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I'm in trouble buying new watches recently, simply because I have more important things to buy than watches, so… no new watches for quite some time now. At least - not good ones.

What I'm doing now is I attend to watches queueing for some time already and... buy cheap junk from time to time.

Serious collectors usually don't, but I like my junk. I have a whole drawer of junk and I'm quite fond of it.
Mostly because it's all Imperial Russia junk I'm pretty much into.

In fact - Imperial Russian watches are pretty much divided in two groups - wonderful, quality watches in top condition to be had for 'top dollar' prices and the rest - mostly in junk condition after years and of service and - most often - bad servicing.

In today's mail I received a great addition to my junkyard - a junky (but interesting) old Tissot.

I've been watching this listing appear again and again.
Sometimes you look at a listing and the whole watch is screaming 'TROUBLE!' and... you don't want that watch, unless… the price gets so low you just can't resist.

And so I decided to buy this Tissot, even though I knew it was bad.

Disassembled. Many findings there.
Someone had already worked on it, and did a lot of - so to say - unorthodox stuff.
Firstly - I do it myself sometimes, and secondly - as I grow older I find it more and more inappropriate to post to many pictures of 'look how this guy screwed up', so…

...I'll just tell you there is a replaced balance staff with balance wheel bent and sitted too high, a bent (but working) roller plate, a piece of mainspring instead of dial side cap jewel, the regulator is missing, the top side cap jewel cracked and the 3rd wheel is missing a tooth.

Trying to find some cap jewels I noticed I was 'running on fumes' there and now I have none left!
Only some very old and oversized, but no decent cap jewel for a 19th Century watch anymore…
Luckily the last ones I had - I could use for my Tissot... lucky me...

Auto part Metal Rim Clutch part Gear

I did it the easy way and replaced the 3rd wheel.
On one hand - I found one exactly the same in size, that fitted on the pinion without any modifications at all. On the other - it is a lower quality wheel, not finished as nicely as the original.
Still - if that wheel were the only problem with that watch...

Anyway - assembling on I 'stepped on a mine' and nearly destroyed the barrel!
Maybe it's just me, but when there are three screws, one short and two long, I place the short one in the middle. In case of this crown wheel, no - the short one is the one above the barrel!

Auto part Disc brake Clutch part Clutch Machine

Luckily it's just surface damage on the barrel tooth, but that's an unwanted complication anyway...
As you can see, the watch has a simple, button operated setting mechanism and bi-metallic, cut, expansion balance with double roller.

I fitted a regulator to fit the hairspring and tried to straighten the balance to clear the center wheel.
With a washer reducing the endshake - it pretty much does, but it's a very bad balance job someone once did here…

Auto part Gear Fashion accessory Metal Disc brake

The watch runs now. Not very well, but runs...

It is an early (29822) Tissot watch in a nice, decorated, silver case...

Pocket watch Watch Metal Antique Fashion accessory

In the video you might have caught a glimpse of the Russian '84' silver hallmark - in late 19th Century Tissot was among the biggest brands in Russia, so it's no wonder…

Pocket watch Watch Antique Metal

15 jewels, straight line lever escapement and compensation balance - indeed.

Pocket watch Watch Fishing reel Fashion accessory Metal

All in all - an interesting early Tissot from the time Tissot aimed for high-end range as well.
Not like this is high end, of course, but they used this ebauche in various, often top-finished, versions.

All in all - I'm glad I've bought this piece of junk. Very nice :)
And if we're talking about Imperial Russia...

Standing Headgear Uniform Vintage clothing Military officer

...warm greetings from the Three Emperors's Corner, the vey place the boarders of three great empires met in 19th and early 20th Century (not like we here in Poland love that fact, but... it is part of our history).
Where I'm standing used to be Russia (or Russian Poland), behind my back and on the right, Germany and - not in the picture - on the left on the other bank of the Biala Przemsza river - Austria.

This spot is in my home city of Sosnowiec. In fact, the city grew along with the industry, partly because of this location…

*the Imperial Lieutenant coat I've found on an internet listing and it seems to be a fairly modern, but very well made replica.
The cap is of a different set - but you won't notice in sepia. Don't mind the shoes, I've already spent enough money to take these pictures in some historical places at the Three Emperors' Corner. This is - of course - meant entirely to remind you of the troubled history of the place (and for pure fun as well) and is not intended to have any political context.

2,453 Posts

As always: thanks for another Great Posting.

You did a fine job on this old Tissot, and there's no doubt but that the watch thanks you...who wants to languish in a dusty cabinet, when Spring is in the air?

On a related note: if some rich person should decide to reward me for all the hours I've spent on watches just like your's--at, say, $100 USD / per hour--I reckon that I might be looking through Rolls-Royce brochures...hour after hour after hour after...

Thanks again. Michael.
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