Gathan Beaga

raketa fix

A month or two after I got my nifty 24-hr watch the already loose crown started to rattle. Or rather, the entire mechanism and face inside the case started to move about in response to the wobbly crown.

It didn’t seem to affect the working of the watch, as far as I could tell – it still kept remarkable good time (within about 30 seconds per day). Not bad for eBay, I thought!

But then today, it just stopped at 17:15. When I got home I could see that the face and mechanism had got wedged against the glass, and possibly the hands were blocked from travelling.

So. I thought I’d take the back off and have a look, as you do.

raketa 2609.HA (17 Jewels)

And as I took the back off, the answer presented itself: a tiny screw had come out. You can see the hole on the outside of the mechanism directly above the large cog. It seemed that this screw, and its twin 180° around the outside, were there to lock the mechanism and face to the back of the case. Somehow it had become loose, and over time worked its way out. I’m lucky it didn’t get stuck in the mechanism and cause real damage.

Anyway, with the help of a set of $1.99 screwdrivers from Dick Smith I was able to get the screw back in. And cool! No rattle. But look at that mechanism! The surprisingly quick movements, the sweet sound, the captivating complexity. And all completely understandable by observation and disassembly, were I foolhardy enough. There’s something nice about that, something that can’t be said of any of my other, more electronic obsessions.

I’ve actually already gone mildly potty on these all-mechanical Russian watches, particularly the Raketa ones. I found that you can subscribe via RSS to any keyword search you might fancy on eBay. And so now there’s another watch coming (I hope) that is quite different to this… but just as cool.

But don’t worry, I’ll be sure to let you all know when it’s arrived.