Wristwatch restoration, servicing and repair

Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

Bulova MIL-W-3818A (Bulova Cal. 10BNCH)…

I’ve written about a couple of US military issued watches in the past and here’s another one, this time from Bulova.

(Click pictures to enlarge)

Bulova produced watches for ‘general purpose use’ by the US Army, Navy and Air Force in accordance with the US military specification MIL-W-3818A. Although the year of production isn’t engraved on the caseback of this model they can be dated quite accurately as the MIL-W3818A specification was first introduced in March 1956 and was revised to become the MIL-W-3818B in October 1962, meaning that any Bulova bearing a MIL-W-3818A inscription will have been made between those two dates.

Although Bulova submitted a watch in 1962 for testing against the new requirements, it didn’t meet the exacting standard and the Benrus DTU-2A/P became the watch issued under the MIL-W-3818B specification. (For any interested parties I wrote about the Benrus DTU-2A/P on the blog a few years ago, that post here.)

As with previous US military watches the caseback on the Bulova is engraved with plenty of information including the MIL-W-3818A specification number, the Serial Number, Federal Stock Number and the Contract Number under which the watch was produced.

Inside the caseback the movement is protected by a substantial dust cover…

… which when removed, reveals a 15 jewel manually wound calibre, the Bulova cal. 10BNCH. In this case complete and running but quite dirty.

The cal. 10BNCH was produced in two variants, the 15 jewel calibre seen here and also a 17 jewel version which was used in another military watch, the A17A, produced by Bulova specifically for use by the US Air Force.

It’s worth taking a small detour here to point out the differences between the two as they appear almost identical and it’s important to know what to look out for if you were to buy (or sell) one of these watches. As well as having the 17 jewel 10BNCH movement, the A17A was fitted with straight hands with a defined point and a second hand with a ball at one end and an luminous arrow at the tip.

They were produced in accordance with the MIL-W-6433A specification which was more stringent in terms of testing than the 3818 specification. All A17A watches should be clearly marked on the caseback with the model and specification numbers and also with ‘WATCH NAVIG.’ which denotes that they were produced specifically for use by navigators and pilots.

Getting back to the 10BNCH calibre, in most cases manufacturers modified an existing ‘civilian’ calibre to make it adhere to the military specification, ie. adding shock protection and/or a hacking mechanism. However  from my limited research it seems that Bulova produced the cal. 10BNCH specifically for use in their military wristwatches.

I’m always intrigued by the diversity of hacking mechanisms designs in mechanical watches and the one in the 10BNCH consists of two pivoting levers and a shared tension spring.

When the crown is pulled out the tension on the spring is released and the levers are forced apart, the lever on the left arresting the balance. Simple but effective.

With the movement serviced, the case cleaned and the crystal polished it was time to rebuild. Although the lume on the dial numerals had obviously deteriorated and the lume in the hands had been replaced at some point, it was all still in a stable condition and was left to preserve the history of the watch.

One thing I like about this watch is that the crown gasket isn’t contained inside the crown as it is in most watches making it very difficult to get out once it has hardened after several decades in-situ. On the Bulova case the gasket is contained inside a screwed-in section in the case tube, the seal being made between the gasket and the central section of the crown which makes changing it a breeze regardless of how hard it is – great!

Here’s the watch all cleaned up. What isn’t clear from the pictures is the size of the watch. At just 32mm in diameter (excluding the crown) and with a lug width of 16mm it is pretty small by modern standards but perfectly wearable.

Finally, it’s worth noting that most Bulova watches can be dated accurately as they have a coded date letter and number on either the case or movement – the movement in this watch has the code “M1”, dating it to 1961. The letter “L” denotes the 1950’s, “M” the 60’s, “N” the 70’s and so on. For example, “L5” would be 1955, “M7” 1967 and “N1”, 1971.

Rich.

** Many thanks to Rick Cole 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.

(Click pictures to enlarge)

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. **


Marathon GG-W-113 (ETA Cal. 2801-2)…

Made by the Marathon Watch Co. for the US forces, this military watch is something of a rarity.

