Wristwatch restoration, servicing and repair

Archive for the ‘Chronograph’ Category

Zodiac Sea-Chron Chronograph (Valjoux cal. 726)…

Missing a crystal, this vintage chronograph from Zodiac arrived looking pretty sorry for itself.

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The Sea-Chron is something of a hidden gem among vintage Zodiacs as there is very little information about the watch online, most of the screen-inches being dominated by the more popular Sea Wolf and Astrographic models.

Digging around online I did find this vintage advert which shows the Sea-Chron nestled amongst a range of Sea Wolf divers. I’m guessing from the models available that this advert dates to the late seventies.

Priced at $160 the Sea-Chron was only $50 more than a ‘standard’ Sea Wolf diver at the time which offered incredible value for money, especially as its value these days could exceed the same Sea Wolf diver by up to a factor of ten… I really need to get started on building that time machine!

The Sea-Chron was available with a black bezel too which is a more traditional look, though personally I prefer the silver/grey bezel.

The watch in this post is still in the possession of the original owner, though it hadn’t been used for many years. The crystal was lost more than 30 years ago at which point the watch found its way into a drawer and was only discovered again last year.

Amazingly the dial and hands had survived more or less unscathed. As you can see above, the lume had fallen out of the minute hand and the sweep second hand was bent but the dial, although covered in debris, had survived with barely a mark on it which is rarely the case.

Inside the watch is a Valjoux cal. 726, a great quality movement and pretty much top of the line for production chronograph calibres in the 1970’s. Based on Valjoux’s cal. 72, the 726 is an upgraded version that was released in 1974, the improvements being a smaller balance wheel and an increased beat rate of 21,600 beat per hour (the cal. 72 being 18,000 bph).

After 30 years in a drawer it was no surprise that the movement needed a service as all the oils had completely dried out and the caseback gasket had been in there so long that it had emulsified and then solidified again into a hard plastic… nasty!

With the movement serviced it was on to the cosmetic issues. After chipping out the old caseback gasket, all the casing parts were given a few laps in the ultrasonic cleaner, after which the crystal aperture was measured and a new crystal ordered. The hands were re-lumed to match the hour markers and the sweep second hand bent back into shape before the watch was rebuilt.

I think this watch is great and represents everything that a vintage chronograph should be; it looks great, is a sensible size (39mm without the crown/pushers) and has a great calibre inside. I hope you agree.

Rich.

** Many thanks to Christopher Bourke for letting me feature his watch on the blog. **


Dodane Type 21 Chronograph (Valjoux Cal. 235)…

Another military watch on the blog and another new brand, this time it’s Dodane.

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Dodane is a French watchmaking company with a rich history. Founded in 1857, five generations of the family have been involved with the development of the Dodane brand which is still in business today. Originally opened as a watchmaking and ebauche workshop in the Doubs region of France, the company has relocated twice, first to Morteau in 1905 and later to Besançon where the company is still located today.

Well known for their links with the armed forces and aviation in particular, Dodane has been supplying chronographs and instruments to military personnel for decades, making them one of the longest standing suppliers to NATO.

The watch in this post, the Type 21, is something of a classic and was developed in response to a request from the French military for a flyback chronograph. The predecessor to this watch, the Type 20 was the first model to meet the specifications in the 1950’s and the Type 21 followed in the 1960’s after a request for improved readability and easier maintenance. The new brief was met by six manufacturers; Breguet, Dodane, Auricoste, Vixa, Airain and Boullier so you’ll see vintage Type 21 models from all these brands, the Breguet being arguably the most collectible.

The watch in this post is a model from the 1970’s which arrived running and in reasonable cosmetic condition. Inside the case is a Valjoux cal. 235 which is effectively a Valjoux cal. 23, modified to increase the beat rate from 18,000 to 21,600 bph and to include a flyback lever.

A flyback lever (highlighted below) allows the chronograph to be reset without having to stop the chronograph first, which is particularly useful when timing operations in quick succession.

When the reset button is pressed the flyback lever pivots and lifts the coupling clutch away from the chronograph runner and the reset hammer moves across its normal arc, resetting both the chronograph runner and minute register to zero. When the reset button is released, the reset hammer returns and the coupling clutch is lowered once more onto the chronograph runner and timing restarts.

As you can see from the picture above, the movement was in good condition and needed no more than a routine service and a new mainspring to bring it back to its best.

