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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just picked this up today. Elgin auto, likely late 50s or early 60s.

Stainless steel case, Elgin 793 (AS 1673?) automatic movement. Very clean all over. One of the women who works at the store indicated it was her husband's watch. She kept saying it was from the 1940s and seemed surprised/skeptical when I told her she was off by a decade or two.

Came on a new-ish black braided leather strap, but I switched it over to a brown lizard strap i had lying around.

Probably going to get this serviced, but I'm a little dissatisfied with my local watchmaker at the moment so I might look into sending it out to someone different.

Not too bad for $40 considering it's a steel cased watch in excellent shape.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great find!
Well, my jubilation might be short lived. After looking at it under a loupe, I now believe it might be a refinished dial. There is paint on the sides of the numerals and the "SWISS" is not perfectly centered. I didn't notice either of these things in the store, although I did notice the lack of the Elgin logo from this period. Considering we're talking about the later Elgin company here (not the original American company), I supposed it's possible that the watch left the factory this way, but I think not.

I will try to post better pictures so those who are much more familiar with the brand can offer comments. Might need to get the macro lens out and take some proper photos....

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hunt for a new watchmaker.
Have a recommendation?

My local guy knows what he's doing, but I am very frustrated with him at the moment, for the following reasons:
1. Communication is not his strong suit. When I drop something off with him it's like a black hole. I'm perfectly fine with waiting 1 - 3 months to have something serviced, but trying to get a status update from him is like pulling teeth.
2. He is very busy (which is actually a good sign), but I believe this leads him to slip up. For example, I had a simple 17 jewel Swiss manual wind serviced and it was running almost a minute slow per day right after I got it back from him. Because I didn't feel like running back to his shop again, I regulated it myself and got it within 15 seconds/day, but was irritated that he didn't have that straightened out. The movement had definitely been serviced (it had some issues before I brought it in), but I seriously think he just forgot to regulate it. More recently, I brought a tiny ladies watch owned by my mother for him to service and repair. When the case back was removed, it would run. However, as soon as the caseback was popped back on, it would stop. I suspected the movement wasn't seated correctly and explained exactly what was going on with it when I dropped it off. When I went to pick it up from him, it wasn't running! I mentioned again to him that it had exhibited similar behaviour prior to me bringing it in for service. He removed the caseback to put it on the timegrapher and... voila.... it started ticking again. He said he would troubleshoot the issue and and then get back to me (at this point I'd already paid him). This was over 4 months ago and it's been radio silence. At this point I'm actually not contacting him on purpose. I'm waiting to see how long it will be until he contacts me, if ever. Maybe he had a heart attack.....
 

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Jason at 'The Tick Tock Shop' in Santa Clara, CA.
Have a recommendation?

My local guy knows what he's doing, but I am very frustrated with him at the moment, for the following reasons:
1. Communication is not his strong suit. When I drop something off with him it's like a black hole. I'm perfectly fine with waiting 1 - 3 months to have something serviced, but trying to get a status update from him is like pulling teeth.
2. He is very busy (which is actually a good sign), but I believe this leads him to slip up. For example, I had a simple 17 jewel Swiss manual wind serviced and it was running almost a minute slow per day right after I got it back from him. Because I didn't feel like running back to his shop again, I regulated it myself and got it within 15 seconds/day, but was irritated that he didn't have that straightened out. The movement had definitely been serviced (it had some issues before I brought it in), but I seriously think he just forgot to regulate it. More recently, I brought a tiny ladies watch owned by my mother for him to service and repair. When the case back was removed, it would run. However, as soon as the caseback was popped back on, it would stop. I suspected the movement wasn't seated correctly and explained exactly what was going on with it when I dropped it off. When I went to pick it up from him, it wasn't running! I mentioned again to him that it had exhibited similar behaviour prior to me bringing it in for service. He removed the caseback to put it on the timegrapher and... voila.... it started ticking again. He said he would troubleshoot the issue and and then get back to me (at this point I'd already paid him). This was over 4 months ago and it's been radio silence. At this point I'm actually not contacting him on purpose. I'm waiting to see how long it will be until he contacts me, if ever. Maybe he had a heart attack.....
 

