Life has had me up against the ropes lately. I've been busy with other projects, other commitments, and quite a few non-blog-worthy watch projects. But overall I'm doing fine and have lots of blessing to be thankful for.
Thanks everyone for your support!
I do have a few projects waiting in the wings for some TLC. The first one I'll reveal is a 1961 Thin-o-matic T-404. It was produced for three years. As you can see from the catalog depiction, it came with either a black or a white dial. I bet the lizard & gold expansion bracelet was a nice touch too.
The T-404 came in a 10K gold filled case. Tucked inside is either a 17 jewel 663 or a 666, I'm not positive when the latter replaced the former. They're almost identical anyway.
My project watch arrived in well-used condition... perhaps even over-used based on the crown being worn smooth. The metal expansion bracelet is an after market addition and it has spring-loaded ends to provide a one-size-fits-most application. These bracelets are not a good choice for watches like this, as over time they wear grooves into the lugs... sometimes all the way through.
Oddly, this case has a dent protruding from inside the case with a high point resulting in a tiny wear spot, or just a dirt spot - I'm not exactly sure, this watch is very dirty.
Check out this crown - or what's left of it. I didn't realize at first just how worn out this crown was. Only the rubber gasket is still present. One of the most common questions I get from people is, "How waterproof is my watch". My answer is univerally, "Assume it's not" and that definitely applies to this case (pun intended).
As you can see below, this portion of the two-piece stem is a rusted mess and will need to be replaced, along with the crown.
Check out the condition of the dial. It looks like there are grains of sand inside. The luminous paint is gone from the hands so maybe it's that?
This watch has a 663 movement inside, made by Buren Watch Company, which Hamilton would eventually purchase. In fact, when production ended in the Lancaster PA factory in 1969, it was moved to Buren's facility in Switzerland in 1970. This movement is missing a bridge screw so someone has been inside here in the past 60 years. The male-side of the stem is rusty too but not as bad as the female side. Hopefully a trip to the spa will do it some good.
Did I mention that metal bracelets wear grooves into the lugs? Here's a photo for all you nay-sayers out there (you know who you are). I think it's mainly the spring-loaded versions that do it but given enough use, metal on metal will result in wear and tear.
There's a little rust on the dial side of the main plate - mainly in the set lever. I should be able to clean most of it off though.
I'll get the hands ready for some fresh luminous paint. You apply it to the back of the hands and then let it dry.
Well, I got a little caught up with the challenge of keeping track of the gazillion parts and pieces involved in one of these movements and forgot to take a disassembled movement shot. In the photo below, the movement is just about complete. It still needs the balance assembly and the oscillating weight to be reinstalled.
There, the balance is in place and ticking away with a good motion.
My watch timer concurs - this watch is running nicely.
A fresh crystal, cleaned case and relumed hands go a long way toward improving a watch's appearance. Having a crown with knurling and a nice strap doesn't hurt either.