It ain't broke...yet...

by technoguy


Generally, I agree with this philosophy. If the watch is keeping good time and continues to do so for more than 72 hours then, chances are, it does not need servicing.

There is, however, a problem that can arise when purchasing NOS watches or even used decades old watches that may have been kept in hot environments for years without being used. Under these conditions all or most of the lubrication in them could have evaporated away. Yes, they will often start up and run with only a minimum loss of time. Then, suddenly, they can seize up and stop. When cleaned, they will produce a lot of dark metallic grit in the used cleaning fluid. This is all precious metal that was worn off of the gear teeth while the movement was running virtually "dry" of lubrication. Thus, because one decided to play the waiting game with them, they will accumulated the equivalent of decades of wear in their gear trains in only a few tens of hours.

It's usually a good idea to know the source of one's timepiece and its history. Was it recently serviced? If not, was it stored under the proper conditions of temperature and humidity that would preserve the lubricants in the movement? Often these matters are never discussed and one can only hope that the oil in the watch is sufficient.

So, as a general bit of advice, I would consider any vintage watch, ESPECIALLY if it is NOS, of unknown origin and history to be in need of a routine cleaning and lubing.


Posted on Oct 6, 2005, 7:05 AM

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