Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Importance of Servicing

One of the most amazing things about mechanical watches is that they can last forever. They can serve you for life and many owners develop an unbreakable bond with their timepieces. It’s why nothing else is passed down, and appreciated, through generations quite like a watch. Few other mechanical things (or non-mechanical for that matter) have such staying power. It’s part of the reason I love them so much. But to do so, they must be cared for and serviced every 4-6 years.

We thought we’d just quickly show you one of the things that can happen if watches are neglected.

Recently we had an Omega Seamaster GMT in the shop that would stop running after a couple of hours. The watch was keeping perfect time and yet something was draining its power.

When disassembling the piece, Nick noticed that one of the wheels in the gear train was locked tight. It had little to no play in it and was clearly (or at least part of) the reason for the power being drained.

We decided to place the plate with the offending jewel on the optical comparator that’s (still) sitting on our office floor to get a clear picture of what’s causing the wheel to lock up:

What you’re seeing here is the result of oil and dust combining over the years to form a dark thick paste, that has resulted in the third wheel being locked up. A service every 5 years or so is more than enough to stave off this issue.

After a thorough clean, the difference is huge:

Thankfully, this watch will survive unscathed, but a recurrence of this may cause the jewels to wear out which may result in further issues throughout the mechanism.

A mechanical watch is an ongoing investment; it doesn’t just end when you walk out of the boutique. But it’s an investment that’ll bring you much joy. It’s an investment that’ll bring joy to those around you. It’s an investment that brings you into a community of some of the most intelligent and passionate people around from whom you can learn a great deal. It’s worth it.

Happy collecting,

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