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My Granddad's restored vintage handwinding chronograph

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by JanSolo, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. Hello everybody,

    Today I’d like to show you a watch that was passed on to me by my granddad (Opa). It’s a late ‘50s/early ‘60s “Goldina” branded 17 jewels hand winding chronograph. I’m sure that Goldina was not a real brand but more a private label make. But the watch is fitted with a decent chronograph movement of Swiss origin which is equipped with a typical screw balance.
    When my granddad gave this watch to me it was in really bad shape. The acrylic crystal was scratched to death, the gold plated case showed severe signs of corrosion, the snap-on back was a mess and wouldn’t lock properly, and the movement didn’t run at all.
    I locked the watch away and it stayed in a drawer for 5 years. Last week it would have been my Opa’s 85 birthday (he passed away 4 years ago) and I took the watch out again. And suddenly I realized how beautifully proportioned it is. Despite the decomposed tritium on dial and hands the printing was still crisp and the hand length is perfect with a slight downward curve for minute and stop seconds hand. This is something that manufacturers of the past always got right. How many watches are around today with wrong hand length?!! Millions!!!
    So I stripped the watch: Dial cleaned with Rodico, case cleaned and slightly (!) polished, case back reshaped and brushed, crystal polished, movement cleaned, oiled and adjusted, and a new flat padded calfskin strap fitted. Et voila!






    (BTW: Amplitude 322 degrees, accuracy plus 6-8 seconds per day)
    This watch is really comfortable and it matches most styles of vintage clothing. Of course it takes a while to get used to the small diameter (36mm). But the small size is also comfortable especially when you're wearing a jacket with narrow or knitted cuffs. This watch really goes well with a decent A2 or M422a!

    What do you think?

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  2. I think it is great..!
    Any 'before' pics?
  3. Methuselah

    Methuselah One of the Regulars

    Wow, nice job - I like that it's not too restored. I much prefer the smaller size of old watches, more comfortable. :eusa_clap

    Do you work with watches for a living? I've always wanted to have a go at cleaning up old watches. Not sure if my clumsy sausage fingers are up to the job though!
  4. Thanks HD and Methusela! Sorry, no before pictures. It was so shabby and dirty that I was about to throw it away! No, I don't work with watches for a living. I'm in marketing... But I used to work for a German upmarket wristwatch company but again not as a watchmaker. But I do have the necessary tools and I guess my hands are steady enough for an occasional case refinish or movement service...
  5. ClothesHorse

    ClothesHorse Familiar Face

    As the others have said-- Great job! I have several old watches - mostly hunter style pocket watches. You have restored on fine classy piece!

  6. CopperNY

    CopperNY A-List Customer


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