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  1. I've been a day behind for two days now. Discovering it was Friday already was a nice surprise this morning.
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  2. I would just like to thank all members, old and new, for all your support and help throughout this year and wish you all a very Merry Christmas
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  3. Morning! Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk
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  4. Thankfully I'm not the superstitious type .. ... This one's getting an outing today....
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  5. It's a beautiful morning here in sunny Devon....
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  6. Morning all, had this on yesterday .. have it on today (photo from yesterday) Nearly traded this one Monday ... !!! Hope all are warm and safe ... have a great weekend all
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  7. Lemania 'Silverstone' 5100 Herringbone Blue
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  8. It will be this one for the next 3 days, well after work today anyway!!
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  10. Sporting the Alpinist today; the compass might save my bacon if the snowstorms hit! (yeah, right)
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  11. I left the house today with an open mind and a pocket full of money... I was pretty sure that I was going to get a submariner but I had a few matters to attend to and had planned to visit three different places. The first was a stop in Bond Street where I tried on a rose gold JLC annual calendar moonphase with a display back and a black dial... I have to say this watch is even better in the flesh than in the photo's but at nearly £8,000 it wasn't an option today, I think I will be keeping my eyes open for a white dialled steel version of the same watch. I now consider it my grail. On to my aquaintance in Greys Antique market where I left my Speedmaster since there is a mark on the bezel and he said he may be able to get this seen to. Also to pick his brains on the shop in Hatton Garden with so many submariners. Nobody here could tell me anything about the people who run the establishment and I exchanged messages with the youtube sensation Paul Thorpe asking for an opinion but he had not done business with them to make any recommendation. My friend there talked about the state of the market, about how things have changed etc etc about how fair the deal I was offered was and what I should be looking for. He didn't seem to be pushing his own stock until I pointed out that he had what I was after, but then he took a look to see what deal could be done and we came to terms. I am more than happy. So the deal we did netted me this steel submariner date for a similar price to the deal that I was offered before, but this was a much better deal in my mind for a few reasons. Firstly this watch came with the box and outer sleeve and the other one did not... secondly this watch has clearly never been polished but is in EXCELLENT condition... the reason that is in caps is because it is remarkable... there are one or two very light marks on the catch but it generally looks fresh and there is zero play in the bracelet. When held sideways no droop at all. The watch was clearly either hardly worn or made very recently. Well its the best of those two, it is a 1990 watch (serial L) so its probably spent most of its time in a safe... it had an extra long bracelet so I have spare links and it had its original green label on the back of the watch. Its the 16610 model, in English it is basically one of the earliest sapphire glassed submariners... under the dial is Swiss T<25 meaning Tritium lume with less radioactivity or something like that.... To put it bluntly the watch ticks all the boxes perfectly for my personal preferences so I am a happy bunny, and I bought it from a guy that is trustworthy, looks after me and I have done business with in the past... so I have much more piece of mind than if I had bought from a random business.
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  12. This vintage Rolex 1030 movement arrived in sad shape. It had a number of problems, one resulting from lack of regular servicing and the other from botched work. Our first task is to repair a worn arbor bushing in the barrel bridge. This is a good example of what happens if you don't service movements on a regular interval, and remove the gunk that was oil and that at one time lubricated the pivots. But now, as a result of contaminants such as dust (which is very abrasive), the oil has become an effective grinding paste which very quickly can wear the pivots and arbors, with no access to spares, especially where vintage watches are concerned, the only hope is to restore the watch by repairing it, as such you can expect higher repair costs than servicing alone, along with loss of originality. So lets have a look at the state of the movement, always a surprise to see the dirt and gunk that seeps past the worn out dried o'rings in the crown and tube. One of the biggest weaknesses of poor servicing, no one seems to want to change the o'rings in the crowns and tubes. This looks like a piece of aluminium and how it got here is beyond me. During the disassembly I notice a wear mark on the barrel bridge, there shouldn't be one because the winding wheel should not touch the bridge and on the winding wheel there is also a wear spot So next I check the end and side shakes of the barrel and this is what I find. With the barrel sitting normal there is the proper clearance between it and the bottom of the barrel bridge. If I press on the side of the barrel with a piece of pegwood this is what happens, there is so much side shake that the barrel is touching the bottom of the bridge, this is not acceptable and has to be repaired. If you look closely at the barrel bushing you can see that one side is worn out. So I can't leave that damage in place, it has to be repaired. Barrel Bridge repair The bridge is removed and installed in my jewelling tool for reaming of the hole. I use the jewelling tool not only because it has reamers, but more importantly the hole I cut has to be perfectly upright with regards to the bridge, using the jewelling tool ensures that it's done properly. Overall view of the tool with the