|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
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 offer you a special service package! They will email you with an estimate approval the same or next day they receive your watch. They can fix most any brands too! Send me an email (please, not a PM) 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, they do not sell parts without a service. Vintage parts are simply to hard to come by to resell them.There are no new Zodiac bands available!
Here are some things you should be aware of with a BWG vintage watch repair.
- I have nothing to do with this business. I use them for my repairs.
- I have a lot of watches and have waited over a year for them to find a part for me.
- They only deal with collectors or owners, no resellers.
- They are a small shop and are very busy with collectors and owners from all over the world.
- They repair watches as if they were for their own collection, they do not cut corners to rush things.
- Their collection is actually larger than mine as they collect many brands! Your watch is safe with them.
- They specialize in chronograph servicing and repairs.
- Yes, they do service and repair other watch brands, including high end watches like Rolex.
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.
|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.
For the record, YuriyV (here, vakulenko_69 on eBay) is not BWG.
|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.