A Schild 554

This gold cased veteran from circa 1939 came in for refurbishment recently, It’s powered by an A Schild 554 movement and the 9k gold case was manufactured by Stolkace in the Midlands.

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The markings inside the back are of interest, the initials G.A.S. stands for George Arnold Stoll who was the Managing Director of the Elite Bracelet Manufacturing Co. Ltd. in Birmingham. Stolkace was a trade name used by the company, in fact “STOLKACE BRITISH MADE G.A.S.” was registered by Elite as a sponsor’s mark at the Chester Assay Office. The hallmarks comprise of the Chester assay offices three bushels mark, the date letter O for 1939 and 375 for 9 carat gold.

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The watch arrived looking rather tired, the seconds hand was missing, the watch didn’t run and the crystal was missing.

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The first job was to remove the movement from the case and strip it ready for cleaning.

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I love the engraved snail logo by the ratchet wheel!

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Stripped and ready for cleaning.

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The weighted balance wheel with no shock protection on the staff.

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There was little that could be done to improve the dial, so the decision was to either clean it as best I could and live with it as is, or refinish it as close to the original as possible. The customer decided to have it refinished which I think is best once it reaches this state!

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With the dial off to the refinishers the movement was fully inspected and reassembled, lubricating as I went. Here’s the barrel ready to be closed.

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A new crystal was sourced along with a blued seconds hand of the correct size and shape. The customer also wanted to keep the strap as it was her fathers watch and she wanted as much saving as possible. As the brass clips on the ends of the strap had corroded, I cleaned the verdigris off the leather and made a new pair of clips. You can see that luckily the corrosion hadn’t got too bad.

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The dial arrived back and was fitted along with the hands.

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I’d previously polished the case and fitted the crystal so the movement was refitted.

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The strap was put back on and the watch was finished. Apparently the owner burst into tears when she unwrapped it as she never imagined it would ever run again.

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