Why Servicing Your Own Watches Is Awesome

As a watch collector, you should learn how to service your own watches.

I don’t want to proclaim that everyone can easily learn how to do so. I don’t want to proclaim that we don’t need professional watchmakers. Don’t fetch the toolbox to immediately start tinkering with your vintage Rolex.

I’m talking about servicing a nice manual wound mechanical watch that you bought at a flea market. Or maybe you won a nice lot of mechanical watches on eBay that you like to restore. When you’re more experienced, you could also maintain your own collection.

There are several reasons why I think that you should learn how to service a watch.

  1. It adds an extra dimension to the hobby. You’ll appreciate your timepieces more, especially the mechanical part.
  2. Being able to wear a watch that you’ve serviced or restored yourself is extremely satisfying.
  3. You’d be able to save money if you could perform basic services or minor repairs yourself.
  4. You’ll appreciate watchmakers, and the work they do, more.

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Restoration: Orex dress watch Durowe 1032

This Orex found its way to my bench. It’s a German brand, registered in 1951 in Pforzheim. This watch suddenly stopped running while being worn and it wasn’t accurate.

The movement is a Durowe 1032. The dial says Duroswing but the movement has a Protax shock protection system. That’s odd and it would suggest that the movement has been swapped at one time.

I’d say this watch is from the late 50’s.

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Restoration: Tissot Antimagnetique cal. 27

Another Tissot Antimagnetique on WahaWatches. This one with the base caliber, the Tissot 27. The serial number is 2268680 and that dates this watch to 1949. One of the very last of this caliber to be made.

This Tissot needed a service because it was gaining time and the amplitude was (very ) low. It also needed the crown replaced. The minute hand had lost most of the lume and the hour hand was getting critical as well. With the approval of the owner, I relumed the hands.

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Interview with Emre Kiris

Time for another interview! This time, I had the honor to interview Emre Kiris. Emre is an archivist and documentalist for Glycine Heritage. He has his own website, Glycintennial,  with all the info on Glycine watches you need.

He’s also active on several watch forums and he’s an avid book collector. I contacted him on Watchuseek in 2015 and we’ve stayed in contact since.

How did your love for vintage watches come to be?

I think watches in general is a boys thing. The fascination of tiny mechanical pieces working in harmony is alluring. Contemporary watches vs vintage watches is a choice. If you have an 18k beat timepiece from the 1940’s, it ticks like a watch. In my mind, they sound way better than modern watches because of different case constructions.

I think it was when I re-discovered one of my childhood mechanical watches in the attic that the love for vintage watches started. The whole obsession resurfaced, like long suppressed emotions. The following week, I’d already bought a couple new old watches.

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Restoration: Bulova Art Deco

Bulova is an American brand that we don’t see too often in Europe. The brand is probably best known for the Accutron, the electronic tuning fork watch of the 50s. In the 1930s and 1940s however, Bulova was known for rectangular gold-filled watches. They continued to produce similar models until the 1960s. This is a “21st Century” art deco style watch with a 10K rolled gold plated case. Vintage Bulova watches have a date code that you can use to date a model. The date code is L7 which dates this Bulova art deco to 1957.

The movement is the in-house Bulova 11AC. The watch didn’t run and the crystal was in a bad shape.

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