Matthew sent me his Tutima Military watch to service, two other watchmakers he had look at it flat out told him that Lemania 5100s cant be serviced or repaired! This of course just isn’t true. I’ve serviced a few of these in my time and was more than happy to oblige with this one.
A little background story on this particular watch – Matthew informed me he purchased it from a dentist working in New York City in early September 2001, just a few blocks away from the twin towers. The first money order he sent to purchase it should have arrived around sept 11th, unsurprisingly it never got there. Another money order was sent and the watch eventually turned up a few weeks later. Given the fall of the twin towers in the meantime, he considers it pretty amazing this watch ever got to him at all!
A pretty interesting story, I’m sure you’ll agree. Not all watches have quite such interesting starts, but watches can have great deal of sentimental value to anyone, regardless of the watch, model, make or cost. You see sentimental value has nothing to do with the actual monetary value of the watch. if your £300 vintage Omega was owned by a late family member, it will likely mean more to you than any other more expensive watch would. Its often the case that the cost of servicing a vintage watch can be greater than the value of the watch itself, and this sentimental value is pretty much exclusively the reason for it being serviced and being brought to good working order regardless. Anyway, I digress.
Firstly I remove the case back. The Lemania 5100 is unusual in that it has a large amount of plastic parts in it. Its unusual in design, quirky, and probably why other watchmakers refused to work on it.
The sleeve for the rotor post is worn and causing too much play in the rotor, a new part is sourced and the old one replaced (the Omega 1045 is the same calibre).
Dial and hands removed and it becomes immediately obvious that this is one over oiled watch. The day wheel maintaining clip (centre of the movement) has a puddle of oil sitting on it.
Underside of the dial, the oil has spread onto this from the day indicator clip.
Day indicator removed, there should be three screws holding this in place, one has snapped and glue has been used to cover the plate in this area to hold the snapped thread in place – I will remove the glue and remaining thread and fit a new screw.
More excess oil.
Dial side under the date maintaining plate.
There is a plastic plate that separates the chronograph parts from the date parts. In the below picture, the yellow hue underneath the clear plastic plate is caused by excess oil on top of the chronograph components below. The amount of oil used is actually ridiculous!
I begin to strip down the top side at this point. There isn’t an awful lot going on this side. The chronograph centre seconds and reset hammer are this side, the majority of chronograph parts however are on the dial side.
The barrel is particularly dirty.
I continue working my way through the movement.
The clear plate is removed, look at the amount of oil! The chronograph parts are covered in it! Its ridiculous to use this much and serves no purpose whatsoever, its sloppy workmanship and I dont like to see it.
The clear plastic plate covered in oil!
I begin removing the chronograph components, its actually filthy.
I continue on.
Nearly there now, you can see how dirty the mainplate is. In desperate need of a good clean and service.
I actually clean all the parts of this watch individually in degreaser before putting them through my cleaning machine, the amount of oil present would mean the fluids in my machine would instantly need replacing.
Eventually it all goes through the cleaning machine to ensure all parts are completely free of any oils or contaminants.
Mainplate fresh from the cleaning machine, looking a whole lot cleaner!
I begin rebuilding and oiling, using a lot less oil than the previous watchmaker did.
looking a lot nicer now.
Chronograph components refitted and oiled correctly, as per the technical guide.
Plastic plate refitted, no yellow hue from excess oil now.
Day and date disc fitted, the movement is nearly complete now.
Dial and hands refitted.
Movement fitted in back into the case.
I check the watch on the timing machine and all looks good, running very well and keeping good time.
I ended up fitting a new centre seconds hand, the old one had been worked on before and was too far gone to be repaired. This hand has to be fitted very tight, if not, when the chronograph is reset, the hand can slip on its post causing it not to align with zero anymore. A new hand is therefore sourced and fitted.
As always the watch will then be fully tested to ensure it is functioning exactly as it should be, before being returned to the customer.
Thanks for reading,
The Watch Professional