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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is intended as a guide to the replacement of the date wheel on a Seiko 6105 diver. The use of the word 'novice' in the title refers to my experience tinkering with watches and not necessarily to the experience of those of you who may subsequently decide to attempt this for yourselves.

My first foray into vintage Seiko divers was a bit of an expensive mistake. My watch had a fair amount not quite right with it when I bought it, but the one flaw which bugged me the most was the worn date wheel. Some of the dates were approaching illegibility, some patchy and some fine. Anyway, following a WTB post on SCWF, Lew B sent me a replacement date wheel for nothing which I stuck in a draw until I had accumulated a critical mass of watchmakers tools and enough courage from reading this and other fora to attempt the replacement.

So let's begin. Here is a photo of the watch at the start of the process. You should be able to see evidence of some wear, particularly on the '2' of the '29' in this close-up:

Before we start, let's set the scene: Here we see the watch, a few of the tools I'll be needing, all laid out on a yellow dusting cloth (my first stupid move):

Next, having removed the back, we remove the crown. Press down on the release pin, with the crown at the second click and out it comes (I actually ended up using my smallest jewellers screwdriver to do this because the spring bar tool was too wide):

The crown is out:

Place some paper over the watch back, then tip it over and the movement should just fall out into your hand:

The movement is out and we get a nice view of the aftermarket dial and original but somewhat beaten up hands:

Next, place an improvised dial protector on the dial and start to remove the hands with your choice of hand remover:

I thought all three hands would come off in one go but only the minute and second hands did. Note the machine oil marks on the dial protector - I forgot to wipe it off before using it for the first time (doh). In the end, I used two jewelers screwdrivers to lever off the hour hand, having failed to accomplish this with the hand remover.

Now for the dial. Locate the two screws securing the dial feet - here's the first:

and the second:

At this point, I had to sharpen my smallest screwdriver because it was too broad for the screw heads. Having done this, both screws loosened and off comes the dial together with plastic spacer:

As an aside, here is a view of the reverse of the aftermarket dial. Note that the hour markers are glued on:

Here we have our first good view of the bottom of the movement with the top plate still in position but with all five screws removed:

Carefully remove the top plate with a pair of tweezers:

and we see the date wheel retention spring adjacent to the '20' on the date wheel. At this point I picked up the movement to get a better photo and the retention spring popped off. Fortunately it did not go far so disaster averted.

New date wheel in position (isn't it lovely!) and we get a better view of the retention spring, stage left:

A close-up of spring, back where it should be:

Top plate back on, firmly screwed down;

and dial back on:

This last step was a bit fiddly, because it required both sides of the dial to be kept firmly in place whilst securing each dial foot. Not a major problem, but it would have been easy to smudge the dial with fingerprints, if I had fumbled it. Now, probably the most difficult part of the whole process: attaching a set of aftermarket hands, replacing the originals.
The hour hand went on relatively easily; into place with tweezers, and then an old biro case to push it into place:

Note that I am putting the hands back in the position the old ones were in when I removed them - that is at midday. Now for my first big mistake: The minute hand placed into position, press down with the same wide-holed biro and .... disaster. The hand bends downward because the biro hole diameter is too wide - what an idiot. So 5 minutes spent gently straightening the hand and attempt number two with a smaller biro - this time successful:

I should point out that at no point did the hands click into place - I simply had to push until they seemed to stay put. Now for the second hand. This proved somewhat fraught, to say the least: Numerous failed attempts resulted in a badly bent second hand. I eventually managed to straighten it reasonably satisfactorily but could only get it to locate properly on the center pin by widening the hole with a pin from my wife's sewing kit - the perils of aftermarket products, I suppose. Finally on it went:

Some minor adjustments required to achieve clearance and all seems fine. The date clicks over as it should at about 5 past midnight and is nicely aligned with the center of the aperture in the dial.

Out comes the crown (not as straightforward as you might imagine now that the hands are in place and no movement holder available), pop the movement back into the case, having removed all the fluff that had got everywhere from that blasted duster, case back securely screwed into place and the watch is back in one piece and running again.



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Thanks for taking the time to do this write-up. It's a real pleasure to see the procedure, and it's especially useful that you shared the mis-steps. Folks often write things up as thought they went perfectly and they knew everything going in. Much more useful (and reassuring) to know that people really do learn by doing, and not by divine intervention.

I don't get what actually bears against what when it comes to holding the movement-or how the movement is held in proper alignment (rotationally-speaking). Lot's to learn.

Oh...nice watch!
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