About me

My name is Duncan and this blog documents my ongoing passion with repairing, servicing and restoring wristwatches.

If you frequent any of the major (and some not so major) online watch forums you may recognise my user name thewatchbloke (formerly Cannop) from a few of them. I’m a brewer by trade and worked in the brewing industry for most of my adult life. I’ve always had a fascination with all things mechanical and have trodden the same path that many growing lads have done. Mine started as a child by building models which of course included utilising Meccano and Lego, then attacking (sometimes literally) Airfix and Revell kits. This progressed to building model aircraft that could actually fly out of balsa wood, tissue paper and cellulose dope. In addition to all this tinkering with models I was building my own bikes, dens and a magnificent 2 storey treehouse, we had a building site behind our house that provided plenty of scrap wood and broken pallets! I also amused myself by dismantling and attempting to put back together old valve radios, transistor radios, vintage lab equipment (oscilloscopes and the like) and television sets. As a teenager I progressed to restoring vintage motorcycles and cars, I tackled my first ground up restoration of a 1964 Royal Enfield Continental GT motorcycle when I was 14.

A young me with some of my motorcycles

By the time I was 17 the first car I ran after passing my driving test was a manual overdrive 1968 Daimler V8 250 that I bought from a friend of the family. I learned a lot about engines from that car having had to rebuild the V8 motor twice in quick succession as the crown of one of the pistons detached itself from the body (at speed) on two separate occasions! This led to far too many vintage cars and motorcycles over the years, however, I do believe I’m cured now.

My attention has been held by the humble (and not so humble) wristwatch ever since I got my first boys Timex at the age of 6. However my interest in finding what makes them tick has intensified for the past decade or so to the point where I now have my own little workshop crammed with the curious tools that watchmakers use. My profession now is servicing and repairing watches and I still can’t believe that I earn a living doing what I love!  I am still in awe of the fact that even at the cheaper end of the spectrum watches are incredibly resilient little machines that are built to amazingly tight tolerances and perform faultlessly for years before needing attention.


  1. Duncan , I have read your entire website comments and the repair summaries which read like a Sherlock Holmes series and enjoyed every word. Would you consider moving to Brisbane, Australia? Thanks and I look forward to more service stories.


  2. Small world! We are visiting my son who lives in Stoke Newington in September. He wants to buy a watch so we can shop together. ( my wife thinks I have enough, but that’s not possible!) Nice to hear from you.


  3. I’ve just been guided to your website by Rogart from the Watch Repair Forum, and I’m well impressed by your website and what you do.

    Your “About Me” article could almost be duplicated for myself, if you take out the Brewer part. The only bit about brewing that I like is drinking the end result.

    I’m a friend of Micky’s, and occasionally have a chat via the net.




  4. Duncan, I will be sending you a restoration project in the not too distant future, love your blog and the sucess stories of bringing classic watches back from the dead.


  5. Duncan is a genius! He was able to salvage my Seiko Tuna which had damaged threads on the case and the crown. I’m so happy someone like him offers his expertise to everyone.


  6. Fantastic read Duncan, I have a Seiko 7S26-0020 and a 6309-7040 that I’ve acquired recently and both in need of your magic. Please let me know when you have time and I’ll send them to you.




  7. Martin

    Duncan is a genius! Having performed some minor miracles on a few watches I set him a test of getting an old gold Omega back to proper working condition.

    He had it in bits, spread out in front of him and soon discovered not only the main fault but something else lurking, ready to cause a problem later.

    Duncan actually made some minute parts to replace the worn out ones and, corrected some work from a previous watch repairer, from many decades ago.

    As I said, he’s a genius.


  8. Just recently had my Panerai back from a Service/Repair.
    It’s a Joy to see someone genuinely interested and dedicated to their work.
    I met with Duncan in Person, he was very Professional and Knowledgeable.
    I Certainly know where I will be going for all my Servicing/Watch repairs in Future.


  9. Recently had my beloved Seiko RAF-issue watch back from its first proper overhaul in its 30 year life. I wasn’t quite expecting it to be completely rebuilt from the ‘ground up’, but when I saw the photos Duncan sent me I was amazed at the lengths he had gone to. This was clearly the work of a man wth a passion, not just completing a routine job. I would thoroughly recommend Duncan to anyone who treasures their watch and wants to ensure it gets the TLC it fully deserves. Thank you!


  10. I have just had my Seiko Gen2 watch completely rebuilt by Duncan after it lying on my shelf for over 4 years in bits . Others have tried and failed and I am absolutely thrilled to have it back as good as it was when new.His service is exceptional and it is clear he has a passion and level of skill which is just amazing .Keeping me informed with progress photographs step by step and sourcing parts which I thought would now be impossible . Thank you so much and I would recommend Duncan top anyone who is looking for a real craftsman for their cherished watch .


  11. Hi Duncan,
    I also love watches, though I’m not quite a “Watch guy” yet . What I really liked were the motorcycle references however, as I once owned a wonderful 1958 BSA Super Rocket after having first tasted bikes with my Triumph Thunderbird.
    My last machine was an AJS Hurricane, 1959 vintage . Do any of these babies ring a bell I wonder?.
    Your Canadian admirer, Pierre.


  12. Hi

    I have a seiko a159-4039g and am trying to identify the right back plate gasket for this watch. Does anyone know what the part number is or what type of gasket would fit?


  13. I wish I had stumbled across this page back in 2016 before the month long trip that my wife and I took to the UK and Ireland. I would have drove by and let clean / overhaul my old Seiko 6306-7001 that I bought around December of 1976…


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