Even in my "prime"...July 28 2010 at 1:47 PM
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Response to Still Laughing Richard
I was, overall, only about 70% successful in my efforts to repair / restore wristwatches.
There were ALWAYS things that "went wrong" along the way. Parts that were lost or broken as I tried to handle them, unexpected obstacles that prevented me from removing or reinstalling something due to my lack of technical information about the movement or my lack of specialized tools, and, of course, just plain old "bad" luck of which my recently botched Miyota 8215 movement servicing is a typical example.
With only a 70% success rate, one might wonder why I just did not quit and admit I was not "cut out" to be a watchmaker. Perhaps most people would with such a low success rate, but when I thought about it, I realized that IF I had had better technical information and tools, then I would probably have been getting close to a 100% success rate.
For example, after sending a $1 USD to the Bulova company over in Brooklyn in New York City around 1970, I received from them a small repair manual that allowed me to successfully do a complete disassembly, cleaning, and reaassembly of one of their "Accutron" movements and that watch then ran flawlessly for another decade! That made me feel particularly good on the day a professional watchmaker confidentially told me that he was actually intimidated by the new electronic watches and would send any he got back to their manufacturer's service center for servicing / repairs rather than try to do them himself.
So, I would say that if you are only achieving success even 25% of the time with your amateur watchmaking efforts, then don't give up. You will improve in time as you become more knowledgeable and collect better tools. In time you'll have a 50% success rate and then finally get it up to 90.
Like most things in life, watch repairs are subject to the principle of "Practice makes perfect". Fortunately, the low cost of vintage Timex watches makes getting that practice quite affordable.