Atmos Tuxedo s/n 67256

zygo

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I'm restoring an Atmos Tuxedo (Cal. 522; serial 67256, which puts is at around late 1954 I think) and am a little stuck on what to do with the dial (chapter ring). It's a sort of murky brown colour and patchy so I'm trying to restore the original colour. All I can find on the web are white and silvered dials, apart from one maroon one and a blue one, neither of which I suspect is original. I'm not even sure about the silvered ones but on removing the batons to clean them, I found that the dial colour is distinctly lighter where the air/light hasn't got to it. Perhaps it was off white or silver after all.

The Tuxedo was a Mk IV and there's precious little (if anything) about it in Living On Air. Does anyone know of a
ny record of what colours the Tudedo dial came in, and in what sort of numbers?​
 

new_hampster

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If you shop for a used dial, one of the things to be aware of - there is also a 532 'tuxedo'. The frame plates of a 532 are 45mm wide, compared to 50mm for the 522 (like 519/529), and the distance between the posts that support the dial are different, so that since there is no dial pan, the dials of a 522 and a 532 are not easily interchanged. My records have the first 532 around 688xx.

I have 522's and 532's ranging from 63xxx to 70xxx, and all have the traditional JLC white dial color, as seen on most other models of the Atmos. The mounting on the posts with set screws on the side, however, is unique to the 522/532, I believe. For the 532's I have seen, the caliber is stamped on the lower part of the front movement plate (see photo); the 522's I have seen are unmarked. Yours appears to be a late 522, so I would be curious if the movement is stamped.

There is also a version of the 522 (532?) with a hinged solid glass front door, similar to that of the 526, except the knob is on the center side like tuxedo, rather than at the bottom like 526. I believe that this model was not sold in the US, but I have seen them in European markets. Those dials are probably interchangeable with the tuxedo, within the 522/532 restriction.

DSCN0911.JPG DSC09214.JPG
 
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zygo

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Thanks for this, New_Hampster; I wasn't aware of the later Tuxedo. Mine is the Mk IV, dating from 1954, with the blued screws and lettering on the movement and top regulator part. The movement is stamped 522 and the door is the brass one with glass window (and centre left knob).
I'm not looking to replace the dial with another - just to restore the existing one, which is why I removed the batons to prep it. Silvering it would be the easiest option but I'm not convinced any Tuxedo of the period ever had silvered dials. I thought I read somewhere that there were white ones and a couple of other shades but there's no authority for that (unless John Hubby knows better!).
I'd prefer to restore the original back to look like it was 65 years ago as far as possible so I need guidance on the original colour shades if anyone knows.
 

zygo

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I should've added, New_Hampster, that the dial (or more correctly, the chapter ring) is the type that has two posts on the back that insert into holes in posts on the front plate and are held by two side screws. In other words, it does not have a dial pan or screw holes in the dial like most other Atmos versions.

Any thoughts on the original colour, anyone?
 

zygo

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Well, in the absence of any contradictory advice from the Oracle/s here, I went ahead and attacked the "tarnish" on the dial.
I restore mainly antique clocks so I've re-silvered many dials over the years and thought this would be simple enough. but then it occurred to me that it's not antique; it's only from the 1950s and if JLC were electroplating cases with 24ct gold, the dial was probably electroplated with silver. So instead of attacking it with something harsh, I softly cleaned the dial with silver polish and sure enough it IS silver-plated. Many of you will have seen brownish dials and some, like me, will have assumed that (or something close) was the intended colour but it really is just a serious dose of oxidisation, even though it looks very little like the blacker oxidisation you find on other silver items like cutlery, jewellery etc.

After polishing the degraded batons and fitting them back, the dial now looks fantastic. I've posted another two photos, too, one showing the 522 calibre number, which I gather is a bit uncommon on these Tuxedo models.

IMG_20190718_142332.jpg IMG_20190717_085653.jpg IMG_20190715_183435.jpg
 

zygo

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Oh, one additional thing. This clock looks completely original and yet when I'd stripped it down and serviced it, it refused to run with any half-decent swing. I was surprised when fitting the wheeltrain movement to the front plate that it sits close to the front plate instead of leaving a gap of a couple of millimetres. The issue causing the failure was that the two fixing screws are too long and the tip of the one on the right was obstructing the turning of the intermediate wheel. Rather than grind down the end a couple of millimetres, I looked for a couple of spacer washers that I could fit under the movement but have nothing the right size so for now I have fitted a couple of polished brass washers on top, under the screw head. 540 degree oscillation resumes.
I was wondering if any other Tuxedo owner could possibly take a close look at how the movement sits on the front plate of their clock and advise (with a photo if possible).
 

John Hubby

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For info, my data show that the caliber 522 was the first Atmos with the caliber stamped on the movement, and that practice appears to have started with the first production of this model. The lowest serial number I have recorded fir a 522 s 60764. The caliber 519 movements didn't show up with a caliber stamp until serial number 67867 (right at the end of 1954). The caliber 525 was being introduced and simultaneously bot the 519 and 522 were redesigned to use the narrower frame for the 525 thus the calibers were changed to 529 and 532 respectively right at the beginning of 1955.
 
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zygo

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Thanks, John. Very interesting. If you have (or any other member has) a 522, could you/they please take a close look at the mounting of the movement on the plate/frame please. On all the Atmos clocks I've worked on (maybe 30 or more?) in a range of calibres, I'm pretty certain that there has always been a slight (2-3mm) gap between the back of the movement and the front of the plate/frame, caused by a collar on each of the two tapped collets set in the frame/plate, which act like spacers.

On this 522, there is no collar and therefore no gap; the back of the movement lies tight against the plate and the blued screws therefore appear to be fractionally too long; the one on the right was just touching the intermediate wheel behind the plate. Now they look like original screws (which is why I decided not to grind them down) and the clock must have run when it was new, so I wonder if there should be two loose spacer washers between the movement and the plate?
Any ideas or input anyone?
 

MartinM

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Look around on the clock for washers in a place they don't need to be?
 
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