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Damaging the GMT set by adjusting the date?

1156 Views 13 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Saswatch
At the end of last year I got a Frederique Constant Yacht Timer GMT, but when it arrived the box was a total mess and on investigation I found that I was not able to set the GMT hand. After several months of back and forth with UPS I took the watch in to get a quotation on the repair for this, for the insurance. The repair quote has just come back but the notes suggest that 'User quickset at wrong timing resulting in damaging of movement components'. They quotation also notes that the date turns over at about 4am, which I was not aware of (as I have never actually worn the watch).

I realise that setting the date between 9pm and 3am is a bad idea, and I am reasonably sure I didnt do this when the watch arrived, although proving that is now impossible. But even so, would doing this affect the setting of the GMT hand as well? Would impact damage really not cause this type of problem with setting the GMT hand?

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Many thanks for the feedback here. Its all pretty exhausting. This is how the box arrived with me when the watch was delivered....

Packing materials Packaging and labeling Rectangle Box Plastic wrap

I have been fighting with UPS for the last five months to take responsibility for this. They sent an appraiser over to take a look, then cut me out of the process as they sent their findings to the sellers country, since he insured it there, and then everything has been silent for three months. Chrono24 got involved and encouraged me to get a quote for the repair, and now that comes back with this note on it.

On many of my quick set date GMT movements, the first position of the crown will set the date in one direction, and the GMT hand in the other.

So, did you, or didn't you fiddle with the quick date set when the watch arrived?
I admit that I was not aware that the GMT setting could have the same issue as the date setting, but I DO know that setting the date between 9pm and 3am is a bad idea, and through my collection I have never had a problem. I did check the functions of the watch when the box arrived in that condition, and while we are talking about remembering what I did one a specific day five months ago, I am almost certain that I did not attempt to mess around with the watch while it was displaying the date change hours. My usual practice is to wind the time on to the next day to determine am/pm then set the time, and then go back and set the date/GMT, and since I didnt open the watch between 9pm and 3am, I am mostly sure I didnt cause this.

That watch has an FC-350 movement, which is a Sellita SW200 base with an in-house module for the GMT function. Consequently, the date function and GMT hand should work rather independently, since the date is part of the base movement, while the GMT module would be driven of the canon pinion or whatever central stack that's replacing it. So, that quote sounds strange to me and I've never seen an SW200 that flicks the date at 4am either. If that's what that movement does, the GMT function isn't the only problem, as far as I can tell from your description..
Thank you. I am no expert on movements, but while I know about the 'danger hours' for setting the date, I had no idea about this potentially damaging the GMT function. In fact, even now, I tried to Google this and it just doesn't come back as a potential issue for damaging the GMT.

I had been working under the assumption that the various issues and damage were caused by concussive impact on the watch/movement, and to be fighting for this for so long only to have a single line note on a quotation potentially sink my case is..... frustrating and depressing.
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Just an update - I have dropped the case. Honestly, its totally depressing and there isn't really much I can do. Up until about a week ago, I was sure that this was not a problem that I caused. But in the last few days I am trying to remember the order of the actions I took on a specific day five months ago, and the reality is that I can't guarantee or prove that it wasn't me. All I can say is that I have many watches with a date complication, and the only one that has had any problem at all, arrived in a box that looked like it had been used for soccer practice and had a problem within minutes of opening the beaten up box. I am not denying that 'this damage cannot be caused by mishandling' but its still really frustrating.

I am pretty sure that this was not the seller. Throughout this process, the seller has really been the only person supporting me in this, and the watch had been opened to include more bubble wrap (thank goodness for that!) but the watch had stickers on, etc, the seller was open an communicated well, and they had a great review rating.

I don't have the watch at this point as it's still in the repair centre, so I can't verify the issues around how it functions normally and whether it really is broken at this time, but the GMT hand did not move or set at all when I checked it, and that's a pretty fundamental issue which is clearly a problem. I am also not sure about the whole 'date clicks over with the GMT hand'. I have seen a single YouTube review that says that this is how it functions, but it seems such a ridiculous design flaw that I really don't believe that this is the case and I haven't been able to verify this 'feature'. If true, since I set the GMT at -8 hours from my local time, the date will essentially be wrong for 1/3 of every day. There seems absolutely no reason for this to happen.

Anyway, many thanks for the feedback. The real big frustration here is that UPS managed to mess up the delivery at several stages (they refused to deliver first time even though I paid the import tax because their system didn't show my payment, then the box was totally messed up, then they stonewalled me......) and after 5 months with fighting for some kind of resolution or getting them to take responsibility, I have had to drop the process and I am out about US$650 for the repair too. I will think twice before getting a watch delivered internationally in the future.
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The FC movement is a hybrid of these two types. The base movement is a Sellita SW-200, which is an ordinary 3-hander, and then they stuck a GMT module on it. Alpina has a similar watch. Citizen owns both, so they can share stuff like that.

At Crown position 1 - turning the crown forwards advances the date via quick-set, as it does on the normal SW-200. Turning the crown backwards jumps the local time forwards only in one hour increments. Because you can't jump local time backwards, the date is not connected to local time, as it is on a standard traveler style movement. It's instead connected to the 24-hour time, and when the 24-hour GMT hand passes 00:00, that is when the date will roll over to the next day.

To use it as a traveler, you'd set the 24-hour hand to home time using time set Crown position 2, then go back to position one, and jump the hour forwards until it reads correct local time. To use it as a caller, you'd just reverse what the two hands are indicating, put set it the same way. Time set so that the 24-hour hand shows the time zone you want to keep track of, then jump the local time forwards until it shows current home time.

It's not a "design flaw," that's how the movement is supposed to work. Functionally it works much better as a quasi-traveler than a caller, because if you're using the 24-hour hand to track somebody else's time zone, the date will advance when their time zone passes midnight, not yours - though while traveling, the date will advance when home time passes midnight, not the time where you actually are.

The movement is kind of a hack. It kinda made sorta sense for somebody who wanted to be able to jump local time, because there weren't any commercially available movements that did that cheaper than the Kenissi. Swatch keeps theirs in house, as does Seiko. Now that Citizen has the Miyota 9075 though, there's little reason for it to exist. Except the Miyota isn't Swiss, so FC won't want to use it.

It's possible LJP might get a version though, so that way their "Swiss Made" brands can offer a true traveler type with bi-directional local time adjustment.
Thank you. I genuinely appreciate this, and learning more about the movement and functionality. I am broadly familiar with GMTs, already having a couple of SW330 in my collection, but the more I learn about this hybrid movement idea, the more it appeals to me. I moved from my home country ten years ago to live here and as such an 'office' GMT is generally my preferred style as it allows me to keep track of the time back home when making calls, etc. Having said that, I prefer the date function to track my local date (as is more common, I think) and not the date in the second time zone. The other GMTs that I have work in this way with the date recording the local time (hour hand/where I am located) and so to have it work to reflect the second time zone will take some getting used to. That said, I love the variety that is available even in something as 'standard' as a GMT functionality, and having something different is really fun and interesting.

Thank you.
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