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Since the Vietnam war, mechanical watches were produced for US military personnel under the specification “GG-W-113” mainly by three US based manufacturers, Benrus, Hamilton and to a lesser extent, Waltham.

Produced for a period of just one year, between 1984-5, the watch in this post is somewhat unusual as although produced by the Marathon Watch Co. under the same specification, it varies significantly from the near identical watches produced by the other manufacturers.

The most noticeable difference is the dial text which is plentiful on the Marathon. As well as the brand name and jewel count, it also states that the watch was produced for the US Government along with a H3 and radiation symbol (used on US military watches to denote that tritium is used in the luminous compound).

In comparison, the Hamilton is ‘sterile’ with nothing more than the hour markings.

The case on the Marathon is also a different design to the Hamilton and Benrus watches and is thought to be a modified version of the case used on the CWC G10 quartz watch issued to British Military personnel during the same period. The most noticeable modification being the lug width which is reduced to just 16mm on the Marathon.

Rather being a one piece case design where the watch is removed from the case via the crystal, like the CWC G10, the Marathon case has a very secure snap-back case on which the military markings are engraved. As well as the model and federal stock numbers, the issue date of March 1985 can be clearly seen on the last line.

Inside the Marathon is a Gallet branded ETA cal. 2801-2, a 17 jewel manual wind calibre with a beat rate of 28,800 bph.

This too is something of a diversion from the other manufacturers who all used the ETA cal. 2750, still a fine calibre but with a lower beat rate of 21,600 bph. In both cases the calibres were fitted with hacking levers to conform to the military specification.

The watch needed no more than a routine service and a small tweak to the hacking lever which was reluctant to release its grip on the balance when the crown was returned to the winding position. So, a straight forward job this time but not a watch you’ll see every day.

Here it is after a clean for the case, crystal polish and rebuild.

Finding an original version of one of these watches may be tricky, so it’s worth noting that Marathon released an re-issue of the watch last year in a limited edition run of just 600.

Rich.

** Many thanks to Stephen Brown for letting me feature his watch on the blog. **


Cyma W.W.W. (Cyma Cal. 234)…

This time it’s a Cyma W.W.W., another of the watches produced for the British Military.

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The abbreviation “W.W.W” stands for “Watch Wristlet Waterproof” which is used specifically to identify this style of watch. In the early 1940’s the British Ministry Of Defence issued a new specification for wristwatches for use by military personnel and Cyma were one of twelve manufacturers who submitted watches that were accepted for military use, the others being; Vertex, IWC, JLC, Grana, Timor, Longines, Omega, Buren, Eterna, Lemania and Record.

Together these watches are known as the “Dirty Dozen” by military watch enthusiasts and collecting an example of all twelve is difficult as some were only made in small numbers. Here is one such set belonging to a military watch collector in the US.

Picture: Roger Glickman (Click to enlarge)

The Cyma, as you can see in the picture above, is the largest of the set at 38mm and is one of the models with a solid steel case. Most of the watches had plated cases which makes finding a full set all in good condition more difficult.

As you can see in the first picture, the watch arrived in a pretty scruffy state with the lume scattered all over the dial. The watch did tick, albeit weakly, and judging by the condition of the sub-second hand which had obviously been very clumsily removed in the past, I was curious about the condition of the movement.

As is common to many military watches, the movement is protected by an anti-magnetic dust cover and the military markings are engraved on both sides of the caseback.

Once inside, I was quite relieved to find that the movement, a 15 jewel Cyma cal. 234 was intact and in relatively good order. It obviously hadn’t been serviced for a long time but everything was present and correct.

Many of the calibres used in military watches are good quality and this one is no exception. The edges of the plates are bevelled, the train wheel and anchor jewels are all mounted in chatons and the movement plates are decorated with broad geneva stripes. (The dial side of the main plate is also decorated with perlage.)

