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 Aston Tracy ranting. Find out why here!
About Ashton Tracy
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Good customer service has been a hotly debated topic in the watch industry for decades. The increase in both service intervals and warranty periods is certainly a welcome one, but it does beg the question what changed? In the years leading up to 2015, what dramatic horological advancements were discovered to make longer service intervals possible? Watchmaker Ashton Tracy investigates.
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.
Loved the world over by collectors and watch brands alike, the Zenith El Primero has been keeping the world on time since 1969. And Rolex choosing to use the movement was high praise for Zenith indeed. The El Primero is still considered an exceptional chronograph to this day, watchmaker Aston Tracy explains why.
Asking vintage watch enthusiasts which chronographs they might pick as their favorites, one movement quickly comes to mind: the Omega 321. Caliber 321 is an exceptional movement that certainly deserves the praise and attention it receives, most likely stemming from the fact that it was used in the first Speedmasters.
Seriously, who cares how many jewels their watch has? Watchmaker Ashton Tracy thinks that you’d be surprised how many people care 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?
As far as automatic watch movements are concerned, Rolex Caliber 1575 is the cream of the crop, a watchmaker’s watch: hard wearing, robust, elegant (ish), and an exceptional timekeeper.
When it comes to selecting a watch for the purposes of getting the job done, there are three qualities that must be looked for: simple, robust, and reliable. And no movement can be more greatly heralded on all three qualities than IWC’s Caliber 89 according to watchmaker Ashton Tracy.
The word “independent” is used frequently in connection with watchmakers and brands that couldn’t be more different in their scope; and we seem to be seeing more “independent watchmakers” and “independent niche brands” pop up. In this new age of “independents” how can we determine who actually is and who isn’t (but claims to be) independent?
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.