Something different 

Things relaxed a little on the run up to the Easter break which gave the opportunity for the class to work on our choice of side projects. Some elected to make tools, others chose to work on their school project watch. A couple of us had watches of our own that needed a little tlc. 

I decided to service my Smiths 1215, acquired from eBay last year. Sadly neglected and a little worse for wear, I’d stuck it on a strap and put it to one side until a time like this. 

The watch is historically significant as, apart from being English made (something which is of huge appeal to me), a slightly modified version of this model was supplied to Edmund Hillary’s 1953 Everest expedition. Smiths watches were the first on the summit of the highest mountain on Earth.

After stripping it down, a couple of issues became apparent. Firstly, the setting lever spring had snapped. This isn’t a big problem, they’re still made for this movement and not at all expensive. 

Secondly, the mainspring had set. Instead of springing into a nice long ‘S’ shape when removed from the barrel, it stayed tightly coiled. The watch would still tick but the duration of run would be terrible. 

Again, no big deal as replacements are available. In addition, I’m going to replace the crystal. As is common on watches of this type and age, the ‘crystal’ is a dome of plexiglass or acrylic and is really prone to scratching. Replacing it will freshen things up and allow a clear view of the dial which has aged very nicely. 

The whole thing has now been through the cleaner and will be lubricated and reassembled when the new parts arrive. Something to look forward to. 


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