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I think we're saying similar things, but in your case you've described an incompatible pair of tolerances that wouldn't allow the two parts to be mated together in the first place. I was thinking along the lines of things that still fit together, but upon rotating create interference/lack of engagement points as the dimension between the two moving parts changes upon rotation.

I don't understand the mechanics of how the date wheel gets turned to be any more specific. Let's say the diameter of the date wheel has one spec, the tooth depth has another spec, the amount of variation of the diameter of the wheel has a third spec, and the hole in the center of the wheel that mounts it into the movement has a fourth spec. Similarly for the gear that turns the date wheel. The alignment of the teeth turning the date wheel can vary based on each of those tolerances. If both gears are slightly out of round, but within their respective tolerances, or slightly off center in their mount due to tolerances in the center holes, the gears mesh adequately to turn the date wheel at some alignment points, but not at others because the distance between gears changes as each of them rotates.

Or, as someone else said, maybe there's just bad gear teeth, in which case we're back to bad manufacturing and QC controls.
No, we're not saying the same thing. Partly, I think you are confusing assuming that all variability falls under the guise of tolerance.

Variability is deviation from one part to the next, as well as deviation from perfect (nominal), due to limitations or inaccuracies in production processes.

"Tolerance" is the range of part variability that the design engineer deems acceptable for the design to fit and function properly. Tolerance is allowable variation. When tolerances are determined correctly, in-spec parts will always fit and function correctly when assembled. The acceptable degree of out-of-round or eccentricity of a gear would be one of the tolerances applied to a movement. So would limits on the variability in size, shape, and pitch of gear teeth.

If parts are manufactured within the specified tolerances (in-spec), but don't fit or function properly when put together, that's a tolerance issue. The tolerances selected were incompatible. Tolerance issues are design flaws. It's also impossible for someone to know if a failure is a tolerance issue unless they know what the tolerances of the design are.

If a failure is caused by a out-of-tolerance part, that's not a tolerance issue. An out-of-tolerance part is a bad part. The part was not produced to spec and QC failed to catch it.
 

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1) shouldn't a $5000 watch be designed and manufactured within tight enough tolerances that this type of failure should be extremely rare, or even non-existant?
It is extremely rare. One could argue it should be non-existent, but today's non-existent is tomorrow's extremely rare - it only takes one to move from the former to the latter.

2) given that the failure did happen, and you had to go a month without your brand new watch, shouldn't it be expected that the repair team would be competent enough to see the problem, and fix it on the first try?
Yes, someone messed up somewhere along the line. No idea if it was the watchmaker, the person doing the casing and final checks, the person who may not have communicated the problem to begin with - this communication error in particular could have been made right at the AD by the way, so has nothing to do with "service" in that sense or Omega at all, because it's a clerk in an AD that is privately owned likely making minimum wage, and may not have any clue at all about watches.

People are human, and I'll bet everyone here has at some point made a mistake at their jobs.

If you expect perfection for $5,000, you are going to be constantly disappointed. These are massed produced mid-tier watches, not hand made one off creations that someone spent years on, so things are going to go wrong on occasion, and that is why they offer a warranty.

It's certainly disappointing when things go wrong, but I'm sure Omega will make this right.

Cheers, Al
 

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No, we're not saying the same thing. Partly, I think you are confusing assuming that all variability falls under the guise of tolerance.

Variability is deviation from one part to the next, as well as deviation from perfect (nominal), due to limitations or inaccuracies in production processes.

"Tolerance" is the range of part variability that the design engineer deems acceptable for the design to fit and function properly. Tolerance is allowable variation. When tolerances are determined correctly, in-spec parts will always fit and function correctly when assembled. The acceptable degree of out-of-round or eccentricity of a gear would be one of the tolerances applied to a movement. So would limits on the variability in size, shape, and pitch of gear teeth.

If parts are manufactured within the specified tolerances (in-spec), but don't fit or function properly when put together, that's a tolerance issue. The tolerances selected were incompatible. Tolerance issues are design flaws. It's also impossible for someone to know if a failure is a tolerance issue unless they know what the tolerances of the design are.

If a failure is caused by a out-of-tolerance part, that's not a tolerance issue. An out-of-tolerance part is a bad part. The part was not produced to spec and QC failed to catch it.
Yes, the "tolerance" discussion. It's an interesting one to have with people who don't understand tolerances, what they are, and how they work.

