A bit of a punt and a mysterious caseback reference...

SteveHarris

Administrator
Staff member
Enicaristi
Sherpa
So, back in May I picked up a bit of a beaten up old Super Dive 33 that looked almost ready for the knackers yard. The watch wasn't winding automatically but would hand wind, although wouldn't keep great time. The watch also made a horrible noise and sounded like it had loose parts floating around in there apparently. Not great.

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Seen better days

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Cracking

A few messages back and forth with the owner and I decided I'd have a crack at picking it up and restoring it. He couldn't get the caseback off to see what was going on, so I really was going in blind.

Auction ends and I won it for a bit more than I wanted but also, plenty of room to spend a few quid in getting it restored and buying a few parts of needed. It arrives and I'm a little excited as always when a new watch lands but also a little apprehensive. Have I wasted my hard earned money on a dud?

Short answer, no. The noise was simply that the rotor had come loose the central screw holding it in had come out and also a few screws had come out holding the actual movement in place. Not great but far from a horror story. As far as I could tell, there had been no lasting damage to the movement but I'm not a watchmaker.


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Could have been worse...

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Lasting damage? I didn't think so...

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Another view of the hairline cracks

I chatted with a few of the Enicar guys about it (Nico and Bernd mostly) and decided against replacing the crystal if I really could avoid it. There are replacements available online but according to Bernd, they weren't quite the same shape and you could tell when a crystal has been replaced.

So... options? My first port of call was some elbow grease, Polywatch and good old fashioned patience. As you'll see in the photos above, there was an odd white mark near 12 on the crystal too. I couldn't really worked out what this was but could have been something acidic that had melted the plastic a little?

A couple of days and a few hours work later, I was fairly happy with the progress.


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Not bad.

The next step was to send it off with the bag of loose parts to a watchmaker. Me being lazy, this took me around 4 weeks to arrange but off it went to James at Harris Horology, a short train ride from my office.

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They have a private museum of early electrical clocks in the workshop. Fascinating!

Whilst James is not the cheapest watch repairer on the block, I had read he was very, very good which is exactly what I was after. I'm a firm believer with repairers that generally, if you do your homework, you get what you pay for. James didn't let me down and the watch arrived back earlier this week and I must say, that I'm delighted with the results. Other than the service and repair job, James also had a crack at the crystal and it's a big improvement. There is still a small mark at 12 but this was a balance between looking good enough and not making the crystal too thin. There are still a couple of hair line cracks when viewing the crystal side-on as well but nothing that distracts from the watch for me.

Factoring in the cost of repair and service, I've picked up Super Dive 33 for a decent price in the end. I may still get the crystal replaced at some point but we'll see.

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So, after a bit of a punt, I've ended up with a very nice condition Super Dive 33 with a bit of a champagne dial. It's in all original condition, correct crowns, hands (I wasn't 100% on the seconds hand but after doing some research it looks correct), good condition case and a lovely working movement that's just been serviced.

So, the mysterious caseback reference? Have a look at the last image above. The caseback is stamped with an extra reference F32959 which you can see very clearly. Any ideas on what that is for?

Thanks,

Steve
 
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JimJupiter

Moderator
Staff member
Enicaristi
Sherpa
As I said, I think its kind of some registration number, but not military. Easiest is to ask the previous owner. Where does the watch came from, what was the owner doing as a job etc.

Nice catch and good luck,

Nico
 

kazrich

Member
Sherpa
That's a fine example of a Super Dive Steve ! Well worth the effort.
What's the inscription on the dial under 33 ? T for tritium then X25mc ?
I also have an Enicar 33 by way of an early Super Jet.
Apparently many watchmakers were at it in the 60's adding extra
jewels for decoration only. Apparently 24 jewels is the maximum jewels
necessary to 'lubricate' a movement . Some say 21.
The rest are squeezed in to sound impressive.
Jo Public was encouraged to believe 'the more jewels the better'. Watch makers happily obliged.
 

SteveHarris

Administrator
Staff member
Enicaristi
Sherpa
Yep totally agree on the silly amount of jewels! Really not needed.

Inscription underneath is T<25mc. I think that shows the strength of the radiation emitted by the Tritium?
 

SteveHarris

Administrator
Staff member
Enicaristi
Sherpa
I've heard back from the person I purchased from.

He bought it from a Romanian watch dealer in the UK who purchased it in Romania. He's going to ask him for me if he remember anything else about it (y)
 

hurmen

New member
Sherpa
I can’t help you with that mysterious engraving...

But I kind of disagree regarding the ‘silly amount of jewels’ mentioned above.

As far as I know the extra jewels in the 30 and 33 jewel AR movements aren’t just decoration. They are integrated in the center part of the oscillating weight to reduce friction. The so called ‘Rubyrotor’ contains 7 little rubies if I’m not mistaking.
 

kazrich

Member
Sherpa
Regarding Jewels.
Watchmakers will tell you that a ' fully Jewelled' manual wind watch has 17 jewels
a 'fully jewelled' automatic wind watch has 21 jewels .
The 1960's started the 'Jewel wars' or ' jewel trap' when the marketing boys realised that
customers erroneously equated higher jewel content with higher quality.
Waltham famously claimed 99 jewels for one of their modestly priced models.
Enicar realised this themselves.
I keep an early 33 jewel Super Jet AR1126 and a later 1969 24 Jewel Super Jet AR1146B.
They are essentially the same watch, so why did Enicar elect to reduce the jewel count
to 24J in the later version ? Synthetic jewels are not expensive.
After 50 years they are equally smooth and accurate regardless of the jewel content.
 
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