Mechanical WW Need help/info with LACO watch

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by BobbyPafralides, Mar 27, 2015.

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  1. BobbyPafralides

    BobbyPafralides Registered User
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    Jan 7, 2009
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    I have this watch. the lower plate is # 54550 , 18 lignes Swiss, 12 size USA
    Does anyone have any information on where I can find parts? The set lever for sure is broken.
    Thanks!
    Bobby laco1.JPG laco2.JPG laco3.JPG laco4.JPG
     
  2. MINI

    MINI Registered User

    Sep 26, 2012
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    Looks like there is a movement caliber# just below the balance wheel but i can't make it out.
     
  3. Smudgy

    Smudgy Registered User
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    once you identify the maker and caliber you can contact one of the material houses listed in the sticky at the top of the forum. The maker should be written on the movement, or a trademark shield will be on the movement somewhere. mikeyt noted the caliber number below the balance. My eyes aren't good enough to read anything on the movement other than the jewel count.
     
  4. Larry Treiman

    Larry Treiman Registered User

    Jan 18, 2009
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    #4 Larry Treiman, Mar 28, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
    After spending at least an hour looking through my Swiss references, all I can say with certainty, based on the very distinctive shape and layout of the upper (back) plates and bridges and the shape of the plate/bridge that holds the setting parts in place on the pillar plate (under the dial) is that the movement/ebauche was definitely made by the well-known firm, UNITAS, now part of ETA.

    The big problem is to identify the actual calibre, which is what you need to do before you can order parts. One that I found with the distinctive upper (back) plates and bridges and layout, and the same plate holding the setting parts (for American-style negative-setting as in your watch) is Unitas cal. 417A (if the 1950 Paulson's Master Key Swiss Catalog is correct!). However, that is a 17-ligne movement, not 18-1/2 ligne. And Unitas sometimes complicates matters by using different shape plates and bridges on different versions of the same calibre.

    If you have the broken parts, you should send them along with your order as samples and request their return.....and hope that you get them back! Good luck with that!

    Mikeyt thought he saw the calibre number just below the balance wheel, but all I can see is what appears to be "SWISS"! If you remove the balance and balance cock, maybe you can find a cal. number! Or maybe someone out there has better references than I have and can do a better job of identifying the calibre.

    If your case is definitely standard American 12-size, it might be easier, and perhaps cheaper in the long run, to find a standard Elgin, Waltham or other US 12-size movement in running order. There are a lot of nice American 12-size movements around that have been made orphans by scrappers and are now looking for a good home. But BE CAREFUL. Many American so-called 12-size movements are not actually standard 12-size or not negative-setting ( the negative-setting stem is part of case).

    Have fun! <];>)

    Larry Treiman
     
  5. praezis

    praezis Registered User

    Feb 11, 2008
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    For Laco, Unitas is always a good guess, even if you did not search - they mostly used Unitas movements in their watches.

    This is what I found:
    unitas18.jpg

    But the bridge looks different.
    I wonder if the set mechanism was modified in Booby's watch from the usual Swiss type to something different.
    I never saw a set bridge of that shape.

    Frank
     
  6. Larry Treiman

    Larry Treiman Registered User

    Jan 18, 2009
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    #6 Larry Treiman, Mar 28, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015

    As I mentioned, that set-bridge (on Bobby's watch) was shown for several Unitas calibres fitted with American-style negative pendant setting including (but not limited to) the cal. 417A, so you were correct in your observation that the setting mechanism was modified in Bobby's (note spelling) watch.

    I specifically chose to mention the 417A because the upper (back) plates and bridges AND the setting bridge shown separately matched the OP's watch, though the setting bridge image was reversed!

    Movements of various sizes intended for the American market were usually (though not always) made with the American negative pendant setting mechanism in order to fit standard American pendant-setting cases where the stem and spring-sleeve were part of the case. It was the common practice here to import uncased movements and case them here in American-made cases.

    Most of the major European manufacturers offered their movements with optional negative pendant setting to accommodate the market, instead of the usual positive pendant setting mechanism where the stem was part of the movement and held in by a detent.

    As for LACO using mainly Unitas movements, when I looked up LACO in one materials catalog of US origin, it said to "SEE DUROWE". When I looked up LACO on Roland Ranfft's site, most of the movements listed were DUROWE....not a single one was Unitas! I can only conclude that LACO, like DUROWE, is a German firm!?!?

    When will I ever learn to stick to posting only on American movements:???:


    Larry Treiman
     
  7. praezis

    praezis Registered User

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    I have to apologize for two reasons:
    Not having read your post carefully enough and particularly for misspelling Bobby's name!

    And - you are right again, I confused Laco and Stowa with mainly using Unitas. Both companies are/were located in Pforzheim, Germany as well as Durowe, and both made the big pilot watch, my special area of interest.

    Best regards,
    Frank
     
  8. BobbyPafralides

    BobbyPafralides Registered User
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    Thank ou all for your input!!
     
  9. BobbyPafralides

    BobbyPafralides Registered User
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    I took this additional photo in case anyone can see the difference from the other diagram. I also re measured: it is just under 18 lignes (swiss) . It only says "Swiss" , no additional number. I have emailed the Laco Watch Company in Germany. They replied that they cannot help me nor do they have any information on this watch. The case and dial are so pretty, I'd just really like to fix it. :( laco5.JPG
     

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