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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We've had this watch in the family for a few years, since 2001. i bought it originally, decided it was too old for me at the time and thought my Dad should wear it for a while.

Roll on several years and i just got it back (my dad never liked it anyway apparently). Well it hadn't fared too well, he doesn't really have the temprament for intricate, delicate little things and it needs some work. The case was heavily dinged and scraped up, the quick set date isn't working and that subdial hand has been knocked out of position (the chronograph works fine, that hand has just shifted in an impact it seems). It's never had a service so it's time it had one. Suprisingly, it's keeping amazingly good time, it's about +6 sec after several days wear. Oh, and there's an endpiece missing from the crown (i kinda prefer it without actually so no big deal there)

I decided i would refurbish the case myself, then send the watch for a service and to fix the date change and re-set that hand. Then i should have myself a nice watch, i plan to wear it.

These are the results of the refurb. I sanded the whole thing out pretty much, there were some deep scrapes and dings and it was the only way to get them out. In the process i decided to reprofile the lugs to something i prefer, they were very rounded and formal/classical looking so i squared them off, flattened the raised part of the lug so i could go with the brushed polished brushed scheme. They look sharper and more defined and the brushed finish changes the look of the watch quite a bit, personally i like it. I couldn't recreate the sunburst brushed effect on the 45* bezel but i wasn't keen on it anyway, made the dial look smaller somehow. it would be impossible to do anyway after the watch is assembled i think.

Anyway, waddyathink? (please excuse the hairy arm closeup)



 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! Yeah, it's a great watch, i like it anyway.

I realise it's a bit of an odd behavoir to alter a nice watch like that but i figured i had nothing to lose (condition wise) so i went for it. Plus i wanted to make it something i would wear everyday. i've been wearing it the last few days, in between working on it and i'm getting quite fond of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks very nice, but can we see a before pic?
I didn't have the foresight to take before pics (oops!) , i should have done, and maybe some progress (read: scary!) pics.

i'll dig around and find a pic of an original one. The changes to the lugs are subtle but allowed me to do the brushed/polished thing (they were very rounded on top and on the end so wouldn't have tied in that well with the bezel if i'd just brushed finished them)
 

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I once had the opportunity to buy the annual calendar black panda dial version of this for half price at Harrods... still kicking myself that I didn't. Gorgeous watch!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I like that version, that's a great dial.

This one is the earlier ML-05, the later ML-15 has the annual calender, for anyone that's wondering. I think they're discontinued now too, just the flyback aviator now that has the ML-15.
 

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That came out REALLY well! It would have been wonderful if you had taken some process pictures. I take it that you are somewhat accomplished with metal work?

-T
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That came out REALLY well! It would have been wonderful if you had taken some process pictures. I take it that you are somewhat accomplished with metal work?

-T
Thanks, i really appreciate that! I don't know about accomplished, but i definatley like to tinker. I tend to collect tools as i need them (i have all sorts of gear) and i often spend the evening in my little worshop out back where i have various old machine tools. time flys in there, it's wierd, i often emerge in the small hours wondering where the time went. i usually make completely useless stuff that ends up on a shelf or in a drawer. I've done a fair bit of machining and finishing of small parts when i was into model engineering as a hobby. I also make hardware for my guitars sometimes, and i do my own fretwork, dressing frets is not too dissimilar to this really.

Finishing steel i seem to enjoy, i've done a few pocket knives recently. it's nice to work on because it's forgiving, let's say you're putting a brushed finish on a little part, if you don't like how it's looking you just rub it out on the polisher and start again.

On this watch i just experimented as i went, it's a nice evening at the coffee table for me. The procedure for this was basically once it's all fine sanded smooth, polish the whole case, then add the brushed parts, then run up to the edges again with the polisher to give the sharp definition between the brushed and polished. I might re-do the brushed parts again and do the brushed lines a bit more pronounced, although it's pretty good already. i've re-done the brushed finish several times already with differnet finishes, lower grit then hand polished, some fine grit then left unpolished-just experimenting until you to get the look right. If it goes wrong just rub it out and start again! Reshaping the lugs was a little scary but i just went slow and carefully, and i'm happy with how they turned out.

Most of the scrapes and dings were around bezel and the polished bezel ring, and to the lugs. Looked like it had been scraped or dropped on concrete a bunch of times-that's why i wasn't too worried about value ond originality etc, i figured it gives me a free reign to change it up a little since it couldn't be sold on with the original finish anyway, the sunburst brushwork on the bezel really needed refinishing and i can't imagine a way to recreate that once it's fitted on the watch.
 

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A very professional job, if I may say so.
Well done!
 
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