Venture into the Field of Wristwatches

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  • #49503
    maitai11
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    • Topics Started: 62
    • Total Posts: 428

    Hey Fellas,


    I just purchased this Relic watch brand new ZR77235 – it’s exactly the same one my girlfriend gave me for my birthday last year. Some features:

    – All skeleton, front and back
    – Automatic winder
    – Incabloc Balance Jewel Mechanisms
    – Beautiful copper finish

    I bought this watch for a couple reasons. First, I’m pretty sure I need to adjust the hands on the one I have, and second, I am utterly mesmerized by the beauty put into this piece. I just have to get into it and see how it works. I plan on doing a complete teardown and rebuild, then probably re-sell it. I picked this one up for about $45.

    This will also be my first foray into wristwatches. I have been wanting to try one for some time now. Wish me luck!

    Best,

    Tim :)

    #62103
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Tim,
    I am guessing that is a Chinese movement but I cannot tell from the picture. Their watch movements work very well as long as the oil has not dried up. When you put one on a timing machine they seem to be spot on. My opinion, which nobody asked for, is that Chinese movements function extremely well but are not beautifully hand polished. If you take one of those movement apart be very careful with the balance wheel. They are thin and delicate. Do not try to remove the balance staff from the balance wheel with a standard staking set. These movements have to be worked on differently than the larger more robust American pocket watch movements. Unless you have superman vision you may want to consider using a microscope and try to make sure that you are in a dust free area. Avoid, as much as possible, touching any of the parts with your hands; use tweezers to handle the components.
    The screwdrivers I like to use on smaller watch movements are the inexpensive small screw collar types. I think they only cost about $10.00 for the entire set but I like them better than the Bergeon’s for this particular application. Make sure you have a pair of Dumont #5 tweezers as well.
    david

    #62104
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
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    One other thing to mention with these watches is magnetism. I left my chinese skeleton watch on top of my hi-fi speaker which was enough to magnetize it and stop it working.
    One short blast on the demagnetiser and it is running as it should again. Mine cost £6.57 brand new including postage from china but it is quite big and bulky.
    Paul.

    #62105
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    If this is an auto wind, you may want to watch this first, just to get a few tips..

    How to service an automatic watch

    #62106
    maitai11
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 62
    • Total Posts: 428

    David,

    Thank you so much for all the background. A couple things:

    – Relic is an American brand, I believe. How do you know it’s Chinese-made?
    – Do you have a link to the screwdrivers you’re talking about?
    – I very, very much enjoyed your background tutorial on the little considerations – with big ramifications – when dealing with these watches. Bravo!!

    Paul – Was the the cost of the demag, or the watch?

    Mr. Encyclopedia – As usual, something useful from Chris. Thanks Brother. I truly appreciate that, and I will be watching it in its entirety.

    Best,

    Tim :)

    #62107
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Tim,
    You didn’t buy that watch from a guy in a London Fog raincoat by any chance? When he opened the flaps of the coat was the inside lined with watches that he led your to believe were stolen Rolexes? 🙄

    Relic is a Chinese watch not an American watch.:oops:

    The screwdriver set is Ebay item # and sells for $7.98 with free shipping.:o
    The demagnetizer is Ebay item # and sells for $9.98 with free shipping. 8-)
    david

    #62108
    maitai11
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 62
    • Total Posts: 428

    (Blots water from behind ears with towel…)

    David,

    BUT they’re SO CONVINCING!!! :)

    I did not know that Relic was Chinese made; I never would’ve guessed it in a thousand years! By the way, speaking of “guessed”, are Guess (jeans) watches made in the Asian market as well? Now that I’m armed with all this great knowledge, I wouldn’t be surprised. What about all the other “campy” clothing companies that make watches? China too? I bet you’ll say yes…

    See how quickly I’ve become an expert?

    And, it’s because of YOU, David

    You and that guy in the TRENCHCOAT!!! :)

    That was pretty hilarious :) And thanks for the links David, I appreciate them!

    Best,

    Tim :)

    #62109
    maitai11
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 62
    • Total Posts: 428

    (Hits head against wall)

    Why did I buy a demagnetizer that cost me $69, and was built in 1950 (and keeps breaking,) when I could’ve bought one for ten bucks??? SHEESH!!!! Larry!!!!!!

