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Need help finding good quality Services watch


Iron Mike May
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Hi

Im still fairly new to the watch appreciation scene but throughly enjoying it so far. 

I would like to add an English watch to my collection and as local as possible. After doing a bit of reading (mainly on here) I discovered that Services watches were once in Leicester. Since then I have also discovered that my aunt used to work there. This ticks many of the boxes so I thought that I would try and find a good one without breaking the bank (sometimes like finding the holy grail so I’m learning). After looking on the usual sites I have seen a couple on eBay, a Competitor listed as being from the 50s and an Antimagnetic which does look.ike it is in good condition. The Competitor looks like it has some nice patina on the face but does not look to be sitting straight in the case, I’m assuming that this is not a design feature so I am a bit put off by it. 

We are taking my aunt for afternoon tea next month for her 80th birthday so I’d really like to be wearing one for the inevitable trip down memory lane but I also don’t want to get ripped off. 

If anyone could give me any help of steer me in the right direction I’d really appreciate it. 

 

Thanks in advance. 

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@mach 0.0013137 is the World's leading fan/expert at Services watches, and I am sue he will be along soon.

 

The Competitor - the case back can revolve and take the movement with it.  They just clip together and there is nothing locating the caseback and movement to the bezel part.  The misaligned watch you mention might just need a twist.  As long as the crown still lines up with three you are probably okay.

They are not a horological high point (Sorry Mach!) so costs are very affordable.  Buy the best you can, and if the case is worn (they ae almost all plated) then wait for another.

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Hi, is this the watch you are referring to? 

VINTAGE SERVICE COMPETITOR MILITARY MECHANICAL MEN WRISTWATCH MADE IN ENGLAND 

s-l1600.jpg

 

If so it was supplied to Services by Louis Newmark Ltd., Croydon. I have a few similar watches, they use simple but sturdy unjeweled movements & tend to keep going. As Scott indicated the case backs can be out of alignment as they are just pushed on but this is easily rectified. The movements have a rather loud tick but personally I think it adds character :thumbs_up:

 

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Thanks for the info. I assumed that the crown and dial lined up with the case rather than the case back. 

I would really like to try and find a watch that was made in the late 50s or early 60s and passed through the Leicester factory at some point as this is when my aunt worked there. Is this possible, or am I misunderstanding the process that went on at Services?

Sorry Mach, that is one of the ones I was looking at. I do quite like the Antimagnetic ones as well although I think they are a bit later. 

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20 hours ago, mach 0.0013137 said:

Hi, is this the watch you are referring to? 

VINTAGE SERVICE COMPETITOR MILITARY MECHANICAL MEN WRISTWATCH MADE IN ENGLAND 

s-l1600.jpg

 

If so it was supplied to Services by Louis Newmark Ltd., Croydon. I have a few similar watches, they use simple but sturdy unjeweled movements & tend to keep going. As Scott indicated the case backs can be out of alignment as they are just pushed on but this is easily rectified. The movements have a rather loud tick but personally I think it adds character :thumbs_up:

 

Having seen this example Mach, would you say it’s worth a punt? I like the aging on it but I am also quite drawn to the later Antimagnetic for £50. 

 

Thanks

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Quote

Having seen this example Mach, would you say it’s worth a punt? I like the aging on it but I am also quite drawn to the later Antimagnetic for £50. 

 

 
 

s-l1600.jpg

 

If so then it was made for Services by UMF Ruhla circa mid-1950s/late 1970s. I`m not familiar with Ruhla but as far as I am aware they were simple but dependable watches.Nice looking watch btw :biggrin:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not an expert, but I do have a few services watches.  They did seem to case up movements from other manufacturers rather than produce their own - many of these will have been foreign movements. If you want an 'English' watch, then it's probably going to need to be a newmark movement (as per mach's earlier post) and it will say 'made in england'.  If you are prepared to accept a 'British' watch, then you should be able to find one that's used a Smiths 5 or 7 jewel movement from the factory in Wales that they owned jointly with Ingersoll - these will say 'made in Gt Britain' or similar.  As far as i am aware, if you find a Smiths based one then it's highly likely its from the '50's or '60's.  

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Thanks for clearing that up, I was struggling to get it straight in my head but it makes sense now. 

I think I am going to try and get one that I like rather than chasing a Made In England or Gt Britain, if the two align then great but if not I’d rather have one that I will actually wear. 

Thanks again. 

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On 19/05/2018 at 10:00, mach 0.0013137 said:

 

 
 

s-l1600.jpg

 

If so then it was made for Services by UMF Ruhla circa mid-1950s/late 1970s. I`m not familiar with Ruhla but as far as I am aware they were simple but dependable watches.Nice looking watch btw :biggrin:

Quick update. This should be winging its way to me tomorrow and, so far, I am very happy. 

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