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Thread: Advice/assistance in restoring a Longines 23M 'Sei Tacche'

  1. #1
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    Default Advice/assistance in restoring a Longines 23M 'Sei Tacche'

    Hi folks,

    Short: I've been trying for a while now to find replacement hands for a Longines 23M sei tacche, and at this point I think I could really use some advice and/or assitance. Advice regarding the other aspects is welcome as well. I know it's not a military-issue watch, but it seemed like this would still be a good place to ask about these things.

    Background: Some time ago, I bought this fellow because it needed a lot of help and I thought it would make a fun project. Its previous owner(s?) had not been kind. The dial was terrible (poorly refinished a long time ago), the movement was a mess, the sweep and hour hands were broken and the minute hand was missing. It also looks like some doofus polished the case at some point. Not beyond recognition, but still (in my opinion) immoderately. On the bright side, it was cheap.

    I've since restaffed and poised the balance wheel, adjusted the hairspring back to concentric and flat, polished the pivots, and cleaned everything else up. I've also replaced the dial with an unused, yet-to-be-lumed factory dial I'd found a while back. So, it's looking a lot better now. However, I haven't had much luck with finding hands. I have what I think will work for seconds, but need to find appropriate hour and minute. Ideally, I'd like to get hands that are unlumed, or at least have not been radium lumed. The dial I've fitted was never lumed, so it's not like they'd match. Apart from this, I work on all of my watches myself, and it seems best to avoid the risks to my health and contamination of my work space if possible. I know it would make my wife much happier and that matters to me. Especially since she has otherwise been exceptionally supportive of my various watch projects.

    I'm not sure what to do about the case. I think these originally had a matte (bead-blasted) finish. Unfortunately, I don't have the equipment to do that, so I may have to just leave it as-is for the time being. The replacement hands I'll probably lume with a contemporary formulation of some sort, though I'm not sure what would look best/most appropriate here. The dial...I'm also not sure about. I think it looks pretty great as-is, and I'm reluctant towards mucking with it too much.

    Anyhow, I'd sincerely appreciate any advice and/or assistance in obtaining replacement hands. Thank you all for taking the time to read this :)

  2. #2
    Moderator Syrte's Avatar
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    Some people would say "I can't think without a picture".

    The good news is that it sounds like you have an NOS dial.
    If you want hands and your case is bad, your best bet is to find a donor watch with a ruined dial, and keep its hands, case and movement.
    Hands alone will be virtually impossible to find.

    The movement you have already repaired can serve as a reserve for parts - always useful.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syrte View Post
    Some people would say "I can't think without a picture".
    Entirely reasonable. I tried to take a photo before posting but my camera isn't cooperating. It keeps shutting off, citing (incorrectly) that I've left the battery/memory card door open. I'll probably have to disassemble it and do something with the sensor to get it to pipe down. I wish they wouldn't include "features" like this :(

  4. #4
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    Do you know the length of the hands?

    I used to restore vintage Longines models and have what I think are vintage hands, but I stuck with 10L and 12L models, so don't know what hole size you need for a 23M

    Top pair have been relumed. Minute hand reamed, but can't recall what for. Sold off my Longines parts 9 years ago

    Bottom original with original luminous, so probably best for someone with an original watch.

    Hands are 12 and 8.5 mm, so not sure if a fit for your dial or if the reamed minute hand will be a problem or hour needs reaming to fit

    Top pair is free. All you have to pay is letter rate s/h if the hands are the right length

    Can email me at tickman@rogers.com, but need location for s/h

    DON

    Crappy quick pic


  5. #5
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    Sorry for the delay. Caught some bug and was down for the count. That and work kept me offline for a few days

    Don, thank you for the extremely generous offer. You are awesome. I'll email you about the hands. As far as I know, 23M hole size is the same as 10L.

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