One of my favourite watches, a 19 jewel ‘UNI’ Auto Dater from 1965 with a ‘linen’ dial, stopped running a little while ago. Although I’m not a watch repairer I was able to diagnose the problem – it turned out to be a loose pallet fork jewel. I wasn’t able to fix it, so I looked out for a donor watch on Yahoo Japan, and recently I found one. There were no other bidders and I got it for just JPY1200, about GBP7.50! Although the transaction via ‘Japamart’ doubled this, it was still a cheap buy….providing it turned out to be in working order as the seller had described.
The seller was absolutely right, the watch was in nice mechanical order, running accurately and changing date properly. As a result I simply swapped the movements, and I will keep the old movement for spares.
The donor watch was made in 1963, the year of the launch of the UNI which marked the beginning of the end for the Jet automatic. Here it is (after removing the movement):
The gold plate is well worn, as is the crystal (hence the blurred dial printing), which is no doubt why I got it so cheaply. The dial isn’t too bad at all:
Thanks to this donor I now have a fully functioning 19 jewel example:
Oh, that’s really lovely! Long live the donor! 🙂
Hi Adrian – let’s hope it has a long and happy life 🙂