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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Cats,
Found this one at an Army Surplus store, I happen to know the owner and popped in one day and he had a wooden packed full of watch parts and bits, this one I got for 25 cents. It has a 3 part case and the movement is pretty cool, very dirty but cool, it does want to run, had it going for 12 minutes but it stopped so I mess with it any further. Not sure what I want to do with it really, the glass is so yellowed and the dial has a very dark patina you can hardly read it, it's 15 jewels and what looks to say cal. 1029. Inside of the case says: Diel, ACCD and then it says Belmont, Rolled Gold plate, it must be white gold, Pat. Pending.... it also has a serial number: 612441

So with all that information I'm wondering if it's worth saving, is it rare? How old is it? etc. etc.

Here's a couple pics, if you'd like more please let me know.



Peace,
Preston
 

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Hi -

Hard to tell if its rare or "worth saving": it's an interesting watch...

Typical pre-WW2 case, although the three-piece hinged case is fairly rare. However, I'm not sure that there is any gold actually left, as it looks much too clean for its age. I can well imagine that somone chemically stripped the case of its gold, leaving the base metal very clean indeed... wait, I took another look, it looks more like the watch case has been chrome-plated fairly recently, with some brass showing through on the side of the middle part (where it clicks into place and through the scratches on the back inside.

The movement itself looks awfully familiar, but I can't quite place it. It's not a AS 1029, though, despite what is engraved.

The movement has been rather nicely machine turned, rather nicely if I do say so myself. However, as you've said, it is in desperate need of a cleaning!

And looking more closely, while it says "15 jewels", I'm not sure I'm seeing 15 jewels. Then again, that might just be the picture...

Can you show a picture of the face and of the watch reassembled? That would aid in dating it...

Thanks for posting! We love horological mysteries... :)

JohnF
 

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I agree with JohnF..we'd need to see a photo of the dial to try to date it. What does it say under the "Wyda Watch Company" on the barrel bridge?
It looks to me like a small 20th century Swiss pocket watch movement adapted for a wristwatch. 15 jewel is usually a clue that it's from the 30s or earlier.
 

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The movement looks like a Fontainemelon (FHF) caliber 30 (or related).

It is a 15 jewel movement (some of the jewels appear to be clear corundum rather than red - ruby).

THe crystal sounds like it is celluloid if it has yellowed.

Probably from around 1930 but, I agree, more pictures are necessary to get any better idea.
 

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I agree with Jim on all points.

The best method to further identify this movement is to provide dial side photos with the dial removed. Also give us the diameter of the movement.

Worth restoring or not is always a tricky question and I never know how to respond.

Also, I have a Wyda ladies art deco watch, but it doesn't have the same movement (not even the same shape).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello Gents,
Ok here's the photo of the dial with the watch assembled.


New developement: I accidentally dropped it and what do you know it started running and it lasted about 15 minutes until it stopped I then spun it and off it went again, I've spun it four times now in the last 40 mins to get it going again so that tells me it's worth saving. I wound it and when doing so I detect a gentle release in pressure which tells me that the mainspring may be broken, however I wonder... is there such a thing as a mainspring that would be clutched to avoid overwinding and with that said could this watch be fully wound? In typing this the watch has stopped and by my simply picking it up started it again. I'm beginning to get a little excited by the waking of this old piece if it is indeed.

Although I would like to remove the dial and hands which is what I would do to a piece I don't care about with the awakening of this I would rather not.

Can we date this with this latest picture?

Ray, can I send this to you for what is turning out to be our joint research project here? Maybe you can take the dial off for further indentification efforts.

Peace,
Preston
 

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Thanks Preston but I don't do serious watch repair and wouldn't want to try removing the dial. Don't have the proper tools and my hand eye co-ordination is bad. I think we can do OK without removing the hands and dial anyway.
The dial definitely looks like 1930s to me. We appear to have identified the calibre as well. That's about the best we are going to do, unless somebody knows something about the Wyda company.
If the mainspring is broken the watch would not run at all. It's probably in need of a disassembly and a good cleaning.
It'll cost some $$$ to do that probably $50-$100. Personally I wonder if it's worth it given that it isn't a family heirloom but it is your call. It's a fairly nice quality watch - well jeweled.
 

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It the mainspring is broken near the barrel arbor then the watch won't run or wind, however, if it is broken closer to the outside, it's different. The watch may wind some but not to a full wind and you will notice the mainspring slipping after you wind a bit. The watch may run a bit in this condition.

Try not to drop this watch it has no shock protection and if dropped on a hard floor one of the balance pinions is likely to bend or break.

If mainspring is replaced and the watch properly serviced it may run OK. I'd guess that this would run $100-125.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys. An update, it's been running for almost an hour straight now and it's keeping great time. I also measured the movement and it's 23mm in diameter. Once Jim (one of my watchmakers I use) returns my Vintage Wittnauer tank I'll give him this to clean for me and check the mainspring.
Stay tuned for Wittnauer pics.
Peace,
Preston
 

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You're right, Jim. Now that you mention it I do recall a Gruen wristwatch I have that would partially wind and then slip back. Broken mainspring that time, further along the spiral.
 
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