Some time ago I found that I wasn’t able to set the time on my 1963 Diamond Flake hand winder https://sweep-hand.org/2013/05/15/this-weeks-featured-watch-51-the-diamond-flake/. The stem was loose and wouldn’t relocate in the correct position although the movement could still be wound and ran ok. Although I’m not a watch mechanic it was clear that there was a serious problem with the ‘keyless’ works/setting lever. And unfortunately my local watch repairer wasn’t able to do anything with it since the relevant parts were too corroded. So the only way to source the parts and fix this problem was to find a ‘donor’ watch…..but these are not seen very often, and it’s been a long wait.
Until last week in fact, when I found a rather sorry looking example on eBay – in fact I’d seen it a couple of months earlier but I was outbid. Although a bit concerned that there may be more than cosmetic problems with this example, since it was being re-sold rather quickly, it was described as in working order so I went for it.
Given my (very) limited watch repair skills I decided to do a movement swap rather than any dismantling, especially since the donor movement looked to be in better condition than my problematic example. In particular the stem fitted correctly and ‘locked’ into place as it should. Although the Diamond Flake has a snap on case back and movement retaining screws, the movement doesn’t just come out of the back once these are removed. It’s removed from the front so the crystal has to come off as well, allowing the movement / dial assembly to be taken out of the case from the front.
After carefully removing the hands and dial from the donor, I fitted my dial and hands and re-installed the assembly in the case. And, happily, it’s running fine – winding and setting correctly and keeping very good time too 🙂
Here’s the dial from the donor watch – I was surprised to find a clean and corrosion free movement inside:
On the dial side of the movement, the corrosion/damage can be seen on the old movement (bottom one in this pic), compared to the donor movement:
You’ll see as well that the upper lever on the donor is different from the old one, since it has two arms rather than one. I think it should have just the one!:
But it works fine, which wasn’t so when I tried the old one in the donor movement, so it’s staying that way! 🙂