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.
This Roamer Standard came in a batch of watches out of the UK. It had a lazy amplitude and it didn’t keep time. Also, the set lever spring was broken. Here we go.
The movement is a MST 352, hand winder with 17 jewels. It has a 3-finger bridge and no shock protection. I’d date this Roamer Standard to the 1940s.