Not just a one trick Donkey...

I was going to go for the popular vote and do a post on which of my Rolexes I should wear with my dashing red socks to go for a drive in my sports car. But I'm not here to be popular, so here's another boring post about restoring watches...

Disclaimer - This is called humour. There are no victims. There is no offence to be taken. I've noticed a worrying trend on WatchCrunch where contributors appear to think it is fine for anyone to express an opinion as long as it agrees with their own opinion. Remember, the word "opinion" is not the same as the word "fact".

Anyways...

Most of you who know me, know that I'm a bit of a Seikophile. However, every once in a while I take a stroll outside of Seikoville and look at something else. This time, it's a Mondaine from the mid/late 60s with a Felsa 4007N movement.

Before I start there's (another) small but nonetheless important elephant in the room I'd like to acknowledge...

There are those that believe a vintage watch shouldn't be restored. It's one of those opinion things I reference above. They believe the scuffs, dings and blemishes tell a story.

In certain circumstances I 100% agree. If a watch has been in a family for generations and handed down from father to son (other genders are available) those marks have meaning, they have a sentimental value. The watch has provenance.

A little while ago I restored a pocket watch for my good friend @Guvnor64. I did that as sympathetically as I could and left a lot of the "story" marks as they were. I'm not devoid of emotion when it comes to these things.. far from it in fact.

However, for most of the watches I refurbish, these marks are someone else's story. They have no tangible relevance to me or any prospective owner. That's where I look to restore as close as to new as possible.

As an example, if you prefer the car in the top picture here, then you probably consider what I do as heresy.

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Personally I think these objects of ineffable desire deserve to look as good as they can do. I think - one of those opinions coming again - the car in the bottom picture is a much happier soul.

Now we've acknowledged the little elephant I'll actually talk about the watch - I can hear the collective sigh of relief.

I picked up this rather mundane Mondaine (I was pleased with that little bit of wordplay) off eBay a few weeks ago. It was after talking to @Aurelian about the Felsa Bidynator (Google it) and I thought I'd look for something similar. This one is actually a 4007N so the Bidynator remains on the watchlist.

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As you can see, it wasn't in poor condition but it was rather tired and although it was running, it was not registering an output on the timegrapher. It was clearly in need of a service. So that's what I did...

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It's actually quite an interesting movement if you like that sort of thing (I do 😁). It has a clever "double" third wheel that means the second hand doesn't "flap". I know... sexy right?!

Now, the case refurbishment - The heresy bit.

As part of the refurbishment I very slightly, but very deliberately altered the case shape at the lugs. I softened the lines a fraction because I thought it would look better (one of those damned opinions again)

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I also reapplied the lume on the hands and the dial. I'm not sure what the old lume was but after removing it I can now climb smooth walls, stand on the ceiling and I glow in the dark.

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I put a slightly lower domed crystal on it as the previous was quite "tall"

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A new rear case gasket and crown gasket should ensure its waterproof to at least 3mm. If a small fly were to become very upset whilst sitting on the crystal, this watch would be fine... probably.

I did seek the opinion (there it is again) and advice of @Aurelian throughout this project as my kung fu is not strong in this area. The world outside of Seikoville is big and scary. Thank you sir

There are a few other bits I've been working on recently, including a custom build, a nice green Citizen and a very nice green Seiko. More on those another time...

Take care and be kind to each other.

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I can't seem to update this post now. But just to add that the Mondaine is now running very nicely at its leisurely 18,000 bph

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I think that it looks great. Mondaine is an odd brand. As a word it means a fashionable woman. The old logo is a great near miss: the "M" forming the watch hands.

I don't know why re-luming is controversial with some. Watchmakers used to do it as part of a regular service. It would be like a vintage car restorer not replacing a burned out dome light because it wasn't original.

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I also have no issue with re looming at all. I think it improves the piece for obvious reasons. It's not a priceless piece that shouldn't be interfered with. It needs to be worn and enjoyed.

The watch is very lovely. I'm tempted of course!

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Aurelian

I think that it looks great. Mondaine is an odd brand. As a word it means a fashionable woman. The old logo is a great near miss: the "M" forming the watch hands.

I don't know why re-luming is controversial with some. Watchmakers used to do it as part of a regular service. It would be like a vintage car restorer not replacing a burned out dome light because it wasn't original.

Anyone know any fashionable women?

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Great job, Gareth! Will be keeping an eye out for your new editions.

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Well, you had me red socks and sports car. Although you know deep down white sports socks really with perhaps red stripe. What a smashing watch. I love the champagne/silver dial, dials so hard to get right (IMO) and that one is bang on. Wish I had the skill to restore although a Dremel might be in my letter to Father Christmas.

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Great job, Gareth. Having handled this, it’s every bit as classy as it looks in the photos. Do Mondaine still use that logo on any of their watches?

With regards to re-finishing: I think as long as it’s disclosed, then it’s fine. Any potential buyer/bidder should have fair warning. If anyone is not sympathetic to it, then they can always not buy/bid for it. Or look another way, because the watch was not meant for them. The disclosure part is the key, here imo

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Nice! That is a very clean dial. I like it!

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GasWorks

Anyone know any fashionable women?

Just about every one of the members here at WatchCrunch?

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Lovely as always!