A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Alejandro Purgue
Date: 2014 Jun 8, 08:09 -0700
A little over a year ago I sent my Hamilton 21 to Historic Timekeepers, in Glen Arm, Maryland, for repair and never heard back from them. Repeated calls and emails have gone unanswered. I’m running out of options to recover my chronometer so I’m reaching out the the group in case someone knows something that can help regarding this company. Any suggestions will be much appreciated. The whole story is at the bottom of this email in case anyone is interested. Thanks.
About 3 years ago I got a Hamilton 21 in what was advertised as perfect working order. I spent the next six months carefully recording its rate and documenting any observed changes. Within a few months it became evident that something was wrong with it and decided to seek help from a qualified repair shop. After looking around for a bit I found Historic Timekeepers (www.historictimekeeprs.com). The owner Dewey Clark seemed to have impeccable credentials so I proceeded to call and set up an appointment to get my chronometer serviced. I packed the chronometer and ship it to him. About two weeks later I was informed by Mr Clark that the problem was most likely related to the balance spring and balance wheel mechanism being of a "later" manufacture which apparently meant it was not so carefully selected. He offered to replace it with a vintage one for a fee ($300). After a total expense shy of $750, the chronometer arrived a few days later. At first everything seemed fine but within a week it was obvious that the unstable rate issue had not been solved. A couple of phone calls later and the chronometer was again on its way to Mr Clark. This time he claimed that the problem was a bent staff pivot which he fixed at no charge. It is now July 2012, the chronometer arrives and all seems well, rate within specs. Four months goes by and the chronometer stops for no apparent reason. The reserve indicator still shows 6 hs left. I wind it full just in case, but the winding system jams and the mechanism freezes up. It is November 2012. I send an email to Mr Clark to see if there is a simple way to unjam the winding mechanism and he ask that I'll send the chronometer back to him. With the holidays coming I don't get around to sending it to him until late January 2013. And that is the las time I saw my chronometer or heard from him. Repeated calls and emails go unanswered.