A customer from out west of Canada recently sent me through a Baume & Mercier Clifton for an overhaul and refinishing of the case. I don’t refinish a lot of cases in my workshop as most of my clients are collectors of vintage watches who have very clear guidelines around case polishing. However, it is something I enjoy doing and was pleased to undertake here. When the watch came in it appeared to be in good condition. You can see this customer is definitely a watch enthusiast by the way he takes such good care of his timepieces.
With the case back removed I was ready to remove the watch from the case. I start by removing the automatic block whilst the watch is still cased.
I can then release the case clamps and free the movement so it can be removed from the case. I then remove the hands.
Then the dial, revealing the dial side of the movement.
I now strip down the movement side, checking the components as I go. I keep the winding and setting work intact so that I can let the power down.
I flip the movement and slowly release the power.
I remove the balance and pallet fork.
I then remove the train wheel bridge and barrel bridge.
The barrel and gear train are removed to reveal a completely stripped down movement side. I then take the winding and setting work apart.
Once completely dismantled the movement is put into the parts cleaning tray and put through the watch cleaning machine.
The movement is now clean and ready to assemble. I lubricate the movement as I build it up.
I install a new mainspring into the barrel, make all the checks and place it in the movement. I also put the great wheel in place.
Before I install the barrel bridge I need to assemble it. The underside houses the winding section.
It is then put in place.
Then the gear train is put in place.
Then the train bridge and pallet fork. At this stage I lubricate the escapement perform the checks.
Now the balance is put in place and the timing and amplitude checks are made.
I now am ready to put the dial side components in place.
It is now assembled and the GMT and date checks are made.
The dial is then put in place and so are the hands.
Before I can case the movement I refinish the case. Here is the before shot.
The case after refinishing.
The watch is then cased.
Then the watch is closed up. I then check the watch for water resistance and then perform all the power reserve and timing checks over the next few days.