Pressure cracks almost always occur within a very short period of time following installation, but the vast majority of cracks occur due to impact, and may appear beneath the bezel of a timepiece where they are not visible. A cracked crystal should be immediately replaced to prevent moisture and to insure the integrity of the watch.
Light scratches on a plastic or acrylic crystal can be very easily buffed out via a polishing machine, but deep scratches may be permanent and require replacement of the crystal. REMEMBER: These are vintage mechanical timepieces, and everything mechanical can be fixed — it is simply a matter of time, energy, and sourcing the correct parts. A watch should be cared for and looked after, but most importantly, all of the watches we sell are made to be worn and enjoyed. Do not panic if you are experiencing issues with your vintage wristwatch: we have never encountered a problem which could not be fixed or reversed given sufficient time.
There are truly limitless specific variations of watch case shapes, but we have created the following list as a guide to the most typical types. As with case shapes, there are limitless variations in hand styles, but the vast majority will fall under one of the following categories:. Sapphire crystals are typically found on newer watches for Rolex, post-c. These can be identified because they are typically flatter and more flush with the case than the more bulbous or curved plastic crystals.
Though more scratch resistant, there are several drawbacks to sapphire crystals: 1 When a sapphire crystal is scratched, the scratch cannot be buffed out, and the crystal must be replaced. If a crystal shatters, shards can scratch a dial, or potentially enter a movement and cause havoc in the gears. In any case, some people prefer the vintage aesthetics of a more curved, plastic crystal, to the more flat sapphire material.
To remove scratches from the case of a watch, it must be polished, which will typically remove metal. That said, if requested, a polish is complimentary with any full service from Second Time Around Watch Company. A movement is the mechanical workings of a watch, excluding the case and dial. Typically in the case of vintage wrist and pocket watches, the movement will not be visible.
A complication is an additional function, added to a wristwatch, beyond the standard keeping of hours, minutes, and seconds. Some examples of complications include a calendar function, a chronograph function, or a moonphase complication. A chronograph is a wristwatch with an additional complication which allows for the timing of events.
Time is typically recorded through a center-sweep seconds hand and one or more subdials. Typically these watches were only meant to time events of short duration, and leaving them running can cause unnecessary wear to the mechanism. A perpetual calendar complication is a very advanced version of the typical date window display on a standard wristwatch. These watches account even for leap years. A watch with a triple date complication tracks the date numeral , day of the week Monday-Sunday , and the month of the year. Unlike a perpetual calendar, these watches will need to be manually adjusted at the end of every month with fewer than 31 days.
A moonphase is a watch with an additional complication which displays and records the daily phases of the moon as it waxes and wanes over the period of its monthly cycle. A tourbillion was initially developed for pocket watches to balance out the effects of gravity. It involves placing the escape wheel, escape lever, and balance wheel in a cage which rotates as part of the escapement process. Under these circumstances, the escapement of the watch movement never spends a significant amount of time in any one position. A repeater is a watch which chimes when activated, typically by sliding a lever or pushing a button.
There are several varieties of repeater, named by the smallest unit of time which their chimes indicate: quarter of an hour , half-quarter of an hour , five-minute, or minute. This technique predates electroplating, and results in a thicker layer of gold than most other plating methods. It is not typically used with watches today.
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Electroplating is a method of applying metal to the exterior of a watch via electric currents to evenly cohere a metal coating to a surface. It is a thinner coating than via gold-filled. Because pure gold 24K is extremely soft, it is mixed with other metals to increase hardiness, durability, and resistance to everyday wear. In wristwatches, these are typically 9K, 14K, or 18K gold. A hack feature is one which stops the running seconds hand of a watch so that, when setting it, you will be able to precisely sync your wristwatch to another timekeeping device.
Watch jewels are simply bearings, which are used to decrease friction and wear in the movement of a watch. A higher jewel count does not necessarily make one watch better than another. Typically most modern mechanical wristwatches will have at least 17 jewels, but more or fewer jewel counts are not uncommon.