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Too bad you don't live on Canada. I clean watches by hand as a hobby and also replace jewels and other difficult jobs. I actually don't have a rate, just charge for parts and what I think is very fare. What did this guy charge you for the ladies watch service. And how much the the man's watch.


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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
He charges approximately $120 U.S. for a manual wind and around $150 for an auto. This seems to be a fairly standard rate for major metro areas in the U.S.

Too bad you don't live on Canada. I clean watches by hand as a hobby and also replace jewels and other difficult jobs. I actually don't have a rate, just charge for parts and what I think is very fare. What did this guy charge you for the ladies watch service. And how much the the man's watch.


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Actually not a bad rate. I have done many cleanings and repairs for free:). Usually for friends. Does he replace the mainspring? Does he measure the balance amplitude before and after. Does he show you pictures of the watch completely disassembled? I have a Facebook page "jd Watchboy" have a look


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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Actually not a bad rate. I have done many cleanings and repairs for free:). Usually for friends. Does he replace the mainspring? Does he measure the balance amplitude before and after. Does he show you pictures of the watch completely disassembled? I have a Facebook page "jd Watchboy" have a look


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He's pretty old school. No Facebook page, no photos of the watch disassembled. He has a pretty hands-off approach and will only replace parts if they truly need to be replaced. He replaced a main spring for me once, but only because the original had failed. Not sure about the amplitude measurement, but I'd guess yes because I've watched him put a couple of my watches on the timegrapher when I brought them in for advice.

I'll check out your page for sure. Thanks!
 

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He's pretty old school. No Facebook page, no photos of the watch disassembled. He has a pretty hands-off approach and will only replace parts if they truly need to be replaced. He replaced a main spring for me once, but only because the original had failed. Not sure about the amplitude measurement, but I'd guess yes because I've watched him put a couple of my watches on the timegrapher when I brought them in for advice.

I'll check out your page for sure. Thanks!
He sounds good. Just very very busy. Where I live, one of the local watch repair man closes his shot for 2 weeks every month just to get work done.


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
He sounds good. Just very very busy. Where I live, one of the local watch repair man closes his shot for 2 weeks every month just to get work done.
That is completely believable to me. There just aren't that many watchmakers compared to 30 or 40 years ago. I would say you selected an excellent hobby!
 

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That is completely believable to me. There just aren't that many watchmakers compared to 30 or 40 years ago. I would say you selected an excellent hobby!
5000 in tools, 50 books and lots of practice. I am half Swiss and an Engineer be degree


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5000 in tools, 50 books and lots of practice. I am half Swiss and an Engineer be degree


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I wish you were on this side of our neighboring countries' border.

My watch guy is eclectic. Nuff said there.
I dropped off one of my WW2 Russian officer Kirovskies for lite service. One month later I called and he said I hate pocket watches. $10, will do.
Now I'm learning watch servicing. Starting real slow on junk watches.
Just did my first crystal swap on my Seiko Monster. Scratchlex to Sapphire. Oh yeah! Success. Just need $4890.00 more in tools.lol!
 

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congrats on your last acquisition
 

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I wish you were on this side of our neighboring countries' border.

My watch guy is eclectic. Nuff said there.
I dropped off one of my WW2 Russian officer Kirovskies for lite service. One month later I called and he said I hate pocket watches. $10, will do.
Now I'm learning watch servicing. Starting real slow on junk watches.
Just did my first crystal swap on my Seiko Monster. Scratchlex to Sapphire. Oh yeah! Success. Just need $4890.00 more in tools.lol!
Very funny. It all started for me with a Seiko Diver from a friend. Then I started pocket watches when another friend found one in a barn. I am just the curious type.


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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
OK, managed to get a few photos with the macro lens. Looking at this in a vacuum, everything screams redial: paint on the sides of the numerals, "SWISS" not centered, lack of 60s Elgin symbol.... BUT..... the fact that I found an identical watch online has me scratching my head. If you look at the other watch (posted earlier in this thread) you'll notice that it too has the slightly off center "SWISS". Mine is in better condition, but the dials appear identical to me eye. If anyone knows of sites that have Elgin catalogs from this era, I would be much obliged. I didn't find anything, but I also didn't look that hard.

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