I’ll post something sort of different. I acquired a vintage Zodiac from the 70s that needed service. It seemed to keep time fine but the day/date calendar wasn’t rolling through correctly for some reason, so I took a shot with my local watchmaker first since he’s relatively inexpensive compared to the Zodiac specialist and I didn’t feel like shipping it off yet. Thought a routine cleaning and service might do the trick.
Here’s where it gets weird: this watch was in the shop for two years as I hunted down half-century-old Zodiac parts from around the globe. Now, the time lapse didn’t really bother me because I was in no rush to get the watch back and definitely in no rush to pay exorbitant prices for $2 pieces of metal. I was pretty explicit that he should leave the part-finding side of the operation to me because his idea of finding parts was paying American watchmaker parts hoarders $85 for microscopic shit.
Sure enough, after searching the dark corners of the internet I was able to find a dude in India who had a stockpile for relatively cheap. We went through several rounds of parts arriving by snail mail from India until one day I get the call that a critical gear is missing during the final watch reassembly. In fact, he straight up admits that he must have lost it by mistake. Whatever, I’ll just have India ship one over and it’ll take another month–except India says I already have this part, and that the thing my watchmaker is asking for is not part of this caliber.
Here is the exciting conclusion: I was trying to download schematics and part lists for this caliber to figure out exactly wtf was going on. That wasn’t extremely helpful, so I went to completed ebay auctions to find photos of the movement disassembled. So I’m trying to visualize this movement going back together, and that’s when I realize the “missing” gear is actually part of a larger gear; it’s a two-in-one stacked gear with the nearly invisible smaller gear on the center post:
The diameter of the outer gear is measured in mm, and the actual one I have is a darker bronze color and much harder to see than this photo indicates. So I take it back to the watchmaker who disagrees and doesn’t even want to hear me out, swearing that there’s a tiny missing intermediate gear that we do not possess. Eventually I convince him that I’m right, and he puts it on the bench and everything drops in and turns as it should.
Anyway, people usually post photos of their assembled watches, but I was able to get a few shots of mine in various states of disassembly on the bench. The only problem was that the shiny metal and bright lights were giving the AF on my Fujifilm fits, so the sole usable shot I got was this really strange one that looks like a frame out of a Christopher Nolan film: