I bought this Roamer on eBay to restore. I don’t do that as much as I used to but I still like to have a project watch to work on every now and then.
Like most Roamer watches, it has an in-house movement. This particular watch is powered by the MST 414 which has a micro regulator so it can be regulated very accurately.
The movement, the ‘R-logo’, and the fact that the case back has the Swiss cross and 4 patent numbers indicate that the watch is from 1966.
If you look closely, you’ll also see “Pm” just right of the number 6 on the chapter ring. That stands for Promethium, a lume that they used in the 1960s after they stopped using Radium and before they started using Tritium.
The winding of the crown was difficult and the crystal was damaged. The watch did run but it needed to be serviced and regulated.
This is a guest post by Martin Lee.
Until about three years ago I had little interest in watches – either modern or vintage.
Then one day I managed to break the mineral glass crystal on my cheap Pulsar and decided to browse the web for an affordable replacement.
At the time I was on a vintage razor collecting spree.
eBay seemed the go-to site for old watches and despite my lack of knowledge at that point I pulled the trigger and won a nice enough Tissot Seastar from the 1960s.
I had heard of the brand and was aware they had a long history. Other than that I hadn`t a clue really.
The watch arrived (from India !) and even my novice eye could detect a less than brilliant re-dial.
The watch had the correct Tissot movement though and worked well enough.
I liked the idea of having a few different watches so I decided I would need to do a bit more research in order to find future buys at a decent price as well as being authentic. Hopefully with a historic pedigree as well.
That is when I discovered the Roamer brand.
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.
A stunning Roamer dress watch with an MST 372 movement. The case number is 107 372. The chapter ring on this particular watch is part of the case.
The MST 372 has a direct sweep second, 17 jewels and it has a Super-Shock-Resist (SSR) shock protection. Both the jewel count and the Super-Shock are mentioned on the dial.
From all the MST movements, the 372 had one of the longest production runs, if not the longest. Because it has a Super-Shock-Resist it can be dated between 1945 and 1950.
The amplitude is quite low and the rate is irregular. The movement looks to be slightly overoiled in the past. The lubrication looks dirty and hardened as well. The latest service date inscribed into the case back is from ’74.
This Roamer dress watch didn’t run and the crystal was in a pretty bad shape. The movement is an MST 424, hand winder with 17 jewels. I suspected there was a problem with the endshake of the pallets or the balance staff. Just in case I needed parts, the owner managed to secure a donor movement and sent it to me. I’d date this Roamer to the 1950s.
I remove the power from the mainspring to protect the escapement from damage later on. Then I remove the balance and the pallets and store them safely. It’s a good idea to flip the movement and remove the cannon pinion at this point. Otherwise, you’ll get into trouble later when you want the lift the center wheel.