I was contacted back in the spring about doing some repairs to the case of an ADANAC watch. This is a military model which I think was issued to the Canadian armed forces back in the 1980s. The name is “Canada” spelled backwards. I think the case was made by Gallet, watch manufactured by Marathon? and used a Ronda quartz movt. This example was in very good condition, almost like new, with one exception. Like many military watches, this one uses fixed bars for the strap attachment. For some unknowable reason, someone had cut away one of the bars with wire cutters. Then they made a botched attempt to drill out the remnants. All of this happened before it came into the custody of its current owner.
Of course he wanted to have it repaired, and contacted me. I’m not known as an expert on these watches, and in fact I’d never seen one before. I do occasionally drill the lugs on Seiko SKX cases, and do some other case repairs. Drilling the lugs to use conventional springbars was his plan for the Adanac. He had done some searching prior to contacting me but apparently was unable to find anyone willing to take on the job. I’m easily talked into odd projects so I agreed to take a look. I did warn him that I had a very busy summer schedule, and this wouldn’t be done in a week or two, more like several months.
Once I had the watch on my workbench, I wondered if I’d made a mistake by taking it on. I could have sent it back and declined, but I do like a challenge so I decided to press on. He warned me that the snap-on case backs are extremely tight and difficult to remove, and to avoid this if at all possible.
Here's how it looked when I got it; more of the story to follow.
First order of business was to take some measurements and make fixtures to secure the case in my mill vise. Then I measured the diameter of the remaining fixed bar, and ordered an appropriately sized endmill. Once that arrived, I put the watch in the mill vise and did my best to indicate the cut-off and bent remnants of the original bar to my mill spindle. I milled out the bar ends and was then left with two clean holes. The owner had sent some rods of the correct size. They were advertised as stainless steel, but it turned out otherwise. I had some SS rod of a very very slightly larger diameter on hand, so I used it. The small increase in diameter caused a very minor but noticeable bulge at the top surface of one lug. Uh-oh. That was bad. I sent the owner a couple photos of the problem. We also still had the matter of the damage from the previous botched drilling attempt. It was still present because it was done poorly and not properly aligned with the bar ends. I suggested welding up the damaged area, and recontouring that and the bulge on the upper lug surface. If I could execute this correctly, then he would be able to beadblast the case and return it to near factory original appearance. We decided to go ahead with this plan.
I was concerned about welding with the movement in place, but he didn’t want to remove the caseback if it could be avoided. I decided to roll the dice. I removed the battery and made the first weld. So far, so good. Then I did the second weld, which also went according to plan. I was very careful not to put too much heat into the case. The weld was in such a small area and the heat very concentrated, that the main case was never too hot to touch. After the welds were finished, I replaced the battery and it fired right up. That was a relief. The recontouring went as planned, my lapping rig doing its job maintaining factory angles and flat surfaces. I lapped it to a p3000 finish, with the beadblasting to be done by the owner. Almost all of the previous damage is gone. He recently received it and was very happy with the end result. I’m looking forward to photos after the blasting is done. Next up for me are two 6138 cases for a very patient Seiko collector...
Thanks for reading this long story, here are photos of the watch just before I shipped it back.
Post by leffemonster on Aug 11, 2017 13:34:14 GMT -8
Nice one. I've never quite understood the logic behind fixed bars, but I guess if you were using the watch in its intended military environment it would be better to know it ain't gonna go flying if the spring bar decided to go 'ping'. Having said that, I've personally never had one go.
To paraphrase another thread: The defective fixed bar is part of it's patina, you should have let it be that way!
Superb save! Looks really great now and I'm sure the owner prefers it this way. I really enjoy all the people here bringing back the dead and half-dead watches that are given into their care! Thanks for sharing!
Well you do excellent work ...i hope u are taking work as i have a very unusual one for u to work on...it needs your expert hands to work your magic on it ....thank u for sharing it with us too....God Bless,John
Last Edit: Aug 14, 2017 9:36:33 GMT -8 by jringo8769
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.