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Thread: First Vostok service

  1. #1
    Master Lampoc's Avatar
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    First Vostok service

    I've been tinkering with watches for a fair number of years now, especially Vostoks. Nothing too major - changing dials, hands, regulating, replacing obviously knackered parts, breaking things I didn't understand. Anyway, a few months back I took the "Basic Mechanical Watch" servicing course at the British Horological Institute near Newark. It was an absolutely fantastic course and John Murphy is a brilliant instructor. I can't recommend the course enough and I've already booked myself in for another course!

    This is where the magic will happen:

    Room full of my watch junk and some cool posters:


    Sometimes it's tidier than this.


    Old laptop and USB microscope.


    So here's service number 1: a Vostok Amphibia with a 2409 manual movement. I'll let the pics do the rest.

    I'd guess this one hasn't seen any oil since the fall of the Soviet Union.


    Check out the crystal!


    With a big whack on the side against my palm the watch sprang into life. Then stopped 5 minutes later. I did manage to get a timegrapher reading though and it isn't pretty.


    The heart of the beast, including real dirt from Russia.


    Definitely going to change the seals on this one.


    The chrome plated bezel is wrecked so I ordered a NOS one from Russia. 6 weeks later it arrived...


    Almost stripped. The mainspring has had it. It's actually cheaper to order a new complete mainspring assembly from Russia than to order an individual mainspring from Cousins so I bought a load. I now have the European monopoly on Vostok 24XX movement mainsprings :D


    All cleaned:


    The case and crystal get a damn good clean and polish finished off with a pressure test to 50m.


    Assembled and serviced! Yes I did polish the bridges. Why? Because it looks nice. The case back isn't clear by the way...


    Quite an improvement.


    And finally, the finished item on a cheap Russian bund.


    Hope you enjoyed.
    Last edited by Lampoc; 4th August 2019 at 14:47.

  2. #2
    Nice post. How much did the course cost? I've been thinking about doing something similar eventually, when I have time. Been meaning to try some Mary Shelly inspired experimentation on some old & badly broken Vostoks first though, to get the most out of it.

  3. #3
    Master Lampoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robt View Post
    Nice post. How much did the course cost? I've been thinking about doing something similar eventually, when I have time. Been meaning to try some Mary Shelly inspired experimentation on some old & badly broken Vostoks first though, to get the most out of it.
    The course was 750 for the week plus an extra 150 if you need (pretty basic) accommodation. Even though the course is titled "Basic" I'd definitely recommend a bit experience and knowledge before you turn up. Sausage fingers are a big no-no :D

  4. #4
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    Brilliant work, and thanks for posting up so much detail. The movement looks great, Im sure that polishing it must be worth a fair bit of amplitude:).

    I wonder if it will stay as accurate over the coming months and years. Very impressive in any case.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Lampoc View Post
    The course was 750 for the week plus an extra 150 if you need (pretty basic) accommodation.
    Thanks. That's surprisingly good value compared to a lot of training courses.

  6. #6
    Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Excellent stuff. Thanks for such an interesting thread

  7. #7
    Journeyman
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    Love it.

  8. #8
    Master .olli.'s Avatar
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    Nice setup you have got there!
    I also highly recommend the BHI course with John Murphy, he is a great watchmaker, but also a great teacher.
    So are you booked on the auto course yet ;)

  9. #9
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    I imagine that it brought a great deal of satisfaction to see that final Timegrapher reading

    I'd love to be able to fiddle with the insides but my skills stop at double-screw, rivet bracelet adjustments and Amphibia bezel swaps.

    Once the kids have done one I'll be investigating the art of inside work your post gives me hope. Thank you.

  10. #10
    Master Lampoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .olli. View Post
    So are you booked on the auto course yet ;)
    Yep!

  11. #11
    Master .olli.'s Avatar
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    Excellent, you will enjoy it!

  12. #12
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Bravo! Ta for sharing.

  13. #13
    Craftsman Sulie's Avatar
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    Great result and fab watch cave

  14. #14
    Grand Master
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    I’d definitely recommend the Basic Watch course for anyone who wishes to find out what’s really involved with watch work. Treat the cost as a holiday and it becomes easier to justify; I was fortunate to get mine free as part of the redundancy package from my former employer but I would’ve been prepared to pay it myself.

    John Murphy is a good guy, an excellent teacher and great company. I did the courses in 2010 and I still keep in touch with John, he’s helped me a lot over the years.

    Here’s a tip you won’t learn on the courses. When removing small springs place the movement in a clear plastic bag as a safeguard against flying parts, that’s not how the purists do it but as a mere mortal I find it helps.
    Last edited by walkerwek1958; 6th August 2019 at 10:47.

  15. #15
    Grand Master GraniteQuarry's Avatar
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    Oh yeah you got skills, great result!

    Might have to check out this course, gave up butchering old pieces a while ago but always fancied learning to do it right

  16. #16
    Master Thewatchbloke's Avatar
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    Nice job, nicely done! Again the BHI courses are great and John's a good laugh as well as being as qualified as you can get to teach about watches.

    Is that my old mainspring winders I see on your desk?

  17. #17
    Master Lampoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thewatchbloke View Post
    Is that my old mainspring winders I see on your desk?
    Yes it is.
    One of the things I also got from the course was a massive shopping list of tools. This repair hobby is starting to get very expensive so if you have any other spare Bergeon tools lying around can I call first dibs? ;)
    Last edited by Lampoc; 6th August 2019 at 17:31.

  18. #18
    Grand Master
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    German ebay site is good for tools....if you can hack your way through the lingo!

    Cost of tools is v.significant, no way around that, but buying second- hand helps a lot.

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