As you can also see in the first picture, the case was very dirty and a lot of dirt had built up between the crystal and case. The crystal would need to be removed before the case could be cleaned in the ultrasonic tank.

Similar to the Nivada Grenchen Depthmaster which I wrote about a couple of years ago, the crystal in this watch is held in place by a securing ring screwed into the inside of the case. As these rings are rarely removed, typically only when the crystal gets damaged, the securing ring can be very difficult to remove – a bench mounted case opener is the best way to tackle the job.

The lume on the dial and hands was in particularly poor shape and there was no option but to remove it all and renew it, this time in a vintage beige/brown similar to the original.

With the case cleaned and crystal polished, the movement serviced and the re-luming work done, the final job was to repair the sub-second hand before the watch could be rebuilt. Here is it all back in one piece.

One final point to note about the calibre in this Cyma is that it has an unusual fine regulating mechanism mounted on the balance cock.

Rather than moving the regulator arm back and forth as in most micro-adjusters, this system moves the pinning point back and forth, effectively moving the hairspring between the curb pin and boot of the regulator, increasing or decreasing its effective length.

The mechanism pivots around the small screw in the centre with the hairspring pinning point on the left hand side. The large screw on the right (the screw next to the ‘F’) is eccentric and turning it moves the pinning point in and out. Once the timekeeping has been regulated successfully, the small screw of the side of the balance cock locks the eccentric screw in place.

It is certainly an unconventional mechanism and I believe it is unique to this calibre.

Rich.

** Many thanks to Kai Chew for letting me feature his watch on the blog. **


Lemania Tg 195 Chronograph (Lemania Cal. 2225)…

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

(Click pictures to enlarge)

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. **


Sterile 6BB ‘Lost’ Navigator (A. Schild Cal. 2160)…

Another British Military watch on the blog this time, and something of an enigma.

(Click pictures to enlarge)

I’ve written about several of the watches that were issued to British Military personnel from well known makers such as Lemania, Hamilton and CWC, but the origins of the watch in this post are unknown – who made it? And why?

At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking it is a modern watch made in a ‘military style’, quartz powered and dare I say cheaply made, but that certainly isn’t the case.

The watch is very similar in style and size to the W10 made by Hamilton from 1973-76 and subsequently by CWC from 1976-80 and it shares all of the attributes required to adhere to the strict standards for military use.

The dial is missing a makers mark or brand name which is why this watch is known as the ‘Sterile’ Navigator, but it still adheres to military standards; the dial has the Broad Arrow symbol, arabic numerals inside a clear minute track, a luminous triangle at 12 and the hands and hour markers are all lumed – in this case with a Tritium based lume as evidenced by the circled ‘T’ on the dial.

I’ve serviced several of these watches now and in all cases the dial print was still crisp and the lume retained its original bright green colour, suggesting that they age better than the Hamilton/CWC watches, particularly the lume which has often deteriorated/darkened on the W10’s after several decades of use.

Turning the watch over, the military markings are clear; the Broad Arrow symbol, ’6BB’ denotes that this watch was issued to a member of the RAF, the next 13 digits are the NSN (NATO Stock Number) and underneath issue number and year.

The case is opened by removing the crystal and splitting the two-piece stem, and inside is a 17 jewel, manually wound calibre made by A. Schild, the cal. 2160.

The cal. 2160 is a step up in quality over the ETA cal. 2750 found in the Hamilton and CWC. It has a higher beat rate, 28,800 bph as opposed to 21,600 bph, and also has a micro-adjustment mechanism mounted on the balance cock for more accurate regulation.

The inclusion of the micro-adjuster isn’t standard across the whole 21xx range. I’ve had identical calibres with and without the micro-adjuster over the years, and I suspect it was added later in the production run. As the 21xx’s were pretty much the top of the line for A. Schild calibres during the 1970’s, they probably deserved a few functional enhancements. Here is a picture of a cal. 2162 from an Aquastar Benthos 500 which also has the micro-adjuster.