From a cosmetic point of view the watch wasn’t in bad shape either, although there were a few areas that needed to be addressed. The first two were straight forward; the pushers had tarnished and were brought back up to spec. by carefully removing the discolouration with a scratch brush, and the triangle on the bezel had been filled in with paint at some point which was not right. On this model the bezel markings should all be unfilled, so the paint was removed.

The final issue was a little more involved as there were patches of rust visible under the crystal.

A little rust had formed under the bezel so I assumed that rusty water had seeped into the gap between the crystal and case and it would be an easy clean-up job once the crystal had been pressed out. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. When the crystal was removed from the case, I found that the discolouration was actually inside the body of the crystal itself.

Being an original crystal, after 40 or so years the acrylic becomes brittle and shrinks. Small cracks had formed towards the lower edge of the crystal allowing the rusty water to seep into the body of the crystal over time. I like to keep things original wherever possible, but with no way of removing these stains, the only option was to fit a new crystal.

With the movement service and the cosmetic issues resolved the watch could be rebuilt, here’s the result.

Rich.

** Many thanks to David Budd for letting me feature his watch on the blog. **


Breitling Cosmonaute Chrono-Matic Ref 1809 (Breitling Cal. 14)…

There have been quite a few aviation watches on the blog, but we’re going even higher this time with a Breitling Cosmonaute Chrono-Matic.

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The Cosmonaute along with the Navitimer, are stalwarts in Breitling’s model line-up. In 1958, NASA astronaut Lt Cmdr Scott Carpenter contacted Breitling to suggest that they make a 24 hour version of their already popular (regular 12 hour) Navitimer chronograph. In 1961 Breitling did just that and registered the name “Cosmonaute” with the Swiss Office of Intellectual Property later in the same year.

Breitling also supplied Lt Cmdr Carpenter with his own Cosmonaute in 1962 for use in NASA’s Mercury program and he wore the watch during the Mercury 7 mission in May of that year, orbiting the earth 3 times during a 5 hour space flight. This short film shows details of the mission along with a re-issued model released in 2012 to celebrate the 50th anniversary.

However, the Mercury 7 mission was to be the Cosmonaute’s only trip into space as after being submerged in the Atlantic Ocean during the splash-down recovery, the watch failed. It was subsequently returned to Breitling by NASA for examination but was never returned, and its current whereabouts is unknown.

Despite this, the success of the mission cemented the Cosmonaute’s place in the model range and the achievement was used in Breitling’s promotional activities throughout the 1960’s. More models were to follow in stainless steel, gold capped and 18kt gold cases, most powered by the tried and trusted Venus cal. 178.

By 1968 a new version of the Cosmonaute was in the pipeline, this time in a more robust case. It was to be produced in both automatic and manual versions; the automatic featuring the new to market Breitling cal. 14 (developed in association with Heuer, Buren and Dubois Dépraz) and the manual continuing with the Venus cal. 178 as before.

The sharp-eyed may have noticed that the crown is on the left hand side of the case for the automatic, and on the right hand side for the manual. To avoid having to manufacture two different cases, the cases were all drilled on both sides and a black plastic plug inserted into either one side of the case or the other (you can just see the plug on the right hand side of the case in the picture below).

The watch in this post arrived in non-running condition and the chronograph wouldn’t start, stop or reset – not the best of starts. However, on opening the watch things were more encouraging…

The reason that the chronograph wasn’t working was down to one of the case clamps having fallen out, the watch was sitting too deep in the case, and so the pushers were no longer in line with the operating levers.

Inspecting the condition of the oils under the microscope it was obvious that the watch hadn’t been serviced for many years. However, when applying a little pressure to the wheel train the watch would tick weakly which was a good sign that there were no major problems ie. broken pivots.

Sure enough, after a full service the movement started right up and all functions operated as expected. I even found the missing clamp and securing screw rattling around inside the movement which was an added bonus.

Regular readers will undoubtedly have seen this before but the automatic winding mechanism on this calibre is ‘hidden’ in the centre of the calibre under the chronograph module. Here is a picture of the movement with and without the module in place, as you can see it’s in great shape after a full service.

(Click picture to enlarge)

One interesting technical detail of this calibre is the way that the 24 hr hand is implemented. A secondary pinion is mounted on top of the normal minute wheel, geared to rotate the 24hr wheel once per day.

In watches with a both an hour hand and a 24hr hand, like this Seiko Navigator Timer, the 24hr wheel has less height than the hour wheel to allow both hands to be mounted. In the Cosmonaute, as there is no regular hour hand, the 24hr wheel is the same height as the hour wheel – the hour wheel only drives the calendar in this watch.