There are design tolerances - those on the drawing for functionality as you describe. Also known as final tolerances - what is allowed for the product to go out the door as a good part.

There's a whole other layer behind those in a production situation - process tolerances. These are the tolerances used during the actual manufacturing of sequentially made mass produced parts, so in a machining operation for example you are gauging the dimensions, plotting subgroups, making adjustments to the process to keep the subgroups where they should be. These are designed so that when the most extreme examples happen (because statistics), the parts will still fall well within the final (design) tolerances.

Way back in the day this was all done on paper, and I was involved in the transition to computerizing the system, and eventually the newest machines did it all themselves...progress...
 

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Yes, the "tolerance" discussion. It's an interesting one to have with people who don't understand tolerances, what they are, and how they work.

There are design tolerances - those on the drawing for functionality as you describe. Also known as final tolerances - what is allowed for the product to go out the door as a good part.

There's a whole other layer behind those in a production situation - process tolerances. These are the tolerances used during the actual manufacturing of sequentially made mass produced parts, so in a machining operation for example you are gauging the dimensions, plotting subgroups, making adjustments to the process to keep the subgroups where they should be. These are designed so that when the most extreme examples happen (because statistics), the parts will still fall well within the final (design) tolerances.

Way back in the day this was all done on paper, and I was involved in the transition to computerizing the system, and eventually the newest machines did it all themselves...progress...
Yes, it's all a cascade, with tolerance budgets at every level. The final device has to perform some function within some tolerance, which gets decomposed and allocated to tolerances on the subcomponents, which gets decomposed and allocated to tolerances in the manufacturing processes used to make the components.

I know some managers who would love to find a universal tool or program that they could hand to a design engineer that would analyze any CAD model and apply tolerances to all of the parts and features. I'm certified to ASME Y14.5 and teach it to other engineers where I work. Seems like I'm asked at least once per year if I have some magical, one-size-fits-all, 3-dimensional tolerance analysis spreadsheet/tool that somebody can just plug numbers into to analyze an assembly. Or I'm asked to evaluate some software that advertises such capability.
 

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And don't forget the third kind of tolerance: the tolerance for shoddy work...
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Wow. A lot has happened since I last checked-in here. Thanks everyone for the discussion.

I too have owned quite a few Omegas over the years and generally had a very positive experience both with the watches and the service department. So this won’t tarnish the brand too much in my view — just a frustrating experience at the moment.

I talked to the AD’s head of service yesterday, and he’s got a call into Swatch Group’s head of service to discuss the issue and determine exactly what was done by Omega when my watch was in for service. I’m still waiting to get an update on that (evidently the Swatch head of service is on vacation this week, but the AD is still hoping to get a response from him or someone else in the near term). I’ll report back on the outcome.
 

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I took it into the AD. They told me it was a simple fix but that it needed to go back to Omega. Disappointing but not unexpected. They sent it in. It was with Omega for about a month, and I picked it up on Saturday. But the issue wasn’t actually fixed — it’s doing the exact same thing during the exact same range of dates.
This is Omega design feature -- a failure of course.

8500/8900 basically transferred most of ETA 2892 design to it. Especially date mechanism. The only thing they changed is the clip. It is more like 7750's clip. See below:
15852841


But 8500 is a much bigger movement, bigger than 2892. Omega keeps the smaller profile of the gear system but enlarge the base plate size, and date windows is further away from center too. To accommodate this, the width of date wheel is enlarged too, so the friction. That means Omega need either reduce the friction (like Rolex 3135 uses jeweled frame, or Bvlgari's thin movement), or increase the jump power. But It is still 2892's design.

Because of this, a slightly defects on date wheel tooth will cause date jam. This is what you are seeing.

