Service: Pontiac Dress Watch with ETA 2390 Movement

 In Watchmaking

This is one of my dad’s watches. A nice Pontiac with an unusual case because the bottom part is stainless steel while the top part is gold plated.

The case has two colors which isn’t very common.

It has an ETA 2390 movement. An older version because it still has a fixed stud holder. That dates the watch to the mid to late 50s.

The watch did run but it was time for an overhaul. As a watch geek, I can’t have my father running around with a watch that’s overdue for a service.

Disassembly

Remove all power from the mainspring. This is to prevent any damage while working on the wheel train.

Move the click away from the ratchet wheel while letting the crown slip between your thumb and index finger.

Lift the balance and the pallets.

Pontiac dress watch with ETA 2390 movement

The balance and the pallet fork with the pallet cock removed.

Remove the ratchet wheel and the crown wheel.

The ETA 2390 doesn’t have a traditional click with a click screw but it has a little shaped bar with the click spring next to it. It’s a very simple but effective design.

You don’t have to worry about the cannon pinion. This movement uses a driving wheel instead of a center wheel and it’s one part with the cannon pinion.

Pontiac dress watch with ETA 2390 movement

The ratchet wheel and the crown wheel with its ring removed. You can clearly see the unusual click and click spring.

Remove the barrel bridge.

Pontiac dress watch with ETA 2390 movement

The barrel bridge removed.

Lift the wheel-train bridge to gain access to the wheel train.

Pontiac dress watch with ETA 2390 movement

The wheel-train bridge removed.

Lift the sweep second wheel, the third wheel, and the escape wheel.

Remove the barrel and the intermediate wheel.

Pontiac dress watch with ETA 2390 movement

The top plate empty. You can see the driving wheel on the other side of the movement.

Flip the movement around and start with the bottom plate.

The ETA 2390 has a separate minute work cock that covers the minute wheel and the setting wheel. Remove this first so you can lift the driving wheel with the cannon pinion. Then, lift the setting lever spring and remove the keyless works.

Finally, don’t forget to remove the lower cap jewel with the endpiece for the escape wheel.

Pontiac dress watch with ETA 2390 movement

The bottom plate empty.

Pre-clean the pivot holes and bearing jewels with a peg wood.

Clean all the parts in the watch cleaning machine.

Assembly

Start with the lower cap jewel with the endpiece for the escape wheel. It would be best to also install the set lever screw at this point.

Place the intermediate wheel and the barrel in position.

The intermediate wheel and the barrel reinstalled.

Place the escape wheel, the third wheel, and the sweep second wheel in position and reinstall the wheel-train bridge.

I forgot the set lever screw so I installed it at this point. It’s not a big problem but it’s easier to do with an empty base plate.

Pontiac dress watch with ETA 2390 movement

The wheel train and the wheel-train bridge reinstalled.

Install the barrel bridge, the click, and the click spring.

Pontiac dress watch with ETA 2390 movement

The barrel bridge, the click, and the click spring reinstalled.

Place the crown wheel ring, the crown wheel, and the ratchet wheel in position.

Pontiac dress watch with ETA 2390 movement

The crown wheel with its ring and the ratchet wheel reinstalled.

Turn the movement around and start with the keyless works.

Install the winding pinion, the clutch, the winding stem, the yoke with the spring, and the setting lever spring.

Place the driving wheel with the cannon pinion, the setting wheel, and the minute wheel in position and install the minute work cock.

Pontiac dress watch with ETA 2390 movement

The bottom plate completely reinstalled.

Flip the movement to the top plate and reinstall the pallets and the balance.

Install the hour wheel which has a built-in dial washer. Attach the dial and case the movement.

Fit the hands and use the hand blower to clean the dial before you install the crystal.

Pontiac dress watch with ETA 2390 movement

What do you think of this Pontiac watch? Do you have a similar one or would you like to add one to your collection? Let me know in the comments below.

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Showing 8 comments
  • Avatar
    Remo Peter
    Reply

    This kind of case is called “Goldcap”. Apparently no one makes these any more because the process of soldering gold to stainless steel is very complex and thus too expensive today. A pity, because obviously much more wear resistant than the usual 20 my galvanic gilding.

    • Melvin Hollenberg
      Melvin Hollenberg
      Reply

      Thanks, I appreciate it. The bottom part of this watch is actually steel colored and the top part is gold colored. I’ll add another picture because a picture is worth a thousand words.

  • Avatar
    Stef
    Reply

    I use several vintage Pontiacs on a regular basis, all very good watches. AS, Landeron, Venus, ETA movements.. They are well built, worth the money and maintenance cost, because they set a standard in Belgium and the Netherlands for affordable yet well built watches back then.

    • Melvin Hollenberg
      Melvin Hollenberg
      Reply

      Pontiac was THE brand of the Benelux. Sadly, there isn’t much left of them now. Wear them in good health!

  • Avatar
    Martin Lee
    Reply

    Handsome watch..Pontiac is a brand I seldom come across in flea markets or antique shops in the U.K. unfortunately.

    • Melvin Hollenberg
      Melvin Hollenberg
      Reply

      You’re welcome to scour the Dutch flea markets for some Pontiac watches. I’ll join you.

  • Avatar
    Fred
    Reply

    Good looking watch. Wouldn’t attempt the service. I’m sure your dad appreciated the effort

    • Melvin Hollenberg
      Melvin Hollenberg
      Reply

      Thanks, Fred. Yup, he was very pleased because it’s one of his favorite watches.

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