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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a beautiful like-new vintage Orient diver that cost me $50 in a very lucky auction. It is not keeping good time and I got a repair quota of $150. I was thinking of buying a quartz movement and replacing the auto one. I don't have any experience but I have good hands and patience and some cheap tools as well. I managed to take off the case back all by myself ;)


  1. Does anyone know if this is possible?
  2. What movement could replace it? This movement has a quick day change button but I don't mind if it will be left useless, so any day-date would be fine by me (the 4 o'clock crown controls the inner bezel).
  3. Is my tool set enough for the job or am I missing anything?


Any comments welcomed.

Thanks, D


 

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I've thought about doing this with my non-functioning Vostoks (which is all of them).

You will need to find a movement that matches the height (ligne I think it's called?) of the stem from the dial, and cut the new stem and fix the existing crown to it, and most likely change the hands to ones that fit the new movement as well.

I wouldn't mind butchering a piece of junk Vostok but it seems a bit of a shame to do it with a vintage Orient, in my opinion. I am sure it just needs a service and there are places that can do it than for much less than $150 if you really shop around.
 

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From what I understand, the Orient movements are based on a Seiko movement and as such should be reasonable to strip, clean, lubricate and re-assemble. I must say that these days the Seiko Service guys I know find it cheaper to replace the movement than service, but a common movement swap like that is around £80-£90.

Don't know because I have never looked, but I wonder if you could get a replacement movement for a swap, I would hate the idea of changing a nice watch like that to Quartz, but YMMV?

I would think that you could get a better service price as suggested previously for certainly a better result that bodging a Quartz movement into the case. My comparison off the top of my head would be: service the movement = watch worth a bit of money as a working serviced watch. Watch with a shoehorned quartz movement worth little more than peanuts IMHO.

Get a service is by my reckoning the better deal.

Very best regards,
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all. I actually would prefer a quartz over an auto. I was trying to sell this watch, and got a lot of interest, but when I noticed it does not keep time I took the sales ad off. I wouldn't mind selling it as non working but not sure what to ask for.
I don't live in the US and servicing a watch here is expensive. Maybe I'll try to go down town and search for one of the older smaller watch shops... Just the idea of having such a good looking quartz appeals to me. Hoping the hands won't need replacement.

Anyway thanks for anyone who answered and I would still love to hear more opinions and maybe even from someone who has done it.
 

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It has the 46943 movement w/ the 2nd crown date-pusher. Maybe a Gen 1 Mako? or older 'sub' or thresher version? Changing it to a quartz movement may cost as much as getting the original movement overhauled once you figure in finding or fabricating a mount to locate the movement & dial. IMO it makes more sense to sell it outright as 'needs work'. Any chance of seeing the face?
 

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Probably not feasible without a crap-ton of work. Do you have a photo of the dial?

There typically are not "drop in replacement" quartz alternatives to automatic movements -- meaning movements with the exact same set of dimensions.

Which means this is just a sample set of problems you have to sort out:

  • Diameter (ligne) - the quartz movement probably has a smaller diameter, so you'll need a spacer to hold it still in the case - you don't want the movement to be held in place by adhesion to the dial + the stem.
  • Stem height - movement thickness and also how much of that thickness is on the dial side of the stem. You either need to find a movement with the same stem height or prepare to create/machine/invent/commission dial or movement spacers, and/or a custom rehaut.
  • Post height - How far the hand posts stick up over the movement top plate -- these need to clear the dial and also offer enough height to allow the hands (which have a bit of a barrel that pressure fits around the post) to (1) fit the posts without sticking up over them and (2) clear one another.
  • Hand post size - Quartz movements typically have tiny little posts, so your existing hands are likely 2-3 times too large to fit. You can replace the hands or you can try to crimp the existing hands if the difference isn't too great (but my guess is that it will be too great and you'll just ruin the hands).
  • Dial feet - Not a big deal, but the new movement won't have holes to fit the feet sticking out of the back of the dial, so you'll have to use dial-dots to keep the dial in place. Edit: this is very tricky where the movement has day and date discs like this, as there is very little surface area on which to stick the dots.
  • Calendar wheel spacing - The distance from the center posts to the inside of the day/date discs on the movement. It has to be the same for the dial and the movement, or else you won't be able to see the day and date fully/at all. Even if you can sort out the above, there's no workaround here. The day/date wheels on the new movement will either align with the openings in the dial or they won't, and there's no way to fix that.


Tools: you'll need dial covers, a hand-removing tool, and hand setting tools. And, depending on how some of the above shake out, maybe a machinist's shop. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Probably not feasible without a crap-ton of work. Do you have a photo of the dial?

There typically are not "drop in replacement" quartz alternatives to automatic movements -- meaning movements with the exact same set of dimensions.

Which means this just a sample set of problems you have to sort out:

  • Diameter (ligne) - the quartz movement probably has a smaller diameter, so you'll need a spacer to hold it still in the case - you don't want the movement to be held in place by adhesion to the dial + the stem.
  • Stem height - movement thickness and also how much of that thickness is on the dial side of the stem. You either need to find a movement with the same stem height or prepare to create/machine/invent/commission dial or movement spacers, and/or custom a rehaut.
  • Post height - How far the hand posts stick up over the movement top plate -- these needs to clear the dial and also offer enough height to allow the hands (which have a bit of a barrel that pressure fits around the post) to (1) fit the posts without sticking up over them and (2) clear one another.
  • Hand post size - Quartz movements typically have tiny little posts, so your existing hands are likely 2-3 times too large to fit. You can replace the hands or you can try to crimp the existing hands if the difference isn't too great (but my guess is that it will be too great and you'll just ruin the hands).
  • Dial feet - Not a big deal, but the new movement won't have holes to fit the feet sticking out of the back of the dial, so you'll have to use dial-dots to keep the dial in place.
  • Calendar wheel spacing - The distance from the center posts to the inside of the day/date discs on the movement. It has to be the same for the dial and the movement, or else you won't be able to see the day and date fully/at all. Even if you can sort out the above, there's no workaround here. The day/date wheels on the new movement will either align with the openings in the dial or they won't, and there's no way to fix that.


