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Brighton Beach Memoirs: Installment 2


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It took a little longer for me to get around to posting this, what with Paul (Silverhawk) happily being super-busy with fixing watches and life in general and a likewise busy work schedule for me, but I got the latest batch of watches I sent Paul's way for servicing about a couple of weeks ago and thought I'd share.

The first one is a watch I've been looking forward to getting properly serviced for a while now -- it's a Clinton Electromatic with a Landeron 4750 movement (non-hacking, no battery disconnect) and the crazy 'Electro-Chron' hour and minute hands ... but it's clearly got the wrong second hand, as you can see in this photo. It should be the classic lightning bolt second hand, not this (admittedly pretty) spade-tipped number in place here! It's a runner though, so that's good!

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Luckily, I have another Clinton, this one an 'Electric' that I bought as a donor watch, which has the correct second had ... it's a donor because of severe radium burns to the dial and an unknown working state of the movment. It looked like this:

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Once Paul got into the Electromatic, however, he found some problems -- it had the incorrect crystal fitted and to enable the movement to be fitted with the incorrect crystal, someone had cut slots out of the movement ring. In addition, the battery contact was slightly broken and the crown was heavily worn. He recommended that we use the movement (and other better parts) out of the Electric and then came the bonus -- the Electric had the (relatively) rare Landeron 4751 movement in it (hacking, no battery disconnect.) So, while not the original movement, I like the fact that I have a working example of the rarer version of the Landeron -- here is the final product, with an era-correct NOS band that I pulled from the watch-band archives.

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Notice that this watch doesn't have the cross-hatched crown that a lot of Landeron-based watches had from this era. I don't know if this is because it's been replaced, or if it never had one (neither of the Clintons I sent Paul had a cross-hatched crown.)

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This watch also doesn't have the central battery hatch that many Landerons had, and has a conventional case back instead.

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Overall, I'm EXTREMELY pleased with the job that Paul did with this watch! I'll also note that, while these movements have a reputation for not being terribly accurate, the Electromatic, in the two weeks that I've had it back and running, has only lost 1 minute! :eek:

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The second watch I sent over was Hamilton Electronic Argo. This one I'd gotten as complete set, including box, paperwork and tags, but it was not running, and, worryingly, there was fogging to the inside of the glass crystal. That often means that the battery had discharged and eaten the movement, and since this watch is one you have to access via the crystal, was beyond my abilities to check.

Fortunately, Paul found that the only problem was that the impulse jewel had broken off of the movment, and so needed to be replaced. An interesting fact here that Paul shared was that, in looking at his stock of these ESA movements, this appears to be a common problem with these otherwise robust movements. Here's what it looks like.

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Below, you can see that the watch still has the original sticker on the caseback; also note the screws that secure the NSA band to the case. I gave Paul a bit of a heart-attack, as I'd removed the band and screws for transport to the UK, and in reassembling the watch post service, Paul didn't recall that he'd never had the screws. Apparently he spent some time tearing the workshop apart looking for them before asking me if I had them ... happily, I did! :yes:

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However, in the end, I have a problem. As i mentioned in my last post with the Omega f300, I have pencil-thin writst, and despite this NSA band being a "small" size, it's still about half an inch too large for my wrists!! :wallbash: So, for now, it willl be a 'museum piece' in my collection, which, with the completeness of the package it came with, isn't the worst thing ... Still, I'm trying to brainstorm a solution, since you can't resize these NSA bands. I have an idea involving velcro, which I'll report on if I ever get around to it ... but it was imperative for me to get this watch serviced, even knowing that, because of my concerns of a leaking battery sitting in the watch.

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Another great job by Paul, even if it represents everything gold and blingy that he stands against in watches! :D

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The last watch I sent over is one I won't spend much time on, other than to explain that this watch is the one that got me into electric/electronic watches in the first place. It's a simple Accutron 218 with a florentine gold bezel that I picked up for around $50 USD because I kept hearing about these darned "tuning fork" watches, and, in fact, I'd grown up with my mother extolling the virtues of Accutron tuning fork watches as the most accurate in the world (my grandfather had one and had apparently impressed her with that fact.) Once I got it (it was a runner from the time I got it), I fell in love! The gentle humming, the snappy date change, the sweeping second had ... what was not to love! Now, I own several dozen tuning fork watches alone, and this is the one to blame -- the only reason I sent it Paul's way was that it had gradually been losing more and more time, so when the battery died, I simply took the opportunity to use that as an excuse to send it Paul's way.

Here it is:

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Lovely glowingly clean case after Paul ultrasonically cleaned it.

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The camera and lighting really over-emphasize any scratches or wear -- it's really a lovely watch, and I like the gold plated case-back as a nice touch.

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The particular 218 version in this watch allows the date to be changed simply by turning the crown when pushed all the way in (I'm not sure what particular variant of the 218 that makes it? Paul will know) ... I didn't realize that when I got the watch, and had to turn the crown to cover some 3 weeks! Boy was my hand tired! :tongue2:

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The watch now keeps spot-on time! Hurrah!

That's it until next time, which will involve a de-conversion of a Hamilton Pacer Electric from quartz (!!) back to a 505, along with a couple of interesting Landeron-based watches. :thumbup:

Bye!

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So that is what the bracelet looks like on this watch! --- the end of the bracelet pushes into the slot in the watch case and then the single screw goes through the slot + hole in bracelet and holds it all together. Quite an unusual arrange for this period I think.

Van, I can forgive it for being gold --- I think it looks stunning :thumbsup:. It's a shame you didn't send me the bracelet with the watch; I would have photographed it for my website.

Edited by Silver Hawk
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P1060510_zpsf82a067c.jpg

P1060508_zps619385e7.jpg

So that is what the bracelet looks like on this watch! --- the end of the bracelet pushes into the slot in the watch case and then the single screw goes through the slot + hole in bracelet and holds it all together. Quite an unusual arrange for this period I think.

Van, I can forgive it for being gold --- I think it looks stunning :thumbsup:. It's a shame you didn't send me the bracelet with the watch; I would have photographed it for my website.

I don't know what the aversion to gold is all about (please feel free to send me all of your solid gold watches - I will take them). I am wearing a Doxa right now from the early '60's and can't get it off my wrist!

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