closing tag is in template navbar
Time Factors Watches



TZ-UK Fundraiser
Results 1 to 39 of 39

Thread: A watch with a story

  1. #1
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619

    A watch with a story

    Watch enjoyment and collection for me seems so far removed the world of waiting lists in Authorised Dealers and shiny status symbols.
    And to quantify that statement, I have a little story Iíd tell to tell....

    My Great-Grandfather worked in the bar in the mess in Burton Wood Airbase during the Second World War. The pilots would often leave an item of value in his possession in order to secure their tab for drinks. Sadly sometimes they didnít always come back to collect their belongings, and he would clear the debt by selling or trading what they had left with him. One such item he decided to keep.

    When his daughter (my Grandmother) married my Grandfather, he passed it on to him - a ĎWalthamí American-made wrist watch. My Grandfather was a watchmaker in his own right, having learnt his trade from a fellow prisoner in a Gulag and then later in the RAF (thatís a whole other story).

    My Grandfather planned to pass it on to his son, my Mumís brother, but he tragically died at 15. So when my Mum married my Dad (who became his son in law) my Grandfather gave him the watch as he had now become his Ďsoní.

    Many years later... my Dad spotted a watch strap on my PRS-25 and said he liked it and would like something similar for the Waltham. I got one for him for Christmas and fitted it on Boxing Day. My dad accidentally dropped the watch the next day and damaged the balance spring.
    We were gutted. It has been running off and on (mainly on) for 80+ years. I tried to find replacement parts, but theyíve long since been sold off as a company and parts are difficult to find, I wasnít sure what would be compatible and the watch wasnít exactly in the best condition.

    And so I thought Iíd ask here on the forum if anyone had any ideas. Within an hour I was put in contact with Brendan (Webwatchmaker) who is something of a specialist in such pieces

    And here is the other thing that I love about this hobby. Not only the watches and the stories that they tell, but the people who love them too. Their enthusiasm can often be inspirational.

    Off the Waltham went and Brendan gave me a call. He immediately put my mind at ease - he was confident he could help. A photograph of his Waltham parts drawer helped boost my confidence too!

    If I could just have the Waltham running again my Dad and I would be delighted.

    Turns out the balance spring was damaged. Despite his extensive stock of parts I received this message:

    Hi Graham,
    I found a movement similar to yours but the hairspring is just as badly damaged as yours was.

    I was gutted. I actually felt it inside. I really thought he could fix it. What a sad ending to this watchís story.

    1 minute later I received this message:

    However, I recoiled the hairspring on your watch, which believe me, was not a five minute job, but it's now running. Still needs cleaning and some adjustments

    I canít tell you the elation. Even as I write this now my heart beats faster. I know its only an old watch, but it means so much, itís one of the few things that we have (if not the only thing) that belonged to those previous generations.
    What a rollercoaster of emotions - all within minutes. I was grinning like a Cheshire Cat!

    What incredible skill and patience to recoil a spring like that. As some of you may know, I do some simple mods myself, but this itís truly on another level. Brendan set my expectations with regards to the watchís performance - it wonít be running within a couple of seconds per day. I was more than happy with that - Iím not sure how well it ran before my Dad dropped it....

    Brendan went on to clean and lubricate the whole movement, clean the dial, polish the blued hands and even find and broach a replacement hand for the small seconds dial. To top it off he fitted a new crystal. His detailed updates were bringing a smile to my face every time WhatsApp pinged to tell me a new message had arrived.

    And finally, it arrived back in the post, running! What a delight to see and hear it ticking away.

    Yes itís a bit battered and the case has seen better days. But what a story it has to tell, each generation of my family having a chapter of their own, and now thanks to this forum and a very helpful and skilled watchmaker (who is a lovely fellow as well) I have a chapter of my own to add. That holds far more value than money can buy.

    A shot before:


    And after:






    As a small footnote: I want to thank and recommend Brendan (although is reputation goes before him on this forum, I see), as you can see I am delighted with his work, but I also want to thank everyone on the forum who keeps this hobby alive by collecting and enjoying watches and their stories.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by TheGent; 28th October 2020 at 20:43.

