Wristwatch restoration, servicing and repair

Roamer Stingray S (MST Cal. 471)…

I’ve written about a Roamer Stingray before on the blog and here’s another one, this time a Stingray S.

(Click pictures to enlarge)

Produced from 1967 until 1973, the Stingray S was Roamer’s first watch made specifically for diving, featuring a thicker crystal, an internal bezel to prevent accidental rotation and a depth rating of 660ft (200 metres).

The watch in this post is the first model which was made between 1967-68, recognisable by the blue cross-hair dial and silver baton hands. Later models took on a more striking appearance which could be argued would have been more legible when diving. The later watches all had matt black dials, contrasting hands, a more distinct inner bezel with bold red or white figures and a round lume dot in place of the non-lumed triangle on the earlier model.

The later models were also fitted with a 28 jewel movement rather than the 44 jewel movement used in the first model – signified by the ’44’ printed on the dial. The case was also upgraded late in the production run to include a crown guard for the exposed crown at 3 and the lug width was increased from 18 to 20mm so a more substantial bracelet or strap could be fitted.

Here’s an Australian advert from the period to show how the watch was originally marketed. (You’ll notice that this is one the late models too as it has the crown guard mentioned above.)

The watch in this post arrived in reasonable condition, running, but desperately needing a service.

Like other Stingrays that feature Roamer’s patented waterproof case design, the upper part of the case traps the crystal between the two case sections to ensure a water tight seal.

With the top half of the case removed, the crystal can be prised off and the bezel is simply lifted out to reveal the winding gear attached to the stem and crown positioned at 3 o’clock. The two piece stem and crown also needs to be separated before the watch can be removed from the case. The crown was an obvious (and ugly!) replacement so a genuine Roamer branded crown and stem was sourced to put things right.

In most examples of Roamer’s case design, the crystal holds the movement in place but as this watch has an internal bezel that needs clearance to rotate, that approach can’t be used here. Instead the movement is secured inside the case using two clamps and screws (the eagle eyed may have noticed that a securing screw was missing in the picture above.)

Out of the case the movement was something of a surprise, a 28 jewel MST cal. 471. Given that the dial has the ‘roto44date’ markings, I expected to see a 44 jewel version of the calibre rather than the 28.

Whether the movement has been exchanged at some time in its near 50 year history or the 28 jewel version has been installed from the start, who knows? Nevertheless it’s still a fine in-house calibre that needed no more than routine service to bring it back into line.

Although the original lume had deteriorated slightly, it was largely intact so there was no additional cosmetic work needed this time, aside from a well needed ultrasonic clean for the case and light re-brushing of the case top. Here’s the watch all finished up and looking great on its original NSA bracelet.

Finally, here’s a close up picture of the Stingray caseback. Like the Certina DS caseback I wrote about last month, it’s another classic vintage detail.

For more information on the various Stingray models and vintage Roamers in general, check out this excellent site dedicated to the brand: http://roamer-watches.info/

Rich.

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


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