Expecting a vintage watch to keep 'to-the-second' time, and when it does not, opening the watch (usually when you are legally intoxicated) to make the adjustment yourself.
  • Running the watch daily, and then failing to have the watch properly overhauled every 2-3 years.  That's right, you have to PAY to have it overhauled every 24-36 months IF you insist on winding and wearing it every day.
  • 'But I wore this watch everyday for 30 years and never had a problem.'  Sorry, your watch is now a 'senior citizen' and you can't expect it to perform exactly 'as new.'  Buy a quartz watch if you want to 'abuse' an older watch, wear it everywhere you go, never take it off, hammer nails with it on, shower with it, change the oil in your car, bathe your dog, take it camping, etc. 
  • We will NOT warranty any of the above owner-caused problems on vintage watches that we have repaired.

Above is pictured a vintage Heuer Monza® automatic mechanical chronograph.  The cal.#11 movement was the FIRST production automatic chronograph, and was released in 1969.  Very few "watchmakers" have the patience and skill to properly service these rare and expensive movements. And YES, we still restore the Monza, starting at $915 and up for service.    

Additional Chronograph Repair:

* Replace Balance Staff

* Replace Cracked or Worn Jewel(s)
* Install New
Watch Crystal Replacement

*
Install New Crown, Stem, Pushers or Case Tube
*
Dial Refinishing
* Restore Dial Luminosity (glowing)
* Replace Hands (or restore luminosity)
* Custom Part Replacement (whatever you need)
* Complete
Watch Restoration (make it "as new")
 

Just another example of what it takes to do the job correctly.  The tip of this screwdriver was specially prepared to precisely fit the screw slot of this screw.  Screws are "machines."  The only way to properly torque them so that they can do their job, and without damaging the screw slot, is to take the time to hand-file and prepare the screw-driver tip so that it properly fits the intended screw.  Evidence of a proper fit is when the screw sits "by friction" in on the tip of the screwdriver after removal from the movement. 

      

BestFix Watch Company is a state-of-the-art watch-repair facility.  If you have any questions, please use the Ask the Watchmaker Form.


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