Given that I buy old watches generally in non-working condition, it is incredibly rare that I am shocked in a good way when I get to the movement of a watch. This 1967 Longines was that exception. Once I got the scratched crystal off I saw that the dial was perfect on this watch. Not a speck of dust, a fingerprint, anything. I then got the movement out of the unishell (sometimes this can be a pain) and turned it over to reveal a movement that had not been touched by human hands since it left the production line 46 years ago. It had none of the scratches, dust, dirt, hair, or marks that are all too commonly the sign of human intervention. The case also had no service marks. It was common practice for watchmakers to leave a mark with a tiny engraving on the inside of cases. This watch had been bought, had an ugly stretch band put on it, and was then never worn. It only required a quick disassembly and cleaning to remove the factory oil, some new oil put in, and a slight regulation to get it running just as perfectly as it did all those years ago. Oh, and I also added a new leather band that matches the watch’s elegance far better than a stretchy band.
The caliber 284 is beautiful in its simplicity. It is a relatively wide but slim movement that is incredibly service friendly. I highly recommend this as a good movement to experiment on if you ever feel the itch to get into watch repair.
The dial is somewhat different with hands that are simple but just ever so slightly different from conventional hands in their shape, and the Roman numeral markers at 3,6,9, and 12 are also great touches along with the crosshair.
Usually there are several terms in the watchmaker’s lexicon that I need to use when describing a restore, but in this case only one comes to mind: Near Mint.