The Time Guy

Professional restoration and maintenance for your vintage timepieces

About Me

I'm Chris Radek. I live in Lincoln, NE, USA. I've loved watches since I was a kid.

I have been a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC) since 1991. They are a terrific organization, and I especially recommend their message boards for meeting and collaborating with other watch collectors and repair people.

I have been repairing watches professionally since 1998. I am a member of the American Watchmakers/Clockmakers Institute (AWCI) and I mark all work with pride using the case mark assigned to me by them. This gives you protections you can read about here.


Recent Work

A hook for a fusee chain

An unusually small lever fusee watch came to me missing its fusee hook. This shows the new hook filed from a piece of blued steel. There is a beard hair for scale in the photo (a dime is way too big.)

More photos inside!

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A Seiko ship's chronometer

This is the old broken staff, and the new replacement I made, for the flywheel in a Seiko QC-951. This is a very early and high quality Quartz clock.

More photos inside!

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Slava coils rewound

The Slava Transistor, the Russian clone of the Accutron 214, is almost never found with good coils.

I rewound two sets for a fellow repairer. One required both sides and the other required just one. One also had a bad transistor, which I replaced.

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Rewinding a JLC Master Quartz stepper motor

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Quartz is the most famous watch that used the Girard Perregaux 350 series of movements, a neat and very early Quartz.

This one came to me with a parts movement, but sadly both stepper motors had failed with open windings. So I'll rewind one of them.

More photos inside!

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A dirty Beta21 indexing mechanism

Is it any wonder this Beta21 wasn't keeping time? This is before and after cleaning.

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Repairing a Girard-Perregaux 350 stepper motor

The GP 350 has teflon bearings instead of traditional hard watch jewels.

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Making a new Slava index wheel

Someone had broken off this Slava's pawl jewel, and then tried to make it run without. They destroyed the index wheel, so we'll have to improvise a new one.

More photos inside!

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Omega 1310 Megaquartz coil

A rewound coil for an Omega 1310 Megaquartz

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Tian Jin Dian Zi Biao

This is a rare clone of the Accutron 214 that was made in China. I restored this one to running condition.

More photos inside!

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All older entries in Recent Work...

What I do

I can restore, repair, and maintain your vintage watches, whether you have one watch passed down through your family, or a whole collection.

I enjoy working on the quality American pocket watches of the railroad era, vintage mechanical wristwatches, chronograph wrist and pocket watches, anything that winds, ticks, or hums.

I can do everything from the periodic maintenance that vintage watches require to extensive mechanical and cosmetic restorations.

I have a large stock of parts, and if I don't have what your watch needs I have access to a wide array of suppliers. Failing that, I can make many kinds of parts to custom fit your watch.

I specialize in Accutron tuning fork watches, and have developed skills and machinery to do important sustaining repairs to them, including replacing the broken wire on the coils that drive the tuning fork (rewinding). This had been a problem for many years, as more of these original coils failed, but now they can keep running for the years to come.


Estimates, Prices, Shipping

First of all, please contact me and read this page with shipping information before mailing your watch.

For each watch you send, please pay a deposit of $50 (either by paypal, using this button, or by sending a check made out to Chris Radek with the watch.) This covers my time to partially disassemble and examine the watch, and if parts or work beyond what is covered in the basic service cost are needed, to make a detailed estimate. Taking the time in this situation to do a detailed estimate protects both of us, and is required by the NAWCC Code of Ethics:

When entrusted to repair horological items, members shall make a good faith effort to notify the owner of all work to be performed or parts requiring repair or replacement prior to starting work on the item.

If your watch needs any work above and beyond what is included in basic service (prices below), I will take microscopic photos of any trouble areas. I will annotate each photo, describing the current condition, and any parts and work necessary to put the situation right. I will email you a PDF containing this full estimate.

If you accept, the final invoice will describe the work done, and the total will normally be the estimate cost, plus return shipping and whatever insurance you'd like, minus deposit.

If you decline, I will reassemble, pack, and send back your watch Priority Mail, and the estimate is yours to keep. Your deposit does not cover insurance for return shipping; if you would like to pay the extra for insurance in this situation, let me know.

Many of my customers are very well informed collectors, with extensive and detailed knowledge about the watches they have, and a keen interest in their condition and workings. I fully respect this and I will always communicate frankly with you about your watch, what I am doing to it, and why. I want to team up with you to help you have the best and most useful collection possible.

Cost for basic service of undamaged watches starts at $160, not including return shipping and insurance:

Watch Type Basic Service Cost
Accutron, any but dual time zone $160
Accutron, dual time zone (Astronaut, RR Mk4 etc) $190
Accutron, 214 ship's chronometer (3 movements) $480
ESA 9162, 9164 $175
Beta 21 $210
Longines Ultra-Quartz 6512 $300
Manual wind, time only (most pocket watches) $175
Manual wind, time and date $185
Automatic wind, time only $185
Automatic wind, time and date $200
Chronograph, manual wind, without 12h recorder $270
Chronograph, manual wind, with 12h recorder $310
Chronograph, more complicated $350
Repeaters, Fusees By estimate only
Pocket watches that have received excessive shock (usually from dropping) have characteristic problems, with some combination of broken balance staff and broken balance jewels. Many staffs are available, but for some watches a custom staff must be made. Balance hole jewels in settings are becoming more rare, and some need to be made special. Prices all depend on availability.