Omega probably need replace main plate AND date wheel. And then re-run chronometer test. Not just replacing date wheel. Probably hands need to be replaced too because too many on and offs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I want follow-up on this and provide a (disappointing) update on my service woes. To refresh, I bought a brand new Seamaster from my local AD on February 1 of this year. After a little over a month of ownership, I realized that the date wasn’t turning over at midnight (this problem seemed to occur during certain dates in the 20s). I took my watch into the AD, they sent it to Omega, and it came back from service about a month later. However, the problem wasn’t resolved. I posted here to get feedback from the community and ultimately took it back to the AD. They had reached out to the head of Omega service and made sure the re-servicing of my watch was prioritized. That process still took about three weeks, and my watch came back this Wednesday. And to my genuine amazement and disappointment, the problem still isn’t fixed. The first day back on the wrist was fine, but I found the watch this morning showing yesterday’s date. After playing with the time and advancing the hands past midnight, I confirmed that the watch is exhibiting the exact same problem. The date wheel tries to advance and either snaps back to the original date or gets stuck in between the two dates.

I’m honestly just surprised that Omega wasn’t able to resolve this the second time around (did they even check it after service?). And obviously disappointed and frustrated. This has been a pretty terrible purchasing experience that’s now stretched out for several months. I emailed my AD and they’re going to reach out to Omega on Monday. I’m going to be pretty upset if they want me to send my watch away for another 3-4 weeks, particularly because I don’t have a lot of confidence that they’ll somehow fix the issue this third time around.

Anyway - curious in others’ reactions to this and what you’d expect at this point in terms of a resolution. I’ll follow-up once I hear from the AD on Monday.
 

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I want follow-up on this and provide a (disappointing) update on my service woes. To refresh, I bought a brand new Seamaster from my local AD on February 1 of this year. After a little over a month of ownership, I realized that the date wasn’t turning over at midnight (this problem seemed to occur during certain dates in the 20s). I took my watch into the AD, they sent it to Omega, and it came back from service about a month later. However, the problem wasn’t resolved. I posted here to get feedback from the community and ultimately took it back to the AD. They had reached out to the head of Omega service and made sure the re-servicing of my watch was prioritized. That process still took about three weeks, and my watch came back this Wednesday. And to my genuine amazement and disappointment, the problem still isn’t fixed. The first day back on the wrist was fine, but I found the watch this morning showing yesterday’s date. After playing with the time and advancing the hands past midnight, I confirmed that the watch is exhibiting the exact same problem. The date wheel tries to advance and either snaps back to the original date or gets stuck in between the two dates.

I’m honestly just surprised that Omega wasn’t able to resolve this the second time around (did they even check it after service?). And obviously disappointed and frustrated. This has been a pretty terrible purchasing experience that’s now stretched out for several months. I emailed my AD and they’re going to reach out to Omega on Monday. I’m going to be pretty upset if they want me to send my watch away for another 3-4 weeks, particularly because I don’t have a lot of confidence that they’ll somehow fix the issue this third time around.

Anyway - curious in others’ reactions to this and what you’d expect at this point in terms of a resolution. I’ll follow-up once I hear from the AD on Monday.
I'm really sorry to hear about your problems. This situation is totally unacceptable. I'm sympathetic on their part as sometimes these things happen, but very disappointed that it would have to go back a third time...never mind a fourth time.

I know it must be frustrating for you, but keep at them. This will eventually get sorted. Just make sure they compensate you for your trouble. I'd hold out for a free service in the future.

Best of luck!

René
 

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Any product you buy should work correctly when you receive it. I don't care if it's a $20 Casio or a $5000 Omega.

Your original question was

""

The answer is: Yes, it should. However, we don't know that this particular failure was a result of poor design/tolerances (which are intertwined) or a manufacturing defect. Not all defects are the result of poor design or shoddy manufacturing. Which takes us to your second question:



Can you define "poor tolerances" and explain why you feel this failure reeks of it?

QC failure is certainly a possibility. We cannot rule out that this watch was faulty when it left the factory and was simply not caught through normal QC processes. Even the best will have the occasional miss, as I previously said. This might have been a rare miss from QC.

We also cannot rule out some form of shipping damage (which is not a design, manufacture, or QC issue) based on the information provided.

We only know that the watch was faulty. We do not know when that fault occurred. Maybe it was built wrong from the get go and QC missed it. Maybe it was damaged in shipping. We would need to know the nature of the malfunction before we can definitively place blame on the designers for specifying poor tolerances, the manufacturers for shoddy work, or the QC/QA folks for not identifying a problem. Or blaming the shippers for damaging it, for that matter.




