Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What $10 Will Get You

I wanted to do a post on the start-to-finish process of restoring a watch - well, MY process anyway! 

I picked up a watch on Ebay the other day, for $10.01.  I guesstimated it to date from the late 1930s, based on the shape.  I've recently been building my collection at the early end of the 1935-1964 period, having acquired a watch with a 21j 531 and another with a 15j 519, and I figured this watch would fall into that range.

  Here's the seller's photo.
When I bid, I didn't know whether it would be a 15/0 or an 8/0.  It might even have been earlier, which would put it out of my range.  But for $10, it was worth a shot.

Last night it arrived.  It is in grubby condition, with a worn out band attached with grungy green spring bars; a cracked, yellowed plastic crystal that came apart when i tried to remove it; a dirty dial that may be worse than dirty - pitted maybe?


Ah, but inside, there's a 7j 526 from 1936.  This is an 8/0 movement made from 1936-1938, presumably the very bottom of Elgin's line.  The case is 10k Gold filled, with brassing on the high points, but lacking the wear-through and holing that one sometimes sees.


This is a nice pickup!  I didn't have a 526, and this one has a balance in good condition, so likely it just needs cleaning and a new mainspring.  I'll get to that when I next update this post...

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