    David, a quick question: Do you like these particular screwdrivers for any particular reason? :) I was thinking that there are MANY small increments within a relatively SMALL size range. That would make sense. Just wondering, because I think my set goes down to .5 mm, but then pretty rapidly rises from there. I’ll have to check. Anyway, thanks for your feedback.

    Best,

    Tim

    #62110
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    @david pierce wrote:

    Tim,
    You didn’t buy that watch from a guy in a London Fog raincoat by any chance? When he opened the flaps of the coat was the inside lined with watches that he led your to believe were stolen Rolexes? :
    david

    😆 😆 LMFAO that’s hilarious 😆

    I wonder how they do it when they sell Chinese grandfather clocks, man, you’d need a HUGE raincoat 😆

    #62111
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    I think I read somewhere that around 60+ % of all watch movements come from China, and they are fitted into many,many brands we see.

    David’s correct ( no surprise ) that they are pretty robust for the money, sans the balances a times.
    I have a Chinese ETA 6497-2 clone that is about 3 years old now, beats at 21,600 vph and still nails “zero” on the timegrapher.

    The finish is “ok”…but as David also said..not the best under the loupe.

    I think that with the Swatch snobbery going on…that we are going to see the Chinese kick their industry into overdrive to fill voids.

    R

    #62112
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Randy,
    Every time I watch Youtube video of the Swiss Watch Companies I see watches made with technology that was not developed in Switzerland. The making of the components and much of the assembly is done on automated robotic equipment. Outside of a room full of dedicated employees black polishing certain parts, I don’t see the Swiss reality living up the the Swiss legend. In truth even the polishing can be done on a machine. Machine shop and inspection room gauge blocks are “black polished” on lapping machines. The surfaces are so precise that when they are wrung together they stick to each other. The MOORE SPECIAL TOOL company manufactures a lathe that is so precise it produces a black polish quality finish with a cutter. Once you look past the designer label sales crap the watch is either made to the correct specifications or it is not. The first time I put a Chinese movement on my timing machine, the trace was so perfect I thought something was wrong with the machine. The movements are so inexpensive you almost look for defects to try and understand why the Swiss movements are better. At some point everybody will have to draw their own conclusions.
    david

    #62113
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Tim,
    I like those screwdrivers for several reasons in that application. I like their smaller size which for me helps reduce the chance of the blade slipping and scratching something. The smaller size gives me more finger control. I like the fact that the blades are perfectly centered in a collet which also reduces the chance of blade slippage. And, most importantly, they are cheap ($7.98 including shipping); you can’t beat that with a stick! The down side is there is a reduction in torque but the extra twist you get from a larger screwdriver isn’t needed for the smaller size fasteners and could result in too much force breaking the head off of a screw. This is just my own personal view and everybody is different but it will only cost you $7.98 to find out.
    david

    #62114
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    I hear you David….outside of the handful of independent makers, they are riding on the hype these days.
    I worked in a Boeing machine shop years ago as a material man,…and was really amazed back then at the tolerances/finishes some of the machinist were capable of.
    I can only imagine what is possible today.

    I thought the same when I put mine on the timer as well !!

    Take care

    Randy

    #62115
    chris mabbott
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 119
    • Total Posts: 1525

    @Randy wrote:

    I think that with the Swatch snobbery going on…that we are going to see the Chinese kick their industry into overdrive to fill voids.
    R

    Randy do you have a camera that can see me begging, 4 times daily, to the powers that be to rain down wrath upon the evil empire 😆

    Meanwhile, here’s a little tune for Tim to provide a constant reminder, when looking at…stuff, that the possibility exists that it was made in CHINA 😆

    #62116
    randy
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 39
    • Total Posts: 594

    I don’t Chris…but perhaps the Swiss Guard is watching you — LOL!!!!

    I think that the Swatch group is only going force more competition due their recent actions, and that over time it could really harm them.

    It’s making me rethink what type of parts I’m going to collect for the future as well.

    Be well Chris

    R

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maitai11Venture into the Field of Wristwatches