The cal. 2160 also has a hacking mechanism which was another MOD requirement to allow all wristwatches to be quickly and efficiently synchronised. I’ve serviced most of A. Schild’s 21xx calibres now and I’ve never seen a hacking mechanism on any calibre except the 2160, which suggests that it was added specifically for use in this watch.

Looking at the hacking mechanism you can see that it was designed into the calibre, rather than being something of an afterthought (as would appear to be the case with the Benrus DTU-2A/P!)

In the picture above, the stem is pushed all the way in – in the winding position – and so the stem presses on hacking lever, it pivots around the fixed axis (just above the castle wheel) and the lower arm of the lever releases the balance allowing it to rotate freely.

When the stem is pulled out – to the time setting position – the winding stem is withdrawn, the upper arm of the hacking lever provides the tension necessary to press the lower arm into contact with the balance wheel, arresting its rotation and ‘hacking’ the watch.

The watch arrived in decent condition and needed no more than a movement service, a crystal polish and an ultrasonic clean for the case, so here it is all back in one piece.

So, who made these watches? With no markings on the dial, movement or inside the case, the jury is still out.

It is thought that around 2000 were made, all of which were issued in 1976. This is around the time that the contract with Hamilton ended, and the new contract with CWC began, so could it be that this watch was a potential replacement for the Hamilton W10? Was an order for 2000 pieces placed as a trial before the contract was finally awarded to CWC? If so, why was it completely unbranded?

If anyone has any information about the history of these watches, it would be great to hear from you.

Rich.

** Many thanks to Lee Curtis for letting me feature his watch on the blog, and to Terry Andrews whose article on the same subject provided valuable information for this post. **


Benrus DTU-2A/P (Benrus Cal. DR 2F2)

The majority of military watches on the blog so far were issued to British service personnel, but this time it’s an American Benrus DTU-2A/P.

(Click pictures to enlarge)

One of several US watch companies to help the war effort, Benrus produced wristwatches for WWII service personnel as well as timing devices for bombs and other weaponry. Although seen as a burden to most, the war years were particularly good for Benrus.

As all the other contributing US watch companies (Waltham, Elgin and Hamilton) had manufacturing bases in the US, they were required to produce additional items, often unrelated to their core business which required modifications to their production facilities. As Benrus didn’t have a manufacturing base in the US, they avoided these ‘distractions’ and continued to import movements for their own watches from Switzerland. This allowed them to steal a march on their competitors and increase their share of the civilian market both during and after the war.

In 1962 the Department of Defence revised the existing MIL-W-3818A standard for military wristwatches with the aim of increasing quality, removing the need to re-test all watches every year, and to introduce a new case design. As a result of the changes a number of companies submitted watches to the DoD for testing, namely; Longines-Wittnauer, Mathey-Tissot, Bulova, Benrus and Clinton. Of all the models submitted, the Benrus DTU-2A/P was the only watch to meet their strict requirements and was subsequently supplied to military personnel between 1964 and 1969.

Turning the watch over, you’re confronted with an array of information; the Federal Stock, Mil. Spec., and Manufacturing Part numbers around the bevelled section, the Contract and Serial numbers in the centre along with the issue date, March 1969 in this case. (According to the current owner, this watch was bought from a house sale in Minneapolis from a Vietnam veteran who had photographs of his time serving in Vietnam war – all good provenance.)

You’ll notice that the case has regular spring bars rather than the fixed spring bars seen on the majority of military watch, and that the caseback shows signs of ‘Nato rash’ – a wear pattern often seen running up the centre of the caseback on any watch that has been worn for a long time on a Nato strap.

Much like the Hamilton W10 issued to British service personnel, the Benrus is housed in a one-piece case. The split stem has be separated first, followed by the removal of the crystal to gain access to the movement which sits in a spacer inside the case to ensure a secure fit.

The movement inside is a Benrus cal. DR 2F2, a manually wound 17 jewel calibre based on the ETA cal. 2370. Benrus modified the base calibre to add a ‘hacking’ mechanism which was required to adhere to the military specification.