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A watch with a higher jewel count will usually have more complications and more working parts. A higher jewel count watch may in general be more accurate although probably not terribly noticeably , but it is also similar to a sports car: because there is more going on internally, it should generally be serviced more often. Watch winders were created to mimic the movement of your wrist, by gradually rotating an automatic wristwatch in a stationary position, in order to keep it fully wound.
If an automatic wristwatch is on a watch winder, its power reserve will not run down and it will not have to be reset. A quartz or manual-wind movement will not benefit from a watch winder. The reason for this is that there is oil in a watch, and if your watch winder only spins in one or two directions, the movement will not be evenly lubricated, and certain parts of the watch will wear faster than others.
For this reason, we do not sell watch winders, and recommend winding your automatic timepiece through normal wrist-wear or by manually winding between wearing. In mechanical watches, shock resistance technology was not common until the s. When dropping an older timepiece, it was not uncommon for the balance staff, which holds the balance wheel, to break. Originally, most vintage watches were built to withstand an approximately three foot fall on a raised wooden surface.
Shock resistance technologies, which typically hold the balance wheel via spring suspension, have only gotten better with time. When we mention in our descriptions that a watch is "Triple Signed", we are describing a watch that has been "signed" i. As a general rule, most watches that we sell are "Triple Signed". During the first half of the 20th Century, it was not uncommon for watch manufacturers to import encased watch dials and movements into the United States and case them in American "contract" cases in order to avoid high tariffs on gold and platinum watch cases made in Switzerland.
Although watches with unsigned cases may be original, they typically are not as desirable as factory-cased and factory case signed watches. Although not a watchmaker, the sporting goods retailer produced and sold high-quality gear for outdoor pursuits, such as hunting and fishing. Founded in St. Imier Switzerland in by Georges Agassiz, who had worked for Longines, but left during its first decade one filled with financial troubles.
Within a few years, the company was winning awards and making complete high quality watches.
Its trademark was a fish in an oval. Founded in by a group of watch and clock makers to collectively align their interests in the purchase and distribution of parts. They soon began to produce high quality movements for export abroad. Within a few decades, Alpina watches were being sold at thousands of retailers worldwide. By the end of the century, they were represented by Wittnauer in New York. They became known for high-grade repeaters, clocks, and chronographs.
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The name has since passed through several hands and has been recently revived by a new company. They began by making watches and selling them to other international companies, but were not legally established until The original founders passed away following the conclusion of World War I, and the company was left to their sons, who continued their tradition of fine watchmaking. Despite difficulties due to the Great Depression and stock market crash of , the firm continued to grow again thanks to a focus on the production of chronograph wristwatches. Following the challenges of WWII, the company began to focus on ultra-thin wristwatches for men and women, while still producing traditionally-styled complicated and high-grade models.
Genta provided the company with an unprecedented, very slim octagonal-shaped wristwatch with an integrated bracelet, and a case made entirely of steel. Today, the company continues to be a major producer of Swiss luxury timepieces and is considered to be among the upper-echelon of manufacturers. They made many watches in a variety of styles and shapes, and watches were typically priced lower than other competitors. They made many watches for WWII service men and again supplied soldiers in Korea and Vietnam, creating many iconic and rugged tool watches. Bradley Time Corp.
They focused primarily on novelty watches and watches for children. Typically their watches were low-jeweled or non-jeweled Swiss movements.
He made many major horological advancements, and many of the most important heads-of-state were among his clients, including Queen Marie-Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte. Born in Neuchatel in Switzerland in , Breguet moved to Paris and became a watchmaker. The business continued successfully and remained under family ownership until the late 19th century. Founded in in St. Imier by Leon Breitling, the factory focused on complicated watches and chronographs. The company then focused production on chronographs, creating a variety of models, including the first two-button chronograph in In the early s, the company developed the Chronomat model, which featured a tachymeter, pulsometer, and telemeter, which allowed the user to mulltiply and divide with the bezel-calculator.
In , the Breitling Watch Corporation of America was created, which combined Breitling with American manufacturer, Wakmann, who distributed Breitling into the s.