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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Picked up a beat-up DW-5600C Japan H module 691 for cheap recently. No bezel, strap, buckle, bezel screws, or spring bars. No problem. Been dabbling in restoring vintage G-Shock squares lately, but this one was special. Seller’s pics:


Caseback had a lot of surface scuffs and a couple of deep scratches. Crystal had scratches and a couple of pits. Overall pretty dirty, but didn’t seem too bad. That was, until I opened the caseback...
The smell of fish exploded out of the case center. At first I thought it was chemical, like battery corrosion that had seeped into all the watch components. But as I got the module out and further inspected, there was no doubt that the previous owner used this G-Shock for his fishing endeavors, which likely included cleaning whatever was reeled in.

There were fish gut remnants and filth in the case center and button holes. The button pushers were so stuck in the holes that I had to push them out from inside the case.


Luckily I had a 691 module and module housing from a different parts watch, because the existing module reeked and could not be cleaned. Everything else went into the ultrasonic cleaner. Normally I would not put the case center into the ultrasonic cleaner for fear of delamination, but this called for extreme measures.
And then something surfaced from the case center. A fish bone!

That guy had been hiding inside this watch for who knows how long.
Round 2 in the cleaner and guess what shows up:

ANOTHER fish bone.
No turning back on this project now. Gonna see this through to the end.
After 3 rounds in the cleaner, everything finally looks clean.

Spruced up the caseback a bit. Then the usual 400, 800, 1500, 2000 grit sandpaper progression for the crystal. Then cerium oxide.

The next step is where I do things a little bit differently. I like to line the inside of the crystal graphics with double-sided carbon tape. This muffles the alarm tones + button beeps slightly. But it affords protection from the crystal graphics being rubbed off by the alarm spring and bars of the module face.

Before the tape. Some small scrapes from the module metal bars are already present on the top and bottom horizontal border of the graphics. If the graphics are scraped away, it is visible when viewing the watch from the front. Sacrificing some volume on button beeps and alarm tones is worth it to me to preserve the front facade of the watch.

Double-sided carbon tape applied.


Buttons were nice and clean from the ultrasonic cleaner. Rebuilt, lubricated with silicone grease, and installed.

Next install and align the module into the case center.


Final step is another slight modification. Since the double-sided carbon tape is protecting the crystal graphics, I like to push the module up into the crystal as much as possible. So in addition to the OEM rubber cushion, I stack a rubber O-ring in there before screwing on the caseback. I lubricate the O-ring with silicone grease. Then the caseback glides along the O-ring and doesn’t rotate the module when screwed on.

This is the O-ring. A pack of 10 cost me $2.25usd.


All buttoned up.

Module nearly flush with the inside of the crystal.
—————
This restoration was a doozy. I never would have imagined what I found in this watch. Definitely going to be giving this now clean, but once fishy 5600C, plenty of time on the wrist.
 

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Wow, how you think the fish stuff get in? Through the buttons or may be the last owner tried to change battery with dirty hands?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow, how you think the fish stuff get in? Through the buttons or may be the last owner tried to change battery with dirty hands?
Good question Dr. Wong.
My guess is through the buttons. Perhaps the original owner wore this watch while scaling, gutting, and cleaning fish. That might explain why the two buttons on one side of the case were so much more full of gunk than the buttons on the other side.
 

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What exactly is that thing that you pulled out with tweezers? Otherwise, excellent job restoring this piece. I enjoyed reading about your progress.

*edit*

Nevermind. I did a double take and read that it was a fish bone. Holy crap. What a find.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Amazing - I love these kind of threads.

What kind of cleaning solution do you use in your ultrasonic cleaner? just regular dish soap and warm water?
iSonic ultrasonic jewelry/eyewear cleaning solution concentrate.
Not sure if it is any better than dish soap, I purchased the solution concentrate with the ultrasonic cleaner.
It seems to work well. What I am most impressed with is how it gets small parts clean like bezel screws, buttons, springs, etc.
 

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iSonic ultrasonic jewelry/eyewear cleaning solution concentrate.
Not sure if it is any better than dish soap, I purchased the solution concentrate with the ultrasonic cleaner.
It seems to work well. What I am most impressed with is how it gets small parts clean like bezel screws, buttons, springs, etc.
yeah I have a cheapo one that I bought like 20 years ago - it's not big but big enough to clean small parts like fasteners. it's great! depending on what I'm cleaning, I'll switch solutions but I've never used it to clean a case before.

you leave the parts in there how long?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
yeah I have a cheapo one that I bought like 20 years ago - it's not big but big enough to clean small parts like fasteners. it's great! depending on what I'm cleaning, I'll switch solutions but I've never used it to clean a case before.

you leave the parts in there how long?
Usually 5 minutes for the SS parts. Sometimes more than 1 round if they don't come out clean.
This was the first time I put a case in the ultrasonic cleaner. Normally the case just gets brushed, rubbed with rodico, and wiped with isopropyl alcohol.
 

