Junghans J53 – Attempt of a revision

Fresh from the USA...

... one of the rare Junghans J53 NOBRK


Junghans J53 NOBRK; Front

The watch was dirty, without glass, it didn't run. The hands setting worked but the hands should not be original, after all the dial was original but in a miserable condition. When looking under the lid, it looked relatively passable and complete, except the spring of the balance. It was completely tangled.


Junghans J53 NOBRK; movement


Junghans J53 NOBRK; movement

The watch has a very massive, thick winding shaft and long movement retaining screws.

The hands could be released without any problems. For protection, I always put (a tip from my watchmaker...) cling film between the dial and the hand release tool.

The dial


Junghans J53 NOBRK; dial and hands

Unfortunately, a thick scratch between 11 and 12 runs across the dial. There's a thick layer of dirt on the dial, the flower pattern embossed in the middle is hardly visible, even the typical "NOBRK" inscription can only be guessed. The NOBRK stood for NonBreakable. This meant the "balance staff pivot". That means, the balance staff pivot was considered "unbreakable".

If this is really true, or if maybe the pivot is broken, we will find out later...

A lever with problems...


Junghans J53 NOBRK; movement


Junghans J53 NOBRK; lever


Junghans J53 NOBRK; gear train


Junghans J53 NOBRK; lever

The picture of the lever shows how the end is slightly bent and reminds of the tail fin of a whale by the bend. I'll be worried about the lever...

The upper plate was quickly loosened and the view on the gear train was clear. A lot of dirt came out. But all in all I was quite satisfied with the overall condition...

The lever had a slightly bent pin, which normally engages in the anchor wheel. But the pin should just provide the escapement there and I decided to do a bending test.

The dial side


Junghans J53 NOBRK; dialside

A look at the dial side. Quite a lot of dirt and slightly rusted parts, no wonder, that there was nothing running anymore! But on a watch, which was made shortly after 1927 and yet is of low quality, it's a miracle, to get hold of a complete movement.



Junghans J53 NOBRK; balance bridge


Junghans J53 NOBRK; parts


Junghans J53 NOBRK; dial

Here a view to all uncleaned parts, the balance spring with its NOBRK bearing pins I could "sort" again and fixed it on the plates for cleaning.

After the bath in the watch cleaning machine and manual cleaning with the cleaning oil, I dared to clean the dial. The embossed flower pattern around the center is very nice to see. Ring for ring I tried to remove the dirt layer carefully with a soft wood. Also remains of the NOBRK-print became visible.

The lever dilemma


Junghans J53 NOBRK; broken lever

When trying to bend the one crooked pin of the lever I unfortunately made a serious mistake: I broke the lever! Exactly at the place where I held it with the tweezers. The pin has (still crooked) withstood...

As a layman, you should probably just leave your fingers off and have a look at the watchmaker... But the whole thing came to a good end:

The watchmaker was able to get an original anchor and after I installed it, the watch ran again without problems!

It doesn't get any better than that.


Junghans J53 NORBK; without glas


Junghans J53 NORBK; with glas


Junghans J53 NORBK; Front

The watch got a new glass and was complete again. Of course the new glass is made of acrylic (Plexiglas). The original glass of the shown comparison watch is made of celluloid, which is clearly recognizable by the smell of camphor when grinding or polishing. The dial of the comparison watch is also much better preserved and shows nicely the NOBRK-print.

Further information about the Junghans J53 caliber can be found here: Caliber Junghans J53

oder hier: The first Junghans wristwatch - The Junghans J53 NOBRK