With the movement serviced, the case cleaned and the crystal polished, the watch was ready for re-assembly.

Finally, what isn’t clear from the pictures is the size of this watch. With a case diameter of 47mm and a huge crystal, it makes these two WIS favourites look like ladies watches. Well, not quite but you get the idea… it’s a bruiser alright!

Rich.

** Many thanks to Dominic McAleenan for letting me feature his watch on the blog. **


Wakmann Regate (Lemania Cal. 1341)…

For the second month in a row there’s a new brand on the blog, this time it’s Wakmann.

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After creating a successful watch company in Portugal, Icko Wakmann travelled to New York in 1943 with the ambition of establishing a presence in the US market. He founded the Wakmann Watch Company in 1946 and listed the company on the US Stock Exchange in 1947.

At the end of WWII in an effort to protect US watch manufacturers, the government was imposing heavy duties on any Swiss watches imported for sale within the United States. The only way to avoid these duties was to have watches assembled and/or finished in the US. So, in October 1947 a joint venture between Breitling SA in Switzerland and the Wakmann Watch Company was established (called the Breitling Watch Company of America) which allowed Breitling to send watches to Wakmann in New York for ‘final finishing’ and distribution throughout the US under the Wakmann name – consequently, you’ll see many Wakmann watches for sale where the seller is claiming that it is a “Breitling in disguise” even if it has no link to Breitling whatsoever.

The same legislation didn’t apply to other aviation instruments so the bond between the companies was more evident and both company names were displayed prominently on the dials of cockpit clocks and other timers.

Wakmann didn’t have full watch production facilities and instead contracted their watches out to a number of European manufacturers over the years. As a result, their watches often resembled watches from other producers but they all had good quality Swiss calibres inside from respected manufacturers such as ETA, Valjoux, Lemania, Venus and Landeron.

The Regate (or Regatta) model featured in this post is one of the more popular Wakmann models and an interesting feature of the watch is the multi-functional inner bezel, which I believe is unique to this watch – though I’m happy to be corrected on that.

On the outer edge are two scales to be used in conjunction with the chronograph, a Tachymetre scale that is commonly seen on chronographs (used to time speed in km/h or miles/h when measured over a distance of 1km/1 mile) and also a Regate scale used in competitive sailing. As the minute register is mounted on a separate hand rather than in a subdial on this calibre it makes it ideal for use as a sailing timer where the first fifteen minutes can easily be measured against an external Regate scale (see this post for an explanation of how sailing timers are used).

The inner track of the bezel is printed with the days of the week in five coloured sections and is used as a month planner. The numerical days of the month are printed on the outer edge of the dial and the idea is to rotate the inner bezel using the crown on the left hand side of the watch until the correct day of the week is aligned with ‘1’ on the dial. It is then very easy to see at-a-glance what day a certain date will fall on in the coming month ie. in the picture below, the 8th will be on a Sunday this month, and so on – I suppose in this day and age you’d probably just ask ‘Siri’ but back in the 1970’s when this watch was made it would save you breaking out the calendar. 😉

Despite being something of an eye catcher already with the coloured inner bezel, the watch was also available with a white dial in the stainless steel case, and also a gold dial/hands in a gold plated case for those requiring that bit extra bling.

The watch in this post was sent in primarily because condensation was forming on the inside of the crystal when worn. As you may have seen in previous posts, when left unchecked rust quickly forms and with steel pivots on the train wheels being little thicker than a human hair, it can do a lot of damage in a short space of time (here is one example).

Opening the case it was immediately obvious that the gasket inside the caseback was at fault as it hadn’t been changed for many years and was now more like plastic than rubber. You can see in the picture below that rust had started to form on the inside of the caseback too.

Although there was some pitting evident on the case, the movement, a Lemania cal. 1341, was quite dirty but showed no immediate signs of corrosion, though the chronograph wouldn’t reset to zero and the hands had lost some of their paint due to moisture settling on them.

The Lemania cal. 1341 is a calibre that I’ve covered before on the blog, so rather than repeat the description of how it works, I’ll redirect any interested parties to this post about a Tissot Navigator that I wrote a few years ago.

The owner of this watch had sent it in just in time as rust was starting to form on some of the movement parts, but it was only surface rust at this stage and easy to remove. The chronograph reset problem was only due to a lack of recent servicing.