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I have always used Simple Green 50/50 with water. I've found that it can clean even the worst baked-on DNA & human left behinds with the ultrasonic cleaner. Best $20 I ever spent as it cleans damned near anything. The Simple Green is bio-degradable & does a fairly good job at degreasing.
 

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rystal graphics with double-sided carbon tape. This muffles the alarm tones + button beeps slightly. But it affords protection from the crystal graphics being rubbed off by the alarm spring and bars of the module face.

Before the tape. Some small scrapes from the module metal bars are already present on the top and bottom horizontal border of the graphics. If the graphics are scraped away, it is visible when viewing the watch from the front. Sacrificing some volume on button beeps and alarm tones is worth it to me to preserve the front facade of the watch.

Double-sided carbon tape applied.
Nicely done sir. You have the perfect idea of protecting the crystal against scratching, however you shorted the piezo speaker which caused them not to function so well. It is shorted because of the over-lapping of the carbon tape and connected it to the casing. The casing is conductive and the carbon tape is also conductive.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What exactly is that thing that you pulled out with tweezers? Otherwise, excellent job restoring this piece. I enjoyed reading about your progress.
*edit*
Nevermind. I did a double take and read that it was a fish bone. Holy crap. What a find.
Lol nicely done the fish bones though lol how that get in there?
Amazing - I love these kind of threads.
What kind of cleaning solution do you use in your ultrasonic cleaner? just regular dish soap and warm water?
Great job restoring this watch! I’ve never thought about using carbon tape to protect the crystal graphics. Seems like good practice.
I have always used Simple Green 50/50 with water. I've found that it can clean even the worst baked-on DNA & human left behinds with the ultrasonic cleaner. Best $20 I ever spent as it cleans damned near anything. The Simple Green is bio-degradable & does a fairly good job at degreasing.
Nicely done sir. You have the perfect idea of protecting the crystal against scratching, however you shorted the piezo speaker which caused them not to function so well. It is shorted because of the over-lapping of the carbon tape and connected it to the casing. The casing is conductive and the carbon tape is also conductive.
Thanks all! I appreciate the feedback.
 

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Brilliant job.

It might be a G-shock, but why can't people just take their watch off when gutting fish?

For me, the situation for most potential damage to my watch is probably when working on my car; squeezing the hand into tight spaces and all the car related dirt.........so I take it off first.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wasn’t completely satisfied with the final result of the crystal on the 5600C.

So did a final round of hand polishing with cerium oxide. Was able to get the crystal to the “100%” that has been referenced in so many past f17 restoration threads.
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I’ve used the dremel + cerium oxide to polish the crystal on past restorations with decent success. But I like the technique shown below better. This method is less messy and affords more control. I do small circles with a lot of pressure on the caseback and it gets the crystal to about 95%. This is a 5200 that I’m working on:



Then hand polish the crystal by dipping a microfiber towel in the same cerium oxide slurry. Here is the 5200 after hand polishing.

 

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Awesome post. Thanks for sharing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Wasn’t completely satisfied with the final result of the crystal on the 5600C.

So did a final round of hand polishing with cerium oxide. Was able to get the crystal to the “100%” that has been referenced in so many past f17 restoration threads.
—————
I’ve used the dremel + cerium oxide to polish the crystal on past restorations with decent success. But I like the technique shown below better. This method is less messy and affords more control. I do small circles with a lot of pressure on the caseback and it gets the crystal to about 95%. This is a 5200 that I’m working on:



Then hand polish the crystal by dipping a microfiber towel in the same cerium oxide slurry. Here is the 5200 after hand polishing.

Man like a pro...

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have always used Simple Green 50/50 with water. I've found that it can clean even the worst baked-on DNA & human left behinds with the ultrasonic cleaner. Best $20 I ever spent as it cleans damned near anything. The Simple Green is bio-degradable & does a fairly good job at degreasing.
Fantastic advice, Snowback! I have been using a Simple Green/water dilution in the ultrasonic cleaner to clean SS watch parts and resin materials. Big improvement using this, especially cleaning “human left behinds.” Haha.
Thanks for the tip!
 
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