Picking an Oyster

Recently one of our customers shared a fascinating story about a watch lost in the depths of the lower Potomac River while fishing in the 1950′s.

Oystermen use tongs to locate and pull in oysters.

Oystermen use tongs to locate and pull in oysters.

At the time, the lower Potomac was oyster country. One of the oldest methods of harvesting oysters is to use tongs seven to nine feet long to reach down into the water. A good oysterman had to develop a sixth sense to make any money – the ability to sense what the tongs were touching deep beneath the water’s surface. Pulling up a rock wasted time and would make no money, but getting an oyster paid the bills.

The man who lost the watch hired an oysterman to try plumb the Potomac with his tongs and find it. They spent hours upon hours searching the general area in which the watch had been lost. Systematically, the oysterman sensed the bottom of the Potomac through his long tongs until he was sure he felt what he was looking for – a watch. The oysterman was so confident in his touch that he announced his find before he even pulled the watch out of the water!

This Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust has severe water damage. Restoration is possible! After a thorough service of the movement, refinishing of the dial, and tlc, this watch will look like new!

The skill that this oysterman used is simply amazing. While looking for something, we’ve all heard the adage “it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.” Consider that this man found his “needle in a haystack” with a nine foot tong in an area so deep that the bottom could not be seen. He found the needle blindfolded – except in this case, the needle was a watch. This type of skill doesn’t simply develop overnight; it takes thousands of hours of practice.

This Rolex Perpetual Datejust needed and got TLC after minor water damage.

Watchmaking similarly takes thousands of hours of practice. Every time we receive a watch, remove the movement from its case, and go to work, we develop our touch a little bit more. Thousands of hours are spent repeating the same motion, working on the same movements, maintaining exact standards the entire time.

I was so captivated by the story, I forgot to ask our customer what type of watch was tonged from the Potomac that day.In the meantime, I had to check on the status of another Oyster – a Lady’s Rolex that had been sent to us after taking a bath in the piedmont of North Carolina.

Every day, we service top brand luxury Swiss watches, including Rolex, Omega, and Tag-Heuer. If your watch has taken a swim, we can probably repair it. Or if your watch has been treated well and just needs a standard service, we can also help you.

To inquire about having your watch repaired or restored, please call us today at 800-251-1484. We don’t fish for Oysters, but we are experts at repairing them.

Railroad Watch Repair

For 110 years, US watch manufacturers such as American Waltham, Illinois, Elgian, Hamilton, and many others made the highest quality watches in the world. This quality was driven be need from many industries, chief among which was the railroad industry. The trains had to run on time and excellent watches were required to ensure that those running the trains knew with certainty what the time was. If an employee’s watch was off, the results could be catastrophic: two trains could collide head on. Dozens of people could perish, and large quantities of valuable cargo could be lost.

To meet the need for accurate timekeeping devices, railroad employees could use issued pocket watches, or purchase from a list of approved pocket watches.

Fine watches required skilled watchmakers, also known as horologists. The watchmakers would test and calibrate the watches of railroad employees. At one point, some railroads required this to be done once a month. As we mentioned, if the time was off, railroad switching would be improperly performed and trains would hit each other. Watchmakers essentially worked with the railroads to save lives.

Today, these fine watches don’t require monthly work. The obvious reason is that they are no longer essential to safety in any industry. Secondly, due to the shortage of watchmakers, this would not be practical. Those railroad watches in need of repair do require the services of expert warchmaker. Antique and Vintage Watch Repair has such a watchmaker. Our most experienced watchmaker has been repairing railroad watches since 1948. If you want your railroad watch accurately diagnosed and properly repaired, look no further.

Call us at 800-251-1484 to inquire about repairs. Once we receive your watch, we will email you a repair estimate, and no repairs will be performed without your express authorization. Should you choose to not repair your watch, or should your watch not be repairable, you will only owe us $15.00 for return shipping and handling (US customers only).