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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a... tough restoration project.
I bought this movement in October 2016...


This looks not bad, but it was taken for documentation.
The movement was in non running, very bad condition, with serious corrosion on the steel parts and broken center arbor and balance staff...



Rusty :D

The rusty, original balance wheel...


...did not survive riveting to another staff and broke in half, and so the project was cancelled. In October 2016.

I have a parts' box that's intended for gold plated movement plates and that's where I found it after over a year...

I used parts from two other CWCo watches, maintaining early version of the escapement, harvested from a S/N 31,099 movement.
Also, this is the source of the balance wheel. Of the original assembly - I've left the rusty roller table so that I can now say the balance assembly is pertly original ;)

Also original are all the plates, the key guard, the F-S scale on the top plate and...


The click. I'd replace that if I could, but I've already used one up and early CWCo clicks are different from the later ones.


I don't know who made the cannon pinion - I simply used a 14-tooth one I had.
The center wheel and motion works come from a lever set Columbus, so i had to find a KW cannon pinion for it...I filed and punched it to make it tight.


Dial side...


And the dial.
I'm a fool - I've once shortened the pinned feet to use the dial on a later Columbus (with screw--down feet), but later I chose to patch the original dial and I took it off again - with shortened feet.
It would have been perfect and now it's just good looking.
Well - shame, but that's not reversible...


And done! All the effort was due to the fact, this is a highly sought-for first-run American Columbus.

Before, CWCo would finish and sell Swiss movements like this one below:


American production began with S/N 20,000, a run of 11 jewel key wind movements and that's one of them.
Very difficult to get one, so - despite the non original parts decrease the value significantly - it was well worth rebuilding.
I'm glad it went well and the movement is back in my collection. It kept haunting me every once in a while, I even thought of discarding the plates completely (in the trash bin) to end the problem once and for all, but... I think I found a better solution :D !!!

2,119 Posts
pmwas...well done, and well documented! It is always soul-satisfying to see an old watch 'brought back to Life'. Your Columbus is certainly darn scarce, and it seems to me fair to suggest, that anyone who likes American watches will appreciate that this Brand is infrequently encountered.

I have worked on a number of Old Fellows rather like your's, and--although never easy of quickly-accomplished--it's great fun to return them to Life, and watch them carry on! Michael.
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