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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
2 years ago my wife bought me a pre owned Tag Heuer Aquaracer for my birthday. Now I know that few on here are going to be impressed by a Tag Heuer, especially a quartz model but for me this was a proud moment and thought it looked stunning. One thing that always bugged me though was the second hands not landing on the seconds markers. Last Wednesday I decided to take it to a watch dealer for a quote, not an official Tag Heuer dealer but my local who also specialised in watch repairs. They asked if they could have a look and before I knew it and to my horror, they had it apart, slapped the case and glass face down on the dirty, rough wooden counter and started fiddling around before announcing that they couldnt do anything.:-|

They gave it back to me and I left. I quickly noticed that a piece of dirt was trapped on the second hand so I begrudgingly took it back for them to take it out. When I got home I noticed that more dirt had crept it and that the back of the case was badly marked. :rodekaart. That was it, no chance I was taking it back there so I wondered- how hard could it be? A quick youtube search later I whipped out some makeshift tools; a pair of scissors to unscrew the case back and a needle to release the crown.





I didn't take a photo of the face out of the case as I wanted to minimise the chance of any further dust getting in so it had to be a slick operation. I have to say that I was shocked at how easy it was to do and even more shocked at the price dealers charge for a simple, non pressure tested battery replacement.

Taking off the bracelet I noticed how dirty the case was between the lugs so decided to get the brasso out and give it a good clean.





As I finished I thought I would see if I could improve the case back by rubbing some brasso wading over some white polishing grade compound and rubbing in a circular motion to maintain the brushed effect.





The rest of the inside of the bracelet looked as though it needed a clean so I carried on.





The camera phone showing its inability to show shiny/darker matt contrasting surfaces...or it might just be my photography skills.





With the bracelet finished I took to the main case/front of the watch which had quite a few battle scars including one large dent on the edge of the bezle to the right of the 12 lume dot. Having read many threads on here I knew I had to be very careful so as not to destroy the lines. I took some course black compound and used the block itself to ensure I maintained a sharp line as I started to cut away at the 2 sides of the bezel. By the time I had cut in enough it was looking a state. Unfortunately I was concentrating so much at this stage that I completely forgot to take any pictures. Anyway, I painstakingly, over a couple of hours worked my way up the compound grades using smaller and smaller pieces of wadding to put back the fine splayed brushed steel effect.

As can be seen below I dont think the lines have changed to any perceivable amount so now it was time to work on the worn away black paint increments, so out came the acetone to clean the markers before applying the nail polish.








To remove the overspill I applied the acetone to a cloth and wiped away. I can't tell you how frustrating this part was. The first time I did this I wiped the whole lot away and had to start again. It took quite a few attempts before cracking the technique of waiting a few seconds, pulling the cloth tight over the finger and using a flicking motion to wipe away the excess.








I spent another hour or so fine finishing other blemishes that stood out until I was happy with what looked like a barely worn almost new watch.
In the end what was a bad dealer experience led onto a snowball effect of restoration that has now resulted in this seeing more wrist action than any of my other watches. Although this sounds strange I have bonded with it far more and have now become considerably less obsessed with the misaligned second hand...plus now I will save a packet every time it needs a simple service/battery replacement. :)


 

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Awesome Job and cool story! The watch looks great, especially the painstaking black painted parts.
Congrats on rekindling with a lost love. ;)
 

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great to hear everything works out fine, and you definitely benefited from it (a great looking watch & the experience)

and I'd definitely think twice before going to the local watchmaker again
 

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What a thread ! Great stuff and well documented. The watch looks brilliant now !
 

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Really great story...Excellent workmanship....Three thumbsup....|> |> |>
 

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Nicely done!



~Sherry.
 

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Yeah, well done! Looks great!
 

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Tag Mac said:
Although this sounds strange I have bonded with it far more and have now become considerably less obsessed with the misaligned second hand...plus now I will save a packet every time it needs a simple service/batter replacement. :)
The definition of sweat equity as it relates to horology.

Really great looking work! Thanks for posting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys for your kind comments. It was a 'do or die' moment. The secondhand positioning and potential cost of sending it away saw me throw caution to wind leading to results I am hugely (and surprisingly) pleased with.
 

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When I first signed up here, , I thought this was what the forums were going to be about; a collection of like minded people messing about with and enjoying their watches.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, it often seems more like a place for people to push forward their personal agendas and/or insecurities and to peer down their nose at others depending on how fat their wallet is, or more likely it seems these days, how fat it isn't.

Anyway.
Great job on tidying up the watch. Sometimes a good deep clean can do wonders for refreshing up an otherwise tired looking watch. Did you make a note of the condition of the rear case seal? These usually get replaced at service time so you might want to do the same.
 

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Good work there Tag Mac. Maybe you will find a fix for the alignment issue. I own a few quartz watches but I will not buy one that doesn't hit the markers, so I know how you feel. I have found that maybe 10%-20% don't align either on the second hand or sub dials. I do not understand how these watches get past QC.
 

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Great job and great photos along the process.

It really does look like a new watch because you had the talent, patience, practice, and correct tools to get the job done.

Nice.
 

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kane.gif
Well done, man! I would never dare to do that with any watch I have (I know how clumsy I can be), but can most definitely appreciate someone with your patience and dedication!

Thanks for sharing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Did you make a note of the condition of the rear case seal? These usually get replaced at service time so you might want to do the same.
Yeah, I couldnt see anything that suggested it needed replacing. There was some dirt around the outside of it so I used the needles to clear it out. Im not sure if they need lubricating so will have to look into that.


Good work there Tag Mac. Maybe you will find a fix for the alignment issue. I own a few quartz watches but I will not buy one that doesn't hit the markers, so I know how you feel. I have found that maybe 10%-20% don't align either on the second hand or sub dials. I do not understand how these watches get past QC.
Im enjoying it as it is at the moment but Im sure the urge to sort it out will come back. I had tried google as it would still be nice to get it corrected without giving £200 to LVMH but I couldnt find much info. I think I would need to invest in some more tools but the watch repair lady told me that the second hand sits in a groove and because of this it cant be fixed without a new movement...Im not sure whether to give her comments any credibility or not though.
 
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