Broken and discarded, then found by Jim's
grandson, this 1930s Swiss A.S. watch is now ready for a new lease of
life. Without any doubt this was the most difficult restoration project
A. Schild S.A. was a watch movement maker operating from the 1890s through to the 1970s.
Adolph Schild began producing watch movements Grenchen, Solothurn after
1896. Schild produced many different movements and became one of the
largest movement makers in Switzerland by the 1920s. Schild movements
were used by many manufacturers in the 1950s through 1970s, including
such familiar names as Harwood, Fortis, Enicar, and even
The quartz crisis of the 1970s hit Schild especially hard, as
inexpensive Japanese and quartz watches cut into the market for
volume-produced three-handed watches. By 1979, in order to survive the
Japanese onslaught, Schild merged with ETA.
What made this restoration painful is the fact that there was not a
single component that was not either affected by rust, broken, out of
shape or simply worn out. Thanks to two other AS554 donor movements, the
end result was luckily a success.
Make sure to watch until the very end to see what's coming next!
Omega Moonwatch plexiglass replacement -
this is not a trivial repair. It requires specialist tools, removing the
mechanism out of the case, removing the bezel and cracked plexiglass,
case cleaning, and installation. Each set requires a very specific set
of tools and parts are friction fit (press in fit). And lastly, the
final step is a water pressure test. The whole exercise takes about 1
hour. Even the most experienced watchmakers do not take this job as a
routine repair. The bad news is that recently our spare parts supplier
informed us that a new price list for Omega parts is to be expected any
day now. We used to charge $300 for parts, labour and GST inclusive. The
bottom line is - be kind to your Moonwatch!
If you are into vintage Rolex submariners
fitted with plexi glass (models 5513 and 1680) then you are well aware
of a rather annoying problem- rust visible 'through' plastic glass.
This unsightly imperfection is actually too common; finding a perfect
vintage Rolex submariner showing no sign of rust and pitting underneath
the bezel is almost impossible. Pitting is a form of extremely localised
galvanic corrosion that leads to the creation of small holes in the
Actually, even the smallest amount of rust located directly underneath the crystal is perfectly visible, thanks to glass acting as a magnifying lens.
The only way to get rid of the rust is to remove the bezel, bezel
tension ring and then the plexiglass itself and clean all pitted
Here is a photo of the middle case after
rust removal. Unfortunately the pitted case is no longer waterproof.
The possible solution to restore water resistance would be to grind out
pitted spots, fill in the cavity by laser welding and then re-grind the
surface. However this intervention is a rather major undertaking and
would only be done with the owners approval only.
story of Breitling began on 1884 when a 24 years old watchmaker Leon
Breitling founded the small watch manufacturing workshop in Saint-Imier,
Leon Breitling specialised in the production of chronographs. By early 1930 Breitling had 40 different chronographs on offer.
1939 Breitling signed a large contract with the British Air ministry to
make flight chronographs for the Royal Air Force. After WW2, Breitling
was an official supplier to Douglas, KLM, BOAC, Lockheed, Air France and
To this day, Breitling chronographs are regarded as true pilot's watches known for their reliability and precision.
Featured in this video is the restoration of a 1953 Breitling Ref. 178
with 18K rose gold case and a Venus 170 mechanical column wheel
chronograph. The previous restorer was unable to get the chronograph
running and in desperation simply glued both pushers to the case,
permanently disabling them. Cleaning the grim of the dial and
deoxidising movement parts was a serious challenge. The entire
restoration took 9 working days to complete.