Internet Horology Club 185
HELP with 3992B Master Watch

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December 27, 2018, 20:09
John Willis
HELP with 3992B Master Watch
Help with 3992B Please: Friend brought me his latest find.. a nice 3992B Master Navigation Watch. Very original(no evidence of of previous service) but broken staff and mainspring. Original crystal is quite yellow resulting in a lot of rust on the original hands. (most of the bluing gone but no problem removing). Big question is what to do about the hands. Don't want to replace them. Is there someway to stabalize them or should the be reblued. Owner is serious collector of military watches and wants it repaired but not sacrifice originality. Any and all opinions appreciated!! Thank you,
December 28, 2018, 10:25
Billy Kuhn
Hello John, You can clean the rust off the hands and then blue them by heat. If you know the process.
December 28, 2018, 19:36
John Willis
Thank you for the reply Billy. I have done that in the past with resonably good success however I am looking for opinions on wheither it is the "correct" thing to do as opposed to how to. I am ever reluctant to "over-restore a watch such as this in case I detract from the value. I know it is pretty subjective ...just looking for different thoughts on it.
December 30, 2018, 23:11
Jim Hester
I agree that it is very subjective. My thoughts are to try to keep things as original as possible and only replace parts if absolutely necessary for the functioning of the watch and then keep the replaced parts with the watch with a note of what was replaced as when so it can be reversed in the future. If there is rust then I see no issue in very gently cleaning it off and not worrying about re-bluing. Perhaps a light coat of watch oil will keep the rust from returning while keeping the original part and its patina intact.
December 31, 2018, 10:06
John Willis
Thank you Jim for the feedback; I think that is a good mid-road solution. I think, with the owners permission, that is what I will do.