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?
About Ashton Tracy
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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.
Ask any watchmaker about the Rolex 31 family of calibers and the story will be the same: it has stood the test of time. Ashton Tracy hasn’t met a single watchmaker who doesn’t love working on these workhorse Rolex movements. They are easy to service, keep great time, and stand up to abuse. Put simply: they work. So how does it stand up to new big brother, Caliber 3235? Find out right here!
Most will agree that re-painting a dial is a big no-no. Vintage pieces with re-painted dials can be had for a steal as they are difficult to shift and mostly unwanted. But not all dial restorations are created equal, and we do encounter varying degrees of “upgrades.” Some of these upgrades are purposeful deception, while others are not. Here is what one watchmaker feels about the subject.
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.
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!