Thought I would share this one, once in a while I get a special watch in to work on, todays was a "Audemars quantieme perpetuel" a true perpetual calendar watch (correct number of days each month and leap year 28/29), beautifully made and finished movement, this will be on my "must own one list". A very long job to service this watch but a pleasure to do so.
The primero is a fine watch in its class when I approach a watch like that I divide it up in my head as three sections, of movement, chronograph and calendar functions and will isolate them as possible throughout the procedure. Often the movement section can be serviced and checked before adding the additional sections so in many ways making them relatively easy to service, yes lot more parts to deal with and of course more time. As these functions are relatively common from watch to watch they offer little challenge in servicing across the various models, each layout is of course slightly different but common in there functions like going from a ford, to Chevy to dodge. The true luxury watches like this Audemars, are a world apart from the run of the mill watches commonly seen each are a work of art each part beautifully finished, each screw polished, everything fits precisely together often shaped artfully. The movements are much more precise, screws are smaller throughout, it almost as if they wish them disappear, plates thinner parts super delicate once out pivots precise polished and smaller so much extra care must be taken at every stage, even how and what you will place in the cleaning basket & what need to be hand cleaned only, I often spend a good deal of time shaping the screwdrivers I will use to fit the heads correctly, tweezers shaped & checked, fresh fluids in the cleaning machines, just these considerations prior to starting make the job into a serious commitment finally telephone off and email shutdown!. Once the movement is functioning correctly the perpetual calendar is a problem to be addressed as you may only see one of these a year, time has to be taken to follow the operation, even the smallest part has multiple functions, thankfully there were no more complications of celestial charts or sunrise/set added this was quite enough to keep me busy!.
Fine watch! The steel work is especially nice. I used to have a Movado Datron from about 1970 which had the Zenith El Primero movement. It was a beautiful and accurate movement but unfortunately, the watch itself with its 10 micron orange colored gold plating was quite ugly from the outside! The stainless steel versions were much more tolerable. Audemars Piguet is obviously a Swiss house that continues to hold a very high standard.
Posts: 1568 | Location: San Francisco, California USA | Registered: September 01, 2008
I have seen that gold plating eaten away by cleaning in something nasty but cheap and others that have been allowed to slide about in the cleaning baskets ground away, I get a lot of older Omega’s in recently and the gold somehow adds to the movements. Nice movement again there Ethan, high quality finish, this one the weight has a ring that is supported by three large barrel shaped jewels that the ring and weight rides you can hear them roll as you tip, Had a Longines with a similar setup. Currently my favorite personal watch is a Cartier Pasha, with GMT function and wind indicator another quality made watch as you can see, thankfully so far no service needed. The wind indicator is interesting to see that if I allow it to run down for a day or so, just how long it takes to recover to full wind in normal use. I always tell customers to pre wind auto watches before wearing consider it a sustaining function not a winding.
Posts: 2625 | Location: Northeast Texas in the USA | Registered: November 20, 2003