Sunday, January 30, 2005

Oooooh an 18thC clock?

There is a J Morris, Pershore listed in as working in 1750, ref. Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the world, Vol 2. Brian Loomes. 1978 edition. Although J. Morris is listed at this date it does not indicate his working life span, only that he was known to be working then, he may have worked many years before or after this date.

David Walter commented as follows: "This clock is a nice and typical, English 30 hour long case clock that is commonly found in either a pine case that was usually painted to look like mahogany (nowdays usually stripped to look like Country pine) or an Oak case. In either instance the cases are quite simple and plain. These were made as cottage clocks or sometimes for the servants quarters in large country houses."

Graham Dead Beat Escapement.

"Most were fitted with an hour hand only like this example as this was cheaper to make. The brass dial is nicely matted in the center and is pleasantly engraved.
The single steel hour hand appears to be original. The brass chapter ring was once silvered, they were never left brass as it makes it difficult to tell the time, silvering makes a good contrast against the blued steel hand. The silvering has been polished off as evideniced by the remains of polishing medium in the corner spandrels. It's difficult to tell but the chain may be a replacement.

From the photo's I would suggest this clock is 1750 - 1770. Why ? In part because of the shape of the pillars and the Brass collets on the wheel arbours.
The corner spandrels look original and are of the Cherub type used in the country clocks about this period. After about 1780 it most likely would have had a painted dial. A great many of these single handed 30 hour clocks were made from the late 17th century until Ca.1850. All in all a very nice clock that will give the owners many more years of pleasure if it is looked after."

Thanks to David Walter for that info.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Sinn 903 HD 24 with Lemania 1877

The sadly now discontinued 903 with the 24 hr Lemania 1877 manual mvt. It's been a rock steady companion; usually runs around +3.5 per day for me. I often use the chronograph as a second time zone (you can read it like a regulator dial from the chrono hour register) and the slide rule gets regular twiddling thankfully without having to use the obstructive new crown on the new ones.

I particularly like the speed of the ticking (21600 vph); it seems to beat time more elegantly than the racing sound of 28800 vph mvts! IMHO of course.

My friends say it should come with a warning sticker as they are constantly caught out by catching sight of the time on it and wondering what's wrong.....

I put it on a silky, comfortable, RAF pattern 'Bond' strap. Sky high quality, cheap as chips, light as a feather, soft as your first kiss - in all weathers, indestuctabubble and definitely NOT to be confused with the normal NATO issue with the double pants double thickness and scratchy fixed 3 s/s loop positions.

Yep, discovery of the year for me. Preferably in Jimbo Bond grey stripes .......

Omega Speedmaster Service Screwed up by Swatch!

Don't know why I ever bought this, and now it's gone! Who cares. I've got a Lemania 5100 now in the shape of the Sinn 157.

I have now accumulated more than ten years of experience of servicing my Seamaster and Speedmaster at Swatch UK, Eastleigh. Over the years my watches have been returned from the Swatch UK service department sometimes perfect and sometimes as follows: not running; with gouges in the back by the tooling; without requested work being done. After returns and rework, we have usually got there in the end, but the latest experience is just unbelievable and the sort of story of which ‘Watchdog’ episodes are made.

The tale of the Speedmaster Service:

After 5 years of running like clockwork, I decided I had better send my Speedmaster (Valjoux 7750 day date) in for routine service and deposited it with my dealer on May 22 2003. Not only did this take longer than estimated, the watch required multiple re-works outlined below, and only finally returned working fine after I had insisted it went back home to Bienne.

When the watch first came back (about a month late against the estimate) it had been gouged by the tooling and was sent back for polishing but after rework it came back with a new gouge! This, to save time, was polished out in a couple of days by a local watch repairer kindly arranged by my dealer to alleviate my frustration at this stage. I received my watch back on 10 Oct 2003 (2 months later than the original estimate). This was short lived however, as within about 2 days the lower chrono button was loose and hanging off. It was returned once again for rework.

I picked up my Speedmaster on 5 November 2003, nearly 6 months after originally dropping it off for service. Ironically, I also picked up my (perfectly) repaired Seamaster on the same date. The Speedmaster was apparently working fine gaining ~6 secs/day. However, in February 2004, I noticed that not only was the watch apparently letting water in (splashed from hand washing) the chronograph second sweep hand now resets around +2secs.

I returned my watch again, but now have no faith in the ability of Swatch UK to repair it and insisted it be sent back to Bienne for repair under the warranty. I finally got my watch back in perfect shape running –1 to 0s per day in May 2005.

In the end it had to go because of the bad taste in the mouth left by this saga.