  2. #2
    Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South Yorkshire at the moment
    Posts
    2,298
    Fabulous story Graham and lovely looking watch.

  3. #3
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619
    Quote Originally Posted by markbannister View Post
    Fabulous story Graham and lovely looking watch.
    Thank you sir!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    299
    Quote Originally Posted by TheGent View Post
    Watch enjoyment and collection for me seems so far removed the world of waiting lists in Authorised Dealers and shiny status symbols.
    And to quantify that statement, I have a little story Iíd tell to tell....

    My Great-Grandfather worked in the bar in the mess in Burton Wood Airbase during the Second World War. The pilots would often leave an item of value in his possession in order to secure their tab for drinks. Sadly sometimes they didnít always come back to collect their belongings, and he would clear the debt by selling or trading what they had left with him. One such item he decided to keep.

    When his daughter (my Grandmother) married my Grandfather, he passed it on to him - a ĎWalthamí American-made wrist watch. My Grandfather was a watchmaker in his own right, having learnt his trade from a fellow prisoner in a Gulag and then later in the RAF (thatís a whole other story).

    My Grandfather planned to pass it on to his son, my Mumís brother, but he tragically died at 15. So when my Mum married my Dad (who became his son in law) my Grandfather gave him the watch as he had now become his Ďsoní.

    Many years later... my Dad spotted a watch strap on my PRS-25 and said he liked it and would like something similar for the Waltham. I got one for him for Christmas and fitted it on Boxing Day. My dad accidentally dropped the watch the next day and damaged the balance spring.
    We were gutted. It has been running off and on (mainly on) for 80+ years. I tried to find replacement parts, but theyíve long since been sold off as a company and parts are difficult to find, I wasnít sure what would be compatible and the watch wasnít exactly in the best condition.

    And so I thought Iíd ask here on the forum if anyone had any ideas. Within an hour I was put in contact with Brendan (Webwatchmaker) who is something of a specialist in such pieces

    And here is the other thing that I love about this hobby. Not only the watches and the stories that they tell, but the people who love them too. Their enthusiasm can often be inspirational.

    Off the Waltham went and Brendan gave me a call. He immediately put my mind at ease - he was confident he could help. A photograph of his Waltham parts drawer helped boost my confidence too!

    If I could just have the Waltham running again my Dad and I would be delighted.

    Turns out the balance spring was damaged. Despite his extensive stock of parts I received this message:

    Hi Graham,
    I found a movement similar to yours but the hairspring is just as badly damaged as yours was.

    I was gutted. I actually felt it inside. I really thought he could fix it. What a sad ending to this watchís story.

    1 minute later I received this message:

    However, I recoiled the hairspring on your watch, which believe me, was not a five minute job, but it's now running. Still needs cleaning and some adjustments

    I canít tell you the elation. Even as I write this now my heart beats faster. I know its only an old watch, but it means so much, itís one of the few things that we have (if not the only thing) that belonged to those previous generations.
    What a rollercoaster of emotions - all within minutes. I was grinning like a Cheshire Cat!

    What incredible skill and patience to recoil a spring like that. As some of you may know, I do some simple mods myself, but this itís truly on another level. Brendan set my expectations with regards to the watchís performance - it wonít be running within a couple of seconds per day. I was more than happy with that - Iím not sure how well it ran before my Dad dropped it....

    Brendan went on to clean and lubricate the whole movement, clean the dial, polish the blued hands and even find and broach a replacement hand for the small seconds dial. To top it off he fitted a new crystal. His detailed updates were bringing a smile to my face every time WhatsApp pinged to tell me a new message had arrived.

    And finally, it arrived back in the post, running! What a delight to see and hear it ticking away.

    Yes itís a bit battered and the case has seen better days. But what a story it has to tell, each generation of my family having a chapter of their own, and now thanks to this forum and a very helpful and skilled watchmaker (who is a lovely fellow as well) I have a chapter of my own to add. That holds far more value than money can buy.