The failure to address the issue when the watch was sent in for repair is honestly more troubling to me and much less excusable. That a faulty product ended up on the shelves isn't great, either, but sh*t happens with mass production and we don't really know the cause of that problem (might not have been Omega's fault) or the frequency that such faulty products make it into customer hands. There is, indeed, no excuse that a consistent and repeatable fault such as this should not have been remedied on the first try beyond human error. Whether it was the tech's fault or somebody higher up the food chain failed at giving the tech the information required to do the job, somebody at Omega screwed up. My example wasn't trying to excuse it, just creating a hypothetical scenario in which such a failure may have occurred. But that scenario should never have happened.



Omega produces over half a million watches per year. One other person chimed in that they had similar issues. That person's watch may or may not have been produced in the same year. A couple of personal anecdotes is not a valid statistical sample. Maybe it's not a 1 in a million. Maybe it's 1 in 100,000. That's still rare.

I'm willing to bet that Omega's fault rate is not worse than that of less expensive, mass produced watch brands. Particularly if we're talking mechanical watches.
This guy talks A LOT of sense. Very fair points.


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This is Omega design feature -- a failure of course.

8500/8900 basically transferred most of ETA 2892 design to it. Especially date mechanism. The only thing they changed is the clip. It is more like 7750's clip. See below:
View attachment 15852841

But 8500 is a much bigger movement, bigger than 2892. Omega keeps the smaller profile of the gear system but enlarge the base plate size, and date windows is further away from center too. To accommodate this, the width of date wheel is enlarged too, so the friction. That means Omega need either reduce the friction (like Rolex 3135 uses jeweled frame, or Bvlgari's thin movement), or increase the jump power. But It is still 2892's design.

Because of this, a slightly defects on date wheel tooth will cause date jam. This is what you are seeing.

Omega probably need replace main plate AND date wheel. And then re-run chronometer test. Not just replacing date wheel. Probably hands need to be replaced too because too many on and offs.
The 2892 date mechanism is nothing like the 8500/8900 in reality. Yes there are some parts that appear the same to a layperson, such as the date driving wheel, but they are not similar other than that.

BTW if this is a Seamaster (not a PO from what has been described), it won't even have an 8500/8900 in it. It would have an 8800 inside, which again is a different design to the 8500/8900 - that is an 11 1/2 ligne movement, so all your theories about additional size and all that are out the window...
 

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I want follow-up on this and provide a (disappointing) update on my service woes. To refresh, I bought a brand new Seamaster from my local AD on February 1 of this year. After a little over a month of ownership, I realized that the date wasn’t turning over at midnight (this problem seemed to occur during certain dates in the 20s). I took my watch into the AD, they sent it to Omega, and it came back from service about a month later. However, the problem wasn’t resolved. I posted here to get feedback from the community and ultimately took it back to the AD. They had reached out to the head of Omega service and made sure the re-servicing of my watch was prioritized. That process still took about three weeks, and my watch came back this Wednesday. And to my genuine amazement and disappointment, the problem still isn’t fixed. The first day back on the wrist was fine, but I found the watch this morning showing yesterday’s date. After playing with the time and advancing the hands past midnight, I confirmed that the watch is exhibiting the exact same problem. The date wheel tries to advance and either snaps back to the original date or gets stuck in between the two dates.

I’m honestly just surprised that Omega wasn’t able to resolve this the second time around (did they even check it after service?). And obviously disappointed and frustrated. This has been a pretty terrible purchasing experience that’s now stretched out for several months. I emailed my AD and they’re going to reach out to Omega on Monday. I’m going to be pretty upset if they want me to send my watch away for another 3-4 weeks, particularly because I don’t have a lot of confidence that they’ll somehow fix the issue this third time around.

Anyway - curious in others’ reactions to this and what you’d expect at this point in terms of a resolution. I’ll follow-up once I hear from the AD on Monday.
At this point, I would suggest to the AD that they need to get you another watch. People here are usually very quick to pull out the "return it for a new one" line for the tiniest of things, which isn't how warranties typically work. But if they have had this many chances, it's time for someone to step up and get you a new watch, be it the AD or Omega.

It appears that whatever service center they are sending this to, someone isn't doing things right to resolve this.

Cheers, Al
 

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I want follow-up on this and provide a (disappointing) update on my service woes. To refresh, I bought a brand new Seamaster from my local AD on February 1 of this year. After a little over a month of ownership, I realized that the date wasn’t turning over at midnight (this problem seemed to occur during certain dates in the 20s). I took my watch into the AD, they sent it to Omega, and it came back from service about a month later. However, the problem wasn’t resolved. I posted here to get feedback from the community and ultimately took it back to the AD. They had reached out to the head of Omega service and made sure the re-servicing of my watch was prioritized. That process still took about three weeks, and my watch came back this Wednesday. And to my genuine amazement and disappointment, the problem still isn’t fixed. The first day back on the wrist was fine, but I found the watch this morning showing yesterday’s date. After playing with the time and advancing the hands past midnight, I confirmed that the watch is exhibiting the exact same problem. The date wheel tries to advance and either snaps back to the original date or gets stuck in between the two dates.

I’m honestly just surprised that Omega wasn’t able to resolve this the second time around (did they even check it after service?). And obviously disappointed and frustrated. This has been a pretty terrible purchasing experience that’s now stretched out for several months. I emailed my AD and they’re going to reach out to Omega on Monday. I’m going to be pretty upset if they want me to send my watch away for another 3-4 weeks, particularly because I don’t have a lot of confidence that they’ll somehow fix the issue this third time around.

Anyway - curious in others’ reactions to this and what you’d expect at this point in terms of a resolution. I’ll follow-up once I hear from the AD on Monday.
Inexcusable.
 

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This is starting to sound like my own IWC service experience from hell. If the service center is given a description of the problem, how can they send the watch back without checking that the problem is fixed? This is ridiculous.
 

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As an owner of the same watch this sounds very disappointing. I really hope your AD can replace the watch at this point. Good luck OP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
One more update to close this one out. I picked up my new replacement Seamaster from my AD today, and it appears to be perfect. The AD reached out to me shortly after I came back to them (after the second trip to the service center didn’t resolve the issue), and they said that Omega was going to replace my watch with a new one. They just had to wait for Omega to ship it to them, and it arrived yesterday. I kept the box, and swapped out the watch and warranty cards. I’m a happy camper. It took a while, but I feel like this was a fair resolution. Looking forward to enjoying this one for the remainder of the summer.

I really appreciate everyone’s input along the way!
 

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One more update to close this one out. I picked up my new replacement Seamaster from my AD today, and it appears to be perfect. The AD reached out to me shortly after I came back to them (after the second trip to the service center didn’t resolve the issue), and they said that Omega was going to replace my watch with a new one. They just had to wait for Omega to ship it to them, and it arrived yesterday. I kept the box, and swapped out the watch and warranty cards. I’m a happy camper. It took a while, but I feel like this was a fair resolution. Looking forward to enjoying this one for the remainder of the summer.

I really appreciate everyone’s input along the way!
Happy to this has been resolved to your satisfaction, and you're now free to move forward and enjoy your new Seamaster.

Rene
 

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It is so great to see that Omega made it right.
Enjoy your watch!

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That's great to hear, Ryan! Congrats on the new watch!
 

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I’m curious how others would respond to an issue I’m dealing with related to my new Seamaster. I bought it from an AD around February 1. After wearing it for a few weeks, I discovered an issue where the date wasn’t advancing overnight. This only occurred from about the 22nd-28th of the month so didn’t reveal itself for a few weeks after purchase. The date also won’t advance during this period if I manually set the time and advance the watch more than 24 hours. You can see the date wheel try to advance but it snaps back to the original date when I pass mightnight.

I took it into the AD. They told me it was a simple fix but that it needed to go back to Omega. Disappointing but not unexpected. They sent it in. It was with Omega for about a month, and I picked it up on Saturday. But the issue wasn’t actually fixed — it’s doing the exact same thing during the exact same range of dates.

At this point, I kind of feel like I should be able to get a new watch rather than have to send it away for another month, but I’d be curious what others think. I don’t expect perfection in all of my watch dealings, but this is starting to feel outside the bounds of reasonable for a brand new watch.
I’m with you on that. To be honest, I wouldn’t have let them send it away the first time. Second time it’s definitely going to have you doubting it for as long as you own it. I’d return it and either get a refund or a new watch. I absolutely would not entertain another month at the Omega day-spa
 
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