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Ah, sweet truth schill free post one above.

+1; Actually learned something too :D
 

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how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?
 
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Pretty much all of this.

Here's a pic of the rotor in my brother's watch, with the automatic ST1940, which I'm currently working to have fixed:

View attachment 12635581

That, as they say, is no bueno.

[Snipping lots of good stuff to save bytes]
Holy moley, Doc, I didn't know it was THAT bad! Well, glad you survived, and thank you for the entertaining/informative post.
 

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Holy moley, Doc, I didn't know it was THAT bad! Well, glad you survived, and thank you for the entertaining/informative post.
It was very bad.

My repair guy thinks he's got the rotor fixed. His diagnosis was poor assembly. The repaired piece should be better than when it left the factory.


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It was very bad.

My repair guy thinks he's got the rotor fixed. His diagnosis was poor assembly. The repaired piece should be better than when it left the factory.


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You are not alone.













 

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To mollify (not really) those who might have felt miffed by my personal negative experiences with the ST19 (as if MY experience negates anything gushingly positive about their own), :roll: let me hasten to add that the handcrankers (6497 / 6498 clones) have been for the most part faultless.

I currently have about 8 handwinders, and they have been with me absolutely trouble-free for over 8 years. And accurate too !! :-!

Only one had the stem pull out - due to the screw holding it not having been screwed properly the first time. Nothing serious, just sloppy work. :roll:

By contrast, automatics have been touch and go. I lost a few over the course of 8 years. :-x
 

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My best and only advice, beyond "buy the seller", is to go into an ST19 purchase understanding that there's a possibility - and it's not a remote possibility - that you'll get a bad one, and you'll be faced with the hassle of having to get it sorted.
Very informative, as always, Doc. You're making me wonder if my ED1963 Chrono (which has been terrific) might be more the exception than the rule. The bin yields you reference (50-60%) are atrocious for a mass produced movement, parcitularly one that often commands prices rivaling value-priced Swiss wares like the C01.211 and the Sellita 500. Hell there are Bulovas with the 7750 that can be had for <$400 if you keep your eyes open.

I suppose I shouldn't be terribly surprised by your findings. Chinese movements have always been hit or miss for me as well. I have an ST16 in a bloody fashion watch the rivals a Rolex 3130 in precision (and has been flawless over 3+ years). I had the same movement in a Sea-Gull branded watch, which was supposed to be superior, that couldn't hold a candle to a $30 Vostok.

Roll the dice, it would seem... :-(
 

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Just to add, for anyone who does have one tested - the ST19 is known to have lower than typical amplitude, so, if one is found to have low amplitude, that, by itself, is not an indicator of anything being wrong with it.

I would look more to the accuracy and power reserve as better indicators.

With regards to accuracy, we found a lot that were "knocking the barrel". Unless I'm remembering wrong, it means there's too much friction grease in the barrel bridge, which causes the watch to run very fast.

The thing which scares me about that is a watch running very fast would typically be a sign that it's been magnetized, or it was in need of regulation, neither of which are difficult issues to sort out, and many people, even watchmakers, are likely to assume one or the other is the cause of the watch running fast.

But if it is a case of knocking the barrel, the movement will need to be torn down and rebuilt, which, at least here in the USA, is not an inexpensive job. A past watchmaker I worked with quoted me a discounted commercial rate of $300.

If you were planning to buy one used, and the seller said it was running fast, but just needed to be regulated, slow down, back up, and ask him to have it regulated before proceeding.


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Just an update. I received my watch today and it is in mint condition. The seller said it was a store display sample but I doubt anyone ever tried it because even the strap looks brand new. I wound it fully and tested the chronograph. It is running fine for now and if the reserve lasts till tomorrow without any problems I would be a very happy camper. Will post some pics later.
 

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Just an update. I received my watch today and it is in mint condition. The seller said it was a store display sample but I doubt anyone ever tried it because even the strap looks brand new. I wound it fully and tested the chronograph. It is running fine for now and if the reserve lasts till tomorrow without any problems I would be a very happy camper. Will post some pics later.
My ST19 have a power reverse of 50 h (Alpha) and 52h (D304) if you need a reference number.
 

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My Alpha with an ST19 is from 2010. It runs great, the chronograph pushers have great tactile feedback, and the chronograph resets properly.

..... but.... the click springs on these watches SUCK. Mine has broken twice now but I've yet to send it in to my watchmaker. I can wind the watch up and manually engage the ratchet but that's a huge pain because the caseback has to come off. The spring is little and fragile and if it breaks then the watch unwinds itself and loses power.


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Personally I wouldn’t buy a watch with a Chinese movement in it unless you really don’t care about durability. There are many watches with inexpensive workhorse Seiko movements in them that will last darn near forever.


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Not all Chinese movements are created equal! The Sea-Gull ST19 is a mechanical chronograph movement, and may be a bit more problematic than most. The ST6D movements aren't the best when the autowind module is added. Many other Sea-Gull movements have proved to be quite reliable and accurate. Also, Beijing movements seem to be a match for anything in their price range, or several times their prices. That Celadon is based on a Beijing movement.



Liaoning makes some truly awful, Tonji based automatics, but they also produce Peacock SL series calibres that compare well to their Swiss and Japanese rivals. (SL-6601 with 72 hour power reserve)



It's not like all Japanese movements are rock solid. The Seiko NH series seems to have a slightly higher failure rate than you might expect, judging by posts I've seen by Doc Vail, or members claiming multiple DOA Invictas.
 

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