Monday, 31 January 2011

(5) Setting the hands

Both watches were now dismantled enough to swap the dials and hands over. First I slipped the dressier dial onto the good movement, and tightened the dial screws.

Now, about the hands. I had a hand setter tool, but that wasn't the whole story for me - especially putting on the smaller hands for the subdials. To get the hands into position, line them up and so on, I found it helped to use a little blu-tack on a wooden toothpick. This was especially handy on the tiny subdial hands, where it was hard to see whether they were on their centre posts properly.


Speaking of the subdial hands, I learned something interesting while replacing them. Remember the reason I wanted to swap the movements over - on my daily user, the day hand only advancing halfway between certain days of the week? Well, here's the thing - now that I'd swapped the dressier hands and dial onto the known good movement, I was getting the same symptoms, until I pressed the hand down with extra pressure.

After that, the hand went round the dial properly. Maybe that was all that was wrong with the dress Jaragar in the first place? A surprising business. I found using the hand setters a vague and imprecise exercise, but felt I was getting there - until the following mishaps.

There were only 2 small hands left to fit - for the 24 hour and date dials - and the large second hand (which I wanted to leave last, in case moving the watch around started the movement ticking). Unfortunately, I couldn't get the date hand to stay in place. It was as if it just wouldn't stick to its post, no matter what. Baffled, I got the magnifying loupe out for a good look at the problem...


This tiny brass coloured tube on my finger was the culprit. It's supposed to be part of the hand, but got left behind when I took the hand off the other movement! After this photo was taken, I tried setting it back in place with a pair of tweezers. Ping! It flew off somewhere. God knows where; being so tiny it probably defied gravity and shot straight through the ionosphere. I had to substitute one of the casual, chunky style hands instead - and it looks pretty out of place.

Lastly, I hadn't noticed beforehand - the large second hands are another difference between the two watches - the casual movement needs a sort of long peg style second hand, whereas the dressier movement used a second hand with the same shape as the rest of them. Therefor, I was forced to use the casual second hand as well. I think the overall effect is a little strange to say the least! Judge for yourself:


Does anyone know of a supplier for these tiny swallow shaped hands? Please let me know if you do.

All that was left was to reassemble the casual watch - with the added challenge of having donated one of its subdial hands to the dressier model. I decided the best direction - the one that would give me a little fun exploring - would be to make up a glossy black dial - no markings - and use only the 24 hour complication.

 Photobucket to follow!

(4) Pulling the hands off

Ideally, at this stage I was supposed to put the innards in a movement holder. I don't have one, so I popped the movement of each watch back on their spacer bezels to avoid putting too much pressure on them - in the photo below, you can see the spacer just manages to keep the movement off the desk.


A piece of paper to protect the dial while the big hands are tackled. Incidentally, there's no stopping these second hands, I had to wait until both watches had run down before starting...


The big centre hands came off without incident on both watches. Here's the dressier Jaragar, minus the centre hands.


For the tiny hands on the complications, there wasn't enough clearance for paper on the dial and the hand pullers to get a good grip, so I used a little cellophane. I should have bought some levers for this - as I had been advised - in fact, things go downhill from here!


After all the hands were off, I loosened the dial screws - one in the centre of this shot - to take off the dials & swap them over.


The casual movement, and its original dial.


Sunday, 30 January 2011

(3) Removing the movements

The Poor Man's Watch Forum has a fantastically thorough guide to taking out a watch movement, I pretty much followed the advice there (apart from using a movement holder, and a wealth of other things I don't have).

The crown needs to come off to free the movement from the case. To release the crown, there's a little button nearby that's pressed as you pull the crown out...


... I'd read somewhere to put the crown back in once the movement is freed, as a handy grip to turn the watch over without marking the dial with fingerprints or what have you.  Having the crown in place meant I could line up the hands in a position easy to set later on.


Having the crown in place meant I could line up the hands in a position easy to remember for later on too.

(2) Opening the case backs

Both the Jaragars have screw-type case backs with glass windows. I used blu-tack to open them, a great tip I picked up on the watchuseek forum. This time, I avoided putting any on the glass windows, though to be honest I had previously opened both watches for regulation by just sticking a big ball of blu-tack on the back and twisting.

Here's the casual Jaragar opened up. When I bought these watches, I noticed the casual watch buttons had a much more precise and 'clicky' action compared to the dressier one, and here the reason is revealed. On the casual model, the quick set buttons extend right to the movement...


Whereas in the dressier Jaragar, the buttons push onto indentations in the plastic spacer bezel, which then presses on the movement. There is a lot of travel in the buttons before they change the day/date wheels. The photo below shows this different arrangement.


Time to take out the movements!

Friday, 28 January 2011

(1) Dummy run: Practise on an old quartz watch

Besides simple regulating, I've never messed around with watches before; reading a few guides on the net, I knew swapping the two movements would involve opening up the watches, removing hands and dials, and putting the hands and dials on the other's movements. After the tools arrived - a set of pullers and setters from eBay - I had a go using them on this smashed quartz watch.


Here's a shot of the 'Presto - Style' hand pullers and setters with the quartz innards.


I experimented a bit with the hand pullers, because there are different ways people recommend using them - either making them press against the dial as designed, or pulling up on the device without using the dial as leverage. Either way, the hands came off fine, and pushed back on fine without fouling on each other when the crown was spun around.


Buoyed by the lack of problems, even with these delicate looking tiny hands, I thought I was ready to start the transplant surgery...

A guide to unsuccessful wristwatch surgery

Here's two ultra cheap (about £12 shipped) Chinese self-winding wristwatches:


On the left, a dressier Jaragar sometimes named 'Chateau Noir'. This one's really grown on me, love the looks, less so the slightly wonky movement (the 'day of the week' hand sticks halfway between Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday). Strangely, quick setting using the top right button moves the hand around the dial properly. On the right, a more casual style Jaragar 'C1' with a perfect movement. I hardly ever wear this one, I just prefer the styling of the Chateau Noir.

I wanted to transplant the perfect movement into the dressier model and have the best of both worlds for my daily user. Armed with the confidence that comes with ignorance, I started practising pulling and setting hands on a broken old quartz watch.


After all, I thought, I've replaced a Sony laptop backlight without jumping from a highrise, so how hard could it be?...