Opening Up The Ski Patrol Watch

So here is the investigation of my latest Speedmaster, from a private owner who had it since new. I was told that it went to Omega once for a service.

So time to open it. First undo the springbar in the clasp. Pahawi’s opener in the background – it makes opening SO much easier and safer. Even if the only thing you ever do is open your watch once to check the number it is worth it. Check the link, and order yourself one.

It fits perfectly, into each slot. The brass material is softer than the steel, so less likely to cause damage.

So we open this up, revealing the dust cap. Under this lighting, the dust cover seems to have some discolouration, and we can also clearly see the gasket has degraded and disintegrated.

I lift the dust cover off with a blade. Some recomend a watch knife, but I prefer the blade as I need less pressure, and I think less possibility of damage. Being sharper, I can get between the cover and the movement ring, and it lifts easily. I find a watch knife too blunt, and the temptation for me is to apply too much pressure.

The dust cover, showing slight discolouration.

Lets see the inside case back:

145.022-69. There is one watchmaker’s mark. (These marks are quite beyond my understanding). So what we should see is the movement is an 861. Here it is:

So we see it is marked 861. The serial is 28.4m, that puts it right at the start of the -69 production – and that means the DO90 bezel is correct. Gratuitous DO90 shot…..(Shame about the dent)

Clean movement, dirty outside. In fact the movement is exceptionally clean.

Note the screw heads. None show any damage, and there are no signs of any work. This is good. It means we can work on this watch knowing that no-one has gone in before us and messed it up.

Low lets look at the pushers. Plenty of corrosion and on this reference I would have no problem replacing the service pushers as they are exactly the same. We can just see some clean screws in this shot too.

Movement in general looks very clean, with clean screws, a degraded gasket and plenty of dirt around the outside, which we must be careful not to let inside while we inspect.

Here we clearly see the scratches in the Hessalite. While polishing would improve it, I think we will replace it along with the pushers. If I can get an identical crown, then I will replace that too.

It is tempting to leave everything as is, just service the inside – but those pushers are really crusty.