Once the movement had been serviced, the case was ultrasonically cleaned and the crystal polished, the paint on the hands repaired, new gaskets fitted, and the watch was re-assembled.

Finally, if you think this watch is cool you’re in good company as Clint Eastwood wore the same watch in the 1995 movie The Bridges of Madison County.

Rich.

** Many thanks to Chris Jones for letting me feature his watch on the blog. **


Aero Neuchatel Chronograph (Valjoux Cal. 7733)…

Another vintage chronograph and new brand on the blog, an Aero Neuchatel.

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The brand name ‘Aero Neuchatel’ is owned by the company Aerowatch S.A. and was first registered in 1973. With the introduction of quartz watches in the early 1970’s, I can only speculate that Aerowatch S.A. set up this sub-brand to focus solely on contemporary wristwatches given that the parent company had built a reputation for creating more classical timepieces.

Aerowatch S.A. has been in existence since 1910 and has produced mainly high quality pocket watches for sale in international markets. The company was owned and run by the Crevoisier family before being sold to the Denis Bolzli in 2001. The change of ownership proved to be something of a new beginning for the brand and by 2005 a new range of wristwatches had been developed, drawing heavily on the classical styling of previous Aerowatch timepieces.

Production was moved from Neuchatel to Signelegier in 2008 and since then the company has continued to create mainly mechanical watches in the classical style. Here is an example from their current collection.

You can see the rest of their current range on the website: www.aerowatch.com.

The watch in this post arrived running but the chronograph wouldn’t start, stop or reset so something was obviously amiss.

Opening the watch revealed a Valjoux cal. 7733 in decent order but the caseback gasket had turned to mush and the two chronograph operating levers were both loose on the movement – Sherlock Holmes wasn’t needed this time to help figure out why the chronograph wasn’t working anyway!

The previous owner must have really forced the pushers as the heads of both retaining screws had been broken off and were rattling around inside the case, one is highlighted in the picture above and the second was trapped deeper inside the movement.

Once out of the case, I noticed that the entire movement and the inside of the case were covered in a film of oil. Close inspection of the dial and hands revealed that they too were covered in oil. Not good.

After prolonged exposure it’s possible that the dial print or paint could lift from the dial during cleaning, but on this occasion I had no choice but to ‘bite the bullet’ and remove the oil as the coverage was too heavy to leave it as it was.

Here is a picture of the dial half way through cleaning – you can see the difference between the original matt finish on the left and the oil covered shine on the right.

The case was stripped down and cleaned too, and all traces of the oil were also removed from the hands and the inside of the crystal.

Once the movement had been fully disassembled, the cause of the oil slick was pretty obvious…

I can only assume that oil must have been “pumped” into the barrel the last time the watch was serviced as it was still half full even though a good percentage of it had already seeped out.

With the movement serviced, the operating lever screws replaced and everything cleaned up, the watch could be rebuilt. The last thing to do was to fit a new caseback gasket and the job was complete.

Regular readers may have noticed that the watch bears a resemblance to another vintage chronograph which I’ve written about several times on the blog, the Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster (an example here).

Side by side, while almost identical in terms of case size, the Aero has a larger diameter dial and slimmer bezel which makes it wear larger on the wrist.

They are both great chronographs and well worth adding to your collection if you get the chance.

Rich.

** Many thanks to Phil Johnson for letting me feature his watch on the blog. **


Jaquet-Droz Chronograph (Landeron Cal. 149)…

Another rather tired looking vintage chronograph on the blog, this time from Jaquet-Droz.

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Regular readers may have a sense of déjà-vu here as the case on this watch is one that was supplied to a number of manufacturers over the years and I’ve written about two such examples before on the blog, a Rotary and a Le Cheminant Master Mariner. Here are a few more examples of watches which share the same case; values vary and some are easier to find than others.

This is however the first time I’ve seen such a chronograph from Jaquet-Droz. The history of Jaquet-Droz is very interesting but rather than repeat myself, I’ll direct any interested parties to this blog post about another J-D chronograph in which I covered their background.

The watch in this post is still in the possession of the original owner who had it bought for him as a 21st birthday gift in 1968. At that time the brand was enjoying the early years of its first rise from the ashes before the quartz revolution came along and wiped them out, along with many others. Watches from this period are easy to recognise as they all have the ‘arrow’ logo on the dial.

Inside the watch is a Landeron cal. 149, a cam-lever chronograph and one of the few Landeron calibres with a traditional operation ie. the top pusher starts and stops the chronograph and the lower pusher performs the reset. The more commonly used 48, 51, 148 and 248 calibres were designed such that the top pusher starts that chronograph and the lower pusher is used for both the stop and reset functions.

