Monthly Archives: July 2010

Breguet hairspring

Breguet overcoil hairspring

I’m not afraid to admit it, I’m scared of Hairsprings. That’s right, I said it openly and I don’t care who knows it. I had a nightmare about them once and it was the kind of dream where you breath a sigh of relief when you realize it wasn’t really happening. If a friend came over and said, “My balance spring is bent and my pet Black Widow spider has a broken leg” My next thought would be, I bet I can make a suitable cast out of rodico for the poor little thing.

And I’m not even talking about the math involved in the fabrication and vibrating. I have a scientific calculator somewhere but I’ve replaced three bottles of Tabasco in my fridge since I checked the batteries.

As my abilities grow and the jobs that were once too risky to attempt are now common, I think to myself I should take a look at that hairspring on the old Gruen. Then I`ll see a post on one of the forums asking,? “Does anyone know a watchmaker who will vibrate a hairspring?” and I put away my tweezers. Even some watchmakers don’t want to work with them.

On a side note: Other than slight rusting on certain metals, Holy Water has absolutely no effect on them. Now that alone should tell you something.

For a simple explanation of the escapement, Walt Odets has written an excellent article for Timezone Here

1953 Seamaster 354 Bumper before redial

1953 Seamaster 354 Bumper before redial

This old favourite has been through a few trials in his lifetime. Victim of a bad redial sometime in the past that left a simple yet striking dial somewhat less than appealing. The dial is being taken off today and sent into International for the full treatment. This watch was written about on my blog when it went into Otto Friedl for a service. It came back losing twenty seconds a day when the daily variation was +-eight seconds a day before their “complete overhaul”

Trying to correct the situation was an exercise in frustration when none of my questions were answered in favour of implying that I was one of those customers that just couldn’t be satisfied. Just getting a simple explanation of the complete process they use when servicing was impossible. Apparently that information wasn’t given out to clients and kept secret. I’m guessing it probably had something to do with charging over $200.00 for a service when not even the mainspring was replaced. When asked I was told parts for this watch are unavailable. After a five minute search I found a complete source which I sent them via email.

To this day the watch has been sitting, apart from the occasional wear but with Summer here it’s just cruel to have it sitting in a box. While it’s away getting the much needed facial peel and spa treatment I’ll remove the crystal and do a full refinish on the case. The lugs and sides have been done but the bezel side still needs to be blocked and polished. The final touch will be a Hirsch Liberty strapped on and the next stop will be the beach or perhaps a day of sailing.

Omega dial before refinishing

Omega dial before refinishing

I removed the dial and took the opportunity to polish the chevrons before sending it off to International.

Updates coming soon… dial on the way.

Seamaster dial before International Dial refinishing

Seamaster dial before International Dial refinishing

Got a postcard from International Dial this morning. The Service includes: Butler finish, applied markers and luminous dots on the indices. I’d love to get a hi def video of the complete process but at the price they’re charging it’s generous of? them just? to snap this pic.

International-Dial refinished - Seamaster

International-Dial refinished - Seamaster

Package from International Dial!

Package from International Dial!

It still needs a proper Omega crystal with the reflector ring and the second hand could be replaced, but it’s 99.7% finished so here it goes.

Omega Seamaster cal 354 with beads of Rice bracelet

Omega Seamaster with beads of Rice bracelet

After the final touches are done it will be up for sale with the Beads of Rice bracelet and a genuine croc strap. Check the Watches for Sale page for details.