1971 repair issue.

thejake27's picture

     I recently had my 1971 Oceanographer "repaired".  My problem is this.  Every day it loses about ten minutes between 11:15 P.M. and Midnight when the calender begins to cycle.  Any ideas why this happens?  I presume that it's because the date gear begins to engage and therfore puts added strain on the main or hairspring.  What should I do? 

bobbee's picture
bobbee
Posted April 13, 2014 - 1:28am

Take it back to the repairer/jeweler where you had the work done, he should be happy to put it right.

 

thejake27's picture
thejake27
Posted April 13, 2014 - 10:41am

Thank you for your reply.  I will take it back to the shop Monday.  Is this a common problem?

bobbee's picture
bobbee
Posted April 13, 2014 - 2:17pm

To be honest, I have not heard of this one before!

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted April 13, 2014 - 4:59pm

Panel Member

If the watch has not been fully serviced, any number of problems could be at fault. Mechanical watches need to be properly serviced ( called a CTR ) every 4-6 years, and this involves full disassembly, cleaning in modern fluids without ultrasonic (it strips plating) and reassembly with proper lubrication, demagnetization and regulation. In 99.9 per cent of cases, hairspring adjustment is necessary, and the mainspring should be replaced every other CTR. 

You cannot oil a dirty watch, and if the watch has dried out  the residue left behind can act like an abrasive. 

If the watch has been damaged in any past repairs, this can affect how the date flips over, and I often find these calendar watches damaged under the dial by unqualified hands. If the running watch slows down to flip the calendar mechanism, it could be the result of a number of other faults, also. Mainspring creep in automatics, as well as set mainsprings, will mean reduced power, and faults in the train can cause this also. Improper re-assembly is the most common culprit, and may cause binding of the date disc or rough movement of the calendar mechanism in general. 

Whoever did the repair should be able to set it right, or know what is wrong and why. 

thejake27's picture
thejake27
Posted April 13, 2014 - 6:45pm

Thank you.  I will be taking it back to him tomorrow.  I should not be charged again as I have already paid, yes?

Reverend Rob's picture
Reverend Rob
Posted April 13, 2014 - 8:29pm

Panel Member

As with all vintage watches, even a full CTR might not restore a watch to original running condition. Depending on how often the watch was serviced in the past, there is wear on the parts, and eventually some might have to be replaced. This can become not economically feasible unless the watch is very valuable. If the jewels are worn and damaged, for example, they can be replaced, but this adds to the cost. Even synthetic rubies will wear, given the right conditions. 

Pivots, wheels, and plates can become worn to the point where they interfere with the proper running of the watch. 

A serviced watch can suffer a mechanical failure that is not related to the work already done on it. If your watch has a broken part now that is a result of metal fatigue, for example, it is unrelated to the overhaul done, and falls into the category of continuing repair or maintenance. 

As an example, I had CTR'd an old Bulova for a customer, and a month later the setting lever spring broke. This was not related to the service I had done, and I explained this, but the customer was angry that something new had gone wrong. I replaced the part with a NOS one, and didn't charge the customer for the additional work. He didn't appreciate this in any way at all, and left feeling that I had failed to restore the watch to perfection the first time. 

Your watchmaker should be able to assess what is wrong with the watch, and it may be unrelated, or it may be something overlooked, but really, if he is honest he will tell you exactly what is wrong and offer a solution. A good result really often depends on the watch being treated well over its history. Watches that are badly mistreated or abused and neglected can be restored, but a lifetime of neglect can make this a very expensive or unlikely candidate for success. 

thejake27's picture
thejake27
Posted April 13, 2014 - 8:37pm

Thank you for the info.  At the time that I picked up my watch I asked him how much time I should expect to lose.  He replied that 2-3 minutes could be lost every day, which I thought was not unreasonable considering that the watch had not been run in about twenty years or so.  10 minutes every day at such a specific time has got to be something else all together in my opionion.