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I need some direction and suggestions. I have a RCAF wrist watch with a 16J Waltham movement. The watch needs a balance staff and a mainspring. I do this type of work on pocket watches, but I don't want to screw this one up. Can someone refer me to a competent repair person for this watch? Many thanks,
Hi Grant, did you ask anyone in Ch 111?
Just thought there are a few watch guys there.
Alternatively, just get a complete balance assembly and slot it in without messing with the delicate staff and hair spring. You can find an NOS balance assembly for this caliber in ebay for about $10.
Hi Lau Siew Ming:
Thank you for the reply. How will I know which one I require? What should I look for?
There is one on the ebay at this very moment (Item number: 5031494024). I have used the same balance assembly on a waltham 6/0'42 movement (model 10616 Type A-11 USN) and as far as I know the same part is interchangeable with other Waltham 16j, ie. 6/0-B, 6/0-D, etc. The 16j RCAF should have either a 6/0'42 or 6/0-B movement, can't remember which one is correct.
I agree as to the replacement balances. But be sure to save the old one. The time will come when people will have to restaff these parts because the complete balance units will dry up.
The last RCAF Waltham wristwatch I worked on had a Waltham Model 1942 16 jewel movement. Some of these movements are marked "Premier", but it's the same movement. Parts are 100% interchangeable with the more common Waltham A-11 6/0 flight watches.
BTW. As you take the watch down for cleaning, check under the dial for any dates or other markings. The one I have has an ink stamped date under the dial. Although the watch was made circa 1942, under the dial it is marked in the 1960's, which is the date the watch was overhauled by the RCAF. Some collectors have noted that it's hard to find any of these watches that were not overhauled in the 1960's. So, it would be interesting to know what you find.
Thank you for the reply. This one is also marked Premier. I will make sure to keep the balance, and I will let you know what I find under the dial.
Hi Greg, I used to have a white dialed Waltham A-11 with an RCAF caseback and I dismissed it as put together at the time. Regretably, The watch is nolonger with me.
Having seen more of RCAFs with refurbished dial (notch at 3 o'clock) and has yet to see one in original '42 dial, I wonder if there is any possibility that the A-11 white dial could be original? After all, RAF Waltham and Bulova were procured around that time with the A-11 dial.
Hi Lau Siew Ming,
So far, I have not seen any RCAF Walthams with an ordinary white dial. But, I have not "seen them all."
At this time, there is much to be learned about the original appearance of the RCAF Waltham dials, or if there were variations. I would tend to think an ordinary white dial is possible, although I have reason to believe that most of these dials had RCAF originally printed upon them.
One RCAF dial Waltham watch, which I examined in Canada, had the word, "PREMIER" printed on the dial in small capital letters under the hand post. As you know, "PREMIER" is often found printed on the movements of these watches. While I was unable to take it apart to check, I was of the impression that I was looking at an original Waltham RCAF dial variation.
Hi Lau Siew Ming:
I received the balance assembly yesterday, and it works great. Thanks for the tip! Now I need to find a mainspring. I slips after half winding.
Hi Grant, I am glad it works. Mainspring should be easy to find, try Slarose (http://www.slarose.com). Did you manage to take a peek under the RCAF dial?
Well, I removed the dial and here is what I found. There is a date stamped Mar 1963 on the dial back. There is also a small notch in the dial at the 3 o'clock position. When I purchased this watch it came with another RFAC dial, which is also pictured below. It has nothing on the back, and does not have the notch at 3 o'clock. Both dials are in decent shape, but my scanner doesn't do them justice. The watch also came with an extra empty case. The back was off both cases and I'm not sure which is the correct back as they are both identical except for the writing on the back. One is inscribed RCAF 6W/12 W6500. The other has a broad arrow and RCAF Ref.No 6B/150 W-366/42. what is the difference between these two case backs? Which would likely be the correct one?
I am no expert on this but I have seen both markings before and believe them to be genuine. The dial without the notch at 3 o'clock could be one of the original variant and is less often seen. The notch, I believed, is for alignment when doing re-dialing.
Lau Siew Ming:
Thank you for all your help.
Interesting find, Grant. Those two dials are extremely useful. It is now more clear that the original WWII dial format did not change as a result of the 1960's repair and refinishing.
The RCAF Waltham I have has the 6B/150 code, which is like the codes used by the British Air Ministry for pilots wristwatches.
I don't know the meaning of the code, "6W/12 W6500". However, the format of the marking is clearly similar to other WWII British and Commonwealth Air Ministry timepiece codes.
Thanks Grant and Lau Siew Ming for sharing information here. I'm rather fond of the Waltham Model '42 wristwatch and I enjoyed learning more about them.
Thanks again guys.
I also need to get a strap for this watch. Can someone suggest an appropriate replacement?
The factory supplied these watches with a two piece cloth strap. Keep an eye on eBay and one will come up.
Did you find a home for both of those RCAF dials? If one is available please contact me
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