Although the movement was in decent condition, you may have noticed in the first picture that the hand for the chronograph minute register had fallen off and was rattling around at the bottom of the dial.

Once the movement had been disassembled the cause was immediately obvious, the lower pivot for the chronograph minute runner had been broken off. Though the hand may have stayed in place initially, with no clearance above the dial it wouldn’t have taken long to work its way off the shaft in daily wear.

Being the 45 minute rather than the 30 minute version of the chronograph I expected to have some difficulty in finding a new part, but that wasn’t the case (which made a pleasant change .. and even more pleasant, the owner found it for me!), so a replacement was ordered from overseas while I serviced the rest of the movement.

From a cosmetic perspective, despite having had many years of use, the case was still in decent condition but the bezel had lost some most of its markings and the crystal was cracked. The bezel pip was missing too and so was the filling in the minute sub-dial hand, both of which would need to be re-lumed to match the rest of the (original) lume.

Once the replacement minute runner arrived, the movement could finally be rebuilt and regulated/tested. In the meantime, the bezel pip and hand had been re-lumed, the case cleaned and given a light buff to restore the shine, a new crystal fitted and the bezel markings re-painted.

I’ve restored quite a few of these watches now and I’m always impressed with how well they clean up, this one being no exception. With a case diameter of 38mm (40mm including the crown) they may be considered quite small by today’s standards, but with prices still being relatively modest on most models, they are a good entry into the world of vintage chronographs.

Rich.

** Many thanks to John Dawes for letting me feature his watch on the blog. **


Sinn 103 Flieger (Valjoux Cal. 7750)…

An iconic pilot’s chronograph on the blog this time, a Sinn 103 Flieger. Although this is the first Sinn to feature on the blog, I’m sure the name will be recognised by many watch enthusiasts.

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The company ‘Helmut Sinn Spezialuhren’ was founded in Frankfurt in 1961 by flight instructor and pilot Helmut Sinn. Specialising in navigation cockpit clocks and pilot chronographs, the timepieces were manufactured in Switzerland and were offered to customers directly rather than via a dealer network which saved on costs, resulting in a lower retail price. The business model worked well and the company grew steadily over subsequent decades.

In 1994 Helmut Sinn (then aged 78) sold the company to certified engineer and former IWC employee Lothar Schmidt who re-structured the entire company, expanded the model range, introduced a dealer network, and moved a lot of the manufacturing in-house. The company achieved many technological firsts based mainly around material hardening for the watch cases and magnetic resistance. Pictured below are a few of their other models; the U1, EZM4, 142, and the T1.

The 103 is a stalwart of the Sinn line-up and has been in production since the early 1980’s. Exact records detailing specific model changes weren’t kept before Lothar Schmidt took over so it’s hard to be sure, but the watch in this post is most likely one of the earlier models.

It arrived in a reasonably sorry looking state, the lume had deteriorated throughout and the watch showed signs of water ingress which is never an encouraging start. With the caseback removed, the cause of the problem was immediately apparent… the caseback gasket had a big gap in it!

Perhaps the last watchmaker didn’t have the right size in stock and cut the largest gasket he had with a “Well, it will be 15/16th’s more waterproof then with no gasket at all” idea? –  not recommended.

Even though the moisture had taken its toll on the lume, the movement was surprisingly unaffected. The only parts showing tarnish were the steel parts of the bearing race in the winding rotor which was cleaned to preserve the Sinn branded rotor, and the cannon pinion which was replaced.

The calibre in this watch is the Valjoux cal. 7750 and though I’ve serviced many, this is the first cal. 7750 powered watch that I’ve written about on the blog.

Having been in constant production since 1974 the cal. 7750 is still the automatic chronograph calibre of choice for many brands. Many manufacturers enhance and/or decorate the calibre and then give it their own model number (i.e., Breitling cal. 13, IWC cal. 79350) but the base calibre is often recognisable by the subdial layout; running seconds at 9, minute counter at 12 and hour counter at 6.

There is an alternative version of the calibre, the cal. 7753, with the subdials placed in the 3,6 and 9 positions. Despite being a more traditional layout the 7753 seems to be used much less than the 7750 for some reason, production numbers perhaps? An example of a cal. 7753 powered watch that springs to my mind is the Montblanc Timewalker Chronograph.

