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.
"Incredible restoration of my vintage watch - highly recommend!"
"I picked up my 64 year old watch today from Steven Hale after Rolex themselves referred me. I've waited 6 months to be reunited with it (due to it being a vintage), and I am beyond chuffed! I have previously taken the watch to a specialist but was turned away due to its age. But for the first time in years, the experts at Steven Hale have made it work like new. I applaud the excellent team of knowledgeable staff both in the workshop, but also in the showroom, who explained all my options in meticulous detail. This watch has been passed down three generations and I'm so pleased to have it back in full working order. I couldn't recommend Steven Hale enough for anyone with a special vintage watch, unsure of the best place to get it restored."
"For years I had been told by a succession of watch repairers that my watch was obsolete, irreparable or both. Finally I was recommended to Steven Hale. Five months later my watch is back on my wrist, as good as it ever was. I can't recommend Steven Hale highly enough."
"Very happy with the communication and service received. Would recommend this company with confidence."
"Just to confirm my Rolex has been delivered & looks absolutely spot on. I’d like to express my thanks to yourself & to all at SHWR for the excellent all round professional service - it’s been much appreciated. With your workload backlog I doubt that your Company needs any further recommendations or endorsements, but should you ever want one please don’t hesitate to contact me. With my thanks once again & my best regards."
"My great grand-father's Breguet was given to me by my father for my 21st birthday. 30 years later, post restoration by SHWR, it is in far better shape than I have ever seen it. SHWR's craftsmanship is immaculate. The firm is polite, professional and honest. Outstanding - I cannot recall another occasion when I have been so favourably impressed."
"I have just had my 1934 Rolex Oyster repaired. From start to finish I had full confidence in every one I had contact with at Steven Hale. They have been very efficient in identifying the problems at the initial examination and dealing with them as promised. There were no nasty surprises and unexpected complications along the way. Because of the age of my watch, spares are not available, and new parts have had to be made - all very expertly done. They even polished the gold case and my 86yr old watch now looks as good as new. You can certainly trust these people with your precious timepieces."
"Fantastic job repairing a family heirloom pocket watch which will now return home to Namibia.
The service was superb with detailed repair and service quote. Communication throughout was equally great leaving you with the confidence that you watch is in the best possible hands."
"I had bought a 1970s Pepsi GMT at auction and it needed some work. The lume on the hands was breaking up. Rolex UK wanted some hilarious price and threatened to replace the hands with new ones if their work failed - all at my expense of course. Steven Hale and co managed to repair the hands and maintain the original patina of the 40 plus year old watch which was of course crucial! Highly recommended."
"These are watch lovers and it shows. Their meticulous craftsmanship and expertise make them unique in London and I suspect that only in Switzerland may their equivalents be found. The experience of Steven Hale Watch Restoration begins with the talented and charming individuals who are client facing in South Molton Street and who instil a confidence that is consequently fully fulfilled. This firm represents unequalled talent in its field as well as exceptional client service. I have seldom recommended anyone with greater conviction."