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Discussion Starter #1
Well, here we go, my first actual post as opposed to my usual replies and wisenheimer comments.......
My first Seiko Panda, from 1973, all the way from Israel to Canada with no bumps nor scratches, a miracle, really, and I'm referring mainly to Canada Post. (my thanks to Hiambarshem)
I have maybe ten Seikos already, and I must say I am becoming more and more impressed with the company in general. They seem to have something for everybody and the ones I have are (almost) all ticking merrily away into their 4th decade. I haven't serviced any yet, but that will change as I work my way through my haphazard collection. Seiko delivers a lot of bang for the buck, and I like the retro styling of the 70's models. But enough chatter, here it is:
 

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Nice chrono! I never bought a vitage Seiko chronograph so far, just a Citizen Bullhead once, after seeing some Seiko Bullheads (that were considerably more expensive). However, I bought a very nice Seiko Quartz Chronograph in 1997 which I wore for 10 years untill buying my first vintage. They do still offer a good deal.

My "Panda" is one-eyed, btw:
 

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Beau8- I can't really comment on the power reserve, it seems ok, but as this is also a handwind capable movt, I wound it right up to put it on the timing machine. As I type this, it is receiving a full service from another student who is doing his chronograph certification. There are no marks on the inside of the back of the case, so it may mean it was never properly serviced. It is very dirty inside, and completely bereft of lubrication. All gaskets and O rings are either brittle or shrunken and dried out. We will be replacing the mainspring at some point, as it has a kink in it. As the service progresses, I will have a few pictures of the movt, but as usual, we were doing three or four things at once, ( I myself am smack in the middle of the dreaded hairspring module) so the photography is not as comprehensive as I would have liked. Amplitude was only 170 with a beat error in excess of 5. We will be addressing all these issues and more. Stay tuned.
 

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Ok, so here we have the Panda being serviced, I'll keep the post here so it can be associated with the original post. The first pic is the watch, with rotor removed, showing dirt, etc. Second, we see under the rotor plate, and there is some corrosion visible also. Next, we see the chrono module, and you get a good sense of the state of the movement. It appears to have been serviced at some point, but not any time recently, and is dry as a bone, with no lube anywhere. gaskets are brittle and dry, and O rings shrunken and dry.
Pic 4 shows some parts after their bath in the watch cleaning machine. (we don't use ultrasonics at the school for watches) I don't want to turn this into a long post, but I would like to reiterate how important it is for old watches, newly acquired especially, to be examined, and/or serviced, if they are to be used. The mainspring was also bone dry, and remnants of the dried up lube were now dust, along with other dirt and deteriorated rubber gaskets, and acting as an abrasive.
Pic 5 is the reassembly in progress, showing the gleaming movt lubed and much happier. Amplitude is now 205, and the beat error is now 0.0. we have regulated it to within 10 seconds in three positions, we'll see how it works out in actual wear.
 

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congrats on your Seiko panda watch on black and white leather strap. I just got one that I started wearing today. but on original stainless steel strap. Wear yours in good health!
 

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Thanks, chong, back at ya. Just an update on the Panda service. A lot of posts here deal with the 'to service or not to service' question. I'm afraid after close scrutiny, our Panda has suffered some serious damage from lack of service. It runs quite well now, but we have issues with a damaged detent blade spring, the chrono clutch, and a broken pivot end for the hour counter, among other things. This is a perfect example of a watch that was received running decently, and although it is now running much better, has unfortunately suffered because of lack of service over a long period of time. The watch, after all, is from 1973. Most of my watches are from the 30's to the 60's. As I go through the collection servicing each one, I am finding more and more that although I can get them running well, 80% or more are damaged in some way, and do not perform to anything close to original spec. This is especially significant when one buys 'chronometer grade' vintage watches. The watch in question will very likely never conform to standard COSC spec even if serviced properly. Some do, if they have been cared for properly, but a large percentage do not. That said, almost anything can be fixed, and replacement of worn parts with new ones will usually yield a good result, but will outstrip the value of the watch easily, in most cases. I'm talking about replacing entire gear trains and jewels, and balances, etc. Most of the vintage watches can be repaired and run decently and often this is what happens, and most people don't mind or even notice the variations in the running rate.
 
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