    As a small footnote: I want to thank and recommend Brendan (although is reputation goes before him on this forum, I see), as you can see I am delighted with his work, but I also want to thank everyone on the forum who keeps this hobby alive by collecting and enjoying watches and their stories.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Great story and I love that watch, glad it's running.

    My brother has a gold Waltham pocket watch which belonged to my great grandfather, it seems very nicely made.

  5. #5
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619
    Quote Originally Posted by Reiver View Post
    Great story and I love that watch, glad it's running.

    My brother has a gold Waltham pocket watch which belonged to my great grandfather, it seems very nicely made.
    Yes - they are definitely high quality.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Journeyman engrneil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    United States - Chicagoland
    Posts
    51
    Awesome story, thanks for sharing

    Sent from my SM-G960U using TZ-UK mobile app

  7. #7
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619
    Quote Originally Posted by engrneil View Post
    Awesome story, thanks for sharing

    Sent from my SM-G960U using TZ-UK mobile app
    My pleasure!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Great story and an awesome job by Brendan.

  9. #9
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    14,270
    Really enjoyed reading that - thanks for posting it.

    .

    Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
    ''I must acknowledge, once and for all, that the
    purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis"

  10. #10
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619
    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    Great story and an awesome job by Brendan.
    Heís a top man!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619
    Quote Originally Posted by Velorum View Post
    Really enjoyed reading that - thanks for posting it.

    .

    Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
    Thanks - that means a lot!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    London
    Posts
    4,146
    Thanks for sharing
    Brendan has one of mine at the moment and I am hoping he can bring it back to it’s former glory.
    Waltham’s of this era are actually very good watches with quality movements.
    Well worth restoring and wearing in my opinion.
    I hope your father is pleased.

  13. #13
    Lovely read. Congratulations on saving such a personal to you watch .




    Mitch

  14. #14
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    A mile or two outside of London
    Posts
    43
    What a lovely post and that is fantastic work on the Waltham.

  15. #15
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619
    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    Thanks for sharing
    Brendan has one of mine at the moment and I am hoping he can bring it back to it’s former glory.
    Waltham’s of this era are actually very good watches with quality movements.
    Well worth restoring and wearing in my opinion.
    I hope your father is pleased.
    Thank you!

    Heíll sort your watch out Iíve no doubt.

    Yes Iíve read about the quality of these watches in several places. It certainly runs very well considering itís age.

    Iím sure he will be come Christmas Day!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch View Post
    Lovely read. Congratulations on saving such a personal to you watch .




    Mitch
    Cheers! That personal connect is what makes a watch I think.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #17
    Master RustyBin5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Scotland central
    Posts
    9,804
    More! More of this please

  18. #18
    Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    8,498
    I enjoyed every part of that. Thanks to all.

  19. #19
    Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Cumbria
    Posts
    2,478
    Lovely to see the watch repaired so that it can continue to provide happy memories and create new ones. Excellent work by Brendan too, great stuff!

  20. #20
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    London
    Posts
    304
    This is a fantastic post. Glad this dearly-loved watch is ďalive and tickingĒ. I really wish my watches told more of a story...but nothing exciting yet. Thereís still time, I suppose.


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  21. #21
    Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, UK.
    Posts
    2,327
    A lovely story, and it's great the watch has been fixed. I think the hands are unlikely to be original - the numerals look like they're luminous, albeit highly decayed. It therefore seems an odd choice to fit non-luminous blued hands to a watch with luminous numerals.

  22. #22
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619
    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    I enjoyed every part of that. Thanks to all.
    Cheers - glad to hear it!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  23. #23
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619
    Quote Originally Posted by WatchFanUK23 View Post
    This is a fantastic post. Glad this dearly-loved watch is ďalive and tickingĒ. I really wish my watches told more of a story...but nothing exciting yet. Thereís still time, I suppose.


