This time I’d like to introduce Matthias.
Matthias is an elementary school teacher who started to intensively collect watches about 4 years ago.
He’s the co-administrator of the ‘Horlogefreaks’ Facebook group and he’s also very active in several other Facebook groups and on forums as well.
How did your love for vintage watches come to be?
I’ve always been somewhat of a collector since I was little.
I was fascinated with all kinds of items, knives, stones, old stuff from the basement etc.
During my youth, I had a few “normal” watches, like a Pontiac quartz, a G-shock (because everybody had one at the time ) and later, my first Tissot Couturier quartz which I got from my girlfriend.
My first step into vintage watches was an old English pocket watch I bought (It was a sterling silver fusee watch from around 1880). I tried to wear it, but it stopped all the time.
When I was about 24 years old, I switched to collecting vintage wristwatches.
I started reading about the Speedmaster and decided one day I had to own one.
Since then, things just escalated very quickly.
This time it’s my honour to interview @MikeSoub. Mike is an airline pilot from Guadeloupe.
He’s been a collector of watches for 3 years and he’s also a hobbyist watchmaker.
How did your love for watches come to be?
During my flight training, aircrafts were equipped with Type 12 chronographs from Breguet or Dodane.
Navigation was relying heavily on time and when you can’t see outside, your life may very well depend on your watch. Even if it’s a 55-year-old chronograph.
This is a nice Roamer dress watch with an MST 372 movement. This movement was produced with several types of shock protection systems. This one has Shock-Resist and that places the watch in the mid to late 1940s.
It has a US import code on the balance cock; FXU. That means that this watch was imported to the USA from Switzerland and was therefore intended for the US market.
FXU has Roamer and Meyer & Stüdeli listed so the movement is correct (at least the balance cock is).
The movement ran very erratically and setting the time was rough.
When I removed the hands, I found out why the Timegrapher showed me a snowstorm on the screen. The hour hand and the minute hand actually stuck together because of severe magnetism.
I used my Elma Antimag to demagnetize the hands and I demagnetized the trays with parts before I put them in the watch cleaning machine.
Sooner or later you’ll come across a watch that has a broken watch stem because it’s one of those parts that often break.
Or perhaps you want to replace a worn crown or upgrade it for an original crown and the length of the old stem isn’t right.
With this guide, you can easily replace the winding stem yourself.
Before you begin
If you don’t have a healthy stock of spare stems, you’ll need to order a new one.
To be able to do so, you need to identify the movement.
If you know what movement it is, you can buy a new stem on Cousins UK or Windingstems.com.
You can also use a Ronda catalogue to order a new stem. If you don’t know the brand and caliber, you can even use the Ronda catalogue to identify the stem with the dimensions of the square part and other dimensions.
Liban is not that well known but this is probably the fourth I repaired. All of them were Art Deco style watches or smaller dress watches.
This one did run but only intermittently. The movement is the AS 1200.
The winding stem was also too short so the crown couldn’t be pushed back in enough.
As a result, the watch was always in the time setting mode unless you pushed the crown and turned it at the same time.
The movement is heavily tarnished and discoloured. I don’t know what would’ve caused this. It’s mainly focussed around pivot holes, bearing jewels and around the edge of the plate.
Perhaps someone cleaned it with the wrong kind of cleaning solution.