Mrs Mort and I are avid fans of local thrift stores, estate sales and even rummage sales. We often come away with nothing, but that's all just a part of the game. Occasionally, though, we come across an amazing item at a price that tweaks our respective consciences. This Eska watch, found back in 2000 at an estate sale in Arlington, VA, was just such a find...and, conscience be damned, we plunked down the two quarters they were asking for and quickly made our way home.
The first thing I noticed, almost at the same time as the intriguing dial color, was the very unusual "slinky bracelet," as we've come call it at Rancho de los Muertos. Some of you may have already seen this watch, as I've occasionally trotted out a picture or two, but there's no harm in posting a few more pre-upgrade shots for those who have yet to see this old gem...
As much as I liked this odd little strap, it didn't really showcase the watch as well as it might, so I finally made the decision to "upgrade" the entire piece. In the Mortuus lexicon, "upgrade" means that you do as much for the watch as you can, up to but not including a complete restoration. In the case of this old Eska, the upgrade included the following:
- Obtain appropriate new bracelet / strap.
- Have my Watchmaker open her up, assess the movement's condition, and...
- If the innards are all there, perform cleaning & oiling as needed.
- Gently buff the plastic crystal.
- Clean & polish case and case back.
- Install new bracelet.
Here's the last of my BEFORE shots:
Of course, the whole time I'm awaiting the return of this watch, I'm wondering just what kind of strap or bracelet I should put on it. As I was preparing to ask my friends for their suggestions, eddiea, having seen the watch before, suggested that I go with a Bund strap. A Bund strap...? I checked Google's images and was immediately impressed with what I saw, so I picked up a Bund strap from, of all things, a leathersmith in Russia. When it arrived at Rancho de los Muertos, I immediately compared it with the color of my Eska's dial.
Not too bad a match-up for an old grey falcon...well, I thought it looked pretty good, anyhow.
Here are the After Pictures:
Wow, you can actually read the info on the dial...
Old Mort even gets to showoff some of his 30+ year-old Nasal Radiator gear...
Above: my first goatskin flight jacket, issued to me at Pensacola about 32 years ago...and, Below: my first Nomex (c) flight jacket during the first Gulf War, AKA 'Desert Storm.'
As you've no doubt noticed during the course of this 'pictorial essay,' an 'upgrade' of this type did not remove the verdigris from under the lugs and, to a lesser extent, under the case. Nor did it address the missing, flaking and dulled chrome on the case. But fear not, Brother (and, where applicable, Sister) watch mavens...I'm in the process of consulting with a local metallurgist, who does lots of chroming, and things are really looking up for my half-restored little Eska watch.
As always, many thanks for looking, and have a great day...
...and thanks also to eddiea.