Deciding whether or not to restore a vintage watch is a tough decision to make. The internet is awash with tales of watches butchered by an incompetent independent watchmaker or, worse still, the brand itself. Even more confusing is deciding which options offered should be accepted. Refinish the case? Change the hands? Replace the crystal? Here is some help for you.
About Ashton Tracy
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Meanwhile lets just say that we are proud Ashton Tracy contributed a whooping 36 entries.
Humans have long had a fascination with the depths of the ocean, striving to go ever deeper, ever further, and ever faster by pushing the limits of the human body, technology, and advancing modern science. But like all things, we are often faced with limits. Enter the helium escape valve.
Ashton likes vintage watches so much that his prized possession is a 1978 Rolex Submariner Reference 1680. Why does he love this watch so much? Not because it looks like it’s from 1978, but because it is from 1978. So, he asks, is the current vintage trend something we should be wholeheartedly embracing?
Hairsprings are miniscule. Generally no more than one centimeter in overall diameter when coiled, they are roughly 50 microns thick and 150 microns wide. Tiny they may be, but insignificant they are not. In fact, they are so significant that Rolex refers to them as “the guardians of time.” But what do silicon hairsprings bring to the table? Watchmaker Ashton Tracy explains why he went from skeptic to fan.
Does anyone really care how many jewels their watch has? Watchmaker Ashton Tracy thinks that you’d be surprised how many people do as they’ve been duped by a vintage practice of announcing the amount of movement jewels on watch dials. What is the real story here?
A common question in watch servicing/restoration is, “Who does the ‘best’ work?” In a word (or three), what is meant here is superficial case refinishing. And in other words: huge chamfers on Rolex cases, perfectly flat surfaces, and well executed sunburst patterns. And that’s got Ashton Tracy ranting. Find out why here!
You may be familiar with numbers such as 18,000 vph, 28,800 vph, and even 36,000 vph describing the frequency of a watch’s hairspring regulator, but few really know what those numbers mean. Watchmaker Ashton Tracy explains why watch frequencies matter, but he oscillates in choosing a winner. Follow the discussion here.
In its simplest form, the equation of time is defined as the difference between the time displayed by the position of the sun (as by a sundial) and the time displayed by any modern clock or watch. But that’s just the beginning; watchmaker Ashton Tracy explains more.
General everyday contact with magnets isn’t going to cause your beloved wristwatch any real harm, but overdoses of magnetism may still present a problem, causing erratic timing and even stoppage altogether as watchmaker Ashton Tracy explains. What to do when this happens?
Date windows on wristwatches can be a touchy subject. Many feel they are downright ugly and destroy the look of a good watch, while others swear by them as the most useful and affordable complication. Whatever camp you may be in, the date function can be the cause of considerable grief, particularly the rapid-set mechanism.