Most watches we receive need, first and foremost, a good cleaning. In this case, we opened up a fine classic watch to discover that, as well as requiring cleaning, it required a new ‘balance staff’. All watches require a balance staff; this is a shaft onto which the balance is riveted. The balance oscillates, whilst each staff has fine pivots on each end, which are housed in lubricated, jewelled bearings. These are very delicate, especially the earlier forms that don’t incorporate any shock-proof mechanism. With these early forms of balance staff, any drop or knock can break the pivots – and in this case the pivot was only half its true length.
This example is a particularly difficult case, because it belongs inside a dense, high-quality watch where tolerance is kept to a minimum. It is simply right or wrong, because the balance oscillates above the pallet cock and below the centre wheel - and an increase or decrease of as little as 0.05 + would either stop the watch or cause drag, thus preventing timekeeping. A balance staff is turned from ‘blue pivot steel. This is steel that is hardened and tempered, so that it will keep its shape and allow for a polished finish on completion.
"Dear Jubal, Yes, Brian texted me yesterday with photos of the clock which he is hugely delighted with – much improved from the original present I gave him! Just like new he said! Thank you for all your courtesy and wonderful work. It has been a pleasure to have such service. I sing your praises everywhere."
"Apologies for the slight delay, but I wanted to thank you for forwarding the Invoice. I also wanted to tell you that I’m pleased with the watch. I love the sympathetic polish, which was enough to rejuvenate it, but it still looks appropriate for a vintage watch. I didn’t notice the metallic blue sweep hand previously, but I like that too..! Thank you to all who had a part in the transformation Jubal".
"Super to see you and thank you for handing over my father’s Rolex. A great deal of wonderful work has gone into it. It looks utterly super and authentic. I am delighted and I know he will be thrilled when he gets it back on Christmas morning. Thank you for all your efforts and please pass on my appreciation to the workshop who have done a tip top job."
"I am so pleased with my watch. I have spoken to many people about the first-rate work of SHWR and will continue to promote you to my friends."
"All in all, the refurbishment has been beyond my own expectations, and allows long term continued use of this almost fifty year old watch gifted by my mother and father.May I personally thank you for your work to refurbish this watch which is very much appreciated."