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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

Just wanted to do my first proper post with a little story of my good luck and then ask a quick question re spare parts and tools.

My watch mending experience began the day I totally wrecked a watch belonged to my brother when I was 12. My father went mental and never forgot. When I recently (some 20+ years later) asked if he had "any old watches or clocks in the house" he made me laugh by commenting in his strong Irish brogue, "David, there's an attic full of broken watches and clocks in this house...all of it the product of your handiwork". Apparently I also broke a Smith's 8-day mantel clock, two accurist watches from the 50s, a pocket watch, a 1930s travel clock, and several other pieces!!!

Fast forward two decades and thankfully I now have 28 watches pre-1950 which I've restored...a memorial to the watches and clocks I murdered in my youthful curiosity. I've replaced stems, fitted new mainsprings, poised balances, all the usual stuff. I even got paid by a colleague when I fixed an Omega he had - when thr "watchmaker" (read "con man") tried to charge his £300 for a snapped watch stem.

Well, my luck with purchases has turned profitable...

I recently bought online a watch which purported to be "overwound" and with "no maker's name". The photo on the site was horrendously out of focus but I suspected something weird at play. I asked no questions and put in a large maximum bid only to find in the mail a...Patek Philippe!!! (Imagine the list of happy expletives when I opened the envelope).

The balance staff needed replacing and it wasn't cheap but I've now been offered £2,800 for a watch I paid £32 for. The seller later told me he'd "opened the watch and pushed the little spring but it kind of snapped. The name on the inside is something French" :)

So there ya go - sometimes a punt is worth the risk.

Now my question...

I recently found in a bag of "watchmaker's junk" three early Medana movements- Medana being the UK branch of Meyer which went on to be the famous Roamer watch brand. Turns out one of the watches is a very early Medana movement, in a solid silver case, hallmarked all over the place. I'm absolutely in love with it; classic art deco square face, movement relatively clean etc. Having researched it online I'd say the watch dates from just before or after the Great War...and definitely no later than 1925.

The problem is typical: a broken jewel on the balance. Also, the second hand is missing its jewel.

So here's my question: where in the UK can I source parts needed for vintage watches? So far I've only had to deal with minor issues in watches but now I have about 9 gorgeous watches and virtually all of them have balance staff/jewel problems. I have a staking set and lathe but setting jewels is something that terrifies me- my fear is if I go tampering with jewel settings I'd permanently damage the watch.

Cousins in the UK is great for various parts but not for older watches with archaic mechanisms. Luckily, I've such a vast collection of parts that to date I've found what I need....but I've run into problems with this beautiful Medana.

Any thoughts / links / suggestions very welcome...and "take it to a watchmaker" is defeating the purpose :)


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