Another French watch on the workbench.
This time it’s a LIP dress watch from the 1970s. The funny thing is that it doesn’t have an in-house movement. It’s not even French.
It’s a DUROWE/INT 7425 with a quickset date function and Duro-Swing shock protection system.
ETA bought DUROWE in 1965 to gain access to the European market and brought the focus back to making movements. This could be one of the last DUROWE movements because they fell victim to the quartz crisis in the late 1970s, like so many others.
As you can see, the watch had a broken winding stem and a battered crystal but otherwise seemed to be in good condition.
There we go!
As always, remove all power from the mainspring before you start working on the movement. This is to prevent damaging the escapement while working on the wheel train.
Usually, you’d let the crown slip between your thumb and index finger while moving the click away from the ratchet wheel. Since the winding stem with the crown is broken, that’s impossible. Use a screwdriver on the ratchet wheel screw to let down the power. Be careful not to let the screwdriver slip because you could damage the mainspring.
Move the click with a sharp peg wood or a watchmaker’s pick. If you can’t move the click, you’ll have to hold down the power with a screwdriver and remove the click with the click spring.
Remove the balance and the pallet fork with the pallet cock and store them somewhere safe.
This movement has a calendar, so this is a good time to flip the movement around and start with the calendar works.
Unscrew the four screws and lift the cover plate. Carefully release the tension from the date jumper spring and lift the date jumper and its spring. Remove the date ring.
Lift the hour wheel and the cannon pinion.
Lift the double date setting wheel, the unlocking yoke for the date ring with its spring, and the unlocking yoke cam with the driving wheel.
Remove the minute wheel and the keyless works.
Time to flip the movement to the top plate.
Remove the ratchet wheel and the crown wheel with its ring. The crown wheel screw has three grooves, so it’s left-handed. Righty loosey, lefty tighty in this case!
Lift the wheel-train bridge to gain access to the wheel train. Remove the escape wheel, the third wheel, and the sweep seconds wheel.
Remove the barrel bridge and lift the barrel.
Remove the center wheel cock and lift the center wheel.
Pre-clean the pivot holes and bearing jewels with some peg wood.
Clean all the parts in the watch cleaning machine.
Place the center wheel, the center wheel cock, and the barrel back into place.
Fit the escape wheel, the third wheel, the sweep second wheel, and reinstall the wheel-train bridge.
Reinstall the barrel bridge (with the click/click spring installed at the underside), the ratchet wheel, and the crown wheel with its ring.
Turn the movement around. Reinstall the keyless works, the minute wheel, and the cannon pinion. I fitted a new winding stem that I trimmed to the correct size after I cased the movement.
Reinstall the unlocking yoke cam with the driving wheel, the unlocking yoke for the date ring with its spring, and the double date setting wheel.
Place the date ring and reinstall the date jumper with its spring.
As you can see, the unlocking yoke for the date ring isn’t engaged yet. I suggest that you do that after you’ve replaced the cover plate and screwed it down as much as possible. If you don’t, there’s a good chance that the date jumper and the spring keep pinging across the bench.
So, place the cover plate in position and engage the unlocking yoke with the date ring just before you screw it all the way down.
Turn the movement back around and fit the pallet fork and the pallet cock. Give the crown a few spins and test if the pallet fork snaps to the next position with the lightest touch.
Place the balance in position, and it should come alive immediately.
Place the hour wheel and a dial washer in position and fit the dial.
When the watch has a date function, it’s essential that the date changes precisely at 0:00. Pull out the crown and set the time forward until the date jumps to the next date. Fit the hands in the 12 o’clock position.
This watch is an excellent example that with some TLC, you can still find a nice watch from a respected brand in good condition for less than $50.
What do you think of this LIP dress watch? Do you have a similar one? Let me know in the comments below.