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Jeremy Harris

Repairing a 1956 Cyma R.458 movement - never tried to repair a watch before...

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For my 18th birthday, my Godfather gave me his 9ct gold Cyma.  This was in 1970.  About a year later I was wearing it at a Hawkwind gig at the Round House, Chalk Farm Road, and on leaving I bashed it on something and the whole movement, crystal etc dropped out on to the ground.  The case of this watch has the lugs fixed to the back, and the bezel ring with the crystal holds the movement in place, and it's not a very secure push fit (something I need to devise a way to fix later).

So, as this watch hasn't got a lot of value, but is in pretty good condition as far as the dial, hands, case etc go, I thought I'd have a go at fixing it.  I'd lost some bits, plus there seems to be an extra bit in there, but this box has been stored away for about 47 years.  This is what I found when I opened the box:

As_found.jpg

 

The face looks to be in pretty good condition for a watch that's over 60 years old:

Face.jpg

 

And it was easy to date as inside the case there are a full set of Edinburgh hallmarks for 1956:

Inside_case.jpg

 

The movement is not too bad, but the balance wheel is missing, and the balance bridge is minus the bearing and cap jewel, plus the screw that holds the balance bridge in place is missing (I think I must have had it apart to try and fix it back when it was first damaged):

Movement.jpg

 

So, it looks like I need a new balance wheel, complete with staff, hairspring, upper jewel bearing and cap jewel.  A bit of hunting around revealed a complete movement for sale with a very badly damaged face, but the balance wheel looked OK.  So for £13 I bought it, only to find that it's missing the upper balance wheel jewels!  The good news is that the balance wheel and staff look to be in good condition.  As the face on the replacement movement was beyond saving, I carefully pulled the hands off (they are in good condition, so will be kept as spares) and removed the face, so I could take a look at the bearing on the face side of the balance wheel.  A quick check with a vernier seems to show that the bottom bearing jewels are identical to the missing upper bearing jewels.

I'm now waiting for some more tools I've ordered to arrive, so the next instalment of this tale will be when I find out if I can remove the balance bridge, balance wheel and lower balance jewels from the donor movement, fit the jewels to the balance bridge and then try and put the movement back together again.  It will need a good clean, as there's lots of bits of fluff in it, but first I want to find out if I can just swap the lower jewels for my missing upper ones.

I'd welcome if anyone has any ideas as to how to make the case clip together more tightly.  Being gold, and because the lugs are fixed to the case back, I think the tension from the strap may have slightly distorted the relatively soft case.  I can clip it together easily, and unclip it with a finger nail, which is the reason it came apart and dropped the movement on the ground in the first place.  I think I need something to slightly ease out the diameter of the back, so it's a tighter fit, but I've no idea if there's a special tool that will do that or if I'll have to try and make one.

More to follow in a few days, when some new tools have arrived, plus a new crystal that I hope will be the right size (I've bought a couple of different sizes in case my measurements are a bit out. 

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I can't offer any advice I'm afraid, but it's a lovely looking watch with sentimental value. Well worth trying to repair I'd say. Best of luck and I'm looking forward to reading more about your progress.

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Lovely watch!!

Cyma wristwatches do have quite a following and are collected, so a 9ct version is going to be worth a bit, i would'nt write it off as a cheap n cheerful one!!

As Simon said best to have a professional person to repair it or someone competent to do so, the balance is the brain of the watch and life is not as easy as swopping balances and hoping for the best

Hope it all works out for you :) 

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Cyma produced in- house movements including the beauty you got. It is a jewel. If you are set to do it yourself;

Lets hope the balance off of the spare is good, just because it looks to you like turning freely is no gurantee it is okay. Check upper and loewr pivots, if not worn short, you may have a runing one.  

If it refused to run,  pivots can be polished in jacot tool, or the staff renewed.

If you get it to run, you will get good timing but unlikely to get good amplitude.

Clean in Ronson lighger fluid, it is shelack friendly. Impulse and pallet jewels are shelaked in place. Make sure you grease the barrel. Do not oil fork arbor.

Good luck.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Nucejoe said:

Cyma produced in- house movements including the beauty you got. It is a jewel. If you are set to do it yourself;

Lets hope the balance off of the spare is good, just because it looks to you like turning freely is no gurantee it is okay. Check upper and loewr pivots, if not worn short, you may have a runing one.  

If it refused to run,  pivots can be polished in jacot tool, or the staff renewed.

If you get it to run, you will get good timing but unlikely to get good amplitude.

Clean in Ronson lighger fluid, it is shelack friendly. Impulse and pallet jewels are shelaked in place. Make sure you grease the barrel. Do not oil fork arbor.

Good luck.

 

 

     are you sure lighter fluid will not desolve shelack ?     vin

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