Be an informed Zodiac Collector. Check out the Vintage Zodiac Catalogs Website

How often should my watch be serviced?
Vintage automatic and manual wind watches were intended to be serviced every 3-5 years! If the eBay watch  you are bidding on (or any other watch you are considering buying!) does not specifically say "just serviced" then you should plan on having the watch serviced upon its arrival.




Watch Repair Info
Butch@VintageZodiacs.com

Good news! I have found someone to service my collection that I trust! I have asked them if they would be willing to help you out and they said YES! As a matter of fact, if you mention my name and web site they will even pay the return shipping in the USA on your repair! They will email you with an estimate approval the same or next day they receive your watch. They usually are able to get them back within 4 weeks. They can fix most any brands too! Please email me for more information. I am not affiliated with this business, I just use them and so can you.

Join the Forum and sign up. Then you can do a search for "BWG" to find recommendations from others here that have used Butch's Watch Guy.

Sorry, no parts without a service. There are no new Zodiac bands available!
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If you have a modern Zodiac, I am sorry, but I cannot help you with it. You will need to contact www.zodiacwatches.com for all your post-2000 Zodiac needs. Some modern Zodiacs are Astrographic 2000, Marine Life, Sea Wolf II, and any model beginning with ZOxxxx. Good luck!

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From a late 1960's Zodiac brochure:
"The various moving parts that form a watch-movement are subject to very great stresses: for instance, a balance beating 21,600 vibrations per hour (the later SST was 36,0000!!...bd) moves at a speed which corresponds to that of a wheel of a locomotive at nearly 60 miles per hour. It goes without saying that stresses of this nature cause wear and tear."


Often I get an email that goes something like this... "I just got a 30-40 year old Zodiac from my father (or grandfather or uncle or myoldhuntingdog) and it still runs fine!" or "I bought this Zodiac and have not worn it for 20 (30 or 40!) years. I just dug it out of a drawer and it still works!"

I have been meaning to write an article for quite some time now, but this will have to do for a while. I am not selling a service, just trying to be informative. Here are some statements I have made to Zodiac owners of late.

Would you run your car on the same 5 qts. of oil for 20 years? Would you park your car for 5 years, and then start it up and run it on 5 year old oil?

Put another way, here is what I told another guy the other day:

Please place a note around your watch so that when you pass on (MANY YEARS FROM NOW I HOPE!) your son understands than an automatic watch is made to be cleaned every 3-5 years. There is oil in it to prevent metal on metal wear. When a watch is not worn, one of two things happens, the oil evaporates or collects to one side and turns into "tar'". When a watch is serviced it is tested in several positions, not just face up or down, as on a table top. A properly serviced mechanical can last over 100 years, IF properly serviced.

And another example on quick setting the day and/or date:

Presuming your watch has been serviced in the last 3-5 years... Normally you keep winding it past midnight until the day is correct and then STOP. Now you wind it back to 8:30 p.m. and back to midnight until the date is correct. Then you set the time. >IF< the watch's date is WAY OFF, do this about 5 days at a time and let it rest for a minute. The gears are very small and when you wind them quickly it is like taking your car over 100 MPH! By letting it rest for a minute you let the gears cool off. This was the Zodiac Datomatic feature.

Be aware that these are mechanical watches and were intended to be serviced every 3-5 years. If one has been sitting a long time all the oil has evaporated or congealed over to one side of the watch. The gaskets also deteriorate over time and "melt" into the movement.
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My Philosophy

Watches are a hobby to me. A friend of mine calls it "my passion" and perhaps it is. It is FUN and I meet a lot of nice people.  I buy, sell, and trade them to add more to my collection. This is not a business but merely a hobby to me. I assure you, given the restorations I have done, I do not make money at this. I have a full time vocation as a Computer Consultant which is my main source of income and keeps me very busy (thank goodness for technology) the better part of the day.

The obligations of my job take precedence over the time which I can devote to my hobby. Sometimes I will answer email at 2:00 A.M. Sometimes I cannot get to my email for a day or two. My vocation keeps me very busy; this is why I do not post a phone number or an address on my site.

Email is great in that it can be answered when I have the time to do it. This convenience enables me to focus on my hobby and to assist colleges and friends with their watch needs at a time that is convenient and workable for me.

I want to help you if I can. Please read the information on this site. Send me an email. I LIKE email. If I can help you to get your watch serviced by someone else, or give you some information to make your watch or collecting better I would love to be of assistance.

Let us talk, but let's do it via email.

I wish to thank you in advance for your understanding. I'm looking forward to receiving your e-correspondence.

Thanks for your trust and for your friendship.

Best personal regards,
Butch Dunn

Service Examples From My Watchmaker:











Who is BWG?
I have had some questions of late so I wanted to throw this out there. BWG (Butch's Watch Guy) is a concept. The current one is #6 since the 1990's, and it may not be who you think it is today. Why? Well, that is my business. BWG can change for a myriad of reasons. Decisions have been made over the years by either me or certain watchmakers to part ways, for many reasons. What I need in a watchmaker is what every Zodiac collector needs in a watchmaker. Someone that knows what he is doing, does it well, and stands behind their work. Most watchmakers can do this but don't have Zodiac parts. But let's look what BWG has done, or is currently working on.

      - He is doing things for ALL zodiac collectors that no other BWG has cared, wanted, or tried to do.
      - He has a re-plating process for metal SW bezels.
      - He is working on a process to restore the acrylic SW bezels.
      - He has a Astrographic replacement crystals!
      - He has found a way to repair the screw down crowns for the 1990's models
  • Then there is the fact that he spends the money and buys up all the Zodiac parts he comes across, knowing full well that he will be years getting his money out of those parts. I know for a fact he sent a guy to Philly to buy up a lot of parts for over $1,000.00 a couple years ago when he found some parts were available.

These few things alone make him invaluable to me in referring Zodiac collectors to him. These are the sorts of things I need in a BWG. Any watchmaker can service a Zodiac. Few have the parts NOR the inclination to actually restore them.

I have you email me for the contact info so that BWG knows the referral comes from VZ. This helps supplement 2 web sites that have NEVER been in the black since either one was started. And if you use BWG, you should to refer to him as BWG in the forum as that is what people are searching for. No matter which one it was.




1990's Zodiac Crown Repairs Are Now Possible!
Good news! BWG has found a Swiss supplier for screw down crowns for the 1990's Zodiacs. As most know, these crowns were a once piece stem/crown combo that once broken, or stripped, was not repairable due to a lack of parts.

BWG took my 1990's chrono and removed the tube, drilled out the case, installed the new tube, then added a 2 part stem and crown. Of course they are unsigned and ever so lightly smaller, but I can wear my watch again.

The new crown and tube that has been installed on this chronograph is in the same technical style of those originally found on the vintage Super Sea Wolf.  However, the way that the new tube is installed ensures a tighter seal than the original for these watches.  The replacement tube has inside threads, is longer to allow for deeper contact with the crown after it is screwed down, and has an interior gasket that doubles up with the gasket in the crown to allow for a better seal.  Most importantly, they are Swiss made and their quality is much improved over the originals used in the 1990 Zodiacs.
 


 

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