Bucherer Automatic, A. Schild Cal. 1903 (AS 1903) – Service

Following on from this post, here is another watch that Richard gave me for a service, this time it is a Bucherer Automatic, powered by the Calibre AS 1903 by Swiss ebauche and watch movement manufacturer A. Schild. The watch is in beautiful cosmetic condition, with a lovely sunburst dial in a gold plated case.



Before commencing the service I always appraise the movement on the timegrapher. In this case with a low amplitude, high beat error and rate out by nearly one minute per 24hrs, the watch is definitely in need of a service.



I open the case, to reveal the AS 1903 Calibre. The oscillating weight is signed  Bucherer which is a nice touch. As you can see the case is quite dirty, with a lot of dry lubricant, and the old gasket has perished and left sticky particles in its groove.AS-1903-movement




Dry lubricant, and strange green colour on the oscillating weight post!





The movement viewed without the oscillating weight.AS1903


I start stripping down the movement with the dial side, after carefully removing dial and hands.


I notice during disassembly that the setting lever spring is broken. It is very small on this movement so it is a weak spot.


I find the rest of the spring somewhere in the case, thankfully it did not lodge itself anywhere where it could have caused damage.


I move on to the upper side of the movement, the automatic works has been removed on this photo.


The lubrication on the balance jewels has completely dried out, and the jewels were very dirty indeed, this goes some way to explaining the poor timegrapher reading.


You can see the train wheels here as I progress further through disassembly.


Here we are with the movement completely stripped down and ready for cleaning.A.-Schild-1903-service


The mainspring is removed from the barrel, loads of dry lubricant there. I will fit a new mainspring as usual as part of the service.


This is a photo of the cannon pinion. On this movement, it is not mounted centrally on the dial side as commonly found:  it is located on the “large driving wheel” on the train side, and drives the motion work (dial side) through an aperture on the main plate.


I stripped it down for cleaning and lubrication, and here it is being re-assembled using my staking set.


The train, barrel and their respective bridges are now in place.


Ratchet wheel, crown wheel and escapement now installed.


And now moving on to the dial side.



I sourced a new setting lever spring to replace the broken one. Without it the crown would not “click” into its different positions.




The keyless work and motion work are now in place.


And the calendar disk is fitted.


The movement is running very well, with excellent amplitude, so I can finish the service by fitting the automatic works. 


The case has been cleaned, and the movement is re-cased.


A new gasket is fitted to replace the old one which had perished.


The acrylic crystal is polished, starting with coarse emery paper, then finer and finishing with a polishing compound.


Foolishly I did not take any photos of the finished watch, so here is a picture of it on the timegrapher after the service, during regulation / testing,  running very happily indeed.


I would like to thank Richard once again for entrusting me with another one of his watches, yet again it has been a real pleasure to work on.

2 Replies to “Bucherer Automatic, A. Schild Cal. 1903 (AS 1903) – Service”

  1. Does a service manual exist for this movement? I’ve been given a project piece that is already disassembled.

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