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    Re: Chronometers
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2008 Mar 26, 21:00 -0400

    On Wed, 26 Mar 2008, jean-philippe planas wrote:
    > Yes Alex, please tell us about the story
    This was a Russian E-bay seller whom I know
    (I bought something from him few years before.)
    He is apparently located
    in a little harbor in Kaliningrad region
    (former East Prussia) where they decomission ships.
    So I suppose his wares come from decomissioned ships,
    and his supply is very impressive.
    I payed about $600 plus $100 shipping plus $40 for the
    money transfer.
    When the chronometer arrived, it was very well packed...
    but did not work. A visual inspection showed that
    the balance is somewhat loose. (I had no
    previous experience with
    chronometers.) I showed it to the local watchmaker,
    and he said that several jewels are brocken.
    I wrote to the seller and the seller said that he can
    provide whatever replacement parts necessary.
    He sweared that the chronometer was working fine before he
    packed it.
    Then I brought it to the specialist in Elgin (near Chicago)
    who was once recommended on
    this list as a chronometer expert.
    The specialist made a long list of broken parts
    (several jewels, balance axis, detent, "gold spring"),
    and said that the chronometer is probably a total loss,
    because making these parts will be prohibitively expensive.
    He agreed however to fix it for $600 IS I SUPPLY THE PARTS.
    I sent the list of parts back to the seller,
    told him the price of repair, and he proposed that I send
    the chronometer back.
    I sent it back, and soon the seller wrote to me that he
    fixed it in the "navigation chamber" in his city,
    and the fixing cost him $80 :-)
    (Apparently he has unlimited supply of parts; he seems
    to be selling 1-2 chronometers every week on E-bay).
    Then he sent it back to me, but this was not the end of
    the story yet:-) It turned out that in the Russian
    post office they confused the labels; the chronometer went
    to some other buyer, in California, and I received
    a diving helmet instead:-) So we had to make an exchange
    with this other buyer.
    The whole story lasted about 4 months but in the end
    the chronometer arrived and it seems to work fine so far.
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