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Saturday, March 19, 2016

1954 Leslie

Men's watches in the 1940s got to be very small... sometimes so small that you'd think they were ladies models.  The Elliott and Norman come to mind, but there are several tiny watches.

In the 1950s watches started to get a little larger but there are a few hold outs with 1940s styling.  One of them is the Leslie.  It was produced from 1954 through 1956.

Initially the Leslie had a 19 jewel 753 movement.  It features a 10K gold filled case with a two-tone white and butler finished dial with solid 18K gold numerals and markers.

In 1955 the Leslie received the 22 jewel 770 movement.  It's funny that it's not called the Leslie B since the movement changed but since the 753 and 754 are both 12/0 sized movements, there's no change in the case at all.

I don't think you tend to see Leslies very often in the wild.  Probably because they are very small... pretty much the size of the 770 movement itself.  I did eventually find one though and although the crystal is rather beat up the rest of the watch is in good shape.

The watch is engraved with a name and date from 1960 - four years after production ended.  So I guess this watch waited around in the jewelry store for a while.

Without the crystal in the way, you can see that the sterling silver dial is in good shape and appears to be original.

Looking at the movement, it's in good condition but the dull finish is a sure sign that the watch hasn't been cleaned in a long while.  Can you see the dial on the other side of the movement?  Just a little corner of it is visible so the dial is arguably the smallest 770 dial I've ever come across.

The model is easily identified by the mark in the case back.  I only see one service mark inside the case so this watch hasn't seen a watchmaker too many times over the last 60 years.

A new glass crystal will make a nice improvement to the watch's aesthetic.

Everything is cleaned and dried.

The freshly reassembled movement is ticking away so it's off to the timer to see how it's doing.

Running a little fast and the beat error is a little too high at 4.2ms.  So I'll take it apart and try to move the hairspring collet.

Oops... wrong direction.  7.3ms is way too high.

There... 0.6ms is excellent so I'll stop there.

The dial and hands go on and it all goes back into the polished case.  It's a nice looking watch, even if it is a smidgen too small for my tastes.

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