Deck Watch: General care question

Discussion in 'Chronometers' started by Joseph Short, May 18, 2016.

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  1. Joseph Short

    Joseph Short Registered User
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    Oct 9, 2010
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    I received a Hamilton Model 22 as a gift from my wife. Other than normal cleaning and oiling of the movement, what is the best way to care for it?
    How should the box itself be cleaned and maintained? And what about the brass of the gimbel and case, should it ever be polished, or should it be left to age naturally? I want to properly keep and preserve this piece, and not do it any harm.
    Thanks in advance for your assistance.

    Joe

    face.jpg Box.jpg Top.jpg back.jpg
     
  2. Accutronitis

    Accutronitis Registered User

    Aug 24, 2014
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    I think it should be kept clean but the way it is.......
     
  3. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    The outside of the box should be treated like a piece of furniture so that it will not dry out, crack or separate. The inside should be wiped clean with a very light oil and otherwise left alone. If you run the watch it will need to be serviced every 5 years or so. If you never run it, it does not need servicing. None of the parts will wear out just from age and if it has been cleaned recently, the oil is a modern synthetic that will not deteriorate over time to any significant extent. That way each generation can have it cleaned and you can leave a bit extra in your will to service it. ;)
     
  4. Joseph Short

    Joseph Short Registered User
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    Thank you both for the info. That is what I will do then.

    Tom, is there someone in the Boston area you would recommend to service it?
     
  5. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I would recommend Chris Carey of Watertown Watch & Clock. He is the President of Greater Massachusetts Chapter 8 and is also active in the AWCI. His shop is on California St. in Newton. Chris is a personal friend of mine, as was his Grandfather Pat Caruso and he does most of my watch servicing.
     
  6. Joseph Short

    Joseph Short Registered User
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    Tom,
    Thank you.
     
  7. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
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    #7 DeweyC, May 22, 2016
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
    [QUOTE=
    How should the box itself be cleaned and maintained? And what about the brass of the gimbel and case, should it ever be polished, or should it be left to age naturally? I want to properly keep and preserve this piece, and not do it any harm.
    Thanks in advance for your assistance.

    Joe

    [/QUOTE]

    Joe,

    You should give your wife a kiss.

    Back in the 1980s, European collectors in particular wanted their chronometers "as they left the maker" (whatever that meant). Today, those boxes look tarted up and they are hard to sell.

    The other thing with Hamilton product is that the reproduction boxes are excellent, there are only a very couple subtle tells. The assumption today is "if it looks like new, it probably is". Your piece earned its age marks. Besides, your wife bought it for you so she can't remark when you put it on the coffee table!

    For completeness, 25 years ago it was still possible to find m22 boxes in original shipping cartons that were never used. So people MAY encounter those, but in general, unless you learn how to ID a repro box, it is best to assume a new box is a repro.

    Many people also make the mistake of "cleaning up the brass work" It was left with a machine finish and then lacquered. After it is bright polished it looks way out of place. And do not let anyone resilver a Hamilton dial. I never saw anyone who could duplicate those finishes.

    Otherwise, it is a watch as you know. Just remember to use the safety setting lock when you pull out the stem. They are often broken by those who decide to simply yank on the stem. I recently had one that created a puzzle for uncasing. A portion of a broken piece get stuck in the stem tube and the stem could not be removed. I had to disassemble the piece in the case and work to get to the dial screws without doing any cosmetic damage; then I had to cut the stem and make a new one.

    First time in 30 years I saw that; but it is a very real reason to ensure you use the safety setting lock. When I encounter a broken lock, I give people a choice about making it functional (about $150) since they are not using it for navigational purposes and do not need to worry about inadvertently resetting the time. Every person wanted it returned to function.

    This happens so often that I made a glass hard filing template so I can make the needed parts efficiently.
     

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