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I hope that this does not sound too obvious or trivial, but may be of relevence when purchasing a vintage Omega,Rolex,IWC etc. What is the highest number of parts you have ever had to replace in the most worn out automatic movement (not including water damage)? To be more specific,how many worn parts have you ever had to replace in a mechanical movement that has been running way too long without a service?? Has it been a feasible expense to restore it to keep time accurately again with longevity?? Many thanks for your feedback
 

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Byron said:
I hope that this does not sound too obvious or trivial, but may be of relevence when purchasing a vintage Omega,Rolex,IWC etc. What is the highest number of parts you have ever had to replace in the most worn out automatic movement (not including water damage)? To be more specific,how many worn parts have you ever had to replace in a mechanical movement that has been running way too long without a service?? Has it been a feasible expense to restore it to keep time accurately again with longevity?? Many thanks for your feedback
Hi Byron,

Henry will likely give you a much more experienced response. Usually "running way too long without a service" will cause the watch to stop after a period where the watch will gain a lot by the lost an optimum amplitude of the balance. It could also block for diverse reasons : a pivot broken, a pallet detached for the escapment, the spiral dirty or displaced.

The best diagnosis is given by an analysis of the watch run is different positions . An acceptable isochronism should be recorded. If not, a service should be done and each parts inspected for acceptability.

For about 15 restoration project I restarted successfully some real wrecks without changing more that a few parts (a main spring, a wheel with worn pivot, a broken stem...). Here that ETA 2472 auto from the 60's as an example:






I changed the mainspring broken by my fault.


After the service.


A broken stem in another projet (a French caliber MHS P62)



I would say that, excepted in special cases, the replacement parts necessary are usually a marginal cost in the service of a watch in reasonable condition.

Kind regards,
 

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Byron, There is no question to trivial, that's why we are here.
Marc had some good comments on your post. I am not sure Ernie has enough space on his site to handle the answer ;-). But I will try. As in all things mechanical it all depends on what you start with that determines what you will replace and ultimately end up with. With that said normal wear is an issue when people do not service their piece regularly. The new synthetic oils do not break down as fast or dry out like the natural oils. Natural oils dry up and the movement would stop, usually prior to serious wear. With synthetics the movements tend to keep running and grind themselves to dust. This is not brand specific. So service your watches regularly. Parts - this has become a huge issue and especially in vintage pieces. They only made so many replacements. As Marc mentioned the part cost is usually minimal compared the the skill and time expended replacing the part. If you can find them. Is it all worth it? Well that is up to you if it is a sentimental watch cost is not an issue. If it is an every day watch you make the call repair vs. new. If it is a victim for a budding horologist it's different. Back to your question. I have had movements, same watch and calibre that needed to have 90% of it replaced and others that were as good as new and just required servicing. One of the basic components every watchmaker assumes they will replace is a new mainspring. This is the motor in a watch. Replacement and proper lubrication of the spring is important but understanding and making the adjustments so a mainspring barrel can perform to its potential with a new spring is paramount. Back to feasibility - anything can be accomplished with enough time, money and foolishness (haven't used that one in a while...). So it is up to you if the money is an issue to have a favorite back, a hobby fulfilled or something you always wanted restored. Think about the folks doing concourse restorations on autos for show or personal interest. Hope the answer wasn't too long. If you need clarification ask away!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Marc,
Thank you for your detailed explanation. It answers many other questions also. Very educational,.
regards Byron
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Is a watch running OK a good sign of little wear?

Hi Henry,
Thank you for your detailed educational explanation covering so many other areas also.
Henry Hatem said:
The new synthetic oils do not break down as fast or dry out like the natural oils. Natural oils dry up and the movement would stop, usually prior to serious wear. With synthetics the movements tend to keep running and grind themselves to dust. This is not brand specific.If you need clarification ask away!
Approximately how long have these new synthetic oils replaced the previously used natural oils in Horology?
Henry Hatem said:
If you need clarifiation ask away!
If a watch were to be picking up just under a minute per day, or losing under a minute per day at constant rate, be a good indication to assume minimal wear?
 

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Re: Is a watch running OK a good sign of little wear?

Hi Byron -

Synthetic oils have been around for a while, exact years I do not know. Some advocate a return of the natural oils so a watch would require more scheduled servicing avoiding major wear. Oil life has caveats, synthetic or not following are a few:
Shelf life of the oil
Cleanliness of the watch prior to lubrication
Application of the oil from where to how much

If a watch was gaining or loosing a minute a day I would evaluate how long ago the last service was and the environment being worn. Most likely if the last service was 3 yrs or more it is time to consider a service. It could be other things but I am speaking in general terms.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Is a watch running OK a good sign of little wear?

Hi Henry,
thanks for your feedback,
regards,
Byron:-!

Henry Hatem said:
Hi Byron -

Synthetic oils have been around for a while, exact years I do not know. Some advocate a return of the natural oils so a watch would require more scheduled servicing avoiding major wear. Oil life has caveats, synthetic or not following are a few:
Shelf life of the oil
Cleanliness of the watch prior to lubrication
Application of the oil from where to how much

If a watch was gaining or loosing a minute a day I would evaluate how long ago the last service was and the environment being worn. Most likely if the last service was 3 yrs or more it is time to consider a service. It could be other things but I am speaking in general terms.
 
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