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Author Topic: Chinese Skeleton project  (Read 3596 times)
Abslomrob
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« on: September 01, 2011, 11:40:28 pm »

I found a site that sells Chinese-based mechanical watches for a really good price (about $10 each, plus shipping) so I decided to get myself a more "disposable" watch for everyday wear.  I don't have a particularly high opinion of Chinese movements, so I actually bought two (one for spares). 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

They arrived a couple of weeks ago, and I was pleased to discover that they both kept reasonably good time right out of the box..er, bubble wrap.  However, the amplitude on one was abysmal (about 120 degrees), and neither of them seem to be able to wind more then about 25%, meaning they don't build up enough of a reserve to last the night (requiring me to set them again in the morning).  The design of the crown makes manually winding them a big of a hassle, since the crown is a bit recessed and hard to grip.  I also wasn't thrilled with the "scrollwork" on the display, since it's actually just a thin embossed foil overtop the real plates.

So project! 

First off, I stripped it down and gave it a proper clean and oil.  I was hoping that this would help the autowind be a bit more efficient.  However, in working on it, I realized the reason for the poor autowind is simply because the rotor is very light and thin, and thus doesn't have enough energy to wind the spring.  This is partly the design, since the plate layout doesn't leave any room for the rotor to extend below the bridges, and they didn't want the rotor to extend past the edge of the movement.  Since the case is bigger then the movement, I should be able to rejig the movement retention ring to allow me to put a larger (and heavier) rotor on this; I'll just need to get a small block of brass to size down. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Secondly, I took off the stupid foil.  That lets me see the real plate, but the finish on this movement is ... well, cheap.  Not liking that, I attacked the pillar plate with some buff sticks and various dremel attachments.  This, of course, stripped off the finish, exposing the base (probably brass) metal, which I actually like a lot better.

Putting it back together, it runs...okay.  Definitely got my moneys worth, but that's not saying much.  Here's the current status:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Still to come for this is the aforementioned new rotor, and then I may see about doing some scroll work on the exposed plate.  Later, I'm planning on getting a nickle plating kit (although it looks nice now, I'm worried the exposed base metal will oxidize and leach stuff into the watch works.)
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All my vintages are at http://www.abslomrob.com
Drew P
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United States United States


« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2011, 03:15:13 am »

Hmmm...this is interesting. I'm was currently looking for some mechanical movements to mess around with,got bored looking and came back to my favorite site-this one!,and I come across this-cool! I'm in the market to gather parts for a future self-made watch project.

I do hope you keep us posted as to how this goes Wink

Also,would you share the site info on where you acquired such pieces for such reasonable prices? Grin
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Never ask 'Why?'
Always ask 'Why not!?'
Abslomrob
Deck Hand
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Canada Canada



WWW
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2011, 04:16:21 am »

Oddly enough, I don't know where I got it.  It was actually the end of July, and my browser history doesn't go back that far.  I clicked on a link at Watchuseek, but I think it was one of those google ad boxes.

The watch is a "Winner u8018"; there's several on ebay similar, or just google that to find people selling them.

You can also just buy the raw movements from a place like Jules Borel (in the states) or CousinsUK...I'd suggest getting something from Dixmont-Guangzhou; their movements seem slightly better quality for the money (they're basically copies of Miyota movements), but stay away from the more "exotic" varients (their implementation of day/date stuff is a bit wonky).
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Drew P
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2011, 12:22:57 am »

Thanks! I'll check those out.
You didn't keep the receipt/Invoice,did you?
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