At The Bench: When Case Polishing Is A GOOD Thing: The Restoration Of A Doxa 300T Searambler
With this fanatical spotlight on “un-cleaned” however, the extraordinary artistic expression of resurfacing (or “itemizing,” as it’s occasionally called) has become the child that got thrown out with the shower water. With this new reclamation, I had a case that was battered to such an extent that I chose to utilize it to outline how intriguing this interaction is, and show that regardless of whether it isn’t your thing, case restoring is an expertise within the watchmaking world that is worth appreciating, or at any rate, knowing more about.
There’s been a resurgence of interest in vintage Doxa Subs lately. Professed to be the principal watch explicitly intended for sporting SCUBA jumping watch, the Doxa Sub is a staple of numerous vintage assortments. Regularly seen with their famous orange dial, they likewise came in yellow, silver, and dark. The orange dial was utilized situated in different underwater tests, where they found that it was the best tone for perceivability. The bezel of the 300T exhibits its direction – there are no decompression times, as it’s intended for sporting, no-decompression jumping. Presented in 1966, when sporting plunging was truly beginning to blast, it carries the popular Aqua Lung logo.
This Doxa 300T Searambler case was among the most harmed I have at any point come across. It’s impossible to say how it came to be in such terrible condition; I for the most part can think about how watches acquire certain wounds, however this one puzzled me. All around it was a wreck. It was ticking, however scarcely. Helpless assistance and the most unpleasant owner I have at any point seen proof of left me with a reclamation that solitary a savage could adore. The outcome is a watch that the two shows its scars and the new wonderful life it has been given because of some unfathomable casework specifying talent.
Beyond the 99% futile (for a watchmaker, anyway) content on Instagram, there is an extraordinary assortment of watchmakers who post about their work, and the things they come across. Selecting to attempt somebody within this community, I discovered somebody whose casework I appreciated and who was capable. I sent the watch to Adam Lewis of Lewis Watch Co. in Perth, Australia. What he returned was an astonishing salvage, alongside an extraordinary introduction of the work he did.
As can be found in the photos, the case was scratched, marked, gouged, and pretty much every other equivalent word for “harmed” I can come up with. The case back was especially terrible. It had a huge load of little yet profound gouges that were so terrible, it was really irritating to wear. The gem gasket was softened, and the dial and hands showed indications of oxidation. The paint in the bezel was practically gone. There was just about no positive aspect regarding the state of the case.
Adam began with the bezel. Doxa bezels have two distinct completions, so he needed to cover one up with tape while working on the other. In the wake of completing the appropriate surfaces on each part, he utilized polish paint and filled in the numerals.
When he got to the principle case body, the extraordinary work truly started. Filling in gigantic imprints and scratches requires the expansion of metal through laser welding. Metal was additionally added to the carry tips to give sufficient metal to reestablish a guess of the first lines. The crown gap was additionally harmed, which required the option of metal to re-make the first shape.
Multiple welds were required for the restoration.
After welding, the spots were ground down cautiously to eliminate any hints of the weld marks and the harm under. The outcome was an incomplete however effectively much better looking case.
Next came the most exceptional and troublesome advance: completing the case. This requires an exceptionally consistent hand and an extraordinary tender loving care. First the case is smoothed equitably to eliminate any disparities and to guarantee all scratches have been taken out. This is a hand-guided cycle requiring cautious, even strain to be applied. Next the hauls are re-inclined to their appropriate shape and the case is given its last silk wrap up by hand. Steady and even strokes are required here. Trust me when I reveal to you this is much harder than you may might suspect. The outcome is a perfectly restored case that scarcely looks like the terrible wreck it was in before arrived at Adam’s bench.
I will say that through this cycle that, indeed, a portion of the first character was annihilated, however quite a lot more as I would see it was brought back. Remember I gave more than probably the greatest challenge possible. While most of well resurfaced watches come back seeming as though new, this one was only excessively far gone to take back to an “as new” state, yet it actually fills in as an incredible example of exactly how far a watch case can come in gifted hands.
The case back was somewhat of an alternate story. This thing was an unrecoverable calamity. The etching on the back made it close to difficult to eliminate the harm without annihilating it. Adam would truly not like to work on it, however I asked him to anyway to outline the work in question. As you can see a huge load of welding and sanding was included. The outcome is a case back that does really look resurfaced. This is a demonstration of the size of the harm and not in any way a comment on Adam’s expertise. He was ready to bring a case resurrected and make it wearable. While it actually shows a few lasting scars, the case made considerable progress from where it was. With a new gem, the watch looked extraordinary (at any rate until you took a gander at the back, and even that had been made cosmetically adequate) and was prepared to house its movement.
Original case condition
The development wasn’t close to as much of a project as the case. It was ticking, yet not well. Most eBay merchants would call this “running however not tried.” This is why you ought to by and large attempt to factor in the expense of an assistance in most vintage purchases. The significant issue that it had was the automatic winding mechanism was not working. This was a result of some worn teeth on the ratchet wheel, which was forestalling contact between the ratchet wheel and the automatic works. A new wheel tackled the issue and it was working appropriately again in a matter of seconds. Other than that it had a few issues going from inordinate over-oiling to a scratched date wheel, yet it was nothing a full redesign and (legitimate) oil couldn’t fix. Below is the sequence of gathering, from the uncovered development plate up to the completely collected development, prepared to introduce in the case.
Excess oil can obviously be seen on the right.
Movement, gear train.
Gear train bridge.
Mainspring and ratchet wheel.
Balance and equilibrium cock.
Movement dial side.
Back together, this is as yet an incredible vintage piece, scars what not. It is additionally an incredible delineation of the expertise and aftereffects of good resurfacing. Cleaning is, and ought to stay, as a rule, a grimy word in the gathering world, however restoring is a workmanship. Like strict craftsmanship, you don’t need to concur with it to value the expertise and magnificence. At any rate this rebuilding shows that there is a distinct contrast between cleaning and talented resurfacing, and similarly as with all things, the more you know the good you are when settling on the choice to purchase or reestablish a watch.