HistoricTimekeepers Restoration Services and Supplies

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Precision Watches  Services (Railroad and Deck Watches)


 

How many times have you wondered how in the world railroads ran  if all watches kept a  rate as poorly as your favorite Bunn Special?  Don't blame the watch!

When in service,  these watches  were sent only to the best watchmakers who knew (and understood) the procedures for "bringing the watch to time".  For Precision Watches, this means: a) altering the dimensions and shape of the balance pivots; and, b) the position and form of the balance spring.  These adjustments  compensate for age and wear so that the watch will maintain the same rate (plus or minus a few seconds or less) across the five of six positions in which a pocket watch is likely to be held.

The goal is not to produce a perfect timekeeper. Every mechanical measurement device has measurement (calibration) error.  The object is to ensure that measurement error is small and consistent (see Rating Marine Chronometers and Precision Watches).

Virtually any precision watch can be restored to its original function.  It simply takes a willingness to spend the time (and learn) to apply the techniques needed to restore the watch's original stability of rate.  While obtaining replacements for parts worn past "renewal" may not be as easy as writing  to the factory, there are fine quality "after market"  replacements for the most commonly needed parts.

Historic Timekeeper's Precision Watch Service involves:

  • Complete Disassembly
  • New Mainspring
  • All Pivots Renewed
  • All Hole Jewels Inspected at 50X magnification
  • Simple Cosmetic Work (Screws polished and re-blued, etc.)
  • Balance Poised
  • Escapement "matched"
  • Balance Spring Adjusted
  • Case Completely Cleaned 
  • Timing Adjusted Across Five Positions
  • Report of Timing Results

The cost of this service for a typical American Railroad Watch is $275.  Watches with Up/Down indicators (Deck Watches and some Elgin and Waltham railroad watches) are charged at $325.

 I am qualified to make virtually any part needed to restore your precision watch.  In addition to the examples I have on line (making a balance staff and making a bimetallic balance), I cut wheels  and pinions, replace bezel set jewelling, repair fusee chains, etc.  

For the Model 22 collectors, I can make all of the parts of the "safety setting" mechanism that get broken by not pushing in the safety pin when pulling out the crown.  Of course, none of this matters if the work looks like it was all done with a grinder and hacksaw.  This is one reason why I take the time to show real examples of me making the part.  You can decide for yourself if you want to entrust me with your timepiece.

The inset shows the broken safety setting spring of a WWII vintage Hamilton M22 chronometer watch.   These parts are no longer available and have to be made.  Just above the inset you can see a steel part marked with an "X" which is installed in the watch.  That is the replacement part I made.  By double clicking on the image you can view an enlargement of the photo.

 

 

 

For a well cared for watch, these should be the total charges.  However, it may be necessary to replace parts in order to ensure the rating of the watch.  For these charges, see the Additional Watch Services Page.

 

OMEGA RECOGNIZED SERVICE PROVIDER     WOSTEP CERTIFIED

For shipping  or ordering information, contact:

Dewey Clark                   410.592.9998

Email Contact:         Historictimekeepers@gmail.com

Site Created and Expanded since 1999!!

(Watch my hair go grey)