A hacking mechanism is a means of temporarily stopping the watch – when the crown is pulled out to set the time, the second hand stops so the watch can be synchronised with another timepiece. The mechanism in the Benrus calibre is shown below, and like many others is a pretty simple affair.

The mechanism is little more than a spring loaded lever with a pin mounted on it. When the crown is pushed all the way in, the end of the stem presses on the hacking lever and moves the pin away from the balance wheel. When the stem is pulled out, the lever swings across under the tension from the spring on the right and the pin arrests the balance. Simple, but effective.

The movement was in good condition and needed no more than a routine service, and the rest of the watch was in good cosmetic condition too with the original lume still intact on the hour markers and hands. The only problem was the second hand which had tarnished and the lume (which would originally have been along the length of the hand with an orange tip) had deteriorated into dust and had to be removed.

Here’s the watch back in service.

Rich.

** Many thanks to Joel Uden for letting me feature his watch on the blog. **


Lemania Chronograph (Lemania Cal. 1872)…

I’ve written about a number of British Military chronographs already on the blog, but this one is something of a rarity, a two pusher chronograph from Lemania.

(Click pictures to enlarge)

Lemania produced chronographs for the British Military from the 1940’s onwards, the majority of them having just a single pusher; subsequent presses of the pusher start, stop and reset the chronograph and there is no way to restart the timer without resetting. The earliest watches were built around the Lemania cal. 15CHT and later models, introduced in the 1960’s, were powered by Lemania’s excellent cal. 2220. I’ve written about both models in the past, see the 15CHT here, and the 2220 here.

In the early 1970’s the Ministry of Defence made a significant change to the defence standardisation document relating to wrist chronographs (DEF STAN 66-4), subsequently allowing a chronograph to have either ‘one or two pushpieces’.

This opened the door for the use of more commercially viable (read: cheaper) movements, namely the Valjoux cal. 7733. For the next decade the majority of mechanical chronographs were supplied by four companies; Hamilton, Precista, Newmark and CWC  (see an example here), until the introduction of the quartz chronograph rendered them obsolete.

Lemania weren’t completely sidelined during this period as they also produced a limited number of two pusher chronographs. However, the watches were only issued in 1975 and 1976, making them one of the rarer military watches.

Looking at the caseback, you can see the military markings; the ‘0552’ denotes that the watch was issued to a member of the Royal Navy, and the year of issue as you can see is 1975.

Inside the watch is a Lemania cal. 1872, a calibre that will be recognised by many vintage chronograph enthusiasts as it was used in many good quality civilian chronographs.

As well as being issued to British Military personnel, a small number of 1872 powered watches were also produced by Lemania for the Swedish and South African Air Forces. Although the movements may have been the same, the cases, dials and hands were different and as these watches were produced in low volumes, they are now very collectible.

The watch in this post arrived in running order and the movement was in very good condition, thanks in part to an inner dust cover which in addition to a regular caseback gasket, further protects the movement from the elements.

Though the movement needed no more than a routine service to bring it back to its best, the watch did have a few cosmetic issues. The lume in the hands had cracked, almost to the point of falling out, and the centre bosses of the hour and minute hand had lost most of their paint.

The dial had a number of stains too, all of which would need to be addressed…

Tackling stained dials is a tricky business as there is always a risk that in attempting to remove the stain, a section of paint can lift from the dial surface, or the paint can be tarnished under the stain – thankfully neither of those things happened here. The stains appeared to be patches of oil which were removed successfully, albeit very carefully, with rodico.

The old lume was removed from the hands and the centre bosses were re-painted, the paint being colour matched to the original so as not to be too obvious, and finally the hands were re-lumed, the colour of the lume being matched to the hour markers.

As a final step, the case was cleaned and the crystal polished before the watch could be rebuilt. Here it is all back in one piece.

Rich.

** Many thanks to Nick Burridge for letting me feature his watch on the blog. **