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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another question from the new guy. Recently I picked up an older mid-70's era Seiko auto. While the watch looks as if its barely been worn its running wayyyyy slow. As in we're talking about losing 1-2 hours PER DAY, which is rather serious. From what little I've read here and elsewhere the likely probability is that it needs a cleaning and oiling, which is something I honestly know is at this point beyond my ability seeing as I have no tools or experience in this area. The local watch shop would charge probably $60 for the service. That said- this isn't exactly the nicest model and I'd rather avoid putting that kind of money into it. As a last resort, could this be a matter of the settings needing adjustments? This is something I'd have to have done professionally as well because I'm guessing there must be some sort of tuning tool for this out there. I get a bad feeling this isn't the problem and instead its a matter of cleaning it.
 

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I'll let more proficient mechanical experts chime in on suggestions, but $60 is not too bad a price for a professional cleaning and servicing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The plot thickens... So anyway I realized that the day was wrong on the watch and proceeded to fast-forward the hands a full 48 hours to the right day. That was several hours ago and ever since then its been on the money as far as accuracy. Of course whatever was wrong must still be... wrong, but who knows? Maybe it just needed to be worn to "loosen things up" or something. As long as it works hell- I'll just wear it. I paid $15 for the watch and intended it to be a "daily driver".
 

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Interesting...if forwarding the time is what did the trick, it might have been that something was "dragging" on the motion works (the bits that cause the hands to move). Seikos are designed to be fairly rugged (at the expense of accuracy), which is somewhat of a problem in that it'll run until it self-destructs (after which it'll be pretty much useless). But for $15, you won't be much out of pocket.

As for the service, $60 to service a seiko is surprisingly low; so much so that I have to wonder what their definition of "Service" is.
 

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My watchmaker charges $65 for a service it's a disassembly clean and lube. I find that service costs a highly varible and dependent on local conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Still holding accurate time. I will say that there seemed to be a lot of resistance when I was changing the time. As far as the service, I had my Grandfather's watch serviced at this location. The service included taking the watch apart, using a sort of sonic cleaner for the parts, oiling, and re-assembly. Its worked fine ever since. I would never attempt this myself since I don't have the tools or experience. Its something I would like to do. I am fairly proficient at restoring 70-80 year old tube radios but its a much less precise science- as in if you have a 20uF electrolytic capacitor rated at 250 volts you can always stick in a replacement rated at 40uF and 630 volts. It ain't the same with watches!
 

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Hi edvard3,

as Rob pointed out, most Seikos ar designed to run long without service. Therefore there are just two main reasons for one to two hours loss per day:

1) The watch has reached its natural end of life, and then a service will not reanimate it.
2) The movement runs, but the hand gear stops now and then, due to unsufficent friction between train and hand gear. This friction coupling is necessary becaus it is a contradiction to turn the minute hand once an hour when running, and within few seconds when setting the watch.

The best approach is to investigate the watch on a timing machine. It indicates the degree of wear, regardless what the hands do. And after this procedure you can choose between service, adjusting the friction coupling, and the trash bin.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

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$60 is a good price for doing a simple time-only watch or an older pocket watch, but most places charge more for complicated watches (date/automatic, etc) because the amount of time required goes up. I find Seikos to be a bit fiddly for servicing compared to swiss watches, and take more time, but then again I don't work on them too much.
 
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