Vintage Roamer Watch Service and Repair

We deal with a huge variety of watches in our workshop, ranging from modern Omega and Rolex through to vintage wrist and pocket watches. Vintage watches often need extra special care and attention, especially if the watch in question has not been regularly serviced over the years.

In this particular instance we received a vintage Roamer watch in for full restoration. We needed to get the watch up and running, restore the dial, supply and fit a new set of hands, fit a new glass, new crown and re-plate the gold-plated case.

While the dial was being restored by our specialist dial restorer, the movement could be serviced. It is completely disassembled and pre-cleaned, with each part inspected. The mainspring was “set” –  This is when the mainspring has, in effect, lost much of it’s spring. The upshot being a significant reduction in power. It was also an old carbon steel mainspring – these are more prone to breaking. We were able to source an appropriate modern equivalent mainspring for this calibre of movement. It was clear this movement hadn’t been serviced for some time – most of the oils and greases were completely dried up and needed to be manually scraped off as part of the pre-cleaning process.

Once fully disassembled the movement is run through our specialist watch movement cleaning machine. After cleaning the movement is carefully reassembled and oiled. Once the dial restoration was complete we were able to reunite it with the movement, as well as fit some new hands. These needed a little adjustment to fit the watch correctly, as the holes where the hour and minute hand fit over the hour wheel and cannon pinion respectively were too large. To tighten the hands we use a staking set and the correct type of punch. This slightly tightens the hands enough to ensure a snug fit.

To restore the gold-plated case the old, worn plating first needed to be removed before new plating could be applied. Layers of other metals are used underneath the gold plating to ensure a good molecular bond between the metals. After these have been applied the final gold plating layer can be added. When electro-plating everything has to be immaculately clean and free from grease, as even holding the case with your hands may impart oils which affect the plated layer.

With the now re-plated case we can then fit a new glass ready for the entire watch to be completely reassembled along with a new gold plated crown. Once everything is reunited the watch is back to excellent condition both inside and out. All that’s left is to test this fantastic vintage Roamer watch before it can be returned to our client.

Yours sincerely

David Clark FGA DGA MJVA PJDip. PJGemDip.

Managing Director, JVA Registered Valuer®

W.E. Clark & Son Limited