Ok, back on topic…. With the movement serviced it was on to the cosmetic part of the job – obviously the most pressing issue being the lume. Re-luming numerals directly onto the surface of a dial is a tricky business and best left to a lume specialist, so on this occasion the dial and hands were sent out for the work to be completed while I was servicing the movement.

When the dial and hands returned, the case was cleaned and the crystal polished, the watch was rebuilt and a new caseback gasket fitted – without the gap this time. 😉

The Sinn 103 is still in production in a range of case materials, and the full range of Sinn models can be seen on their website: http://www.sinn.de/en/

Rich.

** Many thanks to David Lloyd for letting me feature his watch on the blog and to James Hyman for his excellent re-luming work. **


Lemania Tg 195 Chronograph (Lemania Cal. 2225)…

This Lemania Tg 195 chronograph arrived in a pretty sorry looking state.

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Made in the 1950’s this watch was issued to Swedish military personnel, as evidenced by three large crowns which can be found on the caseback of all Swedish military watches. There are two versions of the Tg 195 caseback; the earlier models have three small crowns (inset) and the later models have the three large crowns seen here (this watch was issued in 1957).

The watch can be found with four different dials too, all identical apart from the Tg 195 markings. The earliest watches had no Tg 195 at all, and subsequent watches were marked either “tg 195”, “Tg 195” or “TG 195”.

The meaning of the Tg 195 isn’t clear and there is little confirmed information to be found online, but the watch is often described as a ‘bomb timer’ and is said to have been issued exclusively to the Swedish Army bomb squad. The Tg part is thought to mean Tid Givare (“Giving Time” in Swedish) but the exact meaning of 195 is unknown. There may well be more information to be found through Swedish sources, but my Swedish isn’t all that it could be. 😉

Underneath the caseback is a dust cover which when lifted uncovers a 16 jewel Lemania cal. 2225, derived from the Lemania cal. 2220 single pusher chronograph which I’ve described before (see here).

The calibre 2225 has a unique hacking mechanism added specifically for Swedish military requirements. When the pusher is pressed, the sweep second hand is reset instantly to 12 o’clock, the crown pops out to the time setting position, and the watch hacks.

Let’s have a closer look at how that works…

With the balance assembly removed you can see that under the balance wheel is a hacking lever with a thin wire on the end. When the pusher is pressed, the operating lever moves clockwise around the large pivot screw, moving the hacking lever backwards so that the wire arrests the balance. At the same time, the reset hammer moves across and disengages the intermediate driving wheel from the centre chronograph wheel. Under power from the large click spring, the reset hammer moves further across and contacts the heart on the centre chronograph wheel, resetting the second hand to zero.

There is a second screw on the operating lever (marked secondary set lever screw in the picture above) which passes through the entire calibre and into the keyless works section on the dial side of the movement, emerging in a hole in the setting lever.

When the pusher is pressed this screw also moves the setting lever forward, forcing the stem and crown to pop out into the time setting position. The watch is now hacked and ready to be synchronised.

When the crown is pressed back in, the watch is restarted; the operating lever and reset hammer are returned to their starting positions on the train side of the movement, the hacking lever moves forwards releasing the balance, and the chronograph is re-engaged.

The watch was in pretty poor shape from a cosmetic perspective and out of the case it was clear to see that the dial and hands were in poor shape. The dial was covered in a layer of dirt, the lume on the numerals had crumbled to dust, and the hands were tarnished.

From such a rough starting point the results were never going to be perfect, but with all the old lume removed, the dial cleaned and the tarnish removed from the hands, things were much improved. As the numerals on the dial now matched the patina of the rest of the dial markings, a decision was made to leave them and just the re-lume the hands.

Another problem with the watch was the crown and stem. Although the original crown was included with the watch, the stem had sheared off flush with the crown, leaving a section of the stem still inside the crown. Soaking the crown in an alum solution for a week or so to ‘eat away’ the stem inside saved the original crown, but finding a replacement stem proved difficult as the stem is unique to this calibre.

While I could have made a new stem, it was more time/cost effective to modify a stem extender to increase the length of the stem by the required amount. The steel section just below the crown is the extender and an unmodified extender is included in the picture below for reference.

Aside from the problems with the crown and stem, the movement was in reasonable condition and just needed a service and some of the tarnished parts refinishing /polishing. Here’s the watch watch all back in one piece.

If anyone has any more information about the history of the Tg 195, it would be great to hear from you.

Rich.

** Many thanks to Dave Charlton for letting me feature his watch on the blog. **