reamer in place and ready to cut away the damage. Because the damage is less than 1/2 of the overall circumference I am not worried about the new hole not being centered, or that I create a depthing error between the barrel and center wheel. I remove a bit of material at a time, and check as I progress on the relationship between the wear mark and the new hole, once the reamer reaches the same circumference as the wear spot, I'll stop. Close up view of the reaming taking place. Here's the results, a nice round hole perfectly centered on the original location. With that taken care of, I am left with a burr on both sides of the bridge, so these are carefully removed with a cutter, done by hand so that I don't take away too much material. Next step is to make a new brass bushing, starting with some raw round bar in the lathe. The ID is drilled undersize so that I can custom fit it to the arbour once it's in place. The OD is machined to a few hundred's oversize so that I can get a nice friction fit. Here's a view of the gap I have to fill, you can see the barrel arbor location compared to the enlarged hole that the bushing has to fill. The new bushing is parted off and ready for installation, it is seated from below, just flush with the top surface. Close up view once it's pressed home and secured with a drop of loctite. Extra material left over on the bottom of the bridge that I will file away very carefully. And with some careful reaming the final fit with the end and side shakes adjusted, problem solved...but more to come, there were other issues that needed fixing. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this job. So after the repair to the barrel bridge, the remainder of the servicing and inspection and assembly went well. No other problems were noted with the movement, that is until I wound it up and was faced with a balance doing about + - 90 degrees of amplitude. After all the normal checks under my 4X loupe and not finding any issues, I got out the microscope and had a closer look at the staff pivots, and noted that they had circular groves on them as well as a slight bend. Balance Staff Replacement I went ahead and removed the collet and hairspring, normally an easy job, but instead of the normal twist the collet off while pulling up and it loosens and comes right off, in this case the collet was doing the reverse, and tightening as I tried to remove it. Only by using the lifting levers was I able to get the collet off and then I immediately noted the problem, the collet seat on the staff was quite damaged and covered with turning groves. Taking off the roller table I found similar damage, so someone replaced the staff at some time in the past and did a botched job of it. Here's a view of the staff, if you wonder why I didn't note the pivot damage under the 4X loupe, consider that the overall length of the staff is 3mm and the pivots have a diameter of 0.07mm, quite small by anyone's standards. Note how rough the collet seat is. Here's an overall view of the balance with old staff, the roller table and the hairspring I know that some watchmakers believe that cutting away the staff rivet is not required before you punch out the staff, but I am not one of them. The only proper way to ensure that you don't damage the balance arm during staff removal, is to cut the rivet on the staff that secures it to the balance arm. The balance staff is attached to the balance arm by peening and riveting the staff to the arm, so before pressing the staff out of the arm I will cut the rivet head off, here is the balance in the lathe getting the rivet cut off. Once the rivet head is gone, there is no risk of damage to the balance arm, so the staff is pressed out with my Platax tool. Staff is out and no damage caused to the arm. Next up, lets install my new staff. New Balance Staff Here is an overall size view of the new staff before installation. And here is the staff being riveted in the staking set. I always use a stump or a reverso punch to not risk damaging the plate on the tool. Next the roller table is installed, then the balance is mounted in the movement and the balance cock put in place and secured. Before going any further I check the end and side shakes and the alignment with the roller table and pallet, it all looks good. Here is a nice close up of the pallet and roller alignment. The next mandatory step is to "poise" the balance, making sure it has no heavy spots. Of all the steps required for a proper staff replacement, poising has to be the most important as far as time keeping is concerned. The balance with roller table installed is mounted in a perfectly level poising tool, and rotated gently. Never blow on any watch parts, especially a balance, blowing always includes spit, which is not good for watches at all. The fine paint brush is used to gently rotate the balance checking for a heavy point. For the poising to be accurate, the staff has to sit on the flat part of the pivots, not on the rounded conical section. It's unlikely that you will ever have a staff replacement where the poise is good, in this case it was out, one side was very heavy, most probably partially due to the botched work of the prior watchmaker. In fact the poise was out by so much that I had to install copper washers on the light side of the balance to get it even close to being poised. Here you can see the copper washers being installed under the timing screws. Once I had the washers installed and the poise close to what it needed to be, I did the final adjustment with the cutter and removed a slight bit off the heavy screw head. Next step is to reinstall the hairspring, making sure to get the beat as close as possible to avoid repeated removals and installations of the balance wheel. And finally the balance is installed on the movement, it's given a wind and the amplitude is now over 270 degrees up from the 90 degrees I had with the old staff. I check the poise by placing the movement in a vertical position on the timer, and because there is no change to the rate it confirms that the poise is good. If this movement had been serviced at regular 5 year intervals, it would not have worn out the barrel bushing. As far as the original damaged balance staff, that comes down to an unqualified or unskilled watchmaker not doing his job properly. Moral of the story, service your watch on a regular basis and make sure you use a competent watchmaker. Thank you for reading.
