Chronometer question

JeffL

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Jul 19, 2010
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I recently acquired a 25 jewel Bucherer chronometer from the 1970's. I know when it was sold it met the Swiss standards of the time to be certified. Can I expect the watch to meet those standards now, even after I have it serviced?

As Bucherer did not make watches, who made the watches sold under the Bucherer brand, like what Tiffany & Co. does? I heard Rolex, but I find that hard to believe.

Thanks, JeffL
 

Dr. Jon

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If well maintained by previous repairers it should meet COSC standards.

Most probable maker is ETA, the movement maker now part of Swatch. They provide movement already COSC certified, since this is done before casing or addition of self winding.

They (ETA) cranked these out in good quantity and did an excellent job.

Today you can buy a chonometer kit with an ETA movemetn already COSC tested and ready for you to case,. Bucherer did that in large quantity.

My theory is that unless your shop is very, very good its better to just case an ETA movement and not try to modify it or "improve it". They leave ETA very clean and well set up. Most efforts to improve these produce the opposite result. Bucherer knew this.
 

AbslomRob

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Jun 21, 2009
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In theory and under normal circumstances, yes it should be possible to restore the watch to COSC standards. However, in practice it will depends on what's happened to the watch. COSC standards require the watch meet specific accuracy goals in multiple positions and temperatures, and things like deformation of the hairpring, or damage to one of the pivots can interfere with that in ways that can be difficult and expensive to repair.
 

Jeff Hess

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The rumor that Bucherer watches are Rolex has it's roots in the fact that BUcherer store was one of the early sellers of Rolex.

IN the mid 1960's, if memory serves, Bucherer started marketing their own "chronometers". These are collectible and indeed often can be cleaned oiled and adjusted to keep chronometer specs once again.

The 18k versions have a terrific collectors value.

Good luck!

Jeff Hess
 

Dave Haynes

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Sep 12, 2000
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A chronometer is like a Ferrari tuned perfectly and running perfectly. When the pivots become slightly rounded or bent at the tip from that drop that Incabloc saved, and the end stones are not as smooth from running it dry or the barrel lube becomes too caked, they just run like regular watches. The Ferrari is only as good as the last mechanic who touched it.

That said, I am wearing a Rolex GMT that was rebuilt (new 1575 movement, dial and hands) by Rolex NY over 18 years ago. It has never been touched since then. I put it on about 4 weeks ago (as I switch watches constantly) and set it by my new HP computer time. Since I really enjoy wearing the GMT because it is comfortable and easy to read, it has remained on the wrist for the last month. It has gained exactly 30 seconds in a month; that's pretty good timekeeping for a vintage chronometer that needs a servicing. Explained by the fact that it was a new movement and was serviced correctly with proper lubricants, and cased well. I don't know if a second a day is chronometer grade timekeeping, but I think it is.
 

doug sinclair

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Aug 27, 2000
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I would suggest podge is likely correct for a timekeeper with a detent escapement, but lever escapements are quite forgiving when the hands are set counter-clockwise. Not forgetting, of course, that sometimes the seconds hand wants to back up a bit when the hands are set backwards, and if the time setting on the seconds hand happens to be correct prior to setting, it will be behind time when you're done.
 

podge

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Aug 10, 2009
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Thanks Doug,

I got my little snippet of advice from an old watchmaker he`s been dead all of 50 years so your argument may hold some weight.

But I have always set my Chronometers like he said, force of habit I guess and they have served me well, What he did say was that if you set the watch counter clockwise it puts extra pressure on the escapement leading to irregularities and wear.
 
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