Rebirth of a pocket watch

This watch arrived in the workshop in a really rough shape : dirt everywhere, and some missing pieces, among them the hands, the crown, the stem and one of the dial screws. The spiral came loose from the balance bridge. It is an unsigned movement of the beginning of the 20th century, probably French, of good quality. It is fitted with a swan neck regulator and a Breguet overcoil, and it proudly says on the dial “chronomètre Gouzou”, the name being probably the distributor’s.. Quite a few watchmaker’s marks are scribbled in the back, one dates back to 1915.

Movement, dial and what was left of the hands…

The silver case

The stem is made from a raw “ébauche”. To be period-correct, the mounting of the crown is done the old-fashioned way, the stem being forced into the crown. The end of the stem is filed down so that when mounted, the crown sits into the case.

The stem must be adjusted to the crown

Not much remained of the hands; a pair yellow-plated hard steel is chosen, according to the style of the watch. However, it is extremely difficult to find a matching pair of hands of the correct shape, same colour and material, same style, … and to be able to mount them on a specific watch. The hole diameter of the hands has a very narrow tolerance. A neat solution is to machine small brass bushings, to be fitted to the hands; the bushings are then reamed to the desired diameter.

A hand with its brass bushing, and a match for size

The results, after a thorough cleaning of both the silver case and the movement, and a new crystal. The watch is now quite useable.

The complete watch

The movement cleaned and regulated; note the swan-neck regulator