Stories of reconstruction, revival and renewal


The story

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.

Restoration case studies





What our customers had to say

"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."


What our customers had to say

"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."

Jane Martin

What our customers had to say

"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."


What our customers had to say

"My wife brought the watch back today and It's really fantastic to see it working like new and looking like new. I really appreciate that you didn't polish the housing too much and it  has a real feel of authenticity about it with the combination of refurbished internals and original casing.  I'm really delighted with the result, it's great to have something from nearly 100 years ago to hold and describe for the next generation"


What our customers had to say

Just to say how pleased I am to have my watch back and that it is keeping perfect time for the first time since I bought it some 68 years ago.  My congratulations to the team who have given it the ability to keep working accurately for more years. Thank you all.

Brian Hugo

What our customers had to say

Watch arrived safely this morning thank you and it looks stunning just have to have it adjusted strap wise. Thank you for your wonderful service i shall certainly use you guys again and reccomend you.

Anthony Haire

What our customers had to say

I collected the watch on 11 August, as you know.  It is a pleasure to have it back in full working order and looking as good as new.  How it came to be so damaged, I do not know.  The crystal and dial are fresh and clean in striking contrast to their previous condition.  The watch was my grandfather’s silver wedding anniversary present to my grandmother.  It was with her when she and my grandfather were deported from Guernsey to Germany in 1943 and returned with her to Guernsey in 1945.  The watch will pass to my granddaughter in a few years’ time.Please pass my thanks and appreciation for his work to the watchmaker.

Peter Boon