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Thread: Breathing new life into a Wenger

  1. #1

    Breathing new life into a Wenger

    I have a particular liking for Wenger watches as beaters, and over the years have picked up 2 or 3 from eBay. I have found them to be everything I'd want from a beater - solid, reliable and with pretty decent styling.

    So when I saw a Wenger watch described as "spares or repairs" being sold on eBay for the grand sum of €20.95 including postage to the UK I thought I would give it a try.

    In the listing the movement was described as not working and the crystal as damaged, and the photos showed it looking a little tired and uncared for.





    The movement was said to be a Technotime 12200, however a little research showed this to be a mis-type. Technotime used French Ebauche (FE) movements, and in this case it was actually an FE 7221. This was good news, as a little more research showed that although the FE was no longer in production a Ronda 515 was a drop-in replacement.

    Having ordered the watch from the Netherlands I then sourced the Ronda 515 from HS Walsh whose service, as ever, was excellent. At £7.84 including postage the Ronda was great value.

    The watch arrived in yesterday morning's post - taking just four days - and so I immediately stripped the watch down and removed and measured the mineral crystal. It was 30mm diameter and 2.8mm thick, so a quick perusal of Cousins website identified a suitable replacement, albeit at 3mm thickness. Given the choice I would have opted for a sapphire glass, but at £2.10 the mineral glass was again great value so I placed my order for two (thinking my cack-handed efforts might not go well with the first one!).

    Last night I removed the hands and dial from the old movement and put them onto the Ronda. The old movement looked okay but was almost dripping in oil. Putting the movement to one side I did a little remedial work cleaning and polishing the case, but as the watch is destined to be a beater I was not overly fussed in getting it back into pristine condition.

    Sure enough the postman knocked on the door this morning with the delivery from Cousins (next day, even though I'd gone for the regular Royal Mail option) and I set about the easy task of replacing the crystal in the case.

    Once this was completed, all that remained was to cut the stem to size, insert new seals on the case back and crown, and then complete the re-assembly.

    It was fun to fix the watch and I think it's turned out pretty well, particularly for just a shade under £30. I'll wear it over the weekend to see how it goes, but the pleasure from working on the watch far outstrips the cost of the parts.






  2. #2
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Good work, that turned out really nicely.

    Sent from my [null] using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Master
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    Aug 2015
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    Brilliant work and a lovely write up. I agree that the pleasure of fixing something properly yourself outweighs any financial consideration

  4. #4
    Grand Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Nice one.....I still get a buzz out of wearing a watch I`ve fixed. Fitting hands, glasses, crowns and stems can sometimes be more of a challenge than stripping a movement down!

  5. #5
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
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    Great work! The strap is a very good match.

  6. #6
    Thanks all.

    After 24 hours the watch is working fine and keeping good time, so things are looking good so far and the sense of self-satisfaction hasn’t dimmed yet ;-)

    I am keeping my eyes open for more “spares or repairs”.....


    Sent from my iPad using TZ-UK mobile app

  7. #7
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    leics uk
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    Quote Originally Posted by willie_gunn View Post
    I am keeping my eyes open for more “spares or repairs”
    It’s a slippery slope, before you know it you’ll have hundreds of tools *and* piles of watches waiting fixing...

    Best of luck
    Dave

  8. #8
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Bournemouth, United Kingdom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave S View Post
    It’s a slippery slope, before you know it you’ll have hundreds of tools *and* piles of watches waiting fixing...

    Best of luck
    Dave
    I've just ordered some screwdrivers and a caseback tool.. Eeek...

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave S View Post
    It’s a slippery slope, before you know it you’ll have hundreds of tools *and* piles of watches waiting fixing...

    Best of luck
    Dave
    In my case that happened a long, long time ago.......I’ve got so many watches tucked away that are just waiting for my talent to come within a country mile of my wishful thinking!

  10. #10
    Journeyman
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    Jan 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by willie_gunn View Post
    Thanks all.

    After 24 hours the watch is working fine and keeping good time, so things are looking good so far and the sense of self-satisfaction hasn’t dimmed yet ;-)

    I am keeping my eyes open for more “spares or repairs”.....


    Sent from my iPad using TZ-UK mobile app
    The value of the watch is irrelevant, wearing a watch you have personally repaired is priceless.

    Good work.

  11. #11
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Hampshire, UK
    Posts
    137
    I love fixing up a cheapie bargain, particularly if it's actually made to a reasonable quality like this one. No drama if something goes wrong but, as you say, rewarding to do and to wear when it goes right. Nice work.

    Sent from my G8441 using TZ-UK mobile app

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