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    I guess the answer to that is to get a watch you love, wear it for everything that you do and it will start writing itís own story (and maybe donít fall into the trap of trying to live out the stories that brands marketing campaigns write...?!)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  24. #24
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619

    A watch with a story

    Quote Originally Posted by jl smout View Post
    A lovely story, and it's great the watch has been fixed. I think the hands are unlikely to be original - the numerals look like they're luminous, albeit highly decayed. It therefore seems an odd choice to fit non-luminous blued hands to a watch with luminous numerals.
    Cheers.
    Yes I agree with that logic regarding the hands - I suspect that was my grandfatherís doing if that is the case.
    In fact looking online this is probably how it would have looked.

    These hands are also blued but luminous filled. I imagine the lume decayed and fell out and he decided to replace them with a set of plain blued hands from his spares box.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by TheGent; 29th October 2020 at 00:56.

  25. #25
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    159
    Very nice story thanks for sharing. Itís looking great!


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  26. #26
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott88 View Post
    Very nice story thanks for sharing. Itís looking great!


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    Thank you for reading!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  27. #27
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Liverpool
    Posts
    149
    Fantastic read, this is what draws me to watches, im a sentimental person, and the stories that are attached to some pieces make them truly priceless!

    Sent from my SM-N976B using Tapatalk

  28. #28
    Wow what a great story! the watch looks incredible, I particularly love the hands, and superb job Brendan.

    Dan

  29. #29
    Master Rinaldo1711's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    7,607
    Great story - and a super job on the watch.

  30. #30
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619
    Quote Originally Posted by cart3rlfc View Post
    Fantastic read, this is what draws me to watches, im a sentimental person, and the stories that are attached to some pieces make them truly priceless!

    Sent from my SM-N976B using Tapatalk
    Iím with you on this - thanks for reading!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  31. #31
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619
    Quote Originally Posted by DANH View Post
    Wow what a great story! the watch looks incredible, I particularly love the hands, and superb job Brendan.

    Dan
    Thanks for reading


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  32. #32
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619
    Quote Originally Posted by Rinaldo1711 View Post
    Great story - and a super job on the watch.
    Cheers - yes Brendan has done a great job!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  33. #33
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    North East England
    Posts
    554
    Great story. It's good to know that it's back running again. It's a shame we will probably never know the history before it was given to your Great Grandfather.

    Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk

  34. #34
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbyf View Post
    Great story. It's good to know that it's back running again. It's a shame we will probably never know the history before it was given to your Great Grandfather.

    Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk
    Yes weíll never know that I suspect. I think many items were traded and changed hands during those years. My father never met him to find out any more, and my grandfather just relayed a version of the story Iíve written above.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  35. #35
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    260
    The knowledge and skill of many of the people in this hobby and on this forum never fails to amaze me. Thanks for sharing this!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  36. #36
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619
    Quote Originally Posted by Zook View Post
    The knowledge and skill of many of the people in this hobby and on this forum never fails to amaze me. Thanks for sharing this!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    You are very welcome!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  37. #37
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Brussel land.
    Posts
    17,111
    I was once told there is a difference between an 'engineer' and a 'fitter'.

    There is also a difference between a 'watch repairer' and a 'watchmaker'.
    ďThe more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.Ē

  38. #38
    Craftsman TheGent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    619
    Quote Originally Posted by oldoakknives View Post
    I was once told there is a difference between an 'engineer' and a 'fitter'.

    There is also a difference between a 'watch repairer' and a 'watchmaker'.
    Ainít that the truth!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  39. #39
    Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Buckinghamshire, UK.
    Posts
    2,327
    Quote Originally Posted by TheGent View Post
    Cheers.
    Yes I agree with that logic regarding the hands - I suspect that was my grandfatherís doing if that is the case.
    In fact looking online this is probably how it would have looked.

    These hands are also blued but luminous filled. I imagine the lume decayed and fell out and he decided to replace them with a set of plain blued hands from his spares box.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    It doesn't matter now, as the lume is no longer luminous, so it's not quite as noticeable. And it's a further connection with your grandfather.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Do Not Sell My Personal Information