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Thread: Help with a trashed watch case!

  1. #1
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    Help with a trashed watch case!

    So I saw a watch on eBay it was going for a decent price and I went for it. I might have bought a turkey! I paid £80 for this 1950s Titus chronograph with a landeron 48 movement. There is significant wear on the lugs which isn't so bad. The issue though is the case back which has some bad pitting corrosion. The movement is supposedly working fine but I will probably service it none the less. Does anyone know someone who might be able to sort the case out? Also will it be pricey to sort.


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  2. #2
    Has someone used it for target practice? If its the same as many 18ct chronograph watches the case back is only thin gold there is a more solid base metal back behind it. You will probably need to (if you want) get it sent off to get it refinished but it will cost you. Then you will need to factor in the service of the watch movement itself, new glass etc.... wont come cheap

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by robert75 View Post
    Has someone used it for target practice? If its the same as many 18ct chronograph watches the case back is only thin gold there is a more solid base metal back behind it. You will probably need to (if you want) get it sent off to get it refinished but it will cost you. Then you will need to factor in the service of the watch movement itself, new glass etc.... wont come cheap
    The watch glass Incan replace myself without too much difficulty. The service should also be fine and won't be too terrible a price (still more than the watch cost)
    It is just that caseback, I think the corrosion will get worse and I doubt it will be very comfortable either.

    This may be a stupid question but is it hard to find another caseback that will fit the watch? I don't mind swapping it over and keeping the original untouched. I imagine this is not a simple a task as I have made it sound.


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  4. #4
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    Or you could put it on a small bund strap?

  5. #5
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    Iíd go with the bund, finding a casecack is possible, but Iíd prefer original even with pitting. Itís a fine movement and a pretty watch. For £80 youíve done stunningly.

  6. #6
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    I love a project ! You will be better taking the watch back off and trying to find a old caseback. I may be wrong in this !, but were these made for the swiss tourist market the same as Chronograph Suisse and a few other now extinct makers ?

    If so a Chronograph Suisse caseback may fit there are always plenty for sale on the bay . I am sure i have seen cases and movements for sale.

    Good luck with it and I dont think you can go wrong with the price you got it for.

  7. #7
    Master colin t's Avatar
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    Sorry if Iíve missed it, but do you know with absolute certainty the case material?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    Iíd go with the bund, finding a casecack is possible, but Iíd prefer original even with pitting. Itís a fine movement and a pretty watch. For £80 youíve done stunningly.
    Iím not really a fan of the bund strap look. But I suppose a leather nato or raf strap could work just as well at lifting the corroded areas off the wrist when worn


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by colin t View Post
    Sorry if Iíve missed it, but do you know with absolute certainty the case material?
    No I donít not until I have it in hand. I am guessing based on the appearance of the lugs and the green colour of the corrosion. Why? Does that make a difference in terms of repair?


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  10. #10
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    I'd be looking for a watch with a knackered movement to switch over the case.

    Plenty of Landeron 48's made, just need some judicious ebay searching over time.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  11. #11
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    Iíd be inclined to ask at a local metal plating business near You.There May be a way of soldering or brazing to fill in the holes and then electro plating the case back.

  12. #12
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    Exclamation

    Ah, that almost sets off my Trypophobia!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lew07 View Post
    Iíd be inclined to ask at a local metal plating business near You.There May be a way of soldering or brazing to fill in the holes and then electro plating the case back.
    I have seen some people suggest this sort of thing can be sorted using hard silver solder then plating over the top. So I shall have a look around locally. I have used a plating company in Beverly before so will ask them.

    Apparently there is a risk that this solder filling approach can result in a warped caseback that no longer fits due to the need to heat up the caseback as part of the process. I am repeating this from other forum posts by the way not at all informed by personal knowledge or experience.

    Anyone have any experience with having a repair like this done?


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  14. #14
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    Sorry to bump an old thread but having got the watch back from its service I thought I would post in case anyone else ever has a similar case issue.

    I sent the watch to Michael Swift who did a fantastic job on servicing the watch and was extremely helpful. The case back was left entirely alone other than painting lacquer into the pitted areas. This keeps the watch original but also prevents further damage.

    IMG_4906.jpg


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zook View Post
    Sorry to bump an old thread but having got the watch back from its service I thought I would post in case anyone else ever has a similar case issue.

    I sent the watch to Michael Swift who did a fantastic job on servicing the watch and was extremely helpful. The case back was left entirely alone other than painting lacquer into the pitted areas. This keeps the watch original but also prevents further damage.

    IMG_4906.jpg


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    Don't know why the photo came out so badly here is the second attempt




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  16. #16
    Master igorRIJEKA's Avatar
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    How did he sorted this pitted areas? Interested to see the photo.

  17. #17
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    He has painted clear lacquer into the pits. This will prevent further corrosion and skin staining. It isn't the solution that gives the prettiest result but keeps it as original as possible. I was advised that other repairs wouldn't be ideal as matching the gold plating colour after the repair would be difficult due to the unusual dark shade of it.

    The watch is now keeping fantastic time after its full overhaul so very happy.




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  18. #18
    Yes, do you have a photo of the case back please?

    The front looks lovely by the way!

    Edit: The back has come up very well too.
    Last edited by willie_gunn; 12th July 2019 at 14:26. Reason: Posted too early, as now the picture of the back is there

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