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I have to brag a little - part made from scratch "Click" to Login or Register 
Life Member
posted
A while back, on a whim, I bought an automatic Croton (Japanese) on the big auction site for five bucks. The seller stated it was not running, and did not set properly.

Disassembly showed why it would not run; It was filthy dirty.

Cleaning made it wind and run just fine, but the date setting was weird. With the dial off, all setting functions worked normally. But after assembly and installation back in the case, it would set forward one day, then seize up. I was still able to snap the stem to the hand setting position and set the hands, and was still able to snap it all the way in to screw the crown down. I could feel the stem going into the detent for date set, but once there, could not turn it at all. After fussing about with it for a bit, I suddenly realized there was an unused screw hole on the upper side. I concluded that someone had been inside it ahead of me, and had lost both a bridge and the screw to retain it. Without the bridge, the date ring was jumping out of the recess, and seizing up between the plate and the dial.

I decided I could fashion one from brass, and probably bring this watch back to life. It would never be "right" but would still be one I could use as a daily "wearer".

Here is a photo of the missing bridge. I will post a couple more photos of making the bridge. (I don't know how to make more than one photo appear in each post)

 
Posts: 213 | Location: Westminster, Maryland in the USA | Registered: March 02, 2015
Life Member
posted
First, I designed a shape that would not look "wrong", laid it out on a sheet of material the same thickness as the other bridge, and roughed it to shape. WHewn I thought I had it close, I laid it next to where I wanted it to go, to see if I was on the right track.

 
Posts: 213 | Location: Westminster, Maryland in the USA | Registered: March 02, 2015
Life Member
posted
Next step was to drill it, file it smaller, and fit it into the space, for final marking and shaping.

I don't use machinist's layout blue; it is too expensive, and tends to dry out in the bottle before I can use it up. I have found I can black things with a magic marker, and use that as a layout scribing medium.

Here, I blacked the edge where it holds the date ring in place, and sketched a curve to file to.

 
Posts: 213 | Location: Westminster, Maryland in the USA | Registered: March 02, 2015
Life Member
posted
Here is the final product.

Time, start to finish, about two hours.
At $80.00 an hour, including cleaning time, and time to reassemble, I just turned my $5.00 Croton into a $300.00 watch! Smile

 
Posts: 213 | Location: Westminster, Maryland in the USA | Registered: March 02, 2015


posted
Congrats - David...

I think if you work on your own watches the hourly wage is about $2.85 per hour. About minimum wage in the early 80's. Or at least on my end of the watch world Smile However, getting something NMC (none mission capable) back to FMC (fully mission capable) is priceless, right???
 
Posts: 7178 | Location: Illinois in the USA | Registered: November 11, 2011
Picture of Dan Carter
posted
This is what makes watchmaking fun! Great job getting it back up and running!
Dan
 
Posts: 407 | Location: Northern Virginia in the USA | Registered: October 08, 2011
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