Sunday, June 15, 2014

The doomed watch repair

From time to time I'm asked to repair someone's jewelry.  About 90% of the time the original was elastic.  Elastic is great when you first get it, but as it ages, it becomes brittle and breaks.  Because of that, I refuse to replace elastic with elastic.  There's always a way to add a clasp on something so regular beading wire can be used.

A while ago my stepmother's elastic watch broke.  I'm embarrassed to say that I had it a LONG time before I finally worked on it, and when I went to get it, the wood around the watch face had broken.  It was pretty thin and brittle.  Steve glued that for me, and I tried fixing it.  I had to buy beads because none of the beads I had of the right color (brown) were big enough to not fall through the holes of the big barrel beads that were the focals.

Here's the watch halfway through repair last night:

On the right side you can see what the watch sorta looked like when it was new.  The clasp wasn't there, but there were four barrels then a wood criss-cross thing.  It was tricky to work on because two wires had to go through the barrels, and everything needed to be pulled tightly.  After fixing the watch the first time, I found that the beads were slipping through the barrels' holes, and the watch was too big.

I asked how big Barb's wrist is, and she said 6" fit comfortably.  I remade the watch to just over 6":

As you can see, there are only two barrels on either side of the watch.  So they didn't go to waste, I made Barb a necklace to match the watch:

When Barb and Dad got here today for our annual all-four-of-Traci's-parents Father's Day dinner, I tried the watch on her.  It didn't fit.  AARRGH!  I think it's because of how the criss-cross parts make the rest of the watch buckle a little.  She needed just about a half an inch.  I put the watch on my desk to remake after dinner, but Dad picked it up, thought it was elastic, pulled on it, and the wire proved stronger than the thin, brittle wood of the watch face.  Oops!

Unfortunately, the watch can't be fixed now.  I felt so horrible, I offered to make her a bracelet with the pieces, but she scooped up the remains into her purse, probably so I wouldn't have to look at the poor thing anymore.  She loves the necklace, though.  :)

To make up for it, I gave her the Wishy Fishy "air bubble" bracelet and "fish on a line" earrings I posted about in April.  I was thinking of giving them to her anyway because Dad loves to fish.  The bracelet is a little big on her, but she said it's fine.

I have a few repairs for my aunt in the queue.  Let's hope these go much better!

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