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  14. Rotary Rotamatic Ltd Edition......just arrived
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  15. Won't be buying anymore watches, so long as this one doesn't pack up. It does everything so well. Dress, Daily, even 'beater' with the 100m Oyster Case and Twin Lock Crown. Quick swish with the cape cod, its like new. Resin crystal so that bits throw away. Superbly practical. Sturdy Oyster bracelet. It really is a 'lifetime watch'. Nice eta in there, so even servicing costs will be sensible over the years I've got left.
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  16. Heuer 2446 (Val 72) on Gay Freres bracelet
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  17. Happy first Friday in January everyone. Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk
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  18. This little beauty for me today (and over the weekend probably). Arrived yesterday and I am so pleased with it. It looks amazing in the flesh and wears very, very comfortably.
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  19. This one has been a bit neglected this week, time to give it some much deserved wrist time I think! J
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  20. Well firstly, a huge thank you to Roy, the mods and the regulars for putting up with me for 3000 posts. I thought I might mark this with a little photo essay showing some of my favourite pictures. The watches are all, or have been, part of my collection and I have taken the photographs myself, mainly wrist shots on location. So, the star of my collection is of course my gorgeous Tank Solo XL. Here it is just about to go out for dinner in Cyprus. Same holiday, on the balcony with my favourite Saint James T-shirt, Panama and Blue Mako. Bit of a theme, what? My beautiful 1966 Longines. Pidduck was the top jeweller in the town where I grew up (sadly closed in 1992) so I was delighted to pick this one up. My favourite grab and go watch is the Christopher Ward C3, seen here in Portugal on a moonlit night. Next we have the Yellow Mako in its natural habitat...gulet cruise in Turkey! I'm a bit of a morning person so here's my lovely Enicar ready for work. I might produce a few more later when the Friday night alcohol kicks in. But now I need my supper. Do please feel free to post your own favourite pictures. And, as ever, thanks for reading!
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  22. The postman came before eight a m bearing a parcel from Wrench. Inside is a watch that has grabbed me like no other in a long time ......a Rotary Les Originales Super 25 Rotamatic limited edition First a huge thanks to to the very generous Wrench , a lovely watch from a gentleman. Here it is..... Wood box, papers, the watch. Absolutely mint condition. Sapphire glass, steel case with display back, butterfly clasp on leather. 42 mm, an optimum size for me. Just beautiful . ETA 2482 gold wash movement, limited edition number. And on the wrist. The quality is amazing, and imho it looks the bees knees I look forward to a lot of wrist time. As you may gather I am chuffed to bits. Thanks for reading. Cheers
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  24. Still wearing my most recent arrival... J.Springs, (NPEA003), Cal. Y675C 21 Jewels. Plus an old friend... STOWA `Marine`, Unitas cal.6498 17 jewels.
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  25. Week-end already for me in Dubai, so relaxing at the beach on Vintage case
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  26. My first Sea Urchin and my first purchase from Creation Arrived in three days and no import tax – Japanese measuring instruments don't incur VAT apparently
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  29. With a ton of thanks to a regular trading mucker, ThomasR. Our various deals must equal the GDP of a small South East Asian country. 1966 Datejust non-quickset with gold bezel and champagne dial. I am going to wear it on leather and have provisionally put it on this brown strap due to it being un-backed and soft as butter and therefore very comfortable for a stick insect. I'll be searching for a more appropriate one. I don't much fancy either bi-colour jubilee bracelets with it due to an ugly slop of the clasp when adjusted down to the bone. A better aftermarket effort may be sourced. Observant viewers may note that I lost concentration while moving the date forward by many days. Thank you very much Thomas.
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  34. Steinhart Ocean One Bronze for today. Until a change for this evening's family bun fight outing (DC's birthday)
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  37. Snow here at present so this to keep me warm.................now that it's back.
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  39. OMEGA ELECTRONIC f300Hz (cal.1250) Seamaster CHRONOMETER, circa 1972. TITUS TUNING FORK, ESA cal.9162,circa mid 1970s.
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  40. Yep....another oldie. 1930's Astor. Cal:FHF 127-1, 15 jewel. Rolled (rose) gold curved case & Bonklip 'type' bracelet. I do wear this one quite frequently when attending functions, as it is extremely comfortable on the wrist. It was in as near mint condition when I purchased it some years ago.
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  41. Today, I will mostly be wearing, Well, Well. Even have the same shirt on.................Yes it has been washed. Rob....
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  42. One of these two for sure, but I can never decide which.
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  44. What's defining "best" here ? My best, as in one I'd set out to achieve and did do. The Snowflake.
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  45. Too many omegas in this year making it a hard choice. But between the moonwatch and the 16660, has to be the 16660 because of the tritium dial and hands.
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  46. Few of the lads (bling9er, LFB,) get together in Newcastle for a Xmas curry.
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  47. Who's the PADI??? Who's the PADI??? Ever so glad I eventually plundered one of these beauts.
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  49. Last day at work before the break, and our works do at lunchtime. I think I'll take the SMP.
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