Tools: you'll need dial covers, a hand-removing tool, and hand setting tools. And, depending on how some of the above shake out, maybe a machinist's shop. ;-)
Probably not feasible without a crap-ton of work. Do you have a photo of the dial?

There typically are not "drop in replacement" quartz alternatives to automatic movements -- meaning movements with the exact same set of dimensions.

Which means this just a sample set of problems you have to sort out:

  • Diameter (ligne) - the quartz movement probably has a smaller diameter, so you'll need a spacer to hold it still in the case - you don't want the movement to be held in place by adhesion to the dial + the stem.
  • Stem height - movement thickness and also how much of that thickness is on the dial side of the stem. You either need to find a movement with the same stem height or prepare to create/machine/invent/commission dial or movement spacers, and/or custom a rehaut.
  • Post height - How far the hand posts stick up over the movement top plate -- these needs to clear the dial and also offer enough height to allow the hands (which have a bit of a barrel that pressure fits around the post) to (1) fit the posts without sticking up over them and (2) clear one another.
  • Hand post size - Quartz movements typically have tiny little posts, so your existing hands are likely 2-3 times too large to fit. You can replace the hands or you can try to crimp the existing hands if the difference isn't too great (but my guess is that it will be too great and you'll just ruin the hands).
  • Dial feet - Not a big deal, but the new movement won't have holes to fit the feet sticking out of the back of the dial, so you'll have to use dial-dots to keep the dial in place.
  • Calendar wheel spacing - The distance from the center posts to the inside of the day/date discs on the movement. It has to be the same for the dial and the movement, or else you won't be able to see the day and date fully/at all. Even if you can sort out the above, there's no workaround here. The day/date wheels on the new movement will either align with the openings in the dial or they won't, and there's no way to fix that.


Tools: you'll need dial covers, a hand-removing tool, and hand setting tools. And, depending on how some of the above shake out, maybe a machinist's shop. ;-)
Thank you for the detailed answer. While I can think of work around for some of the issues (like thikning the hands post) I don't think it is worth all the trouble. And for other issues I have no idea how to resolve. I'll try finding a reasonable service price and if I can't find one I guess I'll try to sell it as is or exchange it for something... the second hand keeps stopping once and awhile and starts moving again if I give it a shake.

Appreciate your, and others help.


Thank you - D

And dial photos if it matters...

 

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Thank you for the detailed answer. While I can think of work around for some of the issues (like thikning the hands post) I don't think it is worth all the trouble. And for other issues I have no idea how to resolve. I'll try finding a reasonable service price and if I can't find one I guess I'll try to sell it as is or exchange it for something... the second hand keeps stopping once and awhile and starts moving again if I give it a shake.

Appreciate your, and others help.


Thank you - D

And dial photos if it matters...

Silly question - are you sure it is wound? This won't run unless you wear it and give it a good 30 second gentle shake to charge the main spring.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Silly question - are you sure it is wound? This won't run unless you wear it and give it a good 30 second gentle shake to charge the main spring.

Joe
Reasonable question but yes - it's wound to the maximum.

 

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the second hand keeps stopping once and awhile and starts moving again if I give it a shake.
Sounds like an Orient all right. My experience with their movements has not echoed the paeans to reliability more typically seen in this forum, and the failure of one of them mirrors what you describe. Still, I'm a sucker for the Mako design and bought a Mako II not long ago despite my experience. It's mostly stayed in the box so far though; perhaps I can't warm to a watch I'm disinclined to trust.
 

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Thank you for the detailed answer. While I can think of work around for some of the issues (like thikning the hands post) I don't think it is worth all the trouble. And for other issues I have no idea how to resolve. I'll try finding a reasonable service price and if I can't find one I guess I'll try to sell it as is or exchange it for something... the second hand keeps stopping once and awhile and starts moving again if I give it a shake.

Appreciate your, and others help.


Thank you - D

And dial photos if it matters...

Did you get this from an eBay seller in Thailand? That looks like the Franken Orient divers they sell. The hand sets are not original, and the dials are often replaced as well. They list them as NOS-New Old Stock, which may be true of the cases, but the dials and hands are not correct. Either the original handsets were no longer available, or the lume on them had gone bad. Those bolder, diver style hands look like they're from a Seiko. They might have been intended for an NH35 diver, and look a bit like the ones you see on a Grand Seiko diver.

If it doesn't work, file for a refund. Why didn't you file a protest with eBay or PayPal?

They are attractive watches, and I have considered bidding in the past. Like others have said, trying to fit a quartz movement is a bad idea. I've seen Orient automatic movements on eBay, and they are all pretty much the same.

Most of the vintage SK Divers have these hands:

il_794xN.1609376050_gvbt.jpg

There was a fairly rare version that had a highly lumed dial, and hands somewhat like yours.

s-l1600.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If it doesn't work, file for a refund. Why didn't you file a protest with eBay or PayPal?
I got it off Ebay but it was three years ago and it was working